Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Tweets, diggs, stumbles-What really counts?

October 26th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books

When I first started my blog it was very simple.  Adding my blog roll was a big deal to me and I was very excited as I organized and figured out who to list there.  Little did I know then the larger world out there about promoting your blog, meeting fellow bloggers and tracking the stats of your blog.

There were people that wanted to read what I wrote and then there were people who were asking me to promote books to my readers.  How exciting right?  Then I started to wonder how are people finding my blog and how do I gain new readers?  I will admit it was a little ego booster to see people actually interested in my thoughts.  During Bloggiesta I installed the All in One SEO plugin but ended up having to disable it since it was causing problems on my blog which was a total bummer.  I also installed the Sociable plugin and tried to add Technorati.  One of the mini-bloggiesta tasks were to add your blog to some of the blog catalogs.  So I did a couple of those and I was thinking to myself “I am on a roll”.  And yet it still didn’t seem to be enough.  There still seemed to be a long laundry list of things you could do to promote your blog and make it more sociable.

More recently I also added the Google Friend Connect widget to my sidebar .  Then I got a request to allow people to subscribe to my blog via email so that was added.  On top of this I’ve also found some great sites to connect with other bloggers and promote my own blog like on Twitter and the Book Blogs ning.  All of this is great but every day it seems like there is something new.  Do I want people to “Stumble” my posts, “Digg” them, vote them on Book Blips, should I add a Tweet this button, etc.  It goes on and on and sometimes I wonder do I really need all this?  Which ones are most important if I do want to get my blog out there?

Then to add to the pressure I started getting requests from publishers and publicists for stats on my blog.  Stats?  Huh? Is that number of unique visitors or number of hits? Number of email subscribers or subscribers in Google Reader? How many people comment per post?  I wondered how do I know what is really important and then the pressure built up.

I had to stop and shake myself to snap out of it.    I lost site that first and foremost my blog was a way for me to keep track of what I was reading and what I thought.  Second, I love my readers and the great people I’ve met with blogging.  So I decided to stop stressing out over it.  Here are the things I decided to focus on because I find them fun and it helped me interact more with my fellow bloggers:

  • Google Friend Connect-don’t know why but watching that number go up (ok going down not so much) is fun
  • Google Reader-same deal here.  I know there are other readers people may subscribe through but I’m not going to worry about it. I only check my GR subscriber numbers now and then but I use it mainly to keep track of all the great book blogs out there.
  • Twitter-Twitter is just a fun way to keep in touch with fellow book bloggers that I feel I can relate to and share similar interests with
  • Commenting-I’ve been trying lately to leave more comments on posts I enjoy from other bloggers and replying to posts people leave on my blog.  When I first started reading blogs I would read a ton of posts but never leave a comment.  I love seeing people reply to my posts and reading their thoughts and opinions so I figure other bloggers probably feel the same way.

I decided I’m not worrying about any other stats.  So sorry to those who have asked for my stats but it’s not something I really track.  I taken to very rarely checking my stats in WordPress or Google Analytics. Sorry for the rambling post but this was starting to stress me out and I just had to let it all out.  But it has also made me curious about what other people think about all the things you can add to make your blogs more social and do you track your stats.

Do you actively try to promote you blog using things like Stumble, Digg, etc and do you pay much attention to stats?  Are your blog stats important to you?  Which stats matter most to you?

Posted in Books

18 Responses

  1. Linda

    To me being an active participant brings quality readers (people I’m likely to want to read too as well as consistent readers). I’ve noticed my largest number of readers come from the weekly memes I do and the blog parties I join.
    I stopped worrying about stats a while ago. I would still blog even if 2 people read my blog.

  2. Michelle

    Once again you and I are on similar paths. I don’t track my stats either. If I have one subscriber great if I have 200 that’s fabulous too. I had sociable installed on my blog and would love to continue to have that tool but it was giving my readers problems with commenting and I felt that hearing from them was more important then allowing them to publicize my comment (not that I wouldn’t appreciate that).

    I do think social media is a great publicity tool and I should be doing a better job of it but at the end of the day there is only so much time to do what needs to be done with my blog and some things have to give way right?

    Awesome post!

  3. Elie N

    I have to laugh because I have never ever been to dig or stumble. I do tweet, but that is the extent of it. It is easy to get caught up in how many followers. buT you are right, I am glad people are reading and I love my followers, but I did start this for me.

  4. Natasha @ Maw Books

    I think that it’s good to concentrate your efforts in just 2-3 key areas that you know are working for you. It’s always great to be listed in directories. But once, I’m listed, I don’t “work” it. I also have NO idea how to stumble or digg. They have always been too confusing to me.

  5. SuziQoregon

    I occasionally look at ssubscriber numbers, but honestly don’t really care. My blog is primarily for me and my friends. I’ve become friends over the years with other bloggers I’ve met online and for me the focus is on that conversation about books. It’s something I do for fun. If it becomes work, I need to stop and find something fun to do instead.

