[a rant about blog statistics]
I’ve had my Parchment Cadenza blog now for 4 months, long enough to have completed one quarterly review and work up an editorial calendar for the next month or so, but is that what I’m doing?
I just read an article from WordPress.com News (I’m a subscriber) about the importance of blog stats and traffic. The article made it seem like it should be all but second nature for every blogger to always be seeking maximum readership and views on their sites. I can understand that bloggers who depend on their stats to make an income want to play the traffic game: find out what posts did the best and write more of those, spend time reading, commenting, and following other blogs to get others to check out their own online turf. When you’re doing something for your job, sure, you want to adhere to the standards of your employer, in this case, WordPress and its multitude of readers and bloggers.
BEING SOMEONE I’M NOT
But am I doing this for my job? No. I started blogging for enjoyment and to have an outlet for writing. I really enjoy writing, and I would love to get paid for doing it. But for now, I’m not too worried about how many people see my blog every day and what my stats are looking like, because right now I’m mostly just doing this for me. Maybe my thoughts about this will change in the future if I ever do decide to utilize Wordpress as a part time job. I admire all writers who get paid, I certainly do!
And I’m not saying I don’t want other people who read my blog to get something good out of it. I love the fact that what I write here IS visible for all to see, and I do try to write posts that are positive or informative, funny, or generally enjoyable for a variety of people. But right now, I just can’t bring myself to do an analysis of my blog statistics so I can start tailoring my own voice in such a way as to “boost my stats.”
I’VE BEEN THINKING
Now that I’ve totally bashed on the statistics feature, I must say that I have been tantalized by it. Just like getting notifications on Facebook, it’s great fun to see the WordPress notification icon light up when I log in. And I admit I have read many of the Blogging 101 & 201 articles on how to increase your traffic – because I want to know what this community is all about. But the skeptic in me just can’t help but see that this great emphasis on growing one’s stats is truly for better or for worse; better for bloggers who depend on the blog as a business, and worse for bloggers who write for enjoyment.
Since starting my blog, I have learned that WordPress is much more than a service allowing people to carve their own creative online space, and I have mixed feelings about it. There is so much stress on getting lots of traffic. While I am thankful for the community outlet (I have very much enjoyed finding some great blogs with very interesting content!) AND for the awesome features, themes, customization options, and ease of posting that WordPress offers, I do not want the ever present temptation to adjust my blogging to get better stats to interfere with my enjoyment of posting content I personally like.
This may seem like a somewhat unapologetic rant, but I hope my thoughts on content generation don’t upset any followers who get my posts streaming through their Readers. I understand it would be annoying for my posts to always be about something totally random and unappealing to you. So I apologize if that has already happened or does happen in the future. I also should really apologize for the blogging faux pas I have already committed by almost constantly changing my theme’s background image… oh brother! I have just had too much fun with it. I am sorry for the confusion it has probably caused and for making my blog seem busy and aesthetically unappealing at times.
BUT I’M ALSO NOT SORRY
So WordPress.com News, I might be unfollowing you soon. Nothing personal. It just makes me feel bad when I read all about your big time plans for me that I had no intention of when I started blogging here. It makes me feel like I have to apologize for being me and doing all kinds of crazy bloggy things you don’t recommend. It is not helping me live life abundantly, the goal of this blog.
For now, I will write what I want. And if what I want to write appeals to some – or none – so be it.
WordPress, I appreciate what you do for writers and for providing an awesome space for bloggers to connect. It is really cool getting to read other people’s posts and being able to easily interact with them. I have loved many aspects of blogging here and have no intention of leaving, because it is quite fun sticking around and your tech support is also fabulous. In other words, I love you, but I can’t do this stats thing anymore.