If you have followed my blog you may or may not know that I became obsessed with my stats. Blog life for me became a game of checking my statistics several times each day. It was important for me to see how many views I had, how many link clicks, how many visitors came to my page, etc. I did this every day for a few years and it wore me out.
I focused on blog stats for validation
When I first started blogging I wanted to use my blog as a way to talk about my journey and thoughts to help others. Along the way I also decided I’d like my blog to help make some extra money. And I realized that in order to make cash I would need more followers and more page views. Unfortunately for me that decision started me down a slippery obsession with my numbers.
The cool thing was that my follower numbers grew quickly which was satisfying. And with more followers came more page views, but instead of allowing this to happen naturally I became obsessed with my numbers. Soon my blogging would be more about the numbers and less about the content. Don’t get me wrong, I worked to produce relevant content and I began producing differing types of content: blog posts, video, social media and the like.
Looking back on those days makes me realize I was looking for some type of validation. As if having lots of followers and page views would make me feel elevated or validated. I think this goes back to wanting people to like me. The truth is that I felt like a fraud for some reason. I have been reading about Imposter Syndrome lately because I have experienced this is my sales career. Ultimately I think all of this comes from insecurity which I have been dealing with over the last year or more. The good news is I am not finding the need to feel validated as much as I did years ago.
Big numbers made me feel good
There is another part of the blog stat obsession. The increased numbers made me feel good. There is a known phenomenon that seeing likes and shares on social media releases dopamine into your brain down a reward path. I definitely experienced this with my blog. Every time I would go on my stats page and see my numbers it made me feel good about myself. Dopamine is a powerful chemical and is the same that is releases with all forms of addiction. I imagine that we will look back on giving kids social media and mobile devices the same way we now view using mercury in making hats back in the day.
I lost site of my true mission
Ultimately I did get distracted away from the real reason I wanted to start blogging in the first place; which wasn’t blog stats! What I wanted to do was to share stories and anecdotes from my life, thoughts and ideas to purge my mind. I believe I stuck with that plan for the first year or so. But the lure of increased numbers led me astray and I’m determined to stick to my mission this go around. I will admit that I find myself checking my stats more than I’d like to admit, but I’m not building strategies around getting more views.
At any rate I’ll stop torturing you with all of this. I just wanted to purge my brain a bit. Have a great day.