When Your Blog Stats Make You Feel Like You Suck

Dec 18, 2015 | 29 comments

At the end of last month I sat down to do a little EOM (end of month) blog stats statistical analysis then sat down and had myself a good, long, hard, cry. Why?

  • My Alexa rank had dropped by 40,000
  • My Facebook page had gained +0 likes
  • My Instagram had dropped -4 followers
  • My page views dropped by 7,000

Sad, right? But, also:

Overall, I felt like Pinterest was starting to like me and the rest of the internet hated me. I felt like I was failing miserably, that no one cared, that I was losing followers, and that I should just give up. I was convinced.

I killed a few glasses of wine, cried over my keyboard while chatting my blogging friend Allison, and continually told her she was wrong any time she tried to encourage me. I mean, how could I possibly believe her when she said, “You don’t suck!” when the blog stats numbers were right in front of me and numbers don’t lie?

It's so tough to stay positive, keep your chin up, and keep going when you review your monthly statistics and the numbers say you suck at everything but you can keep going because, yeah, sometimes the numbers do lie.

Well, first I needed to stop telling myself that little lie because sometimes the numbers do lie. I mean, not a total outright blatant lie but sometimes they can be misleading and deceptive if we aren’t really paying attention to what they are really saying.

It’s like that riddle, “There is a house with four windows, all four windows face south. One Thursday afternoon a bear walks by the window. What color is the bear?”  Our natural inclination to say, “I don’t know” because there isn’t enough data or to make a wild guess (brown???) and hope we’re right. That, my friends, is akin to me saying, “The numbers dropped so I must suck.” It’s an assumption based on a cursory glance at the data without really evaluating what I’m being told. Back to the riddle – the bear is white. Here’s how you know:

  • If all four windows face south they must either be all on same side of the house or the house must be at the northern most point of the earth.
  • If the windows are all on the same side of the house there is not enough information to determine the  color of the bear.
  • If the house is at the northern most point of the earth, then the house must be at the North Pole (Santa!). The only bears at the North Pole are polar bears, and polar bears are white.
  • The bear is white.

It’s all about analyzing the data and letting the numbers really speak to you. Don’t let an assumption of negativity determine your self-worth or your decisions. When faced with a decision, ask yourself, “What color is the bear?” What is the data really saying? What are the possibilities? Which possibility is the most plausible?


I didn’t ask about my bear. I saw those numbers and I cried thinking, “OMG…I work so hard but I suck!!!” and I was heartbroken, soul-crushed. I wanted to throw in the towel and give up, but I didn’t. I don’t want you to either.

Let’s really look at my stats. I mean, let’s break it down!

  • My Alexa rank had dropped by 40,000
  • My Facebook page had gained +0 likes
  • My Instagram had dropped -4 followers
  • My page views dropped by 7,000

Does your Alexa rank really matter any more? I mean, when I was blogging just for the hell of it I was sometimes 70,000 or 90,000 higher than I am right now. My audience was lower and less engaged yet my Alexa was higher. I’ll be honest. I don’t get Alexa. I don’t know if it’s really relevant. I’m not sure that I care.

Facebook. Ohhhhh Facebook! Every single month it’s my #2 social referrer. Every single month it’s my most engaged community of followers. Every single month I see lots of likes, comments, and shares. Yet, people are leaving the network in droves. I have family and friends dropping the network all the time and I see that data saying the younger audience isn’t on it. I didn’t lose likes, I just didn’t gain likes but honestly I wasn’t focused on growing the network anyway. I didn’t participate in any threads or advertise my page. It didn’t grow organically but that’s fine. It’s over 3,000. It’s fine.

I hear Helene from Helene in Between talk about Instagram ALL. THE. TIME. She loves it, swears it the next big thing, and promises we should all be in on growing the network and building our audience through it. I’m sure she’s right (and one day I’m taking her class) but honestly, right now it’s my least favorite network and I’m not really surprised I lost followers there. I started sharing a few pics and people were probably like, “Who is this person?” and unfollowed me. I’m intending to start taking more pics (it’s on my 2016 to-do list) so if you want to join me over there, go do it here. For now though, Instagram? Whatev…

Page views? Yeah, that sucks but ya know, sometimes that happens. Last month was a bit gangbusters b/c I had another post go semi-viral and you’ve gotta remember that when you’re comparing traffic. Did you have something go viral or semi-viral that brought in far more traffic than normal? Well, when that happens don’t forget that things will return to normal sometime. Is the 7k less a drop? Or normal? If it’s normal (or better than normal but lower than your viral month) then you’re still all good, ya hear?

Don't stress your blog stats

  Now, the good stuff.

I did a hefty redesign at the end of last month and I added new places for visitors to subscribe. That wasn’t always the case and I’m not shocked I only gained +3 subscribers. This month I did a bit better about an opt-in bonus and new subscriber locations (and, at halfway through the month, I have increased that number by more than 600%).

I love that my Twitter following increased! I am a big Twitter-er (tweeter?) and I’ve tried hard to connect with new users this month. I also joined in a few Twitter chats (BlogElevated and NectarChat mostly) which connected me with more bloggers. Hurrah for Twitter and Twitter growth! Since I focused some of my attention on Twitter I expected to see improvement, and I did.

Pinterest was my rockstar last month! I signed up with BoardBooster (which is basically the greatest thing ever) and saw tremendous growth in my repins, likes, followers, and Pinterest traffic. I put nearly ALL of my energy in to Pinterest last month and it paid off like WHOA. That’s the really important thing.

You’ve got to ask yourself, “Where did I invest my time, money, and energy?” Then ask yourself, “Did it pay off for me?” The drops this month aren’t truly negatives and they aren’t really telling me that I suck (although sometimes I think that it is). What it’s really saying is that I didn’t see any growth in the areas I didn’t pay attention to and I saw good to great growth in the areas I did focus on. So stop being like me and stop getting caught up in the land of self-doubt. It’s an ugly place and it’s going to corrupt your perspective of worth and self-value. Ask yourself…

  • Where did I invest my time, energy, and/or money at this month?
  • Did I see growth in those areas?
  • What goals did I have for this month?
  • Did I meet or exceed those goals?
  • What did I do right that I want to continue doing next month?
  • What did I do that didn’t product a valuable ROI (return on investment)?
  • Is there anyone I can collaborate with next month to expand my audience?
  • What new Facebook groups could I join that might connect me with new people?
  • Did I really showcase my talents to my audience?
  • Did I take a risk and put myself out there?

You don’t suck and numbers are only half the equation.

Let’s Talk…

  • Have your blog stats ever made you feel like you suck? What do you do to overcome that feeling of self-doubt or self-loathing?
  • How do you feel about Instagram? Do you see any blog growth with it? Any tips to share?

Oh, and always remember. If you’re feeling down about something take a second to stop and ask yourself, “What color is my bear?” How much are you assuming and how much are you analyzing? What color is your bear, friend? (Mine is pink. I love pink bears.)