Oooh, this is dangerous statement!
Are you part of the vanguard that probably check their blog stats every five minutes?
Or are you placed at the other end of the scale because you don?t even know where to look?!
Or would you much rather place yourself somewhere in between?
But before I give you a very brief introduction to blog stats, I would like to put an idea into your head:
High numbers may not necessarily mean success.
Most people who get a kick out of recording statistics on graphs, spreadsheets or whatever, will get most excited when their little line climbs steeply, or bounces along at the top of the scale.
But what are they recording?
Traffic mostly. And with traffic, how do you know if each person that visits your blog actually bothered to read it? Or that they were the right person? Or that they are a person at all?
Remember spiders and other algorithm bots roam the web, looking for content to index. And some blog stats systems record these too.
What is the alternative to traffic?
What you should be measuring is how much interaction you get.
How many comments you?ve got, social shares gained, conversations started, subscriptions achieved, referrals made, pingbacks and trackbacks received, and whether people are talking about your blog when you?re not there.
I wrote about ?likes? in blogging last November, and I expect many of you will have social sharing buttons installed at the bottom or sides of your posts.
If you have a WordPress.com blog, you can regulate these buttons in Settings>Sharing. And if you have a WordPress.org blog, there are a myriad of plugins at your disposal!
So I would much rather see this:
or even this:
Now if any of you are getting larger blog stats results than this ? well done! That means you?re better than the Fairy Blog Mother.
But even though these numbers may be gratifying, and can give you a much-deserved boost, they are not the be-all-and-end-all.
So for those who are already experts at collecting, looking and analysing your blog stats, you don?t really need to read any further. But I would like you to bear what I have said in mind.
However, for the rest, I?m not going to give you a breakdown about what blog stats mean in this post, but merely point you to where they are, and how to set them up.
Where are my blog stats?
In a WordPress.com blog, they are easy to find.
When you go to WordPress.com, click on My Sites, and once you?ve selected the blog you want, you will be instantly shown your stats in the New Dashboard:
And if you prefer using the Old Dashboard, click on WP Admin, and you will find it at the top of the left sidebar:
If you have a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, there are plenty of blog stats plugins available, but if you prefer the same stats as delivered by WordPress.com, you will need to upload the JetPack plugin and connect it to your WordPress account.
And this plugin will give you lots of other goodies as well.
What about other stats providers?
Now the more adventurous of you will have heard about Google Analytics. For this you will need to set up a Google Analytics account in relation to your Google account:
And one you?ve completed setting it up for your blog, they will either issue you some code to put into the ?header? of your blog (depending whether your theme will allow you to do this), or a special numbered UA code which you place into the settings of a Google Analytics plugin, of which there are several to choose from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/search.php?q=Google+Analytics
But what if you?ve got a WordPress.com blog that doesn?t accept plugins?
Well, WordPress has finally woken up to this, and now you can upgrade to connect your blog to Google Analytics. Just go to the New Dashboard of your blog, and search for Settings in the left sidebar:
Then click on Analytics at the top of the page to bring up the option to upgrade:
And now it will seem like you?re joining the big boys and girls in the playground!
Have fun playing with your blog stats this summer, and let me know how you get on.