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Blogging is not a numbers game

Numbers, numbers, numbers.
If there is one thing that is constantly brought up on forums and blogs then it would be blog numbers. How many RSS subscribers people have, how much traffic they receive, how many comments they get and so on. It’s extremely common that bloggers tend to get fixated in the numbers game believing that it’s the only way to succeed online blogging. They go on and on about that you need to do this and that to make money from blogging, but the fact is that blogging is not really a numbers game when it comes to profit and influence, let me explain.

Getting huge amounts of traffic must be good!
I’m sorry to say that you’re not completely right on this point. Sure there are benefits of receiving a lot of traffic, such as better Alexa rankings, and exposure, but it also wastes server resources if your traffic is not targeted. You may be ranking for lots of keywords and getting huge amounts of traffic, but as long as you do not have targeted traffic you will not make more money or have any specific impact on the blogging community.

This may lead to higher bounce rate and slower loading website due to server restraints. Think about it this way; would you rather have thousands of daily visitors coming to your website just to leave it within 30 seconds, only leaving you with a slightly higher view account in your analytics tools. Or would you rather receive visitors that interact with you, leaving comments, sending “thank you” emails for your hard work? These targeted people also have a higher tendency of clicking your ads or buying your products as well since they are interested in what you have to offer.

There are a lot of people that only focuses on receiving traffic; some of them literally just throws in junk traffic to their website that have little or no effect at all on their earnings. So please, don’t go around bragging about your traffic amount if you don’t have targeted traffic, it’s like bragging about having shoes that you can’t even wear.

RSS subscribers are the way to success!
Have you ever come across one of those websites with insane amounts of RSS subscribers, but when you take a look around on the website it’s barely active? They might have over 50´000 RSS subscribers but barely receiver more than 15 comments on their posts. Well, that’s because RSS count has very little to do with site activity and making money in most cases.

As a blogger you might want to build your RSS subscriber count to insane amounts thinking that’s the way to reach success. Yes, of course you will receive some amount of traffic if you have a lot of RSS subscribers and a few of them might actually convert in to money or at least leave a comment on your blog, but don’t get your hope up to high. The fact is that most subscribers may be inactive. They sign up for your RSS feed once and then they lose interest in your blog or they simply don’t have the time to check their RSS feed. People are lazy, that’s why they don’t care to unsubscribe from your feed even though they barely checks it.

So in reality, when it comes to RSS feeds, numbers are only there to make yourself look like you have an important blog, even if 80% of your subscribers might only visit your blog once every fourth month. And if you have a small niche then you will most likely have even less success with RSS feeds.

Loads of Comments mean you are doing it right.
Receiving a lot of comments to your blog is good in one way, it shows that you have an active community, but it’s not really related to your blogs success.

There’s a countless amount of blogs out there that receives hundreds of comments from each post they publish. However even though, they might not see any profit at all from their posts since they failed to make an impact. People read the post and then left a comment, but they never took any other action or put your information in your post to any use.

On the other hand there are a lot of successful blogs out there with click through ratings shooting though the roof and sales coming in every day that barely receives a single comment. These blogs can also be highly influential and successful within their niche.

I’m not saying that you should try to avoid getting comments, because comments are great in showing your site is active and that you don’t write without any results. A as long as you are seeing profit from what you’re doing you will be fine with or without comments.

Social media shares equal higher influence.
Just stop and think for a second here. Are the numbers we see in these Facebook likes, Retweet buttons, Diggs, Stumbles and so on really contributing to anything specific? It’s very hard to track real influence and profits made from social bookmarking etc. A lot of people are just pushing out all of their content to bookmarking sites, sometimes they use automated tools or hire someone to get the amount of shares up, but where is the return of this investment of time and/or money? The fact is that if you’re not really active in each and every one of these social media sites you will most likely be doing all this for nothing.

You might also get a lot of shares from people that uses automated RSS feed publishing as well. This gives a false estimation of your success. For example: I’ve had plenty of blogs during my time online and once every while my posts gets picked up by people using automated tools to fill up their twitter account and similar with content. This can result in hundreds of tweets or thousands of Stumbles, but they don’t give any website visitors or profit at all.

Some people may have a broad spectrum of influence when it comes to social media sites but they lack the skills of blogging. This may result in a lot of shares, but barely any blog activity or profit. Others may have godlike blogging skills but no social media influence, but still they manage to have an active blog and a steady income from what they do.

Well, earning a lot of money must mean you’re successful!
Many people equate the amount of money a blogger earns to how successful he/she is online. But what we might miss is the amount of time and resources that are dumped in to the bloggers projects, ventures and products in order to see profit. I’m sure you have seen these “successful” people showing off with their screenshots and earning proofs on various forums and blogs that they have gotten from various “make money online” products and tools. But one picture cannot possible show you all the steps they took to get there.

Let me paint up an example for you:

This blogger earns $2´000/month, but he only works 20 hours each month.
This blogger earns a bit more, $6´000/month, but he also works 5 hours a day.
Now the question is: who’s the more successful of them both? If you were only presented with a picture of their income you would most likely say that the second one is the most successful since he earns more money. But what you might not know is that he works a lot harder for the money and he might even be investing $3´000 each month just to maintain his profit. While the first blogger is earning $2´000 without doing anything else than maintaining his blog and posting a post every now and then. In other words, high numbers does not even matter when it comes to earning money.

The conclusion: aim for conversions, not numbers.
When you think of conversions you might only be thinking about sales and money as it’s a well used word in those circumstances. However in this example conversion applies to everything going on at your blog, whether it is activity, influence, money or anything else.

What would you rather have?

A post that gets shared thousands of times, but people don’t take action or care about it.
A post that barely makes a mark in numbers, but it influences everyone who sees it.
I think you get the point.

What am I trying to say this article?
Don’t rip your hair out just because your site does not achieve the numbers you were aiming for, because numbers does not equal success. Don’t spend your time constantly monitoring your RSS subscribes, comment amount, traffic details and so on. Instead focus on conversion and making an impact online. Strive for residual income from targeted traffic instead of instable income from traffic bursts and so on.

Building a blog takes time and the more you try to make it good instead of playing the numbers game, the sooner you will succeed. If you have any questions or something to add to this article then please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you. Do you think this article was totally bull or did it make you re-think your current goals?

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