We all know by now that it takes time to build a blog audience and that you need to keep plugging away, writing interesting stuff and engaging with your readers.
But sometimes it just feels like no one is listening, like no one is looking at your carefully crafted posts. Why is this?
Why are my blog statistics lower than I would expect?
I use WordPress for my blogs, so I’m familiar with the statistics it offers (read more here), however, I know it doesn’t record all of the views of my posts, which can be very frustrating. This is how that happens.
People read your blog via email
Hopefully you’ve set things up so people can subscribe to your blog via email. Every blogging platform will have a plugin or menu item that will set this up for you so there’s a “Subscribe by email” button on your blog.
People who have subscribed to receive your articles via email will receive the text of the post in an email with a link to view the post on your website. They can open the email and read all of your article, but WordPress won’t know they have done that unless they click through to your website, at which point it will record the click. If they just read the article in the email and don’t click through to like, comment, etc., you won’t know that they’ve read your material.
People read your blog via a blog aggregator
People can also subscribe to the blog using a blog reader, either through WordPress itself, for example, or another service such as Feedly (which I use).
A blog reader uses what’s called an RSS feed to gather articles someone has said they want to read and display them all in one place (the RSS feed works in a similar way to the emails going out to people who’ve subscribed via email; instead of sending a person an email, it sends a blog reader the text to display in the reader). The text of the post will display in the person’s blog reader software with a link to view the post actually on your website.
Again, someone can read your post in their blog reader, but unless they click through to view it on your site, your blogging platform can’t know they’ve read it and won’t record that they have done so.
So what are my statistics showing, then?
Your blog statistics will record visits from …
- People who subscribe to your blog via email and have clicked the link in their email to visit your blog
- People who subscribe to your blog via a blog aggregator and have clicked the article in their aggregator to visit your blog
- People who have seen your article shared on social media and have clicked through to read it on your blog
- People who have done a search, found a link to your article in their search engine (Google, etc.) and clicked through to read it on your blog
In other words, there are fewer people recorded as having read your blog post than have actually read your blog post.
Note: If you want to experiment with only offering blog aggregator (Feedly, WordPress Reader, etc.) and email subscribers the first few lines of your blog post with a link to click through, hopefully encouraging them to visit your website to read the whole article, this article (third-party content recommended by a fellow blogger) explains how to do that.
I hope this has reassured you that those dismal stats are not as dismal as you thought they were! Please share and/or comment if this article has been useful for you.
Other related articles on this blog
Keep an eye on your stats
Scheduling blog posts and keeping going – scheduling the posts and the writing of them
Five ways to drive and increase engagement with your blog
How to keep people engaged with your blog
Six things you can do to increase your SEO