I have been perusing my past bogs and looking at numbers. Specifically, the number of comments, views, and likes. In the featured image above, there is a lot of irregularity. Some of it is due to successful blog posts. Some of it is random noise.
Success – by my definition – is relative and can only be measured against its audience and its exposure. A post that has been up for a month will naturally have more views, likes, and comments than if it had only been up for a week. If they have the same number, the newer one is more of a success.
Another factor is how many followers I had at the time. I might have only had a hundred followers viewing a post in 2017. “Success” can’t be measured by a straight-up numbers comparison. Very few new followers are going to go back to read posts from years ago. Some may, but not most. I’d say 99% of all follower reactions come within a month of the original post.
OTOH, the rest of the reactions come from search engines, internal links, pingbacks, and external referrals. As we know search engine hits are primarily a function of SEO, something I am lazy about. I can get increasing views from search engine hits years after a successful post. Search engine success feeds itself.
Do I want to give equal weight to each kind of response? How much is a “like” worth relative to a “view” or a comment?
A view means someone saw the title and maybe the featured image and clicked. It is a measure of immediate interest. Most of these might come from WP Reader, emails to followers, some of them might come from search engines, some from Twitter, and some from pingbacks where I’ve been shared. Do I care where my views come from? What about “tags” and showcases? Are they all equal or should I give greater emphasis to one referer than another?
I can enhance my views with an unambiguous title, good keywords/phrases, and a clear excerpt. (SEO) But often I want to be a bit “clever” in the title and maybe the excerpt. That bit of creativity conflicts with maximizing views.
A like means someone appreciated the content. Or it could be a “social” like. No way to distinguish between the two but I have to assume that I’m getting mostly honest reactions because some posts get very few likes. There’s no frown button to select, so I don’t have a way to measure how much people are turned off by a post. This is probably a good thing for my psychological well-being but also risks the false assumption that I’m universally liked.
Comments are the most reliable measure of interest. The number of negative comments I’ve gotten in 4 years of blogging is like 2 or 3 – and they weren’t all that negative. I thought for sure that the occasional full-frontal would draw some hostile responses but to my amazement, my readers are extremely accepting of my idiosyncrasies. (You can’t possibly know how warm and fuzzy this makes an aging nudist feel.) There have also been a few comments that were unintelligible. 😀
I usually don’t get a lot of comments. IMHO, even one makes a post a success. I comment on other posts many more times than I am commented upon. The pingback is potentially the most useful “comment” as it demonstrates I’ve been shared and will potentially drive other viewers to the sight. (It can also be the least useful if it happens because I linked to myself from another post.) I really ought to subtract my own comments from the total since I’m only interested in other people.
One interesting number is the ratio between views and likes. Lots of views would indicate the topic was interesting but few likes on the same post would indicate it was seen mostly by non-WordPress viewers. (IIRC, you have to have a WP account to like a post.) What is the meaning of a post with few views but a high like-to-view ratio?
My post with the most comments, ever, is Get Naked, Go Hiking with 25 comments. It also has the most likes at 30.
The second most commented on was my post about the ^%$#@! Block Editor! with 17 comments. All my editor-related posts seem to be somewhat popular. At the time it was a very much disliked change we were forced into. My second most liked was my anime review of Kimi ni Todoke, with 20 likes.
My most viewed page of all time is my Home page/Archives with 757 hits. The second most viewed is my anime review of Yosuga no Sora with 440. I remember it also as having a lot of likes but somehow they disappeared. Then come Get Naked, Go Hiking with 281 and Out of the Closet and Into the Frying Pan with 233. All three have consistently been top view getters even though they were originally posted years ago. I can only assume I’m getting a lot of search engine hits.
The most clicked video so far is Meet PenPen from Shinji is Broken, Misato Tries to Fix Him. The most clicked external link is The Naturist Society.
And it looks like I am about to snag follower 300. How should I celebrate?
April 15, 2021 at 21:44
I think the reason you don’t get negative comments on nudity is that anyone who is going to be bothered by that will probably be put off by your blog name.
April 15, 2021 at 21:51
Fine by me.
February 25, 2021 at 14:26
I confess to leaving “social” likes, largely so I can check back to see if I read the post. It’s meaningful in that I wouldn’t have read a post I didn’t at least somewhat like.
Do you know if the number of likes and/or views help with either SEO or with WordPress reader suggestions?
February 25, 2021 at 16:07
Not with SEO but maybe with WP.
