Statistics Don’t Lie … Or Do They? (Re-Blog)

KeepCalmThis post was originally published in October, 2013.  At that time, I had less than 50 followers and averaged only a few views per day.  While my readership has grown significantly since then, I’m sad to say that WordPress has not changed the way it calculates those views:

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Either NO ONE at all is reading me (and I find that REALLY hard to believe seeing as my posts are so unique, funny, etc.), or the WordPress statistics are simply wrong or too confusing to follow.

I know people are, in fact, reading because I have followers (and finally, there are more non-family than family followers), MailChimp says the majority of people on my list actually open their emails, and I get email and comments from readers on Facebook in addition to the normal comments on the blog itself.

Those of you who are experienced, established bloggers probably don’t worry much about statistics these days.  But for those of us just starting out, statistics are the Holy Grail by which we judge our worthiness.

After each published post, a new blogger will go onto his or her WordPress website and check those stats EVERY FIVE MINUTES!  (Well, at least I did/do!)

It took me awhile to figure out that posts read through the RSS feeds are calculated in a different area on WordPress – you have to go into the post itself and check the statistics there, and then it will tell you how many “views” are RSS.  RSS feed readers are not included in the numbers you see on the WordPress Stats page.

Even then, things didn’t seem to add up.  I started getting “followers” who, according to WordPress, had never even “viewed”my page.  Hmmmmmm?  Turns out, people who read my posts through the WordPress Reader page don’t count towards the statistics, and I only know if they’re reading when they sign up to “follow” me.

On one recent post, I checked the stats and learned that I had only one “view” – and that was in Trinidad.  I don’t know anybody in Trinidad (although I am very happy that you found me, whoever you are!).

Well, that was just odd ‘cause I knew from talking to friends and co-workers, from checking my MailChimp account, and from reading my email and Facebook pages, that I had more than one hit on my blog that day!

Am I soooo special that every one of my friends, co-workers, family and other readers jumped onto the earliest flight to Trinidad that day so that everyone could read my blog together?  Or perhaps everyone joined together in a Skype conference to read that day’s post?

OF COURSE NOT!

Don't Give Up

Come on, WordPress, have a little sympathy for us.  I wonder how many new bloggers, after reading their stats on WordPress, have said to themselves, “Eff this – no one cares anyway!” and then simply QUIT blogging?

I almost did just that.

But then I received a PERSONAL EMAIL from one of my non-family, non-related readers in a different part of the country, who told me You’re doing great!  Keep it up.”  [Thank you, A!].  And there’s another non-family, non-related reader in another part of the country who consistently posts positive comments on my blog [Thank you, K!].

Were it not for these two supportive readers at the very beginning of my blogging adventure, I would have been forced to rely only on the WordPress stats, never knowing that there were many others who were, in fact, enjoying my work.  And I would have given up.

There must be a way for WordPress to add a line or column to the stats indicating how many actual “hits” there are (including from the WordPress Reader page), in addition to how many “visitors” and “views.”  Maybe that still wouldn’t  pick up the RSS feeds, but certainly it would be a more realistic indication of who’s actually reading the darn thing.  This little bit of extra information could very well make the difference to someone who’s on the verge of giving up blogging forever.

Anyone else with me on this?  Wouldn’t all you newer bloggers feel better if you knew how many people are really reading your posts?

Thank you for letting me vent.

_________________

I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post (please), comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com or notcordeliasmom@aol.com

________________

Images by:  Tammy Strobel/Rowdy Kittens, and Rob Swystrun, respectively

This entry was posted in Re-Blogs, That's Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Statistics Don’t Lie … Or Do They? (Re-Blog)

  1. candygai says:

    Thank you. I did try blogging before. I had nothing to say really other than about my epic divorce and what it is like to enter grad school at my age, and go through my teens and twenties metaphorically a second, or perhaps a third, or even fourth time around. Not to mention how that all age-appropriate men are creepy, and that I am not casual about certain physical things. I don’t hate my ex-spouse for dumping me, I am well-rid of Voldy. It is this whole new life and life skills by which I am measured that I hate him for; why does a man get to procreate at 60plus and be considered distinguished and wonderful, yuck.

    Thank CordeliasMom. This was just the kick in the backside and piece of knowledge to get me to start again. My blog is currently all locked up.

    Happy Monday. Two New Pandas in The World. Just Saying. Like you haven’t seen one source of news.

    But really. Kisses to PuppyCody. Respect and Regards to TeddyRosalie, whom I love but scares me with her stern demeanour. And, To You CordeliasMom, Kindest Regards and Great Heaps of Thanks to You. Candy Gai.

    Like

  2. Paul says:

    That’s interesting CM. I didn’t know that. Thank You.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I can’t follow the stats calculations, especially when one post had 9 likes but only one view recently. Also, my likes at one stage exceeded my views, and then adding up the breakdown by country didn’t add up to the number of view. I gave up on stats, but not on blogging. It makes a very pretty and erratic graph!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan Antion says:

    The craziest days for me are when I post a new entry and gather more likes than views. That happens often enough for me really wonder about the stats algorithms.

