Monday, 10 August 2015

Followers VS Page Views

Followers VS Page ViewsLots of bloggers (myself included) blog because they enjoy it rather than as a source of income. It seems to be a common misconception that if you blog only for the love of it you don't care about your stats.
I don't think for a second that stats are the be all and end all.
Could I tell you the average time a reader spends on my blog per visit? Nope. Could I tell you the age demographic of my readers? Nope.
I know where to find this information, it's just not something I'm massively interested in at this point.
My interest lies in my reach.
I could tell you, give or take a few, the views on my best and worst posts last month.
I could tell you my average page view.
I hear bloggers saying they don't care about the numbers. I'm not going to lie, I do care about the numbers, and I find it hard to believe that others don't.
You've just spend an hour writing an amazing post, a further 20 minutes taking, editing and uploading the perfect picture, and you don't care if anyone sees it? That doesn't equate to me.
What I think people actually mean when they say they don't care about stats is they don't let it bother them to the point where they are analysing stats and posting certain content related to the findings. I certainly fall into this category. I know what will do well and what not so well, yet I still choose to post both, because I enjoy writing both. And sometimes, the posts I am most worried about posting are the ones that do the best!
Sometimes, I get a post idea, and it's something I've never done before. I go ahead and do it, without worrying that it might throw my stats off.

Anyway, I have gone totally off topic! What I want to talk about today is followers VS page views.

By followers, I mean people who specifically follow your blog rather than your social media accounts.
Followers VS Page Views
How I feel when I see a sign up pop-up!
In the beginning, I got very disheartened at how few followers I had. I read various articles on how to build followers, most of which advised a pop-up sign up feature. I can't bring myself to do this. It drives me crazy on other blogs, so it's not something I want to subject my readers to.
Instead, I choose to add an email sign up option and a Bloglovin widget in my sidebar, and a link to follow me on Bloglovin at the bottom of my posts.
I'll be honest - it is no where near as effective as a pop-up, but I also think it's less likely to get the eye roll I give when I see a pop-up, and worse, people closing your page altogether.
I decided to put the idea on the back burner for a week or two and come back to solving this problem with a fresh perspective.
Guess what - it's still on that back burner three months later!
Why? Because I realised page views are a more true representation of readership than followers are. It would still be nice to get more followers, but it's not on the top of my priority list - building actual readership is.
 
 A lot of people will disagree with page views being more important than followers, but hear me out! Here's 4 reasons why I think page views are a more accurate representation of readership:
 
1. Stats
Stats Pie Chart from Followers VS Page Views postThere's that word again! At the point of writing this post, I had 4 email followers, and 41 Bloglovin followers. Yet I had 50,049 page views. Clearly, these views are coming from somewhere!
 
2. Comments
When responding to my comments, I see the same people commenting on more than one post at different times. This means I do have repeat visitors who come back time and again, even if they haven't chosen to follow.
 
3. My habits
I can't think of a single blog I follow via email. Simply because when I check my email, I want to be able to see important emails quickly, and I don't want to miss any. To have lots of emails telling me someone has written a new post would just clog my inbox up, and to be honest, I would probably delete the emails. I do follow some of my favourite blogs on Bloglovin. I like being able to go on there and know I will find lots of posts I want to read, but I do sometimes forget to check if the blog is on there. My main way of following blogs is saving them to my favourites on my internet browser and obviously, this doesn't flag up for the blogger.
 
Stats Graph from Followers VS Page Views post
4. Follow for follow
How many bloggers do you see saying this hourly on Twitter? Yes, a lot! If you take them up on it and they follow back, how many of them do you think actually read your posts rather than just wanting to up their own numbers? Maybe there a few who do, but I suspect this figure is pretty low. So you might gain a hundred followers this way, but if only two or three of them read your posts, then that figure doesn't mean anything.
 
And that is why I put more importance on page views than followers. That's not to say I wouldn't still like to build up more followers, its just to say if you don't have a lot of followers, but you do have good page views, don't get disheartened!
 
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments :)
You can find me here: Twitter Bloglovin Pinterest and Instagram Please do stop by and say hi!
 
