I Can’t Get No Satisfaction…With My Blog’s Traffic

Following your blog's traffic can be considered an addictive drug.

Web site traffic has the power to keep me lying awake at night — whether it be the exciting rush of writing an article that really resonates with readers, the terrible feeling of rejection when commenters vehemently disagree with my point of view, or the worst of them all, when there is absolutely no response at all. I question everything, the highs and the lows: Am I the smartest person in the universe? Am I out of touch with my community? No, seriously, I'm so smart and SO right!!! Wait, am I wrong? AM I BORING!? Please tell me I'm not boring.

As the numbers go up and down, the adrenaline rushes and the neurotic tendencies heighten. I set a goal, and once I reach it, I immediately set a new one without even celebrating my first accomplishment. How can I improve my SEO? What are my keywords? What do people want to read?

Hopped up on coffee, all I can think is, “Higher! Higher! Higher! More! More! More!”

But maybe this greedy, traffic grubbing thinking that drives me crazy isn't such a bad thing… 

Site traffic is the life line of your blog. It's what determines your notoriety, your advertisements, and ultimately your cash flow (and yes, even if you working at a larger website and not a personal blog, your boss will keep tabs on the numbers coinciding with your work). So maybe it's actually a reasonable notion that I should feel like I'm going to throw up if my traffic rises or drops suddenly (with excitement or fear, respectively, in roller coaster type waves).

Alright maybe getting stomach aches from numbers is a little extreme — but staying hungry for traffic, figuratively speaking, should be a daily motivation if you plan on ever making your blog into a business and lifelong career. I wrote about how to set tangible traffic goals for yourself, and it's serious stuff that really makes a difference.

On the other hand, no one likes a blog that only harps on Google's “hot trends” without creating content relating to the blog's voice, but if you want “moves like Jagger” in the blogging world you're going to have to get hungry…every single day. (And yes, I just referenced Maroon 5 lyrics.)

What am I trying to say here? I'm trying to say you should be a little crazy about your site traffic. And you should never be satisfied.

[Image credit: Wenn.com]

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54 Responses

  1. Grace - Stripes & Sequins

    I am soooo guilty of this. I track traffic religiously – especially since moving to WP, where it’s so easy to check on the dashboard! That said, I think it’s totally, 100% okay, and I think my blog is better for it!

  2. Amy Parker

    I definitely go through phases of checking my traffic religiously but what would be helpful to know is: what should I be looking for and what can I do with that data?

    Someone mentioned, in response to the article on setting traffic goals, that they try to post more on days when they consistently tend to get less traffic. I guess I’d like to know what – besides setting a quantifiable goal – I can do to get to that goal.

  3. Sarah's Real Life

    I am weirdly obsessed with checking my site stats too. But the thing is…my blog isn’t even a business. I don’t really have plans to make it a business. I just started it for fun. But I, ever the over-achiever, have since been obsessed with seeing how many people are visiting and trying to grow that number each week.
    I guess even when you’re a hobby blogger, you still want to know that the work you’re doing is being appreciated and is beneficial to people (and it’s not just your mom and 3 friends reading it). Or is it just me?

    Sarah’s Real Life

    • Sheri

      No, it is not you. I blog for fun and I check numbers often. I want to make sure that I am helping ppl that read my work.

    • Kayla Cordero

      I hear you, Sarah! I am the same way. I’m a new blogger and I check my stats all the time out of curiosity. I’m just trying to stay motivated in posting what inspires me and not get too caught up on what I think people want to see.

  4. Kaitlin

    I completely agree!!! Good will never be good enough, especially for me. If you’re going to do something, do it all the way!

  5. Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    It is almost sad that this is true. Ultimately, I want a lot of followers and pageviews, as this is impressive to brands and others that want to collaborate, but I don’t obsess over what others will think of the post. If it inspires me, or if it is something I would read somewhere else, then I post it.
    xx lauren

  6. Kathleen Lisson

    I have learned where to target my efforts through looking at my site statistics, especially keeping tabs on which pages are generating a lot of traffic via google searches.
    I have found that most people drop in searching for information on how to pick the right hat for their face shape, so I spruced up that article to make it a good ‘gateway’ to my website.

  7. Campus Sartorialist

    The best times are when you least expect it and you check your traffic and you see high and unexplained traffic. That does it for me at least.

  8. Filipa

    I’m doing the same thing. Every time I log in to my account, the first thing I do is checking the stats. I want more traffic and more followers. I started my blog just for fun, and just like Sarah’s real Life said, even when you’re a hobby blogger, you want people to appreciate what you do.
    I will definitely have to read that article on how to set traffic goal to yourself!

