Today I promised to share what I've learned about the stats for this place. I did not promise to share the actual stats. They're nothing to write home about, folks. They have ticked up slowly and steadily over the past five years, which is nice and really all that I expected.
I'm not building an empire here. I just want a "home away from home" where I can share some thoughts (though I've learned which ones not to share), share some recipes (though there are many who do that so well), share some crafts (ditto), share some photos (ditto), practice writing skills (oh do I need practice), and enjoy getting to know people from many different corners.
Remember, these points are what I have learned here. I have no idea if they would be what you learn there. So we're off —
1. Titles must not only be informative, but catchy. We hear it all the time and it can be proven. When I don't have a good title, my stats drop. I can tell that it's going to happen and sometimes still can't do any better for myself than some of the lame titles I've used. I think about titles a lot. There are some of you out there who remember that $ex in the Garden post. Ahem... Well, let's just say, I had a lot of visitors that day and learned a good lesson.
~A custard dish filled with juicy, cold watermelon and eaten using a pickle fork because pickle forks are sharp~
2. A pretty picture is far better than a "keeping it real" one, especially if it's first up. I try to plan accordingly. Not pretty? Not as many people. Period. Just think what would have happened if I reversed the order of the photos today.
3. There is no correlation between number of visitors and comments. I have had very high numbers with low comments and, alternately, high comments with low visitor numbers. We can let it go at last. I'll say it again—just because there are a lot of comments does NOT mean that there were any more visitors than usual and vice versa.
4. Some days of the week are best for visitors. My best days? Tuesdays and Thursdays. I don't know about your best days. Saturdays used to be horribly bad and are now in third place.
5. Variety really is the spice of life. This is true for me across the board and for all areas including word count. When I use a lot of words and no pictures (or few pictures), I'll have more visitors than if I use a lot of words AND a lot of pictures. I try not to do two posts in a row that are about the same length or that have about the same number of photos or that are about the same topic. (If you read here, you know that I've failed on this a few times even lately. I'm still learning.) My goal is to alternate between word dense and photo dense. Of course, I always aim for pithy.
6. Many people who land here do not read my posts. Time is precious. There's a lot of great material out there. I'm considering selling Cliff Notes for A Haven for Vee in my Etsy store because there will be a test. Well, if I had an Etsy store or a test. =D
7. You can know
a. where your readers are from (what state-what country)
b. how they reached you
c. how long they stayed with you (don't be tricked by those one hour visits if the reader stayed on one page...that one was just plain stuck...probably off doing dishes... definitely not reading the blog)
d. where they went when they left
e. how interested they were in your photos
f. if they followed your links.
g. if the same readers are returning even if they never comment
h. which posts are the most popular
i. which ones have been pinned
j. which blog sends you the most traffic — Thanks, Judy! ♥
8. If you have an upsetting visitor, you can learn that person's IP number (his or her address on the internet). In fact, I highly recommend it. Take a photo, keep a record.
9. I have learned not to fret over the inevitable ups and downs. If I have an opportunity to go and do, I will. In doing so, I will have chosen the better part. I do not become grief-stricken if the numbers tank. It's really only when they reach zero that I become distraught.
In all fairness, Site Meter, a free online service and my favorite stats program, has been having troubles changing servers. Many bloggers are unaffected; I happen to be one of the affected ones. Perhaps afflicted is a better term term. < insert a twitch >
10. Time of posting matters. Apparently, I have trained my readers to expect a post between 7 and 8 am. If I'm tardy, the numbers will be down enough for me to know the reason. It probably has to do with work schedules or something.
11. Finally, the most important thing I learned about stats came in the form of a comment from Abby just two days ago: "I'm here ~ not just a stat but your friend."
If you read all the way through this post, you deserve a medal. Thanks so much. Questions?