The world has become number-obsessed, according to CoSchedule .
However, Melissa Reyes of MizMeliz, once explained, “I don’t quantify myself.”
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 t 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:
- 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.
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.
Molly 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.