  9. Geraldine

    I agree with this, I check my traffic EVERYDAY and sometimes I feel very sad because I know I don’t get a thousand views or whatever, and as sad as it sounds I feel like people don’t like what I do or write…

  10. FallForFall

    I can relate to this post a lot. I have my Google Analytics open as long as my browser is. It opens and closes with browser. I just have to look at it! I guess I’m hooked.
    I don’t consider it a bad thing, I just like knowing. I have goals, quite reasonable ones, on both daily and monthly basis. It just keeps me going and makes me push myself harder, once those goals are reached, on to the next ones! Because, on your way to the top, you need to create steps, once you pass one, there are more steps to go, and there will always be more to go.


  11. Ana

    This hits close to home. Checking the site traffic is addictive.

    One should not go overboard, though. There are a lot of blogs out there that have okay traffic, but seem like they were written by an SEO robot, not a real person. Whenever I run across a site like that I just brace myself for an onslaught of shady ads.

  12. Amber

    I used to be obsessed with traffic but I stopped checking it every five minutes because it became a productivity killer. Now I just focus n good content, the traffic will come. Its growing slowly (sometimes that drives me insane) but the fact that it IS growing at all is def something to celebrate.


  13. Emily Ulrich

    Desire means you care and are committed. It can be frustrating, of course, when things slow down, but it’s better to than to be apathetic towards your traffic numbers. 🙂

  14. Jade

    Oh I check my stats WAYYYY too often!! But I like doing it as it keeps me in the loop of how my blog is going, what people are searching for, where my traffic comes from, what posts my readers like the best. It’s definitely addictive but I won’t be going to rehab over it any time soon!

  15. Frugal Flirty N Fab!

    This is the story of my blogging life!! But I know one day soon it will be the story of success that I share with others. Until that day comes it’s just me and the ins and outs of my traffic…….

    Frugal Flirty N Fab!

  16. Miss Bad

    Well, I actually stopped checking my blog stats LOL
    I became angry when I invested so many time writing a thoughtful post and not even a person commented on it. Actually, even if I’m not the only person on the world, I write my blog for myself, featuring content I would like to see on other blogs ( if I could improve anything, it would be my photographic material and skills). So, actually, I think being greedy with your blog traffic can be the starting point with blogging deception.

    Sorry if my English isn’t perfect but it’s not my main language.


  17. Thomas L.

    This is my story of my blogger’s life.

    As I am on WP with my french blog I can easily check my stats – but now im on blogger (google) and it’s a little bit different and a little bit more difficult to spread your blog 😉

    So yes, I need to catch up my trafic management quickly.

  18. moiminnie

    I kinda don’t get all the hype about the stats. Yeah, I check it but in a manner I would check my Facebook inbox or e-mail. It can be beneficial, but most of the time it just makes you go crazy over the numbers of followers, views, comments that you neglect that main thing that makes the blog in the first place – content. Prioritize on quality and the rest will come, no need to obsess about it.

  19. Nchanel

    This is so me. I’m constantly checking my stats. Though sometimes it can be a real moot point. I’m staring a numbers letting it decided my mood. It’s okay to have a bad day in traffic. Don’t let it get ya down just keep pushing and working hard. If you blog it they will come.

  20. Nchanel

    This is so me. I’m constantly checking my stats. Though sometimes it can be a real moot point. I’m staring a numbers letting it decided my mood. It’s okay to have a bad day in traffic. Don’t let it get ya down just keep pushing and working hard. If you blog it they will come.


  21. StyleBoulevard

    Of course its important to follow your traffic! Even if we start a blog for fun we are doing it to be public, to call people attention, to show what we do best, and the more the merrier. But we can choose to stay with the same visits per day and the same followers. If that makes us happy.

  22. Katerina

    Hang on, I will be back in a sec just refreshing.

    No I’m not obsessed at all (much), but I do agree with Amber it is a productivity killer and instead should concentrate on the content. Just another quick refresh though.

  23. Vanessa

    I am always curious to see how readers come to my site or what keywords they are searching for. Stats can fluxuate all the time so it’s important to have set goals but not get too discouraged when you have an “off’ week. I have been blogging for a few years but in the beginning checking my daily stats helped to motivate me to generate more reader traffic. There are great ideas on Pro Blogger & Blog Tyrant
    xo http://www.thelovecollage.com

  24. Peggy Confetti

    When I started my blog it was basically just something for my friends that have scattered to the 4 corners of the earth to see what I’m up to. Then the urban outfitters blog interviewed and linked me… I have gotten so much traffic from that one little thing that it has blown my mind. Now I’m definitely feeling the pressure to generate more and more content. Still trying to figure it out!

  25. Miranda

    I love this article and I loved reading all the comments to see how many people are in the same boat about this. I too check my site stats daily and I really do try and pay attention to my stat trends. It can drive you a little crazy, but I think it’s really motivating. When I see my stats dwindling, I feel like I really need to push myself to post better content. It inspires me to write better posts and publish more often. I really love being challenged like that. I think checking your stats regularly can be really beneficial to your blog.

  26. Jacquie Rutherford

    I’m new in the blogging world and I’m totally addicted to checking my stats. I’m so glad that I’m not alone! I just started it for fun but it’s a nice perk to see that others enjoy checking out your ideas and posts.