Please note the stats images in this post are stock photos and not in any way representative of my blog stats.
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65 comments:

  1. I agree with you on signing up of email lists. I avoid it like fire! My email is way too overcrowded already. I love this post!!
    Dora
    http://www.adropofindigo.ca/

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    1. Mine too! I dealt with all my mails earlier, made a coffee, came back and I somehow had another 41 emails! Thank you :)

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  2. Totally agree with you, lovely post! x

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  3. I so agree !! I literally was talking to someone last night about follows for follows. On Twitter now I'm determined to stay below 1000 people I follow as I can't keep up. I know that affects my followers but I don't care. I don't Subscribe via email to any blogs but if I love them I keep coming back. Great post! Xx #twinklytuesday

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    1. If you follow too many people, I think you miss tweets from the people you are interested in. Thank you :)

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  4. I use wordpress reader for some, email for some and just pop back to others. I can't remember who I'm following where either :-)

    #twinklytuesday

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    1. I would be the same, that's why I try to stick to Bloglovin or just save their link :)

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  5. Page views and followers are both important to me, but for different reasons! I prefer to engage with my following on social media so they tend to come directly from their. Having said that I do want to improve my following in all areas and so I am going to set some goals whilst I'm away for the coming months. I think when it comes to followers I want people to follow because they like my content and enjoy engaging with me, however the larger the following the better as the bigger the chance of people seeing my posts! I guess? Food for thought! #TwinklyTuesday

    Angela xx

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    1. I agree that followers on social media lead to more potential readers. I mean people who directly follow your blog. Like I said above, I'm not against getting more direct followers to my blog, I just feel page views are a better representation of who actually reads it. I see your point about the potential though - maybe someone who doesn't use Twitter would see an email for a post they otherwise would have missed. :)

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  6. An interesting post. Some great advice We don't know much about analytics or analysis. But have a good readership and engagement on our blog...it's not massive but enough to make us feel people are listening to our ramblings ;) #TwinklyTuesday

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    1. Thank you :) That's what I mean - I would rather have one person genuinely read/engage with the post than 100 followers who never come over :)

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  7. Excellent advice. When I say that "I don't care about the numbers" I mean that although I want people to read, share and comment, I don't compare my blog stats to others. There will always be a bigger blog.

    I hate pop-ups. If I wanted to sign up, I would. I can find a sidebar thank you!

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    1. Thank you :) I agree - if you have a million followers you can still find someone with a million and one!
      Exactly! As long as the sign up is visible, I just don't think a massive pop-up is necessary :)

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  8. I hope this is true! I have very few followers, but like you don't worry about it because I don't subscribe to any either. When I first switched to google analytics I very very disheartened to learn that half of the visitors being tallied by WP analytics were actually spammers and my real readership was about half of what I thought it was. What I've come to realize is that I have a pretty good amount of people that swing by the site once a week or so to catch up on what I've written recently. And I'm perfectly content with that.

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    1. Same here - I love that people regularly visit/comment and if they don't want to subscribe, I get it! I'm just happy they stop by :)

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  9. Oh I'm so glad I don't have google analytics - don't want to know that half my page views are spam!

    I agree about the pop-ups and with everything you've said really. I read your blog fairly often- I see it at linkies or on Twitter, I would class myself as a regular reader but I haven't subscribed. I don't subscribe to blogs by e-mail anymore as I keep missing important e-mails about my gas bill etc! #twinklytuesday

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    1. That's what I worry about - I get a ton of emails as it is without adding a load more!
      I don't want to put pressure on people to subscribe, I want them to come back because they want to and for them to enjoy the posts without being bothered by pop-ups.
      I love my regular readers, thank you for being one of them :)

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  10. I agree! I don't subscribe either but have my favourites I always visit and ones I look out for on linkies. I hope people do the same for mine and I too like seeing when familiar people comment each week. I was in the process of signing up for google analytics and backed out last minute as right now I'd rather blog for the enjoyment than the numbers. Great post! #TwinklyTuesday

