Blogs are funny things. Back in January I wrote about not really knowing where my blog was going and, in passing, talked about how it is sometimes surprising which blogs receive the most hits. This has certainly been true this year.
Despite my concern about my blog’s lack of direction I have plugged on writing it through the year, increasing my output but not really increasing my readership very much. Since many of my blogs are on local topics perhaps that is not surprising: I am limiting my pool of readers to those who know or care about Gloucester. Anyway, I’ve decided I don’t really care very much as it is the writing that is cathartic – like shouting into a void.
But it is sometimes baffling and frustrating which blogs get the most attention. There are some that I have written which I am proud of: I think they are engaging and witty, and yet they only get read by about three people. In other cases, blogs which strike me as fairly dull seem to be unexpectedly popular.
I think a lot of this is down to the title and/ or some (generally inadvertently chosen) key words.
A case in point is a blog that I wrote back in April 2010. The gist of this blog was my lack of conviction in any political party, meaning that I was struggling to know who to vote for in the upcoming elections. I also went on a bit about my bugbear of having to vote in Tewkesbury Borough Council even though I consider myself to live in Gloucester.
So far, so humdrum. However, this is the blog that has had the most all time hits: 80% more than the next most popular, and almost half of these have been in the last 30 days.
The reason for this, I believe, must be the title: Fighting Political Apathy.
Frequently my stats show search terms along the lines of “list and describe 5 ways of fighting political apathy”.
High numbers of views on this blog generally coincide with high numbers of views from far-flung corners of the globe. Recently, however, the spike in hits has specifically coincided with a lot of views from the USA. I wonder why this could be…
So, a lot of hits is good, right? Well, I’m not so sure: clearly, these searchers aren’t getting what they wanted from my blog, so they probably move on without even reading it.
Does this count?
Should I care?
Should I stop obsessing about stats?