This post was written by Deb

Why You Need Stats

stats

I used to have a client who refused to let me know my blog’s stats. She was all about traffic and community building but wouldn’t let me in on too many details. This can be a problem. If you’re not privy to your stats you have no clue what is driving people to your blog. Clueless bloggers don’t do well. Here’s why stats are important:

Keywords: How will you know if your keywords are driving in traffic if you can’t see your stats? When you have regular stat access you can experiment more and find a formula that works. Your stats tell you your highest ranking keywords and also, what other keywords are being used. For instance, through my stats with my blog Freelance Writing Jobs I learned teachers use my blog as a way to find summer work. Now I know to include writing jobs for teachers’ resources and educational materials.

Traffic: Wouldn’t it be nice to know how many people read your blog? It would suck if you were doing all that work and had no visitors. It would equally suck if you have huge mega traffic and no one is telling you. Knowing the days people visit most and least can help you plan your editorial calendar or posting schedule. You’ll also want to know where your traffic comes from. Is another blog or forum discussing one of your posts? If so you’ll want to join in. Did you make Digg or a newspaper? How will you know without your stats?

Content: Knowing what posts performed the bests and which were the clunkers is important. No one is going to want to visit you if you talk about the same lame subject all the time.

Info for Publicists: One thing my former client didn’t understand is that in order to get press releases, product info and even products to review or give away, I needed to give publicists numbers. Telling them, "I’m sorry but my employer won’t let me know stats" doesn’t give them a reason to have confidence in you. They want to know their products and news are going to reach a lot of people.

Payment Info: If you receive bonuses based on traffic, you’ll want to know how many page views you’re receiving. Not that you don’t trust your client of course, but mistakes happen.

I don’t believe any blogger can truly be a success without knowing stats. If your employer isn’t allowing you to receive this information, convince her of why they’re necessary and make sure she knows you can’t do your job properly without them.

Comments

7 Responses to “Why You Need Stats”

  1. Cindy M on April 4th, 2008 7:43 am

    Deb,

    Thanks so much for this info. I run two blogs for other people and, although I wanted to ask for stats, I really wasn’t sure I was entitled. This makes perfect sense (I felt like I was in the dark!LOL)and I’m now going to ask to see the numbers.

    Thanks again!

  2. Samantha on April 4th, 2008 8:17 am

    Great post - it all makes so much sense! Do you have any suggestions for the “proper” way to ask to see stats, or is it just as straightforward as I think it is?

  3. Jennifer on April 4th, 2008 9:46 am

    @Deb this is one of the most annoying client issues ever. (but you know that). I agree with all the reasons above.

    @Samantha the best thing is to sell a client on stat use, just like Deb did above. Tell them you can be a better blogger if you’re allowed stats. Then of course, you’ll get the client who refuses, even after you ask for 6 months, and sponsors start to ignore you. That’s annoying, but it’s the client’s loss.

  4. Peggy on April 4th, 2008 10:37 am

    So, blog stats aren’t usually confidential for networks (ie, you can tell PR people)? I was wondering that. I know it probably depends on the network though.

  5. Cynthia on April 4th, 2008 8:46 pm

    Again, I have blogs that fall into both categories. It’s impossible to get stats from one so I have no choice but to keep shooting in the dark.

    I’ve had people surprised that I cared, but it’s as simple as you’ve stated above. How do I know if I’m reaching the audience if I don’t see the stats.

    I particularly like to see the search results so I see why people are coming to my blog in the first place.

  6. Stop Obsessing Over Your Stats : Network Blogging Tips on April 8th, 2008 10:14 am

    [...] around a bit, check Twitter, stare into space a bit and when no words come to you, you check your stats. You fool around a bit, checking out keywords and page views and then return to your work. 30 [...]

  7. Stop Obsessing Over Your Stats | Blogging for a Living| Part of the Freelance Writing Jobs Blog Network on January 30th, 2010 1:50 pm

    [...] around a bit, check Twitter, stare into space a bit and when no words come to you, you check your stats. You fool around a bit, checking out keywords and page views and then return to your work. 30 [...]

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