Blog Statistics: What, when and where?

A few months ago, I had written a post titled ‘The all-important 10 seconds to fame or shame‘ that talked about a few things that you need to take care of to make your blog sticky. One of the ‘sticky’ tips there in was the blog stats which, if advertised judiciously, could boost your subscription and patronage.

What are blog statistics?

Blog statistics of a blog are mainly the numbers related to one or the other popularity parameters (e.g. traffic, subscription, ranks) of a blog. The following list summarizes the categories into which the blog stats fall :

  • Subscription statistics: This includes feed/RSS subscription count, number of followers on your primary social networking profile (e.g. twitter), your blog directory (e.g. BlogCatalog) profile fans etc.
  • Traffic statistics: This refers to the analytics on your traffic. For example, your Google Analytics or SiteMeter reports. While the subscription statistis indicates the established patronage, the traffic statistics shows the totality of the visits (including stray hits) received
  • Blog ranks: These are KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of your blog measured in terms of one or more popularity parameters such as search engine visibility, social media presence, page rank or traffic rank. While there’s no proven method of measuring the popularity of a blog, these numbers mean a lot to many readers and advertisers. Examples of blog ranks include alexa traffic rank, technorati rank etc
  • Income reports: The revenue generated by a blog is what’s referred here. I am not sure who was the first to start this concept, but definitely it was the MMO bloggers who popularized it. Income reports are more like those result announcements (of companies) which in a way makes sense when you think about a blog as an online business
  • Local ratings: This refers to the content rating (such as stars or 1 to 10 scale) that the readers give to posts and articles written on a blog. These are probably the real acceptance indicators though not many bloggers/blogs still use them

Further, there are statistics such as number of posts written, comments per post etc which are good overall indicators of a blog’s acceptance level. Other potential indicators are the number of natural backlinks to a blog, reviews and coverage received etc though not all of them can be realistically measured and/or published.

When to make your blog stats public?

While publishing impressive blog stats will bring in more fame, one should decide when to make them public. The readers always have a tendency to stick to what is already popular and hence if your blog ranks are not that great, you better not disclose the same.

It is always recommended that an upcoming blog stay away from publishing any of them. An established blog may choose to publish some of the ranks (or whichever are good enough to be disclosed). For example, one could start showing the feed count once it crosses something like 50, Alexa when it comes below 100K etc. You could provide further statistics to your potential online partners (e.g. advertisers) on request. When it comes to a massively popular professional blog, it is better not to boast about all your blog stats but stick to the most important one or two (e.g. Feed count, # of twitter followers).

As a thumb rule, one should never publish fake blog ranks nor display unimportant ones. I have seen some people publishing their awstats reports (instead of Google Analytics) which will almost always be looked at with distrust. Also, I am not sure if one should display proof of payment as part of a make money recommendation.

Basically fake, unimportant or unimpressive stats can create more damage to your blog than not displaying them at all.

Where to display your stats?

The location of your rank numbers, widgets and badges plays a very important role in attracting further readership to your blog. For example, your ‘Advertise here’ page may be an ideal place to show off your page ranks and Google Analytics traffic statistics where as your feed subscription or twitter followers count has to be there in one of the prime areas of almost all pages. Unimportant badges and widgets may be pushed down to the footer area or even taken out for that matter. You can be innovative with your blog stats by cross-selling them across channels. For example, you could customize your twitter profile background with your blog stats, use your RSS footer area to boast your twitter followers count etc.

In short, judicious selection, go-public timing and placement of your blog ranks could benefit your blog big time!

Comments

  1. It’s good to display stats at Advertise page. And RSS count you should show in all pages.

    It’s waste to display screenshots, as no one believes them :)

    TechZoomIn’s last blog post… Winsyntax: Simple & Free PHP Editor..!

  2. George :

    Good points.It is very important to show your strengths at right time.Showing the blog status in Advertise page is a good idea.But I think we will gain some benefits from showing the stats on top visited page as well.

