Tag Archives: statistics

2019: Best Blog Year Yet.

This year exceeded the prior record by about twelve percent.

Are you game for yet another yearly recap? I hope so, because it’s all about YOU.

Blog views for 2019 broke 4,000 several days ago, leaving the 2014 record of 3,553 in the dust. Proportionally viewed on the bar graph, it may not look like much, but those roughly 500 additional views came from subscribers (I don’t like the social media term “followers”) who loyally checked Irish Firebrands blog at an average rate of about a dozen a day.

Not a high-performance blog, by any means; others who started blogging after I did regularly garner thousands of views per month, per week, and even per day. If those are all genuine readers, I’m happy for them. But unlike many other bloggers, I don’t do paid advertising at social media sites, which means that at least I know that those who visit Irish Firebrands blog are genuine readership, and not just click-farm produce.

The map shows the history of global readership over the whole seven years of the blog’s existence. Not a bad showing, for a blog that doesn’t offer flashy, trendy or sensationalist content. The top ten countries for that period (2012-2019) are mostly Anglophone, which can be regarded as predictable: I write in English, and I’m based in the USA, which has racked up the highest number of visitors. But every one of those viewers from all the countries on the map feel like valued friends, to me. I subscribe to roughly a hundred of their blog sites, and enjoy their content as much as I hope they enjoy mine.

What’s more, some of those blog-readership relationships have translated into material support for me as an Indie Author-Publisher, because Irish Firebrands blog is the only significant marketing outlet for my books. They are by no means bestsellers, but they are purchased at a steady rate of one or two per month, and do include some international sales.

All titles except the Bookplate Books are available at a discount from Lulu Press (www.lulu.com). Title availability is limited at Amazon, where all are at full retail price. Please shop at Lulu to enjoy the savings as a reward for your loyalty!

 

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Is Blog Performance Predictable?

“Build it, and they will come.”

Some bloggers seem to have it made in the shade: they build a blog, and everybody comes to view, like, comment and follow. If you’re one of those fortunate types whose Stats page registers in the thousands, you probably don’t think twice about how your site is performing.

But for those of us whose average views rarely achieve one per hour, just climbing the tail of the Gaussian (standard distribution) curve to get to the first standard deviation – not to mention μ (mu) – can seem to be an insurmountable task.

Fun with statistics.

There’s probably no classic Gaussian curve for blog performance; a rigorous statistical analysis would probably reveal tails skewed to one side or the other.

It’s a foregone conclusion that a day with a post on it will do better than one that goes without, but how much better? How often do you need to post, to have a noticeable presence in the blogosphere? Does the time of day you post make any difference? Is there a seasonal aspect to blog readership totals?

Is it worth your time to study the effects of keywords and tags and search engine optimization? Or is it more important for blog popularity to have been lucky enough to snag the attention of an opinion molder who will re-blog your posts?

And there’s no point in comparing your blog’s performance to anybody else’s, because of the apples-and-oranges principle. After all, blogging is not a competition sport, and to make it into one is only to court discouragement.

But it can be interesting to compete against yourself: How is your blog doing now, compared to last week? Last month? Last year? Six years ago? Daily statistics are most meaningful in the aggregate: How do Tuesdays compare to any other day? Or how do weekdays compare to weekends?

On the basis of figures for three days, can you forecast how well the week will do? What do the weekly numbers forecast about how the month will do? Can your blog’s monthly performance forecast the yearly total?

The bottom line.

It has taken about six years for my Irish Firebrands blog to garner more than six hundred followers. That probably has to do with the underlying purpose of my topic: “understanding writing,” which, although perhaps being somewhat arcane, is fascinating to me. I’m just glad to have found a like-minded group of a few hundred others who apparently feel some degree of similar interest.

The best measurement of blog performance is how it makes you feel to do it. The only sure thing about blogging as a form of the Art of Writing is that it should be enjoyable: if we’re not having fun, we’re not doing it right.

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