    I like to talk about books with other bloggers on Twitter. I don’t do memes. The only regular weekly thing I do is Wordless Wednesday photos. I think for me the weekly memes feel like an assignment so I have a natural aversion ;-)

  6. melissa @ 1lbr

    I’d like to say I don’t really care, but sometimes I do. Sometimes I get all sad when my subscriber number drops. But, I get over it. I still remember back when I first started and getting a comment at all was such a thrill. I still get a thrill from a single comment. And that’s good.

    I don’t think I’ll ever get into the other publicizing tools. I just joined twitter and I’m still learning how to use it (I keep tweeting without the links to what I’m talking about).

    I’m pretty sure I will never have a huge number of readers – I’m getting used to the idea that I’m more of a niche and I have a few core readers who keep me going.

  7. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)

    I think what you’ve chosen to do is the right thing for you. I do all of those things and keep up with those things as best I can. I have some of the other sociable items too, but those don’t get tracked or used as much.

  8. L. Diane Wolfe

    I liked your response to the stats question!

    I Tweet my posts and they are also posted on Facebook, but I don’t use the others. Oh wait, I do use Book Blips, too.

    I have a stat counter, but I didn’t install it until late June. So it’s not accurate! When I find a new blog, I look at how many comments and followers anyway, so the stat counter doesn’t interest me.

    Should I be doing more? Probably. As soon as I am not constantly on the road, I’ll get right on it!

  9. HODGEPODGESPV

    Do you actively try to promote you blog using things like Stumble, Digg, etc and do you pay much attention to stats? Are your blog stats important to you? Which stats matter most to you?

    No, but I seem to promote the blogs of others when they have me use Digg, etc to enter contests.

    Stats? NO, I don’t pay attention to them because they are not important to me. I do watch who is following my blog… I am always amazed when the number rises.

    Do you ever look at the avatars of the people following you? I do. Those are real people.

    I like this posting by the by.

  10. Paula Krapf

    Good for you – make your blog what you want it to be!

    From a publicist’s perspective, if I need to know blog stats I can get them myself. There are various free tools available to obtain this information, and I think anyone doing the pitching would want to do their homework up front. That also lets you (and others who don’t have the time to deal with it) off the hook! :)

  11. dsuzuki

    Ok, I’m glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t tried Digg or Stumble. It just takes too much time to try and figure out how they all work and which ones are worth the time to check out.

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m missing out on something great but just don’t have the time to keep up with it all. I am glad I finally signed up with Twitter. It’s been on of my favorite new things.

    Paula-that’s interesting to hear from the publicist’s point of view. What types of stats do you normally look for? One blog tour company said they required a certain number of comments per post which I thought was interesting but I think a lot of blogs have readers who don’t often comment. I know until recently I rarely commented and there are about 100 blogs I read steadily.

  12. HODGEPODGESPV

    i have used both digg and stumble upon when requested as an entry to a giveaway but that is all…if not requested, i doubt i would use it for much of anything.

  13. dsuzuki

    LOL. I debated trying to use them for giveaways but never even got that far.

  14. Sheila DeChantal

    I signed up for Stumble and Digg in the begining but I really dont understand them and honestly do not use them. I agree with you on the too much to do! I started out big in Book Blogs and that actually got me really going but now seems Like I get in there maybe once a week to see what s new.

  15. dsuzuki

    Sheila, I used to be big in Book Blogs as well but then I guess because I belong to so many groups I would get like 7 emails about the same thing because a person would post in each forum. It just got to be too much too. So I do only check in occasionally or if I am looking for something specific.

  16. Bumbles

    I think you are smart to narrow your social networking focus down to the handful you enjoy and maximize their potential for you.

    I do monitor our stats via Google Followers and Google Analytics. I think the Feedburner is the most accurate reflection of those checking in on your blog, regardless of the method. That is a feature through Google as well.

    Promoting those details via widgets can give new visitors to your blog a sense of the size of community they are interacting with.

    Other than that, unless you are selling a product or building a brand it is really helpful just internally for determining the types of posts garner more interest than others.

    I tried to list our blog on Technorati but it didn’t work and lots of other people were having issues based on the Support forums. No one ever replied to my help requests so I decided that wasn’t the type of company I cared to exert a lot of effort with.

    I joined Stumble Upon in order to promote some paid posts for a website I work for and became prompty confused. It seems to me that unless you scratch lots of backs along the way for favors, your posts will wallow at the bottom of Stumble priority. I would rather exert that effort directly with our readers via Comments.

    I’m avoiding Twitter altogether. I can barely keep up with the Blog. I leave Facebook to my husband.

  17. dsuzuki

    Bumbles-Technorati never got back to me about the problems I was having either but it wasn’t worth the headache for me. I definitely notice certain types of post garner more traffic but they just aren’t the types of things I like to write about and I’m fine with that. I agree about rather focusing on comments than other media types.

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