WordPress annual reports: useful or a waste of good pixels?

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Image: Pixabay

 

A New Year is traditionally a time for taking stock, for looking past the glittery tunnel of Christmas, seeing the good and the bad of the last 12 months, of what went right and what wrong. And for planning for the year ahead, of course.

I don’t do resolutions as such, being as I am, easily depressed by my own failure. Life throws up plenty of opportunities to do this every year, week, day, without me giving it ammunition by promising to give up things I love to do, eat or drink. No hair shirt for me, please.

I had one of those WordPress annual report thingies for 2015, as I’m sure you all did, comparing my traffic to the contents of subway trains – a concept inspired to transform the blank abstract stats into something recognisably human.

My blog carried about 4 subway train’s worth, apparently – and not a single passenger wiped their feet, dirty devils.

Most of my visitors were from the US: I downloaded over 200 photos: the post with the most comments was the snappily titled Nothing says Christmas like Rubber Eyeballs : the most viewed, This is a Happy House, illustrated by my alter ego, Na the Slayer, above. Gorgeous, ain’t I?

The question I want to ask you, my fellow wanderers around the highways and byways of the blogging community is:

did you read your report? And if so, did you find it useful? In what possible way can or will it influence your future blogging?

You see, much as I liked seeing what I’ve achieved over my first year, I don’t actually know what I can do with all of this info.

Answers on a postcard, please.

Alernatively, do post your views below. I’m intrigued to hear what you think.

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28 thoughts on “WordPress annual reports: useful or a waste of good pixels?

  1. Where to send the postcard?
    Alternatively:
    1) Did you read your report? Sure. Stats are fun.
    2) Did you find it useful? No – but I don’t really may much attention to blog traffic.
    3) In what possible way can or will it influence your future blogging? I found the report encouraging. Since I don’t check my stats on the regular I was pleasantly surprised about the traffic report. Plus, WP compared my traffic to attendees of the Sydney Opera House and that tickled me (admittedly, easily tickled).
    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Damn! Forgot to enclose the address …
      Did you manage to fill the Sydney Opera House? I’m impressed. 🙂 Yes, I found the stats strangely encouraging, though I have no bench mark to compare them to as it’s my first year. No point comparing myself to better established blogs, whose traffic is way above anything I can achieve. But am I faring okay considering I haven’t been doing it that long and I’m not a huge one for social media? Haven’t a clue. As you say, interesting, but I just don’t know what else to do with it.
      Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had the good fortune to fill the Opera House over 4 times! (It was my operatic version of Crocodile Dundee that brought ’em in – God bless those Aussies…)

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Do you change your content accordingly? Write more on subjects that attract views? I admit I’ve changed the way I title my posts from early in my blog – I’m more mindful of the ‘How to …’ approach, which I think draws views. And including a smattering of sex and violence in the titles doesn’t hurt!

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      2. No, I don’t use my stats the way many bloggers do because I don’t really care about “hits.”
        I even have my personal site’s settings set to discourage search engines from referring traffic.
        Most readers on my historical sites are directed from links posted on social media.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. And The Dead Bell is one of the most fascinating sites I visit. 🙂 Can I ask if there’s a reason you duck below the search engines? Just curious.

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      4. Ah, I see. Makes sense. I know someone who writes books under a pseudonym for a similar reason – his writing doesn’t match his day job!

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  2. I read it, but I wasn’t really into it because I’m just here for the fun of it, for me, because I love to meet people and talk about writing. Was it supposed to turn into a contest? ❓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, no, no point in that. But I started my blog to find readers for possible future writing projects and to help find a publisher (though I’ve gone on to love writing the blog for its own sake too and met some stunning people along the way). I guess the more people I can persuade to read my blog, the more attractive I may seem to an agent. But no, it’s not the sole reason 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read mine. In fact I read it twice. I find it very interesting. But aside from the info about how many times I filled the Sydney Opera House, there was nothing I didn’t already know from looking at my own stats. And I get tired of WP or its editors suggesting that I look at my top five posts to determine the kind of posts I’m supposed to be writing, or to develop my niche or whatever. I write what I want to write, not what the data wants me to write.

