Since getting into this crazy blogging thing, I’ve become addicted to stats. WordPress (the blogging tool I use) gives lots of stats, like how many people visit your blog every day, or even per hour if you want that kind of detail. You can see which countries people come from, you can find out which posts are most popular. As well as all this, there are public stats like how many people liked your article, how many signed up to follow your blog, etc, etc.
But there’s a big danger here.
Not only will stats consume all your time and attention, distracting you from writing more blog articles, and possibly even from eating, sleeping and other beneficial bodily functions, but it will cause you to write the wrong kind of blog articles.
In the case of my blog, I happen to notice that the most popular articles are humorous and upbeat. So, does that mean that I should go away and write more funny, feel-good articles? No.
That’s because I didn’t start my blog for that reason. I don’t want my blog to be funny and feel-good all the time. I want it to be truthful and to deal with important stuff. And, contrary to the stats, I don’t think funny and feel-good is what my readers necessarily want either.
That’s because of the distorting effect of stats. Suppose my blog is a collection of photos from my travels. One day I happen to notice that photos of sunsets get the most likes, so I start adding more and more sunsets. My blog gets more likes, so I now start adding sunset photos exclusively. But after a while, I check back and find to my dismay that I’m not getting any more likes. What happened? Boredom.
Variety is the spice of life, and variety is the lifeblood of an interesting blog. So, if you came here hoping for funny, uplifting articles, I have disappointing news for you. Life’s full of unpleasant surprises, and so is my blog.
I’ve cured myself of the stats disease, and my blog won’t always be funny and uplifting. Sometimes it will be serious and downbeat. But it’s all for the best, as I’ve just explained.