I've said it many times that when you blog you shouldn't get too caught up on the numbers - but obviously this is easier said than done. For a long time I was somewhat obsessive about my blogs traffic - I defined every posts success by how many PV and Unique Visitors it reached that day, and if my traffic hadn't increased from the previous month I'd beat myself up over what I was doing wrong.
Obviously this is no way to create, and a big, big, lesson I've learned is that a blog really is more than just it's traffic. Let me tell you why...
You are your engagement All the traffic in the world means nothing if readers aren't connecting and engaging with your content. Engagement is a two way thing though, and it also means nothing if you're not communicating back. If someone stops by and reads your post that day and connects with your words and your message then that is awesome. Even better is when they take the time to leave a thoughtful comment as they are truly engaging with the words you're putting out there - I let this mean way more to me than anything Google Analytics ever tells me. Engagement isn't just in your comments section though - it's on Twitter, Instagram and inside your inbox.
You are your community Building community with your blog takes work and commitment. It's about listening to your readers, sharing your process, and inviting them into your world. I feel crazy lucky to have an awesome readership who have stuck by me through a pretty big change in content direction and allowed me to share every part of me on this space without judgement. Focus on building community and authentic relationships with your readership - it's way more fulfilling than obsessing over your bounce rate and unique visitors that month. Of course these things are relevant, but they mean nothing if you're not finding your tribe and connecting with others.
You are your reach I really believe in the power of the medium sized blog. Without the distraction of too much brand work, and the commitment to high traffic for advertising revenue, they can focus on creating awesome content - and if monetising is their aim, they can focus on monetising their skills instead of their space. Smaller blogs may not reach millions of readers a month, but they may reach a few thousand who are really engaged and connected with the content they're putting out there. If it's a blog running alongside a business this can then lead to more sales and more clients. Smaller blogs still have the same opportunities to have as much an impact as top tier blogs do and it all comes down to creating content that connects with readers. It might not mean more brand work, but when that started being the definition of a successful blog was a sad day, as doing you're own thing on your own terms can be WAY more fulfilling - and can lead to you creating awesome content as well.
You are your own happiness I asked myself a while back - why am I so bothered about my blogs traffic? My aim isn't to predominantly work with brands - so I don't need to worry about impressing anyone with my monthly stats - and I'm super fulfilled with the content I'm putting out there, so why do I care so much about what analytics is telling me? And then I realised - I don't. Obviously I run two websites so I regularly check in with my analytics, but I'm way more interested in the personal fulfilment and growth I find through working on the content for this space, and the relationship I've built with you guys. Of course a good traffic month is nice - it's a sign that I'm doing something right - I'm not denying that stats mean something to me, but they don't mean everything. Engagement, connection, and personal fulfilment is just as, if not more, important to me - and letting go the obsession over my unique visitors count was a big step into the future of truly loving my online space. Take the pressure off, focus on creating, and do you every step of the way.
Obviously these are just my own thoughts and experience, and I know how lucky I am to have a steady readership and traffic every month, but too often I see people worrying about statistics and I just want to tell them - there's way more to you, and your blog, than just your monthly page views.
Keep being awesome!
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