Apr 24, 2016

How to Analyze Blogger Statistics and Increase Views

How to analyze blogger statistics
Sample set of Blogger statistics

          Statistic analysis is terms of understanding social media is nearly as much of an art as a science when dealing with limited data sets and working with our understanding of how to influence and increase traffic flow to a website.

           I can't claim to be an expert in such matters but I do have about five years experience over the course of four blogs, a YouTube channel, and a series of popular Skyrim mods to analyze traffic flow from social media and Google can influence views and relative Internet success.

           A little bit of history if you like (feel free to skip ahead a couple paragraphs if you don't care, but the anecdotal evidence might be worth a bit of something).

          My first blog was Blaster Mods and More: a blog devoted to modifying Nerf weapons and such (yes, this was a big thing back before Nerf stepped up their game).  I knew nothing about blogging, had no social media other than a Gmail, and was starting from scratch.  I created original content within a tight knit community, had medium-lengthy writeups, and took decent pictures of the things I made.
          With 45,000 views to date, this was my most successful blog so far.  A couple of the posts still get a significant amount of hits (more on that later).  A fair bit of community interaction, networking with similar blogs, regular readers and commenters; this was the heyday of the blogosphere, although I didn't know it.

          My second blog was Airsoft Reviews and More: not straying much from the theme, but focusing on reviews rather than modifications, and aimed at a slightly older crowd.  More professionalism, a couple instances of trying to make math formulas cool, nice pictures.  In a shorter time period, it got up to almost 40,000 views.  With a caveat; the distribution by posts was terribly skewed, and a single post netted an entire third of all views!  (Bernie Sanders would have a field day with this blog).

           My third blog was Guitar Gear Reviews: by now a trend should be emerging about how I am apparently unable to hold an interest in a hobby for more than a few years.  So far arguably my least successful blog.  Although having the most posts (until consolidation to Mattwins) by a significant margin, most of the posts were... not low-quality, but minimal effort.  Long writeups were replaced with a lot of videos shared from YouTube.  And it appears YouTube is the place they will remain successful; very few embedded video posts got much viewership; it's the written content that reigns supreme in Blogger at least.
          The most successful posts were some very cleanly designed printable sheets for writing tablature (kinda embarrassing that blank sheets were the most popular), but they found popularity solely through success on Google Images, where the well-designed nature made them appealing to people and effectively spread.

           Finally we're here on Mattwins.  Where the future will lead, I don't know.  In just three months, I am hitting consistent monthly averages at the highest point I ever got on Blaster Mods and More, which I'm super stoked about.
          How?  Well, that's the part to be less thrilled with.  While all my other blogs virtually self-advertised (to varying degrees of effectiveness), I've thus far extensively advertised and shared my latest site through several outlets, often Facebook groups, sometimes forums, once Reddit (although surprisingly successful, perhaps more in the future).  This very "active" management has paid off in instant and measurable effects, but at a significant bit more work on my part, and with much less long-lasting results.

          Anyway, this blog is a place where I'm taking the liberty to not pigeonhole myself into a particular genre, and explore any topics or projects I choose to.  Because a majority of viewers find my blog through links in niche groups and I've thus far never had a significant fanbase of everyday readers anyway, having a strong central focus to draw back the same group of readers isn't much of a priority.  Perhaps some of you will take a liking to this approach and defy my expectations anyway ;)

How to boost your mojo:


          This can't be stressed enough.  You won't be successful if you don't have things worth reading and watching.  If you've come here looking for easy cheap tricks; well sometimes there's no substitute for hard work.  Make the things people want, and they will come.

a) Writing

          Writing, and writing well, is possibly the most important thing you can do to attract long-term viewers and also make your blog attractive to Google PageRank bots and more searchable.

b) Pictures!

           Attractive, well-taken, relevant pictures are a virtual necessity in most areas of the internet anymore.  Make your photos helpful, shareable, high-quality, and useful in general and you'll always be better for doing so.

Straightforward, clean, attractive photography will always get you ahead

c) Videos

          Videos are at once the best and worst thing to happen to the internet in many ways.  Relating particularly to blogs however, videos are rarely an effective method; direct sharing to YouTube will almost always be more successful.  People come to blogs for writeups, and they go to YouTube for videos; there's nothing your lone blog can do to change that, and nothing wrong with that either.  If your videos are flopping on Blogger, you may simply be a YouTube star in the works.

Embedding videos in Blogger is nice though and adding variety is always a plus

2.)  Linking and tricks of the trade

a) Sharing to Facebook groups WITH CONTENT

          This is important; sharing should be done with care and with honor!  Spamming places with your links will give your site a trashy air and possibly damage your search score as well, not to mention that no one will follow your links anyway.  So present your material almost as an afterthought; contribute something useful, even if it's the same as on your blog, and then offer your blog if they are interested in more.

- Facebook shares typically provide a boost for about 24 hours, and about half of that same boost for the 24 hours after that, an even smaller help on the third day, and little to none after that (unless it goes viral with sharing, although that requires incredible content, and typically videos).

Typical share to Facebook or Reddit:
Day 1:  100% views
Day 2:  50% views
Day 3:  20% views
>Day 4: Negligible boost

Typical share to forum:
Day 1:  80% views
Day 2:  100% views
Day 3:  80% views
Day 4:  40% views
Day 5:  20% views
>Day 6: Negligible boost

Typical share to Instructables/guides:
Month 1: 100% views
Month 2: 80% views
Month 3: 60% views
>Month 4: 50% views

How to analyze blogger statistics

b)  Linking between your own pages

          This is something I'd recommend new bloggers be a little more cautious of overdoing or doing wrong; low quality links could be marked as spam by Google or otherwise.  However, a fair portion of the success of Mattwins is from utilizing years of previous content on other blogs.  Looking at the above chart of statistics, note the "previous natural rate of views" and "improved natural rate of views".
          The red line shows the blog's "natural rate of views" from searches, persistent links, and anything that can be expected on an average day without actively boosting much.  The green line shows the same base rate after linking the most popular and lasting pages from my previous blogs to automatically redirect to the corresponding page on Mattwins.  Just a few articles, such as one about PVC bows from BM&M and a single airsoft review from AR&M bring in a consistent flow of generally around 5-10 visitors a day (each) even after a few years.  Odds are you aren't coming from the position of having old traffic to network and link, but if you are, a simple line of Java in your old blogs can help your new site quite a bit.

c)  Smart headlines, et cetera

          This says just about everything you need to know: http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer

          "It's difficult to make predictions, especially about the future."  It's also hard to say just what will work for you and your website, what things will flop, and what things will succeed wildly.  A theory thought up at one in the morning about the number 42 earned me over 700 upvotes on Reddit in a few hours.  A long planned, well rehearsed musical performance often gets a handful of views and a "like" out of mercy on a good day.  Don't over-invest in a single idea or method, because people, and especially internet people, are fickle things, and sometimes we simply do our best and hope that something works.  Good luck and may the force be with all of you.

- Matt

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