    I would like to thank you for being one of my top five commenters, though!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m just a chatter box, I guess! No need to thank me. Yours is one of the blogs I always make sure I read, along with a handful of others. I enjoy your writing and have found other great blogs through you. And thank you for being in my top five too!
      It’s tricky, isn’t it? I tell myself if I want to find tons of readers, expand my ‘audience’, make myself more attractive to agents, I should ‘maximise SEOs’. But I’ve started cropping up on search engines just through the volume of posts I’ve published and I enjoy writing the nonsense I write – not sure I want to write for Google!

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  4. I second Walt’s thanks to you for being one of my top five commenters as well! For me a blog is about communicating and connecting otherwise it really is the scent of a rose (or whatever) wasted on the desert air — or rather bytes consigned to the aether.

    I was chuffed the first couple of times the annual report dropped onto the proverbial mat, but frankly the comparison with subway trains, jumbo jets or opera halls is starting to pall. If I want stats I’ll look at my dashboard where much more meaningful figures are trotted out.

    Still, one size never fits all, and you have to give WP credit for trying to give friendly service to their users. But time to change the record, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And thanks to you, Chris – you’re in my top five too! As I commented to Walt – I enjoy your writing, so really no thanks needed. I too find the daily stats interesting, though I’m not sure if they have any impact on the content of my posts. Fascinating to see the list of referrers and that I pretty regularly crop up on search engines, having no knowledge of SEO at all!
      There are several things I’ve got from blogging – ‘meeting’ some great, likeminded people and reading their blogs, which has been fantastic. But also , it’s helped me write to order and made the writing more fluid – developed a ‘voice’ I suppose. As my first anniversary looms in a few weeks, I am very glad I started Word Shamble.

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  5. OF COURSE I read my report. EVERYBODY reads their report. Anyone who posts a comment saying they ignore their report–that they move it to the trash without ever opening it–is a LIAR. Anyone who maintains a blog has an ego. The report feeds (or damages) your ego. It can’t be ignored.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yep, being on social media really feeds the inner egomaniac, doesn’t it? If I tried to claim I was indifferent to gaining new followers, that I ignored the number of views and likes I get each day, I’d be lying.
      It massages my ego to have people read and enjoy what I’ve created. And feedback is so fast – you write ashort story or novel and wait weeks or months to hear back – if you hear at all. Online you can have comments within minutes. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?

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  6. I read mine, but it didn’t tell me much I didn’t know already. I do look at my stats once a month to see how it’s going. I like that they are doing it, though. Maybe because I wasted so many years running a writing prompt blog on Blogger where nobody cared how things were going (not going well, incidentally).

    Oh, and to pick up the red thread running through most of the comments here, you are the top commenter on my blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder what the difference was between Blogger and WordPress? Is it the site? The fact you post every day now? Most likely your writing though 🙂
      I’m such a blabber mouth. I love your posts – the only reason I’m top of your list 🙂 You’re my number 3 – thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WP is by far the best blogging platform, no comparison. I’ve tried Blogger and Weebly. It’s been years since I was on Blogger but at that time the sense of discovery and community paled by comparison. And aside from some cool design tools, Weebly has zero community. You are alone. I asked their user support how to find other users and they told me to Google key words for my topic of interest and add “weebly” to the search!! And I’m convinced their stats were falsely inflated.
        No one was reading my blog, I’m sure of that, but the numbers said something else entirely. Yay for WordPress!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Interesting – thanks Walt. I can’t remember why I plumped for WordPress – I read a few writing sites for advice and it sounded easy to set up – which was my priority at the time, being quite ignorant about such things. Hadn’t even thought of community at the time and just assumed all platforms would be similarly accessible – soounds a bit naive now! How odd that Weebly said that to you. WordPress is certainly good for encouraging and supporting newbies in my experience – and the community has been fantastic 🙂

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    1. Yes … Probably too much. This is clearly why I don’t get enough fiction finished. I’ve taken the WordPress advise of commenting on other people’s blogs just a little too far, perhaps 🙂
      And thank you, Jane, for being one of my top 5 commentators. It’s been a pleasure to chat with you over the last eleven months 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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