The Numbers Game
Hello! I'm Charlotte, and I'm the founder of Blog and Beyond. I'm a slightly sarcastic 22-year-old grandma from Glasgow who loves The Sims, Hugh Laurie and programmes about airports. I've been blogging at Colours and Carousels for nearly eight years and work freelance in digital marketing.
Blog - Twitter - Instagram
Caring about the numbers is one of those supposed "blogging taboos" that seems to get people slightly riled up. "Blogging isn't about the numbers" springs to mind as a retort that's always floating about on my Twitter timeline, and to an extent that's right. It's not only about the numbers, but you know what? I really care about my numbers, and I'm not even slightly sorry.
Whilst you won't find me constantly refreshing my analytics dashboard poring over each and every page view, I do keep track of my stats in a neatly laid out spreadsheet that I fill in every month. I set myself numerical goals to reach each month and year, and I feel good when I meet them. It makes me happy to see my follower count tick over to the next milestone and my heart sings when I get that Twitter notification telling me I've reached the next thousand followers. Is that bad? Nope.
I think it's entirely natural to want to succeed. There are so many ways that you can "measure" your success, and whilst I do care a lot about non-numerical, qualitative factors I also find it pretty easy to see how I'm doing with a quick glance at my numbers. I think it's the marketing & consumer behaviour geek inside of me driving this side of me, as I just find it so interesting to see how people react and interact with my content. I want to work in digital marketing, so I suppose that's a big influencing factor in this. I don't let the numbers define me, but I like getting an indication of what works and what doesn't.
Sure, I have moments where I will have a miniature breakdown because I feel like I'm failing, but that applies to so many aspects of my life. Seeing people enjoy what I put out there, on my own little internet space, makes me happy! I work god damn hard on my blog, so why shouldn't I relish in the fact that my DA has hit a certain point or I have such and such number of Instagram followers?
There's nothing wrong with having goals, in fact, I'd say it's a pretty good thing, it just so happens that mine can be quantified in numbers. If you're one of the people who can quite happily potter along not having a care in the world when it comes to your stats, then that's awesome! But if I enjoy delving into the analytical side of my blog then why shouldn't that be celebrated too?
Okay, I know that some people can go too far, and I'm probably guilty of it myself sometimes. I feel like I care about the numbers on a more personal level, as it marks my achievements in my head, as opposed to it being a status symbol of sorts. I don't want to blog full time, but that doesn't mean I don't want to do well. You won't find me begging people to follow me so I can hit that next milestone, or leaving spammy comments anywhere and everywhere just to get my blog noticed, but I'm proud of what I've achieved and I will never stop caring about the numbers.
At the end of the day, the numbers aren't the be all and end all, but that doesn't mean they can't be important to some bloggers. We shouldn't be getting bogged down to the point of obsession or demotivation, but when used correctly - the numbers help us understand more about our blogs and what we can do to make them better.