Tips for bloggers #7: WordPress insights

This isn’t really a blogging tip

For the past several weeks, I’ve been sharing some lessons that I’ve learned and thoughts I’ve had regarding blogging on WordPress.com. This has actually been very helpful for me because it’s forced me to clarify my own blogging strategies for myself, and I’ve learned a bit by doing some further research into what the experts are suggesting.

I shouldn’t really be including this post in that series because I have no particular advice to offer when it comes to the “WordPress insights” that are available to us on the backends of our blogs. If anything, I am more curious to get your feedback on this feature than anything else. To me, it’s very validating and interesting to see which countries my readers come from (for example); but that doesn’t seem helpful to me in terms of developing a blogging game plan. Do you think I’m missing something?


Tuesdays; 2:00 PM

As you can see in the featured image above, my blog gets the most traffic on Tuesdays and at 2:00 PM, which has been the case for some time now. I think that’s interesting… it makes me wonder why. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the d’Verse Poets Pub posts its first prompt of the week on Monday nights. Otherwise, I have no idea.

But okay. Let’s say that I would like to make use of this information as a blogger. What would that mean? Does it mean that I should attempt to post at 2:00 PM every day, and especially on Tuesdays?

That seems logical, but it isn’t, and here’s why ~ the data that WordPress insights provides me with is based upon my posting schedule as it is right now. In other words, if I deliberately change my posting schedule or the regularity of my posts, my blog’s most popular day and hour may very well shift as a result.

I cannot imagine that attempting to sync my posting with WordPress insights would increase my traffic in the slightest.


Other data from WordPress insights

The first insight that WordPress provides us with is our “posting activity” by day. It looks like this:

Following that, we have 1) “all-time” views by month; 2) views, likes and comments on our latest posts; 3) “all-time” posts, comments, views, and visitors; 4) follower totals; 5) most popular tags and categories; 6) followers; 7) comments (by authors & by posts)…

But what can we actually do with any of this information?

Am I simply lacking in the imagination department? Bueller?

It seems to me that while the data provided to us by WordPress are very nice to have, and while they grant us a concrete sense of our progress, they don’t provide much “insight” into how to increase our readerships. At the end of the day, it’s ultimately 1) the quality of the content that we create; 2) the degree to which we network with other bloggers on WordPress; and 3) the extent to which we successfully promote our blogs on social media and other external websites.

The advantage of these WordPress data is primarily to give us a sense of whether our blogging strategies are finding success or not… but it’s up to bloggers to test different posting schedules and forms of content; and those are for us to figure out on our own.

If you think I’m missing something or should be looking at these data in a different way, please let me know!

72 thoughts on “Tips for bloggers #7: WordPress insights”

  1. Yes, what you say does make sense. I admire your research and pursuit. But I have never understood marketing or trends. A few years ago I briefly had an Instagram account. I would look at other accounts that didn’t even appear active and they would have thousands of followers. Or accounts belonging to somebody who just had selfie after selfie and they would be super “popular” too. I didn’t get it at all. I guess, in summation, if it’s not content people are interested in, I cease to get it. I might buy a banana because the skin looks great but I don’t continue to consume it if the inside is awful. And I have never bought something and kept the box but thrown the item away. So I get luring people to content. But I (on WP) have way more followers than ever like or comment on my posts. I don’t get that either. It’s all a world of bots and people trying to get followers to their sites and just strange trends that I don’t understand or care to understand. You can see I will never make it to marketing. But clearly what you do works so … I admire your success. 🙂

    1. It’s all a world of bots and people trying to get followers to their sites and just strange trends that I don’t understand or care to understand.

      I’m with you on this, Worms, except that clearly there are lovely people like you who are very much real and interact with me!


      David

  2. I get most views on Mondays at 2:00 PM. I have no idea why. The time someone posts something doesn’t affect if I read it or not because the people I follow come into my email and I go through them whenever I have time. I just post when it’s convenient for me, since I’m just doing it for fun.

  3. I don’t feel these ‘insights’ are really useful either. What would be useful for me would be to be able to see which posts were most popular (ie some kind of ‘likes’ to ‘date since posted’ ratio.) I am sure WP would be able to provide this so not sure why they don’t…

    1. … to be able to see which posts were most popular…

      Ingrid – that exists!

      Check this out. On the backend of your blog, under ‘Stats’ you’ve got something that looks like this:

      At the bottom of that box, you’ll see ‘View all’, which looks like this (see the arrow):

      Then, on the next screen, you’ll see a menu like this –

      and you can see which blog posts have gotten the most views over different periods of time!


      David

  4. Interesting. My stats also say that Tuesday is my most popular day and 10 p.m. is my most popular hour. Purposely posting at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays does seem odd. I think, for me, the popularity of Tuesday does have a lot to do with my participation in dverse challenges and with Tanka Tuesday as well. I’ll see if this ever changes over time. Yesterday was, apparently, my best day for “likes” so far.

    1. at one point, Susan, my most popular hour was 1:00 PM – and then, unexpectedly, it changed to 2:00 PM… and my world was never the same again! 🤪

  5. My statistics are comprised of such a small sample size that I doubt any relevance. That said the “insights” tell me that Monday at 3:00 PM is the popular time for people to access my blog. As for posting, I’m very consistent – a M-W-F schedule that seems to work. Most people like predictability and if nothing else I can be counted on to post on time and on the aforementioned schedule…

    1. are most of your readers other WP bloggers, Muri? I wonder about having a regular schedule… because once I’ve signed up to read somebody’s blog, it doesn’t much matter to me if they’re most consistently on particular days… I mean, I’ll notice if they haven’t posted in a while, but if you were to post on a Tuesday (for example), I wouldn’t notice that.


