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. Thank you for your post. I wondered if my highest viewing day meant I should strive for that day and time each week but as you say that doesn’t really matter. For me I post at times that work for my schedule.

  2. I don’t think the day or the time really matters, as long as people know when to expect the next post. If you think about your favorite TV show it comes on at the same time every week. So every week you sit down and say, β€œOh my show is on.” And you watch it. I think blogging is the same way. Except maybe it take longer to gain an audience.

      1. I have, David. And I think I’ve discovered a specific time for mostly all days. Now, I’m not sure whether some other time would be better because different days also bring varying traffic.
        I basically tried evenings and then mornings. And mornings turned out better. The insights vary too. And you’re right, sliding the time around will change the insights too.
        Doesn’t this sound crazy?

        1. yes πŸ™‚

          I think I’ve come to the point that I just aim to post on a regular basis, usually at least once daily, and I operate under the assumption that regularity of production trumps the exact schedule… of course, I could be wrong, but I think I would find forcing myself to post at particular hours too stressful and unnatural.

          ❀
          David

  3. When I tried to align my posting with what WP suggested, 11am, I found my engagement actually dropping!
    But, I live in CA, which seems to be out of time zone with most of my followers, whom I believe are further east.
    I’ve noticed that I tend to get more Likes on more personal posts, David, but, since I post to try to educate and build long-term community (or, in the case of my Thoughtful Thursday pages, to remind folks what community cooperation looks like…), I look for what brings more comments. That tends to be titles that seem to provoke interest, no matter what time of day.
    And, David: Happy secular Fathers’ Day, back way east, in the US.
    L’Shalom,
    -Shira

    1. Thanks for sharing, Shira. Titles definitely make a huge difference, but sometimes it is hard to get a catchy title that actually suits the content…

      1. Yup. And I hate spending time on catchy titles and images. I’d hope folks would read and comment on my posts because they find my writing of importance, and potentially useful to others.

        1. I take time with pictures, usually… but that’s also because a lot of what I write is my “art” and I take pride in picking pics that fit πŸ™‚

          1. Makes sense. I’m not fond of images, as I prefer text, but I understand that most people are. That’s another reason I am starting to try to find others to help me with this work, before I really have to rush to ‘pass on the baton.’

          2. Because I will not live forever, do not know how long I will be able to do this work, and need to see that it will not die with me, making my work in vain.

          3. Depends on how we define health. Also, my grandparents all died in their early 60’s, giving me another 10 years unless my own efforts prove otherwise, and one never knows. I am so tired, I just want to find a successor, pass this work on, and rest. Don’t the rabonim tell us to “repent one day before you die,” and therefore to repent each day? Is it not likewise with our life’s work? Have a successor trained early, since you never know how much time you have to accomplish your work of helping toward Tikkun Olam, no?

        2. I think, unfortunately, in every field, whether we like it or not, marketing is critical – it’s not the norm for valuable things to find an appreciative audience without some amount of successful marketing nowadays.

          1. I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a structural engineer about exactly this subject just last week during our weekly lunch date – it doesn’t matter what field you’re in!

          2. True.
            But I lack the energy to go a good job of both marketing my work and getting my work done in sufficient detail for others to build on and make it useful.

          3. A few years now, via my books, and now also via my blog, but they are not well known, and with this current non-fiction wip, I’m likely to see similar results to what happened after I began giving talks on my phd work, so I’m preparing now.

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