    Like

  5. I’ve always ignored the stats. What I love about WP is the comments, the interchange of ideas…that is always the measure of joy for me. thanks, CM. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  6. markbialczak says:

    It’s still confounding, and always will be as long as people read our posts without clicking on the headline and therefore being counted as an official WP view, CM. And the way WP changes things to be mobile-friendly, that’s the direction it’s going. Those of us who opt into the WordAds program with the hopes of making a penny or two from our posts lose out on the impressions we need because of this, too, just to add another log to your fire here. Oy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. personally I am glad that you did not give up! your blog is definitely one of my favorites…it makes me sad when I check on my favorite blogs and they fall off the face of the earth…it’s like watching your favorite show on TV, and boom it’s cancelled for no reason..please keep it up!

    Like

  8. Melissa says:

    Yes agreed, this is frustrating. I don’t understand at all how they calculate these things. For me, I just want to know that I’m not talking to myself. And btw I read you so there’s one more!!!

    Like

    • Hey, Melissa – I did know that you read me – my memory hasn’t gotten that short, yet. And I’m glad you do – having readers like you tells me that I’m writing the right kind of posts.

      BTW, I also read your blog, although I haven’t commented on it in awhile. So, you also have at least one more reader than WP says you do.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t use the reader and that is only one of the many reasons I don’t. I also open ever blog I read and don’t read it as email. Because I may not be able to give much, but actually going to the blog and clicking on it is a vote. It says, “Yes, I read you.”

    As for the rest of it. Comes the day when you rarely look at the stats unless you are approaching a major milestone, or want to see how a particular post is going. Of, for me, how the year is going. Otherwise, I really just don’t care anymore. And don’t think you know what they are doing because what they do changes. Sometimes, they count the reader in a separate count, then they decide it’s too much trouble and stop doing it. If you spend too much time with the stats, you will make yourself crazy.

    Like

    • You’ve got that right, Marilyn – I do make myself crazy, but I can’t seem to stop myself from looking at the stats every single day. Heaven help me if they ever start going down instead of up!

      Like

  10. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Just in general: numbers don’t lie but statistics can!

    Like

    • candygai says:

      You know Just Plain Ol’ Vic, you are correct. I went back to graduate school at an extremely advanced age and took undergraduate statistics and graduate statistics within 16 months of each other. Both instructors stressed the following. That information or input can be influenced by a variety of variables and circumstances. What a shame so much feedback is cloaked under such secrecy or that it is less than user friendly.

      I am sure I just committed some faux pas by commenting on your observation rather than going through CordeliasMom. To you both, I apologize. My very weak excuse is adult-diagnosed ADHD, provoked by the above mentioned return to higher education. I would be grateful for your forgiveness.

      Liked by 2 people

    • True. My “like” numbers have been awesome lately.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. wgr56 says:

    It’s hard not to get caught up in the statistics. Mainly I wonder what makes one post “succeed” and other posts “fail,” when I personally might have scored them exactly the opposite. Some of the stuff I get is just crazy. Sometimes I’ll receive a Like from some reader not 15 seconds after I hit the Publish button, and while I’m appreciative, I know there’s no damn way that person actually read the piece in that short amount of time. You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out. There’s just no telling what people are going to love, and the best advise is to write to please yourself first, and if anybody else likes it, that’s gravy.

    Like

  12. Can’t take stats very seriously around here anymore. People can read on reader/click “like” and it never shows up on your stats. (Many of us have BEGGED WP to get rid of that “like” button on reader as it’s usually nonsense and used by those seeking to improve their own stats). When Google changed to “private viewing” stats dropped as those weren’t recorded either. You can pay for real stats ( but various companies like ClustrMaps count their differently…and reading all the different companies’ explanations will make your eyes cross..) While you can’t help checking the stat trend,
    WP is headed towards mobile use – they think that’s where their readership (money makers) is.
    Comment are the real measure of how a blog is doing. Comments are tIme consuming, but does create a neighborhood.
    In any case, just write!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Trent Lewin says:

    It’s all lies! I can’t possibly be this unpopular, can I? It’s just not remotely plausible. I must be huge! I know it! My Mom told me I woudl be!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lbeth1950 says:

    Don’t give up! I need your posts!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I agree with Linda, but I always agree with Linda. It’s annoying to discover that a like from the reader doesn’t count as a ‘view’ or ‘hit’. If the programmers can figure out how to place annoying little pop up windows to tell me that me that I’m following you even though I already know I am they can change the code so that a ‘like’ is treated like a view. I didn’t know that when I read a post in my reader and ‘liked’ it that my effort sank into the void. BTW: Trinidad was lovely that day.

    Like

    • Thanks. It almost seems like a waste of time, doesn’t it? But at least the little “like” icons do show up on the post, so even if I have no “views” that day, I might have 30 “likes.”

      I don’t imagine I’ll ever see Trinidad. I’ll have to enjoy it through pictures.

      Like

  16. Barry says:

    I don’t have a large following, but according to WP, I have about 20 times as many followers as I have page views. And that’s including those who happen to find posts via links from other blogs and search engines. What I have noticed is that when a blogger is critical of something I wrote and links to the post, the page view for that post soars. Perhaps understandably, the number of likes doesn’t increase proportionately when that happens 😦

    Like

  17. Pingback: Fickle Fans | Cordelia's Mom, Still

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