Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.
And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
Question: What are your opinions on the importance of blog stats?
You guys have probably been seeing the whirlwind around the blogosphere, or heard the rumblings and grumblings as of late in regards to issues with book blogger stats. For some, this was directly correlated to registering for BEA Bloggers Conference, in which their original survey asked for stats that would be publicly circulated. They later retracted the request and revised their requirements. I know when I registered for BookExpo America (BEA), it asked for my stats, and it really got me thinking, especially when I chatted with Jenny from Supernatural Snark.
The thing I kept coming back to when I entered my numbers in these forms was that I don't truly believe stats are an accurate representation of my blog. Do I have fairly good stats? Sure. Are they exceptional? Lord, no. However, I'm one heck of a proud girl to say that after two years of blogging, I'm still going strong, and I have people who truly do come and read what I have to say on every single post.
That said, I most certainly do NOT believe that having higher stats than another book blogger makes me any better. Nor do I believe having lower stats than other bloggers makes me a lesser blogger. When I began blogging, I started it for fun. It was a hobby and a project, and I only started recording stats via StatCounter and Analytics after about 8 months. Since then, I've religiously watched my stats soar and dip, noted the trends and made adjustments accordingly because, heck, I want people to want to read my blog. That said, at the end of the day, my blog is still my blog.
So, why is that I have had days and weeks as of late that I find myself texting, emailing and tweeting (sometimes all three at the same time) Jenny with an altogether defeatist attitude? It seems that everywhere I turn, stats are what defines my blog these days. I understand that publishers use stats to gauge viewership and longevity for their limited ARCs. I am happy to oblige. However, when I have days and weeks where I'm consistently denied access to titles on NetGalley, or a conference tells incredibly bloggers they don't meet their criteria, you better believe that bums me out. I'm a person, and my blog is a reflection of me. My blog is not a number. It is not a job. I do it because I love it and because I adore the written word. Being able to interact with amazing authors, publishers and like-minded bloggers is simply a definite bonus.
I'm not one to stir the pot, and I'd rather not be misconstrued as complaining, but while I recognize stats are important, they are not the end-all, be-all. Sometimes I truly wish that we were regarded as people, rather than a marketing avenue and valued opinions, rather than numbers. My frustrations won't make me quit blogging, but for those out there that feel the same, remember this - you blog because you love it. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many unique visitors you've had, or what bounce rate you've seen. What matters is that it is your place, your podium and your time to have your opinions known. Own it, and don't get defeated.
As a wee disclaimer because I feel I must - In NO way do I feel that, as a blogger, I deserve ARCs. I fully recognize they must be earned through the longevity and quality of my blog. This post is in no way meant to attack publishers, publicists or any professionals in the book industry. Rather, this is simply to discuss that stats, while important, should not be the sole measure of our blogs.