Up and Down


Two months ago, when I logged into Google Analytics, I saw that there were several days that showed a month-to-month drop of 12-18% in visits. Last month, I saw a gain of about 12-18% most days.

Today, I’m down 17.74% in visits from one month ago. Specifically, the average of visits between May 12, 2010, and June 11, 2010, is 17.74% lower than the average of visits between April 11, 2010, and May 11, 2010.

So what am I supposed to make of that?

I work in TV, so there’s something in me, whether I care to admit or not — and I don’t, thank you — that wants to be very concerned about a drop like that.

Then again, considering that I’m back to where I was two months ago, that could mean that middle month was something of a fluke with more visitors than normal.

At the same time, it’s summer, the weather’s better, and unless you live in the Gulf, a lot of you may spend additional time on the beach.

I’m not worried right now, but when does one start to worry about such things?

Yeah, yeah, there’s that motto about writing what you want to write and not worrying about anyone else. But really, if you don’t have any regard for attracting readers, wouldn’t you make your blog private so that only you could see it? Or do it the old-fashioned way: on paper?

Do you ever check out your stats? Does it ever concern you?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.


  • Naw, I don't look at the stats anymore. I did at first, but it's too depressing.

    I don't think the old saying about writing for yourself is so much about not caring about your audience, as it is about not going out of your way to please them. You write about things you care about, and people pick up on it. That's what draws them to your writing.

    I don't work in television, so why would I care about sweeps? My relationship with religion is complicated, so why would I read about what churches do right, or what they seem to get wrong? Do I really care about South Carolina politics?

    I didn't, but I do when you write about them. I do now. Because of your writing. You're not choosing a topic based on what I am passionate about; you choose it based on what strikes you as interesting on that given day, and then you write about it – and that leads to interesting writing. You're not trying to pick a subject for my benefit and then to summarily inject an opinion or funny observation.

    That is not to say you should ignore your audience, but there are other ways of engaging them. Besides your writing, you can engage them through the comments. Sometimes I write rather long comments, and there's no…interaction; it leaves me feeling as though what I said was offensive, or ignored, or simply disagreed with to the extent that there was no need to reply to it. I know you get a lot of traffic, and if you replied to every comment and turned every post into a discussion thread, you would have very little time for other things in life.

    I really think that these "ratings" just ebb and flow, and that it's best not to be too concerned about small changes. You do have an audience, make no mistake about it.

  • I rarely check my stats, and I use the analytics and stats counters merely for enjoyment–to see what weird things people are searching to find me, for instance–and to be sure no one I know IRL has found me online. No one besides a very limited few people who know where my blog is, which eliminates my boss, most of the people with whom I work, and everyone in my family (outside of Sparky and Beast).

    Why don't I use paper? Carpal tunnel and writer's cramp.

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