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?
Take 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!