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    1. Thank you :) Yes, I also have a number of blogs I read regularly that I don't follow because I know they usually link up to the same linkys I do so I will still see their posts. I occasionally check Google Analytics, but only because I'm a bit of a numbers geek - I really don't think it's all it's cracked up to be if I'm being perfectly honest :)

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  11. I concur! I use to stress about followers but enjoying the page views now :) I don't blog for income either but its still nice to know people are reading :) xx #twinklytuesday

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    1. I blog for fun rather than income, but yes, it's still good to know people are reading it :) x

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  12. I care about numbers too... but within reason, I think! I would like to blog for income, but i still have a long way to go! :) but in the mean time, i just blog out of pleasure !
    #TwinklyTuesday

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    1. I care about the numbers of people reading, after all, it's a lot of work to put in if no one reads it, but I do it because I love it too :)

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  13. Good post! I know what you mean with the pop-ups demanding you sign up to a blog. Especially when it's the first thing that loads on a blog page! And if I'm on my phone I always have to scroll around trying to find the button to close the pop-up....there are some things that might get results, but don't lead to a nice experience at all! I'd rather just keep my blog the kind of blog I'd like to visit and attract like-minded people that way than worry about numbers and things, but I'm only blogging for a hobby :)

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    1. Same here - many times I've given up on a post altogether on my phone for that reason. I only blog for fun too and I guess if it's an income source, it may be different, but I still wouldn't want people to cringe when the pop-up appeared! :)

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    2. Definitely not fans of the pop up either.
      Brilliant post as always
      Thanks for linking with #ShowcaseTuesday

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    3. Thank you and thanks for hosting :)

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  14. Great post — really really resonates with me. I feel just the same! When brands ask 'how many blog followers have you got?' I can't really answer! I have a handful on Bloglovin — but I KNOW people follow my blog because they come back again and again... it's so hard to quantify isn't it? I DO care about the stats but that's not why I write my blog! :) I absolutely love it — can't imagine life without it now, to be honest :) Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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    1. Thank you :) It really is hard to say - do they just mean people who subscribe, or people you know return time and again? And if they mean that, how on earth can you even guess at it, as a lot read posts but don't always choose to comment! I'm the same - I wonder now how I used to fill so much time lol :) Thanks for hosting, I'll be there!

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  15. I completely agree. I just started my blog in June, and I was so caught up in the stats for the first few weeks. When I was reading "ways to increase reach," I just couldn't stomach most of the ideas. So, I try to relish in the comments of encouragement and stay positive. Blogging, for me, was meant to be an outlet, not a source of income. Thanks for the inspiration. #wineandboobs

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    1. I think comments etc make it feel much more worthwhile than stats, especially when your blog is a hobby rather than a business! Thank you :)

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  16. Although I'm blessed to have a very loyal following (even if the numbers are low) my stats are amazing and at the end of the day I want to commercialise my site so page views are where it's at! #wineandboobs

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    1. I agree - brands seem much more interested in page views than followers. A lot like interaction as well :)

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  17. Yes, yes, yes, and YES! First of all, before reading this I seriously thought you seasoned bloggers got your posts out in like 10mins while walking from Starbucks to the salon. Whereas it takes me all day right now and my kids are in pajamas at noon eating cereal for lunch. I know I'll get better, but it eases my mind to know that its suppose to be a process. Also...I have been focusing on page views as well instead of followers/subscribers. Of course, I get excited if I get 30 in a day. :)But everyone has to start somewhere. I'm so thankful for your perspective and really enjoyed reading this.

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    1. Writing posts does get quicker the more you do it because you build a routine and you have all the extra bits and bobs to hand more often, but I really wish it was as simple as a 10 minute job lol! If you find the secret to that, be sure to let me know! I definitely think page views are a more accurate measure, especially in the beginning when you're still trying to let people know you're there. You're right - we do all start somewhere, and it wasn't that long ago I started so I know exactly what you mean about the happy dance when you see your page views in double figures. By the way, the happy dance doesn't go away :) Thanks for stopping by :)

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  18. Followers are very important but I always look at how many times the pages have been viewed also. I think they both help you figure out what is working and what needs improved on. Thanks for sharing with #Alittlebitofeverything! Have a great day!

