Are High Page Views the Greatest Thing in the World?

By: | September 14, 2016 | Tags: , , , , | 38 comments

Are many page views more important than many comments? From Mostly Blogging

The world has become number-obsessed, according to CoSchedule .

However, Melissa Reyes of MizMeliz, once explained, “I don’t quantify myself.”

Do you?

I do. I check my stats many times each day as my post 17 Reasons High Page Views High Page Views Should Make You Panic explains.

On the other hand, is it possible you feel differently? Do you think comments are more important for a blogger than page views?

My friend and blogger Molly Stevens is here to help explore both the benefits and disadvantages of being concerned with your blog’s page views.

I will share the advantages, and Molly will share the disadvantages.

Consider this interaction:

Late one night, Molly was sharing her philosophy regarding high page views with me.

Molly’s expressed belief that engagement is more important than page views which is why she feels StumbleUpon is so disappointing.

At StumbleUpon, readers flee your site without commenting.

Molly insisted she felt disappointed in the lack of comments even though several of her posts went viral on StumbleUpon.

My response expressed the opposite philosophy. I was euphoric when my StumbleUpon post went viral and I got almost 1500 views in one day.

I hold this opinion for six reasons.

Why Page Views are Better Than Comments

Page Views are More Important:

  • I’m still helping people even if they read my information without commenting.
  • They still share my posts even if they don’t comment.
  • Readers email me and express gratitude because I’m helping them.
  • They link to my articles, so I assume they find them valuable.
  • They write me in FaceBook groups and tell me I’m helping them.
  • It is possible they will subscribe to my blog, and then I can continue to empower them and forge a bond or even a relationship with them even if they don’t comment.
  • In her article Death of the Blog Author, Long Live the Blog Reader, Emma Rudeck explains the blog reader’s interpretation gives the blog post meaning. She explains if the author were anonymous, nothing would change. I feel Rudeck’s article validates my point. If the meaning inside the reader’s head gives my post meaning, whether or not they express that reality in a comment makes no difference.

I realize chasing the numbers can be exhausting. However, I’ve been chasing the numbers for almost two years, and I’m not tired yet. Besides, I have fun chasing the numbers and trying to raise my daily page views. I feel like a runner or a swimmer who is always trying to beat their time on the clock.

Don’t get me wrong. I totally love to connect with my readers in the comment section, but I became a blogger to help people to increase their knowledge, which I can do whether or not they leave me a comment.

Why Comments are Better than Page Views

Consider these comments from readers:

Every time I have felt like I wanted to quit blogging something happens that makes me really glad I do what I do. There are lows, but the highs are awesome. Sometimes it is income, but more often than not it is a random comment by someone I don’t know. And blogging friends are the best! ~ Michele of LifeRedesign

Don’t fret about page views. It’s a trap, I tell ya! Ha ha. My blog audience tripled over time, and yours will too if you just keep writing what moves you and engaging with people. Read and support other bloggers because the community can be an amazing place to learn and grow. Also, when you consistently show up to support others, they’ll do the same for you. ~ Rica Lewis in a Facebook comment

Comments are More Important:

By Molly Stevens

  • Comments are more important since I know people read my post, that is, if they left more than a generic comment.
  • As a writer, my ultimate goal is to have people read what I write.
  • If someone tells me in person they like my writing, I am always shocked because if they haven’t left a comment, I have no idea they have read my work– it’s nice to get the feedback in person but I wish they would leave a comment.
  • I cared much more about stats and page views when I first started writing and practically became obsessed with them. I’m shallow, so I still admit I care, but the real money for me is comments because I know the reader is engaged.
  • I realize the introverts in the world will not likely comment but still may be enjoying my posts.
  • When I was focused on stats and page views and subscribers, I compared myself to other bloggers and always fell short. Then I realized you can actually buy followers (I know because I’ve had offers on Twitter). I decided comparison is truly the root of all unhappiness, and I decided to love my small tribe.
When I started my blog in 2015, I was obsessed with my statistics, namely page views.

I’ll never forget the day I published a satirical piece about The View’s disrespect of the Miss America candidate whose talent was sharing a monolog about her experience as a registered nurse. A few people shared the post on Facebook, and I watched the stats on WordPress like a day trader. I felt like I’d scored capital gains when the essay earned 726 views.

