Kick Your Stats Checking Addiction Or It Will Kill Your Blog

I have been blogger for almost a year. Over the past year I have learned that to be a successful blogger you need an amazing amount of self discipline.

When you are starting out enthusiasm drives you. At the beginning you will be spouting out content machine gun style. Ideas will automatically form in your head. You sit down at the computer and write and before you finish the post a new idea will form. Post after post with no problems. The first 10 posts come easy.

Then one day you sit at the computer and your fingers don’t move. Your mind is blank. Putting your elbows on the table you rest your head in your hands waiting for an idea to come. Nothing happens.

You try to remember that idea you had while waiting for bus. Or the post you completed in your head while taking a shower. But what seemed like a good post at the time now seems like drivel. You want to write, but you can’t.

So what do you do?

Most likely, if you are a beginning blogger, your next move will be a mistake. Like Odysseus without beeswax in his ears, you will be lured by the Siren’s song. Odysseus was wise – he had himself tied to the ship’s mast to avoid temptation. But as a new blogger you are not wise – you will be lured and you will succumb.

With nothing to write and nothing to do, you will open an internet browser window and check your blog stats. How many new visitors, how much AdSense revenue, how many affiliate sales. You go through the routine of checking all your stats and like always, nothing has changed. Same as it was 10 minutes ago – no new visitors, no AdSense revenue, and no affiliate sales. It has not changed in the last 10 minutes, the last hour or even since yesterday. The sad fact is that it will not change for a long time.

You have a problem. You are addicted to checking your stats. Every time there is a lull, every time you find yourself with a moment of idle time you check your stats. Over and over again. Like a pigeon repeatedly pecking at a button hoping for a pellet, you check your stats.

There Is No Point Checking Your Stats

For at least the first month of your blogs existence there is absolutely no need for you to check your stats. Your blog is virtually invisible and only a very few people (your mother and best friend) visit.

After the first month you probably have enough content to start promoting it. You do the standard stuff: comment on other blogs, frequent forums and article submissions. At this point it is enough to check your stats once a week. On a day to day basis not much will change – why do you need to know if you had 12 visitors today or 15? All you need to know is that the average for the week was 13.

Of course, this does not apply if you are the first to discover that Micheal Jackson is alive and you have video footage of him in your living room. Since this is bound to be a good post with lots of visitors your stats should be checked daily. But for most cases, weekly is fine.

It is not until at least six months, when you have page rank, subscribers, and search engines send you traffic, that you need to start checking your stats on a regular basic. Only after you have a presence on the internet is there any chance of a surprise with the number of visitors, AdSense clicks, or affiliate sales. First six months – you do not even need to bother checking your stats (OK, once a week is fine).

So what is the big deal? What is wrong with checking your stats first thing when you wake up and then after your shower and then while you drink your coffee and then while your word processor is loading? This small ritual might seem harmless. But it is not.

Productivity Loss

The biggest issue is the the amount of time you lose. If you are addicted to checking your stats you will be checking them all the time. Everything will be an excuse to check your stats. Staring at a blank page – check your stats, cannot think of the right word – check your stats, do not want to do promotion – check your stats.

Instead of doing productive things – things that actually help your blog, you are checking your stats. True, to view your stats only takes 30 seconds, but if you multiply that by the 30 times a day you do it then it is 15 minutes lost everyday. If you have a full time job and a baby on each arm 15 minutes is an eternity. Every minute counts, minutes spent confirming that nothing has changed really cut into your chances of having a successful blog.

To increase your productivity – do not check your stats. Simply assume that you have no new visitors, no AdSense click and no affiliate sales. Not only will your assumption be correct, but you will save 15 minutes a day.

Demoralizing

Ancient Greeks did not understand the concept of zero. They asked, “how can something be nothing”. Endless debates ensued about whether zero should be considered a number.

For the first few months as a blogger you will wish that zero never become accepted as a number. At the beginning you will see zeros everywhere and every day. Zero new visitors, zero new subscribers, zero AdSense clicks, zero comments.

Seeing zeros all the time is demoralizing. Especially after spending your Saturday night writing what you consider a great post. You wake up in the morning and jump to your computer, check your stats and see nothing but zeros.

The more you check your stats the more zeros you will see. I do not care how strong your armor, those zeros will get to you. You will start to feel like nothing you do makes a difference. Every time you think something should happen, nothing does. Beaten by the zero stick over and over again, 30 times a day will leave you bruised and battered. If you don’t stop checking your stats you risk being defeated by the number zero.

