Gimme a Graph and I’ll Tell You a Story

Have I mentioned lately that I’m a geek. No really, I’m a geek. I was on a date the other night and the guy looked at me at one point and said, “You’re a real geek aren’t you?” I took that as a compliment. But really, I’m one of a handful of people I know who can stare at a pie chart, a line graph, or a cluster analysis for hours, keep coming back to it, and end up with a layered tome about what happened, what surrounding factors contributed to the events, why, and what we should do now. Some days I’d rather do that then just about anything. I mean really, here I am at 7 AM on a Sunday morning in my froggy pajamas, drinking my coffee, ignoring my dog, hoping my kids stay asleep until I’m done drooling over my own blog stats.

Taking the time to do an analysis of anything important is such a valuable exercise. Analytics provide a great road map and for me, a sense of security that I’m not ignoring the key indicators of success and/or failure. Take the following line graph for example. This is a snapshot of the life of my blog. The line represents, of course, blog traffic.

Blog Stats 2039 2014 WordPress
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

As you can see, I’ve had a real spike lately. The kind of spike that makes digital marketers get all “giddy and squee” (to coin a phrase from my friend Julia Sherred). Blog traffic hasn’t been my goal. I started this blog when I was in a bit of a mid-life regroup (I hate the word crisis because it assumes that something bad is happening). I use this blog to sort out my own vision for my life and give me a place to share what’s important to me, what I enjoy and perhaps even generate some offline dialogue with people who share my passions. But, the fact that there’s a big ‘ol spike in August, just when I’m beginning to feel like I’m on the right path is a very good sign so I’m taking it as a high-five from the Universe to keep on slogging forward.

What’s interesting about the graph though is as much about where it dips and where it peaked last week. When I think back to March, April, May, the lowest months, I was heads down working to get off-the-ground. Man, for those of you who have started businesses or work in start ups I think you know the feeling. There’s so much to do to get the the plane together, clunk it out on the runway, and pedal as fast as you can to get a little lift. Then, after a few months (that feel like years) and lots of self-doubt, recriminations, and worry, something happens. It’s not one thing, it’s a culmination of all the little things you try and boom (or maybe creak), your product gets validated by a few smarties and away we go (hopefully).

The other thing that’s interesting about the peak is the day it started to rise was the day I took my own advice (that’s unusual) and implemented the #blogin5 campaign challenge to blog more frequently. I committed that although I couldn’t blog everyday, I’d at least crank out three a week. Well my friends, frequency matters a lot. I remember that from my traditional advertising days. Frequency, frequency, frequency. But, quality matters too. You can’t just spew detritus and hope people keep coming back. It’s got to be interesting.

It’s hasn’t hurt that I’ve focused on creating real, substantive relationships on Twitter. I lurked around for a bit, figured out who my people were, what I could add to their lives, and in my own gentile way asked to be invited into the conversation. Now that takes patience. It’s not something I’m known for but definitely something I’m cultivating. Slow, steady, observant, appropriate (most of the time), transparent, and real. Yep, that’s what I’m doing. I’ll keep you posted on the numbers.

2 thoughts on “Gimme a Graph and I’ll Tell You a Story

  1. Melissa Smith

    Hi Mary, I’m part of your increased blog traffic and lovin’ the world according to Mary. Come do a blog from the Jersey Shore. That’ll add extra spice. XXOO Melissa

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