This profitable post expanded my focus to include a preoccupation with the number of subscribers and followers on my blog and social media sites.

Then the inevitable happened.

I began to compare myself to other bloggers.

The thing about comparison is you either see yourself as superior or inferior to others, and neither position is healthy. I vacillated between thinking my writing was Pulitzer Prize material and wanting to quit because my writing stunk.

One day I stumbled a post just to see how Stumble Upon might work, and it got over one thousand views. I had an initial feeling of elation and then I felt something surprising: emptiness.

Out of all those clicks, no one left a single comment. This jolted me back to the reality of why I started writing.

I write so people will read my work.

And in my opinion, the only way I can be sure someone has read my work is when he or she leaves a meaningful comment.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m shallow so I still care about page views. But when I get even one relevant comment on a post I feel like I just won the WordPress lottery.

In response to my post about serving on jury duty, I received this comment: “Haha! I love it. Especially the use of the word “pshaw” – a word that is wildly under-utilized in my opinion. I’ve never been called for jury duty but now I have hope that maybe…some day….”

This statement is superb on so many levels. She acknowledged the content of the post, answered the question I asked at the end, and let me know she laughed which makes a humor writer rejoice.
Given the choice between one hundred views and ten comments and a thousand views with none, I will choose one hundred views with ten comments every time.

Bio:

Which is better, blog comments or page views? #blogging - From Mostly BloggingMolly Stevens arrived late to the writing desk, but is forever grateful her second act took this direction instead of adult tricycle racing or hoarding cats. She was raised on a potato farm in northern Maine, where she wore a snowsuit over both her Halloween costume and her Easter dress.

She blogs at http://www.shallowreflections.com where she skims over important topics, like her love affair with white potatoes and why she saves user manuals.  No one knows for sure if her ideas result from eating too many carbs, or childhood exposure to herbicides in the well water.
She has ‘practiced’ professional nursing for *mumble,mumble* years, and someday hopes to be competent or retired, whichever comes first. Her husband is watching for early signs of dementia, and will have her put in a home when she shows an enthusiasm for camping.

Admin Blogger’s Commentary:

It sounds like Molly and I do have some common ground. In her narrative, she wrote, “I write so people will read my work.” This is precisely the reason that I write as well.

Readers, please share. Reading what thoughts are in other people’s heads often help us define our priorities. If they see Molly is not concerned with page views, it may help other bloggers relax about the statistics in their dashboard.

What are your priorities as a blogger, page views or comments? Which camp do you fall into and why? I look forward to your views in the comments section.

Molly shared her perspective with insight and humor. Go show her some blog love by visiting her blog.

Related Posts:

This Is How to Write the Best Call to Action That Will Boost Comments and Subscribers

How to Use CommentLuv to Easily Get Blog Comments

How to Quickly Get Comments on Your Blog

How to Increase Traffic By Writing Better Comments

 

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  1. Alexandria Gunn at 7:04 am

    Great points. Personally I like comments more than page views. I get to have discussions with those reading my posts and find out more about them. It’s also clearer if there’s been a misunderstanding in the post and helps me create more content in the future that helps them.

    • Janice Wald at 8:24 am

      Hi Alexandria,
      Thank you for writing me. You are right. Comments help bloggers bond with their community. You are also right about your second point. When people ask questions in the comments, it enables us to help them further, which I wrote in my post I want to do so very much.
      Janice

  2. Hugh Roberts / www.hughsviewsandnews.com at 9:06 am

    I have to side with Molly on this one. I much prefer interacting with my blogging community and responding to the comments they leave me rather than look at blog stats. I’ve seen bloggers display the number of page views on their blogs and always wonder how many of those people who visited either got there by mistake or did not read the post. When you get comments you know what you have written has been read. Even if there is just one comment, it has been read. 1,000 views without any comments does not automatically mean anyone has read what you have written. I know I’d get very deflated and probably give up blogging if I were not getting comments left on my posts.

    Once again, plenty to think about, Janice.

    • Janice Wald at 8:23 am

      Hi Hugh,
      Thank you for seeing my post gave food for thought. A good blog post should.
      You have an extremely engaged community. However, your comments indicate that did not come from chasing the numbers. Can you give us advice on how you built and engaged in community, so we can emulate your tip?
      Janice

  3. Ryan Biddulph at 11:24 am

    Hi Janice,

    It’s fascinating; page views, comments and any outcomes/stats are there to remind us of our attachment to outcomes LOL!

