A Little Known Secret About Blogging


“Numbers don’t mean much. It’s what they/you do.” Scott Stratten, Unmarketing

The above quote came through in a tweet from Scott Stratten recently and struck a chord with me. He’s so right!

Blogging is not about the numbers.

Don’t believe me? Consider this:

1,000 people visit your site in one day but none of them do any of the following things:

– comment
– subscribe
– return
– buy (if you are selling something)

These people slip in and out unnoticed, aside from a spike on your google analytics chart of course.

These people don’t say hi, and they don’t come back.

Do you feel good about seeing the numbers on a page or does your heart drop a little because none of them have connected with your message?

Now imagine that instead of having 1,000 people come and go you have 10 who come, say hi, have a look around and come back the next day. In fact, these 10 people come back every day and soon they tell their friends that they should come by and so now you have 20 people visiting you each day – people who are opting in to your content.

It’s in this moment that you have something really great – and it’s partly that your voice and your story is being shared but it’s actually so much more than that.

What’s your vision? Why are you blogging? All bloggers have a passion; that desire of their heart to do or say or be something for someone. The moment that one reader connects with you, and then shares that connection with someone else the magic has happened!

If you can understand this, really wrap your head around and start focusing on what you are doing that keeps those 10 people coming back each day then you will be going somewhere great. It doesn’t matter how many people visit your blog, it’s what they do when they get there that matters.

What are you doing about delivering the message that makes your heart beat a little bit faster?

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34 Comments

    • It’s so important! Besides which a huge following starts with a smaller group of really engaged people who love what you write and share it! x

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    • It is – and so much about your blogging goals too. If you’re a business what’s the point of having 1000 people through if none buy – much better off having a smaller number who come to know-like-trust you and so when the time comes for them to buy, they come back to you. I don’t think it’s that different for bloggers, the metrics and “products” are just different.

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  1. Thank you Louisa, for such a good post highlighting the very issue that faces me most days..even though I ‘think’ I am blogging in my voice most of the time, I can be distracted from my blog’s purpose. I shall remember THIS!
    Denyse

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    • Lovely Denyse! Especially in a niche blog like yours this is really key. You want the people there who are interested in your specific area of expertise not just anyone who may or may not be that interested. x

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  2. I think it really comes down to the reason you are blogging too, although at the end of the day I think all this still points to the need for greater engagement. With my own blog, it is now a launchpad for my counselling and speaking business so connecting with people who are going to use or recommend my services is my main priority rather than getting a whole lot of hits with no engagement. I also find many that don’t comment also contact me directly due to the nature of their comments which they may not be comfortable putting online..and that is rewarding also. Thanks Louisa for a great reminder 🙂

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    • That’s so true and in fact I just wrote a response to Fiona about exactly this! Re comments – if you’re audience is largely non-bloggers then they are going to be less likely to comment also and will connect in another way with you. Love what you are doing by the way!

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      • The majority of my readers are non-bloggers, and very rarely do I receive comments on my posts (I do get plenty of spammy ones though), so I have been using numbers and return visits as a measure of my success so to speak.

        My low numbers do get me down and I wish there was another way to do it. This year I decided not to check the numbers and pretend that people are enjoying and engaged with my content. he he!

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        • Oh Jackie, I’m sorry to hear that it gets you down. There are other ways to measure reader engagement besides numbers – have you played around with the google analytics “convert” feature. If you can work out what you want people to do when they come to your site then you can use google to measure a) if they are doing it and b) how they are doing it. It’s very useful and can help you measure your ROI which is particularly useful if you have a business angle.

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          • Louisa that sounds interesting – I am like Jackie.. rarely get any comments on the blog – people love to tell me in person how much they loved such and such and “oh we went and checked out blah because you wrote about it and it was great – thanks”… but rarely does anyone write this! I tried to figure out the google analytics stuff and it made no sense, but I will give it another going over and see if I can understand what it means! are there any good articles on this you can point me too?? Thanks, Kate

  3. Great post. Funnily enough, my blog post today starts in a very similar way even though it’s on a completely different topic – I’m talking about are bigger churches better?!