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    1. I would like more followers, but for me it's still page views all the way! Thank you for hosting :)

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  19. I am still trying to figure out all of this followers and page views things. I have no idea what is a good stat vs a bad stat. I think people enjoy reading my stuff so that is where I am starting. I do agree that signing up for emails clogs up my inbox however there are a few I do it for. That is because they are blogs I go to on a weekly basis. It is easier for me to know they have a new blog so I'm not wasting my time. #wineandboobs
    Kristen

    http://mustachesandprincessmom.blogspot.com

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    1. As long as you enjoy it, that's the main thing. If you are getting good feedback from your readers, the rest is just background noise!

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  20. I agree, I'd say everyone cares about the numbers & having readers. I hate the pop ups too & briefly considered it but hate it on other sites so I haven't done it. I think page views are a good indicator too. Great post as always Debbie! #alittlebitofeverything x

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    1. I just can't bring myself to do it for the same reason! Thank you :)

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  21. I am fairly new to blogging, but I agree with the points you have raised, great post x

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  22. I'm just starting out and this is a very interesting read, thank you so much for sharing :) #binkylinky

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  23. What a great post. I do like to check my stats to see how I'm doing but try not to get too bogged down in it. It does take up a while to build up a following and to begin with it can feel like you're almost blogging to yourself! Once people start engaging though, it's great :)

    #binkylinky

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    1. Thank you :) I remember in the very beginning, how excited I would get if one of my posts got double figures on the page views. It really is great when people are reading and engaging with the posts :)

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  24. I agree, what a great post! thanks for sharing x

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you liked it :) x

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  25. I feel the same way about those popups! Other than email subscription, all other ways to follow (RSS or readers like bloglovin) are just as useful/useless as social media, because people have to be actively looking at their feed to see your post. So to me, email is the best indicator of followers. However, I also go by comments and interaction. If people are simply seeing my posts and then clicking off I might have good pageviews, but I really want the interaction of people showing they connected with my posts and had something to say. Great post today!

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    1. That's a good point - it is great to have engagement with your readers so you know they haven't clicked in, read one line and clicked out. Plus I genuinely like to know what people thought of the post. Thank you :)

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  26. I couldn't agree more! I hate follow pop-ups and I quickly click to get rid of them. I've seen some pop-up boxes that stay in the corner of the screen and don't disable the whole site and I don't mind those. I'll happily follow people on social media, so the more accessible those buttons are the more likely I am to click, but no emails. Like you said, my inbox is full enough! And I totally agree with views being more important than followers. Any blogging assignment I've ever done I've only been asked for my stats, never my followers :) Great post x

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    1. Got so carried away I forgot to say I'm popping over through #binkylinky x

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    2. Yes, I don't mind the little subtle ones, but the ones that cover the centre of my screen drive me nuts! Yes, I've been asked for number of Twitter followers by PRs, but never blog followers - only ever page views. Thank you :)

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  27. It's so easy to get caught up in all the numbers.. I'd by lieing if I said I didn't notice change but you are right, it's more important to write for the joy of it and then see the rest as a bonus! #binkylink

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    1. It is so rewarding to see your numbers going up, but to me that's secondary to enjoying blogging. If you don't enjoy it, all the stats in the world are not going to change that :)

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  28. Great post. Agree with a lot you've said and as others have said it's easy to get caught up in stats and forget the real reason why you started. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

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    1. Thank you :) I think it can be fun to check stats, but if you get too obsessed with them, it takes all the fun out of it! Thanks for hosting :)

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  29. Agree with so much great post thanks for linking to the Binkylinky

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  30. I completely agree with you here as I hardly have any followers on bloglovin or on my email subscription but yet I have page views that show people come back. Stats are a funny thing Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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    1. They really are aren't they! I know for me, in the beginning, I really panicked about not having many followers, now I put much more importance on page views! Thanks for hosting :)

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  31. I love how you are looking at this. Your page views are awesome by the way. Well done. I hate pop up boxes too, can't bring myself to put one on my blog either!

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