      David

          1. interesting – most of my views come from the USA, and I assume that it has more to do with the size of the country and the fact that I write in English and moved from there to Israel.

  6. I look at my statistics occasionally and am often surprised to find that the posts I thought most interesting were frequently the least “liked”. This does not particularly matter to me because I write mainly for myself and my family, although I do like it when other people read and comment on my stuff. If people do it often enough I feel they become my friends – sometimes people I would like to get to know in real life, though that is unlikely at the moment. It’s hard enough seeing physical friends let alone virtual ones.
    But is knowing when you are read of any importance to us as bloggers. I have no idea. Certainly not to me!

    1. At the end of the day, I am 100% writing for myself also – but I really LOVE the interactions in the discussion threads under our blog posts, and I have learned such a great deal about poetry from other writers in the WordPress community… I don’t plan to change what or how I write for anyone, but if I can nurture meaningful relationships here, I’d love to do that 🙂

      Thanks, Basia!


      David

      1. I am intrigued. You can have meaningful interactions without constantly trying to increase the traffic on your site. I am in JYP’s camp. The stats are totally out of synch with my time zone. But I write to write and I enjoy WP because it’s like an online writing group. But I don’t need millions of followers. Just a nice group who seem genuinely interested and engaged. I don’t use any other social media platforms so I don’t try and drag traffic in that way either. What do you see as the benefits of increased traffic? Is your site a business? Are you seeking sponsorship? Sorry. Genuinely curious.

        1. I’ve been asking myself the same thing, Worms, especially since I started writing this series of blogging tips.

          In part, I think, at first I sort of got sucked into it because of the WP updates that we receive – like: YOU HAVE 500 FOLLOWERS, etc., etc. But, as I’ve written before, mine is not a commercial blog so, really, I’m not getting anything out of it financially. In fact, the higher my subscriber count, the less meaningful it seems to me. 1,000 seemed like a big deal. 2,000 was less exciting. I’m closing in on 3,000 now, and… well… meh.

          But – I do find that there is a correlation between a lot of subscribers and interesting discussion threads on my blog. Even if only 5% of subscribers comment, that 5% gets larger with more subscribers, and I really, really enjoy these interactions with diverse people from all around the world 🙂

          Does that answer the question?


          David

    2. the posts I thought most interesting were frequently the least “liked”.

      Yeah – I think this is the main difference between commercial bloggers and hobby/casual bloggers like us – commercial bloggers are entirely concerned with writing whatever it takes to get people to read their blogs because that’s how they make money.


      David

  7. I never set my default WordPress time zone properly so it doesn’t reflect my actual time zone. (I am totally ok with this and don’t plan on updating!) Thus, when WordPress tells me the most popular hour is [Day of Week and Time], I have absolutely no idea what time they are talking about. I could just figure it out, but I’m lazy.

  8. I find insights useful to see what kind of content generates click-throughs, to evaluate the effectiveness of an advertising campaign if I ran one (my blog is attached to my professional website), to see where on social media people are clicking in from (Twitter, FB, Instagram, other). I have adjusted content to encourage click-throughs on landing pages other than my blog. Mostly the poems and photos in the blog posts are, as you say, about community and self expression.

    1. Wendy thank you so much for responding❣️

      what kind of content generates click-throughs

      Could you please say a bit more about how this works?


      David

      1. Ah, so, I ran an ad to a landing page where the goal was to create interest which would lead to the click-through to further information. The ad was effective in that the landing page landed people, but without a click-through for more information. I immediately went to that landing page, and re-read what I had there from the potential customer point of view (and in truth should have done this before running the ad) and made some adjustments, which led to click throughs – and I could see the result from the changes almost immediately in the insights.

        Say you wanted to build a following of fellow writers, and communicators, which I believe you’ve stated, and people read and like your one-off posts here and there about community and blogging because they subscribe, but don’t click on those posts from, say, your poetry posts which, let’s say, get three times the number of likes/reads. It might be as simple as adding a line or two at the end of each poetry post something like: The community aspect of blogging as a writer, and the connections I make here are like a neighborhood to me, which I wrote about here (hyperlink to post – this was a great post, too!). Consider subscribing, or follow this tag (hyperlink to tag) to find my articles/posts about building community relationships within the WordPress framework.

        And, voila, now people who followed the tag Tanka or Renga (or whatever) to find you, now know that 1) you are interested in community, and 2) have posts about how build relationships on WordPress, and they now know where/how to find them which may lead to —> click throughs to those posts which are informative and helpful.

        This may have been more than “a bit.”
        I do enjoy both the poetry and the blog building/community posts. 🙂

  9. thanks David; may I refer to the poem I shared the other day by Hazel Warren – that communication is not the end but the journey… While I suspect that those fully fluent in algorithm speak can make something of the statistics they call ‘insights’ – may it be creepy or less so, I only briefly glance at increase of traffic depending on what I posted a day or so before; while I have increased tags, I have not included those in that, although they certainly have increased traffic (if still minimal). Thanks for your work, again –

      1. ? at the beginning I hear her say communication is much more complex than given credit for in formal technical ‘analysis’. Is that what you mean is not relevant for your post?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s