We all want dem viewz, we’ve all read blog posts about how to increase or daily and monthly page views and I’m going to guess that we all get that little happy tummy flutter when we see our views are doing particularly well. I know I certainly do. And I also know that I can sometimes get very disheartened when I see they aren’t performing as well as I’d hoped or expected.
It’s only natural and totally normal to feel like that and there’s certainly nothing wrong with caring about your views and wanting to see those numbers rise. There’s always been a bit of a taboo around the subject of caring about stats in the blogging world, with the high and mighty claiming that “you should be blogging for YOU and the numbers don’t count!” But for some people they do. And that’s okay.
But I wanted to dig up the age old argument about views vs engagement. A couple of months ago, I stumbled across a tweet from someone I don’t follow (an awful lot of my posts are staring with, “I saw a tweet” recently aren’t they?) who had posted a photo of the stats from her WordPress app. They were pretty damn impressive. Like, breath catching in my throat sort of impressive.
Over 100,000 views in a month? This girl had some serious SEO knowledge and a lot of her views were coming from Pinterest too, which as we’ve seen, is a pretty up-and-coming platform for bloggers lately which can improve your blogging views by hundreds if not thousands if used correctly. So this girl got a LOT of blog views, clearly.
But what I also noticed was that the numbers under “likes” and “comments” (if you’re on WordPress you’ll know what I’m talking about here, if not, the app shows how many likes and comments you receive each day, month, year) were very low. These finding did make me wonder…
Do views mean anything without the engagement?
I’ve always been relatively lucky in that my blog gets a fair bit of engagement. Ever since I wormed my way into lifestyle, posting more discussion based posts and more posts which encourage conversation, I noticed the comments went up and luckily, I still get comments on all of my blog posts to this day. I love reading comments on my blog and sometimes, the comments are better than the post itself!
So looking at those stats, I kinda sighed. Because you know what? I’d give up hundreds of thousands of monthly views for regular, authentic, friendly engagement any day. I write my blog because I want people to read it. Obviously. But I also write my blog more so because I want people to relate to it. I want people to laugh, learn something new, know that whatever they’re going through they’re not alone.
I want people to feel like they’re talking to a friend when they read my blog, therefore encouraging them to start a conversation, leave a comment or a like and express their opinions.
I think it’s all very well impressing people with those types of stats and if you have the skill to make your blog receive those amount of views, that’s amazing. Because it’s not easy. We all know it. Some days it’s like shouting into the void and we’ve all experienced that and it’s awful. It’s a lot of hard work, time and effort to utilize your social media, work on your SEO and plant all those seeds for those views to grow on.
And I get everyone blogs for different reasons, some people care more about views than they do about engagement, some people blog as a hobby, others as a job and each and every persons priorities will be different. I think that’s very obvious. But personally? The engagement makes it worth it. If tomorrow, everyone suddenly stopped reading my blog and I never received a single comment ever again… (please don’t!)
I’d probably wouldn’t bother blogging again.
Hearing from readers is one of the biggest joys of blogging, in my opinion. Back in 2013 when I started blogging and had no idea where on earth followers even came from and it was a pipe dream to actually have a real, engaged following. But my blog grew, my followers grew, yes my views grew steadily but not to anything of the amount of what I’ve mentioned. But the thing I noticed most was the comments and engagement. Every time a new comment would come in, my tummy would flutter. Someone took time out of their day to comment on my blog post? I mean, that’s a pretty great feeling.
So to tie this up, I personally don’t think views do mean anything without engagement. I wouldn’t want to spend hours writing a blog post for 50,000 people to read it but no one to bother saying anything about it. But that’s just me.