    George’s last blog post… Ten Pre-Monsoon Car Checkpoints That Will Definitely Repay

  3. I recently discussed it with John Chow, I asked him when should a person show up RRS Counts on his blog i mean what is the minimum number of RSS Feed subscribers to start showing it on blog..

    he advise me a person should not display RSS feed counts unless he reaches at least at a 200 RSS counts.

    Great advise by a Great blogger.

    -Shanker Bakshi

  4. Stats is like a two sided sword. Used well, they help you win.

    As a thumb-rule (as advised by a real Professional Blogger) : ” Show the stats when they are good ”

    I had found many newbies showing off their RSS chicklet with just 5 or 6 readers and wrote a related post for them some time back: ( here)

    Cheers :)

    Arun Basil Lal’s last blog post… 3 ways to Change WordPress Default Username

  5. You just somehow made me remember that I don’t even have an about page and an advertise page. Gonna make one soon.

    How is the template crafting going on Ajith? Hoping to see the brand new theme soon :-)

    • Make one advertise page soon man. I actually get some small money out of it.

      Template is just rolled out… Will write a post about it soon. It’s still not done completely :)

  6. good tips… I show my stats once a month as a post.. something like a report card.. to measure my own progress..

    Nice informative Post!

    Cheers
    Sandeep

  7. Nihar :

    Nice post buddy.

    I am with you show off stats and earnings reports if you are doing good.

    Also need to show the pagerank and other traffic details near the advertise here which i am not doing now.

    Nihar’s last blog post… Download Windows Vista and Server 2008 Service Pack 2

    • Nihar, You are pretty regular with the income and stats reports which is a good thing. Yep, it’s a good thing to organize the info at some good place such as advertise page ;)

  8. When to display your blog stats depends mainly on your niche and the Add-On that would bring to your blog…. There can’t be a definite number for all the blogs in the world… It all depends on ones own discretion…

    My advice is to display the stats on the bottom of the blog and move it up gradually every month.. So by the time you reach the top you will have a good number.. ;)

    Samrat P’s last blog post… Create Online Presentations With Adobe’s Acrobat.com Presentations

  9. I won’t show my stats until my blog reaches PR 3 ! :D

    S.Pradeep Kumar’s last blog post… The Truth About Webcam Hacking – Special Review

  10. Dennis Edell :

    Income stats only need to be shown if you’re selling the site, period. The cons vs. pros are at least 100 to 1 doing it at any other time, and quite frankly they really don’t do any good for any one and even franker, it ain’t no ones business. ;)

  11. I think showing feed stats should be when they are at least 100. I know I initially put them on too soon and then removed it until the number increased.

    I like the point you make about successful bloggers – we already know that they are doing really well so a display of all their awesome stats could be a real turn-off.

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post… WordPress 2.8: Upcoming Features and Enhancements

  12. I think Blog Stats should be displayed when they are decent enough. And in my opininon you should start displaying feed stats when they are around 250 something.

    Madhur Kapoor’s last blog post… Manage Windows Clipboard with xNeat Clipboard Manager

  13. Harry :

    Whatever the stats be…one should always display the real ones.

  14. Good one. If you’ve good stats, maybe you can show to others. Mine still need more works to do =)

    blinkky’s last blog post… How To Backup And Restore Your WordPress Blog ?

  15. Harish | Blogging Kid :

    Knowing blog stats is really important. And Ajith ! The importance you give to the stats is shown by the widgets in the sidebar of D$ :)

  16. Hey, the email box is still exceeding the limits, I will send you a screenshot via email soon, then you will know better I think..

    :)

  17. I used to display feed stats when I had around 1-2 readers, now there are exactly 608 readers .. along with that I post my blog traffic sometimes.

    It’s not that potential readers repel away by seeing your feed counts. It’s always a win situation when you know what exactly you are doing!

    Rockstar Sid\´s last blog post… Open Play Flac Files in Windows Or Winamp Player

    • Sid, thanks for your views on this topic. There’s nothing wrong in displaying stats from the beginning but as a matter fact, manytimes the first time readers verifies the blogger’s credentials by these popularity numbers.

  18. Arun Basil Lal you are correct.

    Anish K.S\´s last blog post… Zee Cafe and Zee Studio strike Gold at the Promax/BDA India Awards 2009

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