    One reason why I devote little energy to metrics or stats is because if I spend too much energy on getting I don’t give enough energy to giving. I’d be patting myself on the back versus helping other bloggers by writing the next post, or writing this comment or by tweeting this post to my 44,000 followers.

    Getting comments and high page views both rock but I’m having so much fun creating and connecting that I think little about accomplishments and focus mainly on doing what I love doing, and simply seeing outcomes/stats as extra or icing on the cake. This way, when comments or page views dip I’m immune to the crushing disappointment which plagues most bloggers 😉 All extra, anyway.

    Thanks for sharing Janice!

    Ryan

    • Janice Wald at 8:20 am

      Hi Ryan,
      Thank you so much for writing, participating in this dialogue, and visiting my blog.
      I found your comments insightful. You are extremely giving as a blogger. I do not know how you find the time. You are one of the most successful bloggers I know. Your comments indicated that comes from giving and not chasing the numbers. You are a great role model for others that aspire to be successful at blogging.
      Janice

  4. Molly Stevens at 2:56 pm

    Looks like some lively comments have ensued from this post debating page views vs. comments. Of course I am LOVING the comments and since I don’t have access to the stats on Janice’s blog will forever be in the dark about how many views the post received. Of course I could email and ask her. Out of curiosity. Not because it matters. LOL.

    • Janice Wald at 8:16 am

      Hi Molly,
      Our post definitely has resonated with readers. The day it was published, the stats were out the door, which you know I like LOL! Thank you again for your participation. The reader seem to be having fun expressing how they feel about comments versus page views.
      Janice

  5. Mark at 3:16 pm

    What an interesting contrast in goals Janice!

    After reading both insightful explanations, I’m really more confused
    than ever!LOL!

    Because I can definitely relate to both points of view! How’s
    that for being middle of the road!

    Both view points have definitely opened my eyes, and helped me realize,
    how many positive benefits there potentially are.

    No matter which outcome should take place!Thanks, my perspective
    has definitely been broadened!
    Mark recently posted…Email Marketing:Five Simple Strategies To Give Your Campaigns Some Real Zip!My Profile

  6. Gilly Maddison at 3:42 pm

    Ok – I write to stop myself from watching daytime TV and going slowly mad? If I get any readers or commenters, it’s icing on the cake, but cake without icing is still cake right? But then I talk to myself, so maybe writing without an audience is the same thing, I always think that when I die, it won’t have mattered how many page views or comments I got – it will have been the enjoyment I had doing it. Of course, when people do take the time to read and comment, I am very appreciative because time is so precious to us all.
    Gilly Maddison recently posted…Words To Inspire 2 – An Inspirational Quote That May Hit A Nerve In SomeMy Profile

  7. I hate it at 8:04 pm

    BBFFJ, I’m glad you and Molly agree on the WHY!
    You already know I agree more with her, on comments rather than stats. I’m so glad that makes you happy, but I just hate it. So, I ignore them!
    Gonna go see Molly’s place now! Thanks for introducing me to yet another great blog!
    Your BBFFM
    I hate it recently posted…Declutterathon Day DosMy Profile

  8. Caren Gittleman at 6:11 am

    I am one who believes that interaction/commenting is FAR more important than page views, especially, due to what you mentioned, ALL numbers (Facebook, etc), can be BOUGHT. Bought numbers mean nothing. If you are a Brand Ambassador, as I am,, engagement is crucial. An “engaged” reader is more likely to make a purchase. Responding to my readers’ comments makes them feel validated.

    I once had a PR firm tell me when he contacted me to feature a product on my dog’s blog and I was in shock because it is so small numbers-wise, that he would rather have “50 ENGAGED readers instead of thousands who are sitting and doing nothing.”

    • Janice Wald at 8:01 am

      Hi Caren,
      Thank you for your comments. Congratulations on your success as a brand ambassador. What brand?
      Do you feel monetization is a greater possibility for all brands or only certain brands?
      Janice

  9. GiGi Eats at 6:48 pm

    You and I are 100% on the same page. I ALWAYS tell people to QUIT looking at their traffic and just get chatting and making relationship with like-minded bloggers!! You will build relationships and trusting partnerships with brands/others!!!! Screw the numbers – it’s all about engagement!

