We all occasionally say, “don’t worry about your blog’s statistics, do it for the fun of it!” I get that, I do. If you spend too much time looking at those little bar graphs and numbers, you can start evolving your style into what you think will attract more readers. You run the risk of becoming false and forced.
But I’m a curious creature. I look at my blog’s stats almost every day that I log into a computer (which isn’t every day, you might be surprised to know). And what statistic is almost always guaranteed to make my eyes roll?
My flippin’ Harry Potter fan fiction reviews.
Let me tell you why in two very short anecdotes.
- After pressing snooze on the alarm for 20 minutes, I finally turn the alarm off. I roll down the quick settings on my phone and turn on the Wi-Fi, data, LED light, and Bluetooth that had been silenced for the night. The notification sound turns into a horrible sound as multiple notifications appear at once. A Facebook notification that someone also commented on that status, and emails in all of my accounts. Checking my email, there is an email from Goodreads. Someone has liked my review! I open the email, curious to see if my latest review on a novel has gotten someone’s attention. “UsernameX has liked your review of James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing.” What?! Again? They didn’t see my review of the ARC I just finished? What about that great review I wrote last month?
- I plop down on the couch, my comfy-post-work clothes infinitely more comfortable than the work pants that are a size too small. I open my laptop and wait for it to properly start up before opening Chrome. I go to Playing Jokers, glancing at the statistics for the day before writing the next days’ posts. The number of hits is higher than normal! My discussion post on my latest thoughts must have been really popular! I click for more details, looking at the list of the popular posts and pages for the day. Oh. My review for James Potter and the Curse of the Gate Keeper was the most popular post today. And the most popular search term? “James Potter”. Oh.
I’m very grateful to have any views at all. I’m ecstatic that a review I wrote has 41 likes on Goodreads (yes, James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing is my most popular Goodreads’ review). It’s cool that people are finding my blog by conducting search engine searches.
But does it always have to be my Harry Potter fan fiction reviews?
I read those books because they could be viewed through Goodreads and didn’t have to be downloaded. They were a simple time-passer and it fed some of my curiosity about this more popular fan fiction series. They certainly have their merits within the fan fiction realm, and were enjoyable. But I really had no idea that by reviewing them, I would only be searched for those reviews, and not anything else.
Does that mean I should stick to reading and writing about fan fiction? Probably not. I would imagine that I could get quite a lot of views if I did, but I think I would grow bored fast. I’ll continue evolving my writing, my reading, and this blog in a way that is organic. But I will likely continue sighing as my fan fiction reviews from a year ago garner more attention than anything else.