How To Kick The Addiction

A year of blogging has taught me one very important lesson. If you want to be productive, if you want to give yourself a chance to succeed you need to quit your stat checking addiction.

Do not have a shortcut to your stats on the desktop. Do not have them bookmarked. Do not let the browser store your username and password for easy access. Make it difficult to check your stats.

Set a specific time to check your stats once a day (or once a week) and stick to it. You will be tempted many times a day to break your rule but don’t. Remember – nothing has changed, it will only waste time and it will be a zero. By checking once a day, you minimize your wasted time to 30 seconds and are disappointed only once.

I am free from my stats addiction and it feels great. A year ago I would of checked my stats at least three times during the writing of this post. Now, a year wiser, it is the middle of the afternoon and I am proud to say that I have not checked them today.

Forget your stats and start doing something productive.

This was a guest post by Roman from How This Website Makes Money.


69 thoughts on “Kick Your Stats Checking Addiction Or It Will Kill Your Blog”

  1. Kalvster says:

    I agree, stats should be checked about once a week only.

    1. Nope I am not agree with this … you should check at lease once in a day may be in the evening or at sleeping time but not in the morning when you are about to start your day.

      1. Kalvster says:

        I think seeing an overall average gives a better overview of your website because there could be up and down days.

        1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

          I would prefer to check it daily, at least once a day. If there is a drop, let’s say usually you have 300UV per day and the number drops to 100UV, there must be something goes wrong, so you can find out and resolve the problem.

      2. I think it depend on the traffic of that blog. It is reasonable to check every day if the traffic really big.

      3. A.P.Scanner says:

        Whew, thanks ZK. I do check my stats daily. As I read the article, I thought I am guilty of the stat checking addiction. And I am. But coming from a veteran blogger like ZK, I believe mine may not be that bad an addiction though.

    2. neelmoney says:

      If you are writing a post daily ,then why you are thinking about to check out your success rate weekly. At least one can check number of visitors in 2 minutes.

    3. If you are runnign any ad campaigns through Adwords or the other SE’s, sometimes it’s critical to keep in touch with your ad spend to see that you have the corrosponding conversions to match your spend. So in that case, you might have to check your stats fairly frequently.

  2. Hey Roman.

    Great point here and I will make use of it. The help from checking stats often is negligible. I don’t check them way too often, but I probably shouldn’t even check them much at all. It is not helpful for the reasons you listed here.

    1. But these are good if you want to know about the nature of your visitors or what format of adsense if giving you more monety or which product is hot cake on your blog.

      So once in a day is advisable but certainly not the first thing in the morning.

    2. Sure, but if it is helpful you should do it often. As example, it may useful to make some research.

  3. Brad says:

    The same goes with PPC., I check my stats like every hour… it’s hard not too.

    Checking once a day. just to make sure nothing funky is going on is all you need.

    I waste too much time checking stats lol.

    I agree with the week checking too, because some days Iam up $200, others iam down $20, but on a avg, it’s making money, and that’s all i need to know.

  4. Excellent post John, back in 2003/04 I suffered terribly with this in regards to checking my adsense stats… it was like I was hoping that each time i logged in (every 60 minutes) something dramatic would change. Then when things actually started to really take off it actually got worse until i stood back and looked at my time management. I was seriously wasting a minimum of one to two hours a day on that.

  5. Hyun says:

    Since my blog is used for nothing but my own leisure, I don’t check the stats much.. but it’s hard NOT to check stats! Like any addiction, it’s hard to quit.

  6. Basically these kind of habits occur in new blogger.. If you are a established blogger than you know how your time is important for you and wasting your half an hour can cost you good money.

    So I would suggest fix a time (may be two time in a day) of every day to check your stats. Once you see good earning you would love to elaborate more or if less revenue you will feel bad.

    Both situation are bad for you and for your blog.

    1. Chris says:

      Yes New Bloggers should not Be using Analytics but as For the Adsense Stat’s I think you Have to Check them Incase you have any blocked URLs.But another Problem is If you Check your Stats often it will Fill up your Browsing History and Make your Browser Slow and you Less Productive.

  7. Greg Ellison says:

    It can be a draining to look at your stats a lot. I am also one of those people that will check his stats in the morning, afternoon and then at night. It is not good. Thanks Greg Ellison

  8. Dave Doolin says:

    At some point I want to be successful enough to outsource most of that stat checking. Tell me what I need to improve, where it needs to go.