  10. Leanne at 7:09 pm

    It’s a balancing act isn’t it? I LOVE comments and I always try to leave something worthwhile when I comment on someone’s post (or why bother?) but page views are lovely too. I had a huge month in July where I was getting thousands every day – then it petered back down to my normal hundreds. The big numbers were great but fairly meaningless because I don’t think they really engaged. So I’m in Molly’s court – comments first, views second 🙂

  11. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle at 7:59 pm

    Thanks Molly and Janice, another great conversation. Both stats and comments can leave you empty. Like Molly, I love thoughtful comments from someone who has read what I have written, yet so many comments can be meaningless

    One can gauge other insights from stats like the time on page, bounce rate ie did they go to another page etc.

    I’ll take them both thanks,
    Kathleen
    Kathleen – Bloggers Lifestyle recently posted…How to easily use Alexa PowerMy Profile

  12. mulchandmorecrafts at 8:12 pm

    Interesting post. I tend to agree with Molly that comments are important, but without the views there’s no one there to comment. I can compare it to a craft show, 1. many walk by (read the post title) 2. Some stop to look and visit (read the post) 3. and some of those will make a purchase – the reason for being at a craft show (leave a comment which lets you know you’ve achieved your purpose of writing).

    • Janice Wald at 12:47 pm

      Hi Mulch and More Crafts,
      You share an interesting perspective. I guess it depends what one is in the “blogging game” for. If money, which you are equating to comments, you are correct. Currently, I’m having fun chasing the numbers. I’d love to chase the money too!
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…Blogger’s Pit StopMy Profile

  13. Sue at 10:34 pm

    I see both points of view Janice. It is great to see the number of page views because at least people are visiting. However, I do enjoy the interaction and reaction of readers when they leave a comment. Basically I’m a long way from anything ever going viral but I keep on keeping on and who knows one day I might get a huge surprise! Thanks for sharing Molly’s ideas with us.

    • Janice Wald at 12:43 pm

      Hi Sue,
      Thank you for your article comments. I agree with you. Seeing people here makes me happy knowing people are reading what I wrote. Some commented that we don’t know for sure; maybe they winded up at my site by accident. Although possible, I have to think that is the exception.
      Thanks for the visit and the comments. I love comments too. I hope that was clear from my explanation.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…Blogger’s Pit StopMy Profile

  14. Hussain Omar at 5:45 am

    Hey Janice,
    This is my first visit to your blog and I really loved it!

    You and Molly did an awesome post here!

    I think both pageviews and comments are important to any blogger, and I also agree with Barbara, you need page views to get some comments, and the number of those comments depends on your interaction with your community on their blogs and on yours too.

    On the other hand, the engagement these days is extremely important for the readers and search engines, those blogs which have good engagement are considered high authority sites. As some visitors just judge the post by seeing the number of comments just below the post title. You can also notice that, one tend to leave comments on these blogs that already have at least handful comments than doing that on blogs which have no comments.

    So, we cannot just neglect any of these two metrics, we should take care of both.

    Thanks for sharing this valuable post!

    Regards
    Hussain
    Hussain Omar recently posted…How I Gained 500 Social Shares Overnight!My Profile

  15. Fabiola Rodriguez at 8:31 pm

    It’s a very interesting discussion you have going on here. I can tell you I’ve had opposite experiences in both my blogs. In my Spanish-language blog, I get high page views but very few comments. In my English-language blog, I get fewer pageviews but a lot of comments. And I tell you, I wish I had more of the other in both blogs! lol
    But pageviews and comments definitely complement each other. On the blog where I hardly get any comments, sometimes I feel like I’m flying bling. And on the blog where I get fewer pageviews, I keep wishing more people would read my posts. However, the good thing is that this tells me exactly how I should improve both blogs. A lack of anything can also be great feedback.

  16. Melissa Walp at 1:07 pm

    I’ve always been a person that is good at looking at situations from both sides, maybe that’s why I have such a hard time making decisions. Before I started my blog, I would frequently read blog posts that I found on Pinterest but would rarely leave comments, even if I loved the content. Now that I have started a blog, I try to leave comments on every post I read to let the author know I’ve heard what they are saying. So I guess I like a balance of page views and good comments.

  17. Pingback: This Is How to Make Engaged Readers, 10 New Ways

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