29 March 2020

Blogging, Statistics and Making a Buck

It is easy to be seduced by statistics. I know several friends who have websites and blogs and are rather obsessed with their web statistics. They are always checking to see how many hits the site gets or what pages or posts are most popular or what search terms are being used to find them. Social media has encouraged this with Likes and Retweets and Reposts. Our smartphones love to send us notifications that someone has engaged with some piece of our content.

For example, I got an alert about this blog:


Your page is trending up
Your page clicks increased by more than 1,000% over the usual daily average of less than 1 click.
Possible explanations for this trend could be:
  • Modifications you did to your page's content.
  • Increased interest in a trending topic covered by the page.
Of course, I am happy that people found this post from 2010 and are still reading it and hopefully enjoying it. Google's "possible explanations" for this are both correct, as I did update the page that month and the topic of the Winter Solstice was probably trending across the web as we slipped into winter.

I do glance at my websites' analytics occasionally. I have ten sites and blogs that I do, so it can't be a very regular thing. I do like to look every few months to see what has been happening. I also have a half dozen clients that I do websites for and they are always interested in their stats. But I'm going to write about these origins here whether or not it gets lots of hits. It's not my "job" - though it's nice if someone clicks on an Amazon link that I use and buys a book or something and a few pennies drop into my account.

Speaking of that - I was browsing Amazon to find a book for a friend who wanted to try to start a blog that would make money. I certainly don't have a secret formula for that, but I did find a bunch of people who have written about blogging as a job. The idea of having "passive income" is very appealing - and probably quite difficult to do in any meaningful way. Still, give it a try. If you find the secret formula, let me know - then write the book.


   

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