    Otherwise as you say, it’s stupid waste of time.

  9. Mariam Cisse says:

    Hi there,

    greetings from germany! really good topic Roman! It was throwing me all the truths into my face, I didn’t want to accept. Now I realized that I’m addicted to checking my stats.

    I don’t see zeros, but my chart is going up and down. And every time I think I did a good job, the stats haven’t changed really the next morning! It’s really demoralizing!
    As you said, I shouldn’t waste my time checking them at least twice a day…

  10. Oh man, remember those days?

    Great post John.

    To all the newbies out there, you should have a set it and forget it attitude. I know its hard. hang in there.

    OK, time to go check my stats now, just joking!

    Tommy.

  11. Shahab khan says:

    Its really a dangerous addiction, one must give up this habit!

  12. unnikuttan says:

    I would like to outsource my blogging activities.

  13. Talen says:

    It’s tough no matter what stage of the game you are at when it comes to stat checking, it’s definitely not productive unless there is a problem you need to solve and the stats can help.

  14. Buzzlord says:

    Are you trying to say that there is a very good reason Google Analytics doesn’t include the current day by default?

    I check my stats like a madman, but it’s mostly because I want feedback telling me which of my efforts to gain traffic has been the most beneficial.

  15. Great post Roman, seems, again, that the blog posts that are written by guest bloggers are the ones most worth reading here. Now of to check my *slaps herself over the fingers* SY

  16. Rahil says:

    couldnt agree more! Been a long time since i read something very worthwhile

  17. izzat aziz says:

    like one post in my blog, i make blogging as habit not hobby.. when we talk about habit it is something that we couldn’t stop easily.

    sometime i don’t know what to write about, like you say blank.. what i do rather than checking stat (agree with you, first few month it is pointless to check whatever stat) is communicate with other blogger, through commenting or twitter.. and read their post too.. then i’m sure there are glance of ideas.

    good post thanks.

  18. I agree with you that instead waste a time check our blog statistic, we should use that time to make great article. Yeah– i will try to not check my statistic to often after this for sure. 😀

  19. poorblogger says:

    Yeah.. I’m addict to check my stat every morning

  20. I’ll finishing this comment after I’m done checking my stats….

    Great guest post. I think only checking once per week is a little bit extreme. There is certainly value in seeing where your traffic is coming from and what is or isn’t working.

    If you’re seeing that commenting on 10 sites isn’t building traffic, but one site is “blowing” you up, you need to know that.

    I fall into the cycles of checking too frequently too though.. Especially right after I tweet a post.

    Only going up 1 or 2 hits per refresh can be really discouraging, whereas if you only check once a day, it just feels good to see the number.

    Plus on the day that your article randomly goes viral and you get 6x your previous best, it’s fun to laugh and think it’s a joke (until you see 80 retweets). It’s always more fun to see big changes than one or two at a time.

    For both time management and productivity, not checking your stat has a lot of great benefits.

  21. Hey, John

    LOL. ” Of course, this does not apply if you are the first to discover that Micheal Jackson is alive and you have video footage of him in your living room.”

    I love reading your posts you’re one of the few bloggers with a sense of humor, and the advice was well needed.

    1. lol. I gave John the praise. Thanks Roman for a Great Post!

  22. EarningStep says:

    great lesson from best blogger .. i read this article twice and just know that i have missed few important point . .thanks for remembering me…

  23. videostar says:

    Good lesson here. I check my sales/stats at least 10 times daily and didn’t realize the loss of productivity.

  24. Sagar says:

    Nope…you got it right. I’m really addicted to check my zero stats every 2 hours or such. Also one more addition to the addiction is that my Adsense got approved just 2days.

    Nice post though!!
    🙂

  25. Jeff Bullas says:

    Great article John I thought I was the only one with the addiction.. I don’t feel so alone any more
    Cheers Jeff Bullas from jeffbullas.com

  26. Kevin Pasco says:

    Oohh jeez here we go…

  27. Excellent post. I went through this phase, but I actually stopped checking my stats for right after the first month and you are totally right that it is a waste of time. I’m on month 6 and as I think about moving my blog to being a platform to launch products I’m more focused on finding out where things are coming from and what’s been working.

  28. Jacinta Dean says:

    Hi Roman & John,