Blog like a tortoise

As I sit at my computer, preparing for the week ahead, I notice that if I have a “good week” for Post Status, I’ve got a shot of reaching a new monthly record of pageviews for a month without a major announcement.

Why do bloggers care about stats?

Stats are like a drug to bloggers. When we write, we want to know how many people are reading. But is that the right tactic?

From a monetization standpoint, yes. More people usually means more money.

From my perspective, I prefer to know who is reading versus how many. I prefer to know how long each reader reads, versus counting them as having landed on a page. I prefer to know that a reader got value from a post, versus just knowing they read it. I prefer to know I’m a trusted source of information versus just another cause of noise on the web.

But I’m still obsessed with stats.

By all means, Post Status is not a large blog. It bothers me all the time. I want more people, I want more engagement. I want my stats to go “up and to the right.”

But that’s really hard.

Blogging is a long game

I’ve been blogging since 2010 consistently. Post Status is just over a year old and there are 965 published posts and links. About 140 of them are “long form”, or not the link post format.

That’s taken a lot of work. Yet, I know for a fact that it could grow three or four times over and still be smaller than others in similar niches.

Does that mean I suck at this? I don’t think so, but that’s the kind of thought that creeps into a bloggers head when everything isn’t as textbook as the up-and-to-the-right or exponential growth charts you read about from other places.

I don’t think I’m alone. I think that slow and steady growth, even including some down months, is perfectly normal — even for determined bloggers.

Many factors affect the growth of a website. Seasons, business markets, search engines, blog productivity, community engagement, competition, and more. And I don’t think rapid growth is the norm.

Blogging is hard

Blogging is a great endurance challenge.

It’s been one of the hardest, most frustrating, and most rewarding mental tasks I’ve ever engaged in.

I certainly don’t have all the answers. My blog stats don’t look like one of those perfect charts. My penetration into the WordPress ecosystem is not as deep as I’d like to see — nowhere close.

But I do think I’m making progress. And I do think I’ve got one thing figured out.

Be the tortoise

I wrote a similar post to this in December. Yes, just a few months later, I’m writing this one. Because these things require that we remind ourselves of the long game.

Be the tortoise.

Don’t pay too much attention to the hare. Take it day by day, week by week, month by month.

Maybe you’ll pass them up some day, or maybe not. Either way, the tortoise is alright in my book.

6 thoughts on “Blog like a tortoise

  1. The fact that you publish such high quality articles is the reason that Post Status is the first site I visit for WordPress news before any others.

    We are trying to publish regularly at Sennza too, though obviously not on the same scale as you but I always prefer quality over quantity. It definitely is a long game!

  2. I guess stats are important as much to see how many people are visiting as to work out why. Which subjects are of interest, which posts hold the attention of a reader, which ones keep on cropping up again and again as a magnet for visitors? Having a niche is a good thing, it brings those with an interest back to a blog, and helps the blogger to sort their thoughts, concentrate on what they are good at, concentrate on what people want to read as much as on what we want to write.

    I’ve been going for about four years now, nearing 2000 posts and 3000 (real) comments. Without my stats I wouldn’t know whether I am on the right path or not. Fine, what I write follows my interests – as with so many other non-commercial bloggers – but we want to be read, we want the reactions from outside which make it all worthwhile.

    And it is a good feeling, seeing over 1000 visitors each day, knowing that the hard work is an investment which has paid off. Would we still write, thinking about the lack of commenting on so many blogs, if we didn’t know that there are people out there who read?

  3. Totally agree. As for Post Status, I think it is one of its kind. Unlike other blogs in the same niche, Post Status is serious, credible, and has a unique voice. It may not have more readers than other blogs, but it has an influential audience.

  4. Hi Kros,
    You have actually provided me a new way to look at the stats. blogging needs lot of hardwork, time and efforts, its doesnt become popular in a day. Good content+ smart SEO is the key.

  5. You’re doing a splendid job with the blog, Brian. Insightful posts and a good mix of content. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you publish any filler fluff-pieces. 🙂

    A related thought: Focus on the small wins. Each published post is an accomplishment.

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