February 17, 2021 at 03:42
I’m so glad that my blog doesn’t have a dislike button or anything like that and it’s interesting that most social platforms don’t. I’m sure it would be off-putting for a lot of people. I know YouTube does and I always think it’s pretty funny when I see the things that people went out of their way to dislike… cute cat videos… now who did that offend?
February 8, 2021 at 20:04
I’m not a “social liker” but I read most of your blog posts and like most of those I read, because I enjoy them. I look forward to many more.
Upon hitting 300, please celebrate by getting outside on a freehike that enriches your day and share with us your observations and thoughts so we can celebrate with you 🙂
All the best!
February 8, 2021 at 21:37
Will do It! 🙂
February 8, 2021 at 07:14
I know that you have commented a lot on my blog Fred and I should have left more comments on yours. I find you to be one of the more intelligent bloggers here, but some of your content does not interest me enough to make comments. I am glad that you have followers and i hope that you keep writing. I try not to pay too much attention to statistics and this helps me to enjoy the writing more.
February 8, 2021 at 01:25
Thanks for sharing these insights about your blog and congrats on nearly reaching 300 followers.
February 8, 2021 at 00:49
Thats a very clean and nice analysis!
I often forget to like a post, for example I know I have not done so on a few of yours either because I click on a link, like in a OWLS post or blog tag!
I also notice some seasonal trends, januari and febuari showed a big dip in interactions for me. More social likes show up as well.
There seems to be a bit of a collective mood of sorts not sure.
A problem I think is the follow back, we are all people sharing a hobby in writing whilst also loosely connected by whatever niche lets us find each other, but as we grow that pool of people grows ever deeper.
It is harder for me to see your post in reader, but I come to the site on occasion instead.
However many just stick to reader, not all but a fair few do, so as we grow and the community grows I found I become less visible to people that matter, a few stick around, like an inner circle, a few read the first paragraph and a few do their social like round!
It starts hurting when an inner circle member of yours starts only social liking you posts. Thats when people go from being guests to being numbers and if you are looking for community that can hurt a lot
February 8, 2021 at 08:56
I have missed entire posts because they didn’t show up in reader.
I also know I have missed many comments because I also use Reader a lot. For some reason unknown to me, reader doesn’t tell me about all of them. Sometimes I’ll catch an e-mail about a comment that doesn’t show up and sometimes i don’t get anything at all. When you have hndreds of posts out there, you cn’t go back and constantly recheck.
I don’t think purely social likes are much of an issue for me because some only get a few likes while others get a dozen or more. Social likes aren’t all bad. It means someone values you anough to want to give you that tiny dopamine hit that comes from a like even if they didn’t read the post. They don’t give you useful input on post quality though.
I don’t do social likes. I guarentee that I at least skimmed the post and appreciated the content. If I commented, then I defiititely read it in detail but I follow so many blogs I could not possibly read them all if I spent the entire day at it. Some of my more detailed comments could have been ablog on their own.
I have 6 categories I group my posts under, Anime, Outdoor, OWLS and JCS, Naturist, Asperger, and Biography. There are posts in each category that have done really well. Sometimes I like to think of myself as a cross pollinator. These are usually thought of as different groups but if I can expose (pun intended) nudists to anime and anime to nudists and outdoors people to the issues of Asperger’s and so on, I’m happy.
I have perhaps a dozen bloggers I consider my “inner circle”, even though I doubt that I’m in many other people’s “inner circle.” There are anime writers and nudists and more general bloggers. You are in the closest ring, the few who I’ll open my heart up to. Maybe to the point of TMI. 🙁
It doesn’t mean I’ll like every post you do. That would be social liking. I’m not a big Pokemon fan – that would be my wife who doesn’t do blogs at all. But I appreciate the happiness it gives you and that’s all that counts. Don’t do posts just for likes, do them for your own passion and other people who like pokemon will appreciate them.
February 8, 2021 at 10:18
I see you as Inner circle as well closest tier! I do not always interact but I admire you and your fight and pursuit if yourself.
I know not everyone cares about the Pokémon stuff and that is part of the reason why I branched out to YouTube . I know your likes are very sincere and I appreciate that.
There are a few people who I really admire that social like me though, I do not mind social likes from some, but in some cases it kind of hurts. Kind of Ironic I am turning more and more into an anime character!
I do like the sincere moments that I interact with you, even if that is not always it just feels sincere I am happy with that.
So I guess I mostly dislike getting demoted to a social like by some! That feels like losing if that makes sense?!
February 8, 2021 at 11:28
Being a closest tier to you is a high honor.
I could seriously lose 3/4 of my followers and not feel like I’ve lost that much because the remaining followers are real. I could probably stop following 3/4 of the people I follow as well. Most of them hardly post.