  27. Gg

    I’m also a ‘stat’ watcher so much so I check them on Blogger / Google Analytics and Statcounter and none of them are ever the same!!! So it confuses the hell out of me! Which one should I believe?


  28. The Style Mogul

    Oh I am obsessed with making sure my traffic is better and better daily!! I love seeing where people are reading my blog and with WP I can see what posts are the most successful in helping me determine what to steer clear of!!
    <3 xoxo Christina
    The Style Mogul


    I am guilty of always tracking my traffic too! Sometimes it encourages to me to do similar posts to see my fellow follower’s reactions but also sometimes it’s discouraging. When you don’t see the results you want, you keep asking and challenging yourself to try harder and be more interactive.

    The true story behind stats is that it does drive the attention of sponsorships and collaborations but as long as you are true to your own voice and aware of the stats, you will do great!

    Xoxo Lil

  30. Elena

    Feels like all these comments are mine:) Yes, I’m guilty too!!! I remember the day when my traffic increased from 45 to 260 over 1 night-I was dancing like a crazy person!:) Still, the most important part is to have fun with blogging and try not to be obsessed with numbers.
    traffic increase from 5 to 10

  31. Ms.

    Amazing! I totally thought I was going crazy about the same thing!! So glad to know I’m not alone and it’s all for a good reason! You’ve either helped my craziness or enhanced it lol! Either way….thanks!


  32. CeriousStyle

    Okay, so I am fairly new to the blogoshere and have been obsessed with the numbers. Constantly checking hits, monitoring Twitter, trying to comment on other blogs to get backlinks- I found that it was all eating away at valuable blogging and research time. It would be lovely if I could find good editorial help (for free 🙂 ) but in the meantime, TheCeriousLife.com is just a 1 woman operation. Now, I focus on building connections and covering events for them. The stronger the connection, the more likely that they will bast my blog for me if I give them a good write up.

  33. the wild swans

    I plead guilty and I’m a blog-traffic totes whore.

    somehow I can’t find myself to be satisfied, EVER! I probably can feed a bit of my hunger whenever I hit new targets, but it soon vanishes if I see that it stabilizes. I tripled my blog traffic in the past two months still I’m looking at the moon and trying to work towards. It is good and very motivational as it sets you so many goals but it can be so stressful too.
    the only good thing is that I’m pushing myself to blog everyday and I feel like I’m cheating to my inner self whenever I have a day where I don’t feel like doing it. 😀 hah


  34. Margo

    My blog is about 6 months old, but I’m always looking at the stats and weighing my metrics! I’m talking multiple times a day. At first I thought that it was weird to be so into it, but now I see that it’s just the way of the blogosphere!

  35. Nathaly

    Thank you for your post. I don’t blog for profit but to promote the fashion items we have on sale. And even so, I wish I could generate more traffic and maybe one day get paid to promote other brands

  36. Anne G

    Im a budding blogger and Im overly obsessed with my blog’s traffic. It really makes my day to see even just a hundred views per day without me promoting anything even the fan page of my blog or contests.

    Blog traffic really makes a difference because it gives us direction on where should we plug more and spend time less on those sites that doesnt really give much traffic.


  37. maddie

    This is very true. While traffic shouldn’t a blogger’s sole motivation – passion for their blogs focus should be – it should be a motivator to keep our a**es in line and striving for more and more. I try to check my stats on a weekly basis so as to see trends and not get wrapped up in the day to day motions of my traffic. It’s has helped save my sanity!

  38. Sharon

    I only check my traffic once in a while especially, since Google Analytics has stopped sending weekly emails. I mostly check it when I read posts like this telling me I should at least take a peek. I know after all this time the numbers are pretty much always the same. Which is bad, but accepted.

  39. Rachelle Porsenna

    I’m good then, because I am definitely crazy. My traffic can easily determine my mood for the day. Today = bad mood 🙁 lol

  40. sidekickreviews

    If you only knew how much I relate to your post … lol. I think the first reason to blog is because you truly enjoy it. That may be all I need. I don’t mind spending everyday coming up with new ideas for my movie/television review blog. Comments from readers that actually respond to what you wrote is incredibly rewarding too. The first thing I do in the morning is check my traffic :). Although a lot traffic doesn’t always mean they read the blog or even like it. Have a great day!

  41. Jason

    I am curious to know how you guys are making use of information you get following your traffic so closely. For example, does a spike in traffic after a specific blog post mean you will try to include similar material in the future?

  42. Umar Jamil

    When do you post a new content? I mean the content which is published on your blog is fresh or not? And what interval of time you do a blog post?

  43. Amber

    I put my blog on hiatus for a little while and my traffic is basically at zero. So I pretty much stare at google analytics after every post in hopes of one lonely pageview. *sigh*

  44. Malcolm Sallah

    Great site. Lots of useful info here. I sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!