I was having trouble with the jetpack plugin today with it throwing some error when I tried to reinstall it – so I thought ‘screw it’ and uninstalled the thing.
This means that I have no idea who is visiting this site, or when, or how many times.
And think I am okay with this. If nothing else it will stop me from checking the stats to find out they are pretty much the same every day anyway.
Except now I will have no idea how many visitors this site gets. And really, who cares? The only time I have need stats was if I was selling a site, and I doubt that this will be sold any time soon.
Instead of counting visitors, I will just start to create more and let the chips fall where they may. If somebody finds my site or post and reads it then great! And if not, at least I tried.
In a way, stats are like the odometer on a car – if the car is running great – who cares how many miles are on it? The same goes with this site. If it’s running great then all is good. It doesn’t really matter how many visitors it does or does not get.
I have done this before, but I got lured back into the world or counting page views as it’s like a drug, it feels great that some are getting something out of your words and effort.
But knowing your stats can also box you into a corner. If you know that one of your posts is more popular than others then I would tend to write about that topic over and over again in an effort to attract more eyeballs.
When the stats are gone then you’re free to write about pretty much anything you want as you will have no idea on what works and what doesn’t.
Some would argue that this is a waste of time as having stats shows what works (more readers, more money, or whatever your metric) but it also tends to keep you tied to the stats more. But if you have no idea what works and what does not,then I feel it’s just easier to pick a topic and well.. go at it.
You may find that a post you wrote about some topic that’s outside the scope of your site might just pick up steam and you will attract readers. You will have way to tell if you have attracted readers as you have no stats but that’s okay because you are creating new content that you have no analytics for because you’re not tied to one topic.
You could write about anything, and you will be in blissful peace because you will have no idea of knowing whether anybody is reading or not.
And I think that’s okay. I am old enough to remember a time before analytics where you would have to sift through server logs to make any sense of traffic to your website so the advent of analytics makes things easier to be sure and provides much more info at your fingertips.
It’s so easy to get bogged down by analysis paralysis that you spend time more time on visiting your stats page (guilty) than creating new content that could actually get you a bigger audience (also guilty) which is what you really want from your stats anyway.
The only stat that I want to measure from now on is how many times I hit the publish button. The rest doesn’t really matter.