Never Let Your Stats scare away a Reader

A bit of my story: When I first started blogging, back in 2006, I was so excited to see that some people were actually interested in what I write. I used to check my Google Analytics account every day to track down every visitor and used to critically analyze each bit of data it provided. Also, I liked to see the Subscriber Count growing. I guess, most of you did this when you started off!

In those days I had displayed my RSS count chicklet and showed off my page rank status. The funny thing is that the RSS counter never went beyond 10 for a very long time and the Page Rank was always zero (thanks to the widget, it showed PR 0 for unranked pages too!).

At this point of time, I consider those as big blunders, something to laugh at from the past. These days I see similar blunders on many blogs, so I thought of sharing my views for the benefit of them.

Content is the King, then why bother?

Poor Stats leave the Reader in DoubtTake this example. Suppose you are about to purchase a brand new Blackberry. There are two vendors near your home selling the same product at competitive prices. One salesman has sold over 2000 pieces and is more experienced. The second one is relatively new, but looks promising.  Where would you get your Blackberry from?

Remember, both have exactly the same product since they are just sales men, not manufactures. In most cases we would prefer the more experienced sales man, (unless the second guy is a friend of yours).

People visit your blog and subscribe only because they like what you write, not because a lot others have subscribed, that’s true. But even if you have great content, when a reader finds out that none reads it, the evil part of his brain tells him, “Dude, no one reads his stuff, leave, leave…” That’s common human psychology.

Bad stats ruin the first impression, trust me, when it comes to blogging, first impressions really matter. I have already written how I lost many potential readers with a half-baked blog. Read it here.

But I don’t think you have to wait till you are number one in the industry to show off. Wait till the statistics look good to see. At that point, telling the readers how your blog is doing will help you get more attention.

Any Thumb Rules?

The following guidelines will help you decide when to show off. These are just guidelines, its always YOU who decide what to do with your blog!

  • Do not display your RSS counter until you have say, 50 or 75 readers.
  • Never display a PR indicator that shows PR 0. PR 3 and above looks good
  • Alexa Ranks near or below 100k are awesome, show them off!
  • Never attempt to post your Google analytics reports unless you have good stats there. 10,000 hits per month is nothing, but 1000+ hits per day is something good. And I don’t personally appreciate people posting them regularly. Details here.
  • NEVER fake your statistics. Readers are not fools. They can easily judge by the content quality how many subscribers you would have. Don’t copy RSS counters from other publishers. It will definitely ruin your credibility.

Go ahead and remove that RSS reader which reads 10 readers, if you have one 😛 Maybe you will start hitting the road once you do that!

Hey! Thanks for reading. If you found it useful, please share it with your friends as well. They will thank you for it.

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17 Comments.

  1. Girish G says:

    Arun,
    I learned something from this article 🙂

    Nice post and your artistic talent always helps you to make the posts better.

  2. Amal Roy says:

    Well, that’s some nice and valuable information for the new blogger’s who started to walk in the world of blogging. Thanks.

    • Maybe I should call this series of posts “Learning from the past” or something, I have made tons of blunders. I guess everyone does that.
      You can be safe from this one atleast!

      Cheers

      • Amal Roy says:

        Yes every blogger is not perfect one or other way they will make some kind of mistake even if they are professionals. This will help the blogger’s to avoid making these same mistakes.

        • Good point, thats how we evolve. We learn things our ancestors have done and we emulate them! If we had to start from scratch, we would be living in caves and would be fighting wild animals 😛

  3. George says:

    Good,Both of us are in same thinking line.By the way your rss feed counter (190) is not visible properly.Is it hidden purposly?

    • I never saw an issue with the counter, its fine on my pc. Actually its intended to go near the search box and not to be hidden.
      Thanks for notifying, I will keep an eye for it.

      Could you send me a screenshot? That would be highly appreciated.
      Thanks 🙂

      • Arun says:

        george says that the color of the background and the color of the rss counter are same (blacky) so there is no chance of a first time visitor to your blog to see that counter in the first place.place it on the top of the sidebar may helps a lot…

  4. Nihar says:

    I always show my subscriber count. But have never tried showing off Alexa or Page rank.

  5. I agree with everything you’ve said about content, but you forgot to mention that the type of content matters too. In other words, a niche blog will get a lot of readers only if the topics are popular. Your blog is a blog that appeals to many readers – across the board. It’s broad enough to have something for everyone. Many other blogs are more specialized, and for those bloggers – it’s harder. It’s kind of like writing a book. If you write something that will appeal to the masses, your bound to sell more copies than something that only appears to a select group. Writing good content every day takes work, but if you’re willing to do it – even if you have a specialized blog, you can still maintain a good following. Will you get at least 1,000 readers a day? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean you have a “bad” blog if your content is updated regularly and is on topic.

    • We have some light to Generic Blogging ( Broad Topics ) versus Niche Blogging ( Specific Topics ) here. Infact I am having a debate on that with some of my friends. It is said that Niche blogging is the faster way to success, but I dont agree. I am with you, a blog should have something for everyone. 🙂

      The number of readers is not a concern, a small but strong community is far better than a large inactive community..

  6. Surely my readers will scare if I put my Stats ! 😀

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