f0zKg0J4zFLYz-Yq0aednQVqREE Once Upon a Prologue: If I Could Write A Letter to Me - Blog Stats: What They Are and Why You Need To Know Them
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Friday, September 7, 2012

If I Could Write A Letter to Me - Blog Stats: What They Are and Why You Need To Know Them

{ ++ } Inspired partially by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner, partially by the Brad Paisley song (Letter to Me) and mostly by my desire to share some of the knowledge that I've learned in the months since I started blogging, I am introducing a new feature here at Once Upon a Prologue called If I Could Write a Letter to Me.

Each month I'll tackle a different subject in the form of a letter to my younger blogging self - sort of a "things I wish I'd known when I started," and a collection of tips and tricks I've picked up along the way.  I may or may not keep the letter format, just depends on if it's easy or difficult to write.  It should be fun, I think, and maybe I'll pass along some info. Eventually these may take on a more personal tone - ie life lessons - but for now it's all about blogging, and geared to help beginning bloggers!

Feel free to take these tips and use them, definitely, and let me know in the comments if this post is helpful to you, or what you might add, or things along this line you've discovered, too!  Let's share our knowledge! 

If I Could Write A Letter to Me –
Blog Stats and Why They’re Important

Dear Younger Blogging Self,

By now you’ve realized that the blogging world is a bit of a mystery, or perhaps, a riddle shrouded inside an enigma, to be more precise.  There are all these Things.  Things you’re quite sure you’ll never understand – a whole new set of terms to learn, like ARCs, followers, GFC, and what seems like a thousand other things to get used to and understand, all when you’re still trying to figure out how to format a review.  (And yes, Blogger DOES like to add HTML to your posts JUST to mess with you.)

Take a deep breath.  

Here’s something important that you WILL need to know, and although yes, it will eventually involve more Things and Terms…I promise, it matters: blog stats.  

Why?  Because when that terrifying day comes and you DO start requesting ARCs, publishers want those stats.  (This info is even useful at NetGalley - more on that in a moment!)  They use them.  They use them to determine how much traffic your blog gets, and if they send you that ARC, how many people are going to see your review, read it, and then consider reading – or even buying – a finished copy of that ARC.  They want to know that you’re a worthwhile investment.  

You’re going to want to be able to tell them, that yes, you are. 
Here are a few ways. 
  • Google Analytics.  This is a GREAT way to track things like your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly page views to start out with - but there are also SO many more features, features I'm still discovering! You can filter it to show just your unique page visitors, your page views, and so forth.  These are ALL things publishers want to know.
  • Blogger itself is a resource.  Blogger tracks your page views and some basic information like search terms that are used to find your blog!
  • Statcounter.  This is the first such site I signed up for, and I still trust it!  It's easy and simple to use.  It works a lot like Google Analytics, and can be broken down to view results for days, weeks, and so forth.  I quite like it!  
  • Sitemeter.  I have never personally used this one so  I can't vouch for it, but I imagine it works close to the same way.  
  • Alexa.  I've just recently discovered this one; however, since I didn't start tracking my blog until several months in, I don't have enough page views for the site to be of much use to me yet.  This one seems a bit complex, but I believe some publishers use it to track your blog's popularity.  
Once you've chosen a site to use, younger blogging self, for the love of chocolate sauce, go to NetGalley.  Browse the various publishers pages to see what they're looking for your profile!  This will help you key in on what you need to concentrate on, and after awhile, show you areas in which you could improve!  Some publishers want more, others, less.  Some just want to see that you've made an effort to put ANY stats (ie your number of GFC followers and Twitter followers) in your profile, while others want it to be detailed down to your number of unique page views per month!  

It may seem confusing and scary, younger blogging self, but take your time, and you'll figure it out.  You'll end up wishing you had established some sort of site counter LONG before you'd been blogging for six months, but that's okay.  Once you get started, you'll get the hang of it, and you're going to be so busy having fun blogging that you won't ever look back. 


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