I’ve made many milestone posts – all means to encourage myself to keep at this hobby, to minimize slacking, and get better at doing things. One thing I’ve never marked in these posts is page view milestones, knowing that page views aren’t indicative of actual readership, as an overwhelming percentage of these views (my best guess) is due to Google image searches (this may be particular to anime blogs, but I’m not that knowledgeable on blogging in general).
However, I thought that for whatever it’s worth, a million page views indicates something related to a wide readership (however distant). One of the trade-offs of using a free blogging platform, is a lack of (free) accurate and detailed website analytics. Thus I must make do with onboard analytics which is nice in its own way.
I only regret that I didn’t notice that We Remember Love hit this milestone at least 2 days ago, having been much busier that I don’t get to do admin on the site as much as I’d like. In this post are some thoughts to assessing blog performance using only WordPress.com.
I’m too unsophisticated to even attempt the workarounds found in this WordPress.com forum thread. I’ll just base my estimate on the .rss aggregator I use and wishfully think that there are other subscribers using the other feed readers out there. I’ve been using Google Reader since 2006 and I’m just happy there are that many subscribers on it for WRL.
Now, before I get ahead of myself, just because my blog has a subscriber doesn’t mean that that person reads every single post published. I estimate that a third of the subscribers read the posts within 24 hours of publication. Why so few?
Not even counting those who don’t check GR regularly, and those who subscribe to too many feeds (and just click “mark all as read”), I can’t possibly count on every subscriber to be reading or watching the stuff I’m currently into. Most robot fans probably stayed away when I was writing about Katanagatari and K-On!! and I find it wholly amusing if outright moé fans subscribed to WRL. Even so, I don’t expect people to read every single post even if they’re subscribed. I can’t even do the same for the many blogs I’m subscribed to across my broad interests.
Still, subscribers provide the biggest chance that my posts are being read (not just skimmed, tl;dr’d). I sometimes think that GR (GRSI perhaps even morso) stops people from commenting on the posts. It’s certainly the case with me and Basketball blogs. I’m subscribed to a gazillion Los Angeles Lakers blogs (and other blogs about the NBA) since 2006 and I’ve commented a total of 3 times IIRC.
That said, I’ll always be thankful for subscribers!
WordPress.com also tracks subscribers within the service which is pretty neat. I didn’t realize until today that WRL has 10 email subscribers. Whoa.
Comments & Trackbacks
I stopped attempting to use comments and trackbacks as performance indicators because I don’t have sophisticated enough analytics. Since I switched to threaded comments maybe 2 years ago, I’ve needed to (dis)count my own replies (as I attempt to reply to every single comment). Currently this is not within the powers of free WordPress analytics so I can’t really do much with comments. A shame really, because I make hosting discussion a primary motivation for blogging anime and manga.
The lack of trackbacks analytics is also lamentable, because I track back to my own posts religiously, in the effort to bring that new reader who is in the mood to read more stuff to my older posts, and possibly generate new discussion. In support of this is my ongoing archive of comments I find valuable here on WRL (though submissions from other blogs are welcome) The Ghosts of Discussions.
A features and editorials blog (like WRL) can’t hope to be posting always relevant articles. I tend to only write one or two posts about ongoing shows per season unless I blog them episodically (very rare). The rest of the posts are topical things, or advocating shows and manga that aren’t quite in the sights of the fandom at any given time. As a result, I can’t count on generating massive page views upon publication which may then result in a thriving discussion in the comments.
Thus, a features and editorials blog relies on the strength of its archive, and I don’t intend to waste the strength of 431 posts (as of this writing). For a first time visitor, I’m counting on 431 chances to make her come back for more and perhaps become a subscriber. Also, among those 431 posts is ONE that has zero comments. I’m still wishing someday someone would feel moé for that post and leave a comment despite how outdated/obsolete the content is.
I’m quite happy with how things have gone for WRL. I enjoy being part of a smaller part of an international anime fandom. I always want to reach out to more people, to new people; perhaps even to those who aren’t fans yet of anime and manga; but I also acknowledge that I’m not a professional blogger (and in a lot of ways this is a good thing) and lack the wherewithal to conduct marketing campaigns targeted precisely to the kind of readers who would not only subscribe, but also enjoy discussing anime and manga with me in the comments.
I don’t intend to make a habit of publishing posts about page views so this post doesn’t follow the usual WRL schedule. Maybe I’ll see all of you again after another million. And I probably should at least try to find out who’s that well-meaning fellow who goes on WRL and clicks refresh all day every day over the past 2.4 years.