Five stats I’m a little sad about

statsAt the beginning of 2014, I looked over my blog stats, just to get a bird’s-eye view of the LifeLines blog and see what I could learn.

This is a good practice for bloggers. You want to know what your most popular posts and pages are, so you can duplicate your successes and maximize your traffic. For example, if you examine the stats on your five most popular pages, you can learn what search terms people are using to find you, what links they are clicking on, and where they are heading after they leave your site. You can add calls to action to your popular pages to lead those visitors deeper into your site. And if you know, from their search terms, what they are looking for, you can create products that they might be interested in buying.

It can also be instructive to look at your least popular blogs, as I did a few years ago in a post cleverly titled, “My five worst blogs.” That was fun, and I learned something from each bad blog.

This year, though, it troubles me to look at my five least-visited blogs. Why? Four of the five are about diversity issues.

Does this mean LifeLines readers do not like the “D” word?

Or that people who are interested in diversity are not finding my posts?

Or that my writing and thinking are not strong enough to give voice to such a complex topic?

I’m not sure. But these numbers make me a little sad:

Five least popular LifeLines blogs

1. Borders

(2 views since 2010)

Excerpt: “Whatever your opinion is of immigration, aliens, Mexico, and the Spanish language, it’s different when you know someone real whose life is touched by the policies we debate. Not ‘they’ or ‘those people,’ but him. Sergio.”

  • Word count: 313
  • Categories: Diversity, Faith
  • Tags: church, culture, race

2. Real church

(2 views since 2010)

Excerpt: “Pastor Torres also told me about a lesbian who wandered in, wondering about God, church, and the Bible. She thought she knew what to expect, but instead she was welcomed. Surprised and disarmed, she now attends regularly.”

  • Word count: 362
  • Categories: Diversity, Faith
  • Tags: Christian, church, culture, race

3. Care to comment?

(4 views since 2010)

Excerpt: “Seriously, I do appreciate it when you-all comment, and I hope you will continue to do so. …I depend on your feedback to breathe life into LifeLines!”

  • Word count: 128
  • Categories: Writing
  • Tags: edit, freelance, social media

4. Racial Reconciliation through Powerful Conversation

(5 views since 2010)

Excerpt: “It was enriching to hear people identify themselves first as children of God and then as children of a particular ethnic group.”

  • Word count: 396
  • Categories: Diversity, Faith
  • Tags: Bible, Christian, church, culture, race

5. What I hope happens at Saturday’s “Race” video

(5 views since 2010)

Excerpt: “Overall, last month’s discussion was healthy and helpful. But something disturbing happened that I hope not to repeat this Saturday.”

  • Word count: 778
  • Categories: Diversity, Faith
  • Tags: Christian, church, culture, race

Other interpretations

Of course, it’s entirely possible that these five blogs did not perform well for reasons that have little to do with the subject matter. All these blogs are from 2010, and I had just started blogging in June of 2009. I knew nothing about SEO, keywords, or stats. I wasn’t even sure why I was blogging. That ignorance and lack of clarity almost certainly had an impact on performance.

On the other hand, most of my 2009 blogs did better than these from 2010! So inexperience is not the only factor.

On the other, other hand, my previous “5 worst blogs” would have received a boost in visits after I highlighted them in 2011. So that skews the results.

And my previous “5 worst blogs” post did include three blogs about diversity that I grouped into a single entry. So, again, the category of Diversity was well represented.

Am I correct to arrive at the conclusion that Diversity is not a popular topic? Does this mean I should be blogging about it more, or less?

6 thoughts on “Five stats I’m a little sad about”

  1. Hi Melanie,

    To answer your question, no, you shouldn’t stop writing about what you’re passionate about. Whether or not it resonates with your intended Lifelines audience is another question. Have you considered a second blog?

    • Ha! No, I have not considered a second blog! I can barely keep up with this one! But thanks for your encouragement. Looking over the Diversity posts that have not performed well, I can see that several of them were too specific. That is, they referred to specific events at a specific place and time—a showing of the “Race” video, for example—so once the event is over, the post is less relevant. A lot of my Diversity posts are like that because we have had a lot of “diversity events” at my church. So these stats serve as a reminder to be more aware of the broader audience when I’m talking about topics that I hope will have staying power.

  2. Keep writing. I suspect diversity is not an easy subject to write about. It is easier to discuss one on one doing breakfast. The breakfast club questions led to good discussions on diversity.

  3. Hi Melanie,
    This was interesting to me. As I’m now teaching in a public school I am always looking for Christian perspectives on diversity. I did not read the blogs you mentioned and I’m sorry. Keep challenging us to push our boundaries.

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