Blogging Is Not All About Numbers





I'll admit, when I first started blogging, I got a buzz from watching my social media channels grow and religiously kept an eye on my page view statistics through Google Analytics. Being re-tweeted by a big brand or getting lots of likes on my latest Instagram selfie felt amazing, as sad as that is to admit. The likes, re-tweets, page views and follower count was a way of defining my worth and value as a blogger, and was up until a short time ago. Of course, it's flattering when brands get in touch and want to work with you; often this is directly linked with stats as they ultimately want to see a return on their 'investment'. But recently I've learnt that stats and follower counting is not everything, and I've realised that obsessing over those numbers has caused me to detour slightly from why I started this blog in the first place.


Of course, blogging statistics are important to an extent. They are a useful way of roughly keeping track of your growth and, more importantly, knowing which posts are better received by your 'audience'. I used to check my monthly page views and just look at the numbers- not the deeper meaning behind them. Checking how many hits I get on each post once in a while lets me know what my readers are most interested in hearing about. For example, baking posts generally don't do as well (but I still post them because it's a huge passion of mine), whereas posts about trichotillomania are well-engaged and best at starting conversation. Also, it's not a huge priority of mine, but obviously good stats are going to draw in brands and secure collaborations. Despite more brands turning to the 'micro-influencer' for work (valuing high engagement over follower count, which we all know can be easily faked and bought), stats are still a prominent way of measuring commercial value in the blogging world. I recently reached out to a company who wouldn't even let me know about new launches because I had under X amount of followers. I guess it's this focus on numbers and competition for recognition which drive people to buying followers and views.


When it came to light that many influencers and bloggers are buying followers, conversations started about how obsessed the community and brands has become about the old numbers game. I still see many people celebrating follower milestones (not that I'm saying you shouldn't) and it has made me realise that I don't seek confirmation of my value as a blogger through these stats anymore. Setting goals is fine, but making them an aspiration to hit the next follower milestone just isn't for me personally. My following isn't huge at all, and it used to bother me so much that it wasn't really growing; now I'm just not fussed. The statistics that show on the screen don't define my worth as a blogger and shouldn't be the only thing my value is measured by.


Instead, I'm going back to when I first started this blog- before I got mildly distracted by trying to increase page views and grow my Twitter following...unsuccessfully. When I re-started this blog in 2014 after a short break (fuelled by started university...I'm not sure if it was the cheap vodka or coursework which detoured my blogging adventure), I did so because I had an overwhelming desire to talk about trichotillomania. I wanted to make this website a place where the myths about trich could be busted, the realities of the disorder be spoken about and generally a safe space for people to comment, discuss, learn and understand. There wasn't really anywhere on the internet to speak to others who could relate to your experiences of trich, and I really missed this when growing up- so I created that space.


Seeing peoples' reactions, knowing that words and comments have helped others understand, and getting messages from people saying that this blog has helped them is the best feeling and makes me feel as though all the time and effort I put into blogging is actually worth it. Getting asked advice via an email and then this turning into a thread of back-and-forth discussion about trich; connecting with others who have it and being able to ask them questions...this is what blogging is about for me. Sure, my blog isn't 100% trich related, but those moments where I think, 'this blog has actually helped someone', is what I'm basing my value and worth on. It's these things- not the follower count- that I get a buzz from, and what drives me to keep creating more content.



Are you a blogger who has ditched religiously checking their stats? I'd love to hear what kind of content you enjoy from this site and what you would like to see more of- please message me or leave a comment if you want to have your say!


Follow me on Instagram at @prettyandpolishedblog 


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2 comments

  1. Great post ! No I am not a blogger that check my stats at all I mean I checked them but I don't do it every week I am not obsess about it like some others. I am never going to become a huge blogger and I am pretty happy with that. I just do it for the fun really.

    I would love to see more lifestyle stuff on your blog but otherwise its nice anyway :)

    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. I've pretty much accepted the same! I think blogging becomes more fun as a result too. Thank you for your comment :)

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