Why are my blog statistics so low? Who’s reading this thing anyway?

14 Mar
Why are my blog statistics so low? Who’s reading this thing anyway?

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



Posted by on March 14, 2018 in Blogging, WordPress


Tags: , ,

20 responses to “Why are my blog statistics so low? Who’s reading this thing anyway?

  1. Brona

    March 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    I read most of my blogs via feedly (some via twitter or from a link on another blog) & unless I want to leave a comment, I don’t click through to the webpage. That’s quite a lot of bloggers not knowing that I’m actually reading their work.


    • Liz Dexter

      March 14, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      Yes, it’s interesting, isn’t it. Some bloggers manage to make just a few lines of their blog appear in feedly, forcing the reader to click through. But would they, in that case?


      • Brona

        March 16, 2018 at 7:27 am

        I probably wouldn’t as I only click through to comment. The sentence would have to be really eye-popping amazing otherwise!


        • Liz Dexter

          March 16, 2018 at 7:42 am

          That’s really interesting, so even if it was a book you were interested in and wanted to read about, you wouldn’t click unless you knew you wanted to comment? (That’s fine, I’m just wondering!)


          • Brona

            March 16, 2018 at 10:00 am

            Part of the problem is that I have so many blogs on Feedly now that I do just skim for the books, articles that interest me. And if it’s too many clicks then I often move on – sad but true. I have tidied up & reorganised my Feedly lists but I still find it an overwhelming thing to keep up with everyone I want to. I’m often so tired when I do get around to looking at other blogs that even thinking of an interesting comment is beyond me!

            Obviously a glass (or 2) of wine with dinner tonight has made me quite verbose 😁

            Liked by 1 person

            • Liz Dexter

              March 17, 2018 at 7:02 am

              That’s really interesting, thank you. I do tend to skim down the titles, too, but some people I follow put the whole thing up and some a link and a fragment, and that doesn’t affect whether I click through, just the title does. Then I will do a Like to show I’ve visited or a comment if it warrants one. Well, we’ll see how it goes and I hope I don’t put you off visiting!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Brona

                April 4, 2018 at 12:20 pm

                I’ve been thinking about your post all month and trying to reflect on why I blog, how I interact with my fellow bloggers etc. I suspect I will be creating my own post about it at some point 🙂

                But for now I thought that I would share that I have adjusted how I use Feedly to better reflect my aims/intentions.
                I simply can’t read every post – I follow too many people, but I now have a daily set up that allows me to check out a smaller group of bloggers each day. I then save the posts that I would like to read. When I have some unhurried time, I read a few of these by clicking straight through to the blog’s webpage, so that I’m reading it as the blogger intended it to be read (on their site with their formatting etc). I’m now more likely to leave a comment since I’m actually ON THE RIGHT PAGE.

                However the power of a good heading is still very evident in this approach. I’m a blogging etiquette & authenticity work in progress!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Liz Dexter

                  April 4, 2018 at 12:25 pm

                  This is really interesting – thank you for feeding back. This is pretty well what I do – every day I try to go through all my active blogs and mark posts to read. Then I go into my Read Later folder when I have time and click through. I typically mark posts to read based on the author and the book title / article title, and if I’m pressed for time or all behind, like I was last week, I try to limit the number of posts I mark to read later.

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. Nidhi

    March 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Important information!! Thanks for sharing it!!👍


  3. The Story Reading Ape

    March 14, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Liz – check out Hugh’s tip at: – I can recommend doing it 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  4. adewils

    March 15, 2018 at 10:08 am

    I’m just starting out with my blog so enjoy your straightforward tips on improving mine. It occurred to me while reading this one that it may be a good idea to update this post by putting a link to your 2011 one on fixing a problem with Word. Who knows it might improve your stats 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liz Dexter

      March 15, 2018 at 10:14 am

      I’m glad you’re finding my tips useful – do go to the resource guide where you’ll find a list of all of them. This post is actually doing very well … and that post from 2011 is still in my top ten of hits, so there are others that could probably use the boost more! Do let me know if there are any blogging topics you’d like me to cover that I haven’t dealt with yet, as I do like to be useful.


  5. Hugh's Views and News

    March 25, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Thank you for linking through to my post, Liz. I’ve never taken the WordPress stats to heart. I know how wrong they can be. I find that bloggers who become (and stay) obsessed with stats will normally suffer from ‘blog burnout’ at some stage. Many of them then quit blogging altogether. I first came to blogging for the enjoyment and fun. I’ve had dips and almost thrown in the towel, but as soon as I remember why I first came to the blogging world, all the doubts I had disappeared.
    Then only stats I really take any notice of are the ones telling me which of my posts are the most popular. However, I’ve even questioned them. WordPress may tell me that thousands of people have clicked through to my post, but how many of those visitors actually stayed and read the post?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liz Dexter

      March 28, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Yes, indeed, but I think a lot of people get worried when they have low stats so I wanted to explain how that can come about. I like to see what kind of posts do well and then do more of them, especially on this one, which is my professional one; not so worried about my book reviews one but I know some people are about theirs!

      Liked by 1 person


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