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    • A very interesting topic that one! I’ll have to pop over to your blog to have a read of your thoughts – you’re right, this is a very transferable topic!!

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  4. You’ve hit the nail on the head with this! When I work to improve my blog, I am usually striving for engagement, not just traffic. I love the community that is growing, that means a lot more to me than the hits.

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    • Love hearing this, if you don’t have a community then even with huge traffic it’s likely that achieving your goals will be an uphill battle!

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  5. Great post and a different way of looking at things. It’s so nice to connect with people, especially when the connections start to spread across different platforms.

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  6. This is so true, but I genuinely believe that many/most brands really do struggle to understand that engagement and community are far more valuable than raw numbers. I think it’s wonderful that people like you are getting out there and spreading this message in a clear, understandable and authoritative way.

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    • Thanks Em! Glad you found it helpful 😛 x

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  7. Great post! I’ve only been blogging for a year and while my official numbers aren’t great, I have a lovely group of regular readers who take the time to comment etc, which I’m so grateful for. Thanks for reminding me that blogging isn’t all about the numbers 🙂

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    • Thanks for visiting Kirsten, having a group of people who comment and come back visiting is really the heartbeat of blogging. Hope you have a great day!

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    • Thank you lovely 🙂

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  8. Oh yes this is so true and I need to remind myself of this from time to time. I focus on numbers sometimes and it really is about connections and value! Great post

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    • Hi Raylene, glad this was a good reminder for you!

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  9. I agree, but it’s so hard in this era of Attention Deficit. I sometimes feel that there are people who love my blog and who would visit it every day if they remembered it existed (it’s only fairly new), and who happily visit it ONLY IF they are reminded via my Facebook feed. So can they be considered a “loyal” follower? I very much doubt it.

    I pride myself in being entertaining and authentic on my blog (you will only hear the honest truth from me) but I’m not sure if I have a loyal following yet. I make sure I engage, respond to comments and all, but I’m guessing it will just take time.

    I analysed blog vs brand in a post I wrote – Where do Bloggers End and Celebrities begin http://melbournemum.com/2012/07/19/where-do-bloggers-end-and-celebrities-begin/ . At the moment, I agree with some of the previous commenters, that Brands only look at raw numbers, but have ignored engagement which is absolutely paramount. Like everything in business, they will come around eventually, I think, when it becomes obvious to them that it is best practice.

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  10. Yep, I feel so great when my readers interact with me. I do want to make a part time income from my blog but I really, really want to be connected to my readers and share my story – as mundane as it often is:) I don’t have a huge readership and that has worried me but I am starting to get a lovely little regular group of readers who comment and who I also visit. It’s a lovely community to be involved in whether I end up making any money from my blog or not it will have all been worth it.

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  11. I also think that many overlook how engagement is also “counted”, besides a comment on a post. RTs, shares via facebook, facebook likes as well as conversations on twitter as a result of the post is also considered as engagement…a factor that many PRs seem to overlook besides just focusing on stats.

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  12. This is a topic which is close to my heart… Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?

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  13. Oh, this is so very true! Thanks for the reminder. One of my favourite stats to look at is new vs returning users. It’s usually about 50/50, which I think is a good split – it means that lots of people are coming back but also new people are finding me.

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  14. I fall into this category for sure. I have really great numbers, over 40,000 uniques per month right now, but most of those are going to a couple of viral posts that I have – they get shared like crazy on Pinterest and keep people coming (and commenting on them). While I love the numbers, I don’t feel like those 40k are seeing much of my entire blog. I’ve recently made changes to my opt in and related post displays, so I will be monitoring the changes. I also have a podcast and those numbers are much more quality I think. But I’m at a point where I’m starting to pitch brands, and while my numbers are good, sometimes I feel like they are empty! It’s humbling to the point that I almost didn’t comment. But wanted to share with other readers.

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    • Thanks so much for sharing Jackie, you know being aware of this gives you SUCH an advantage and opportunity. Serious props to you for paying attention to this stuff on your blog and exploring different strategies to drive that deeper engagement. Just awesome. Would love to hear from you how it goes in a month or so? Maybe we could even do an interview or guest post on it – I’m sure others would love to hear your story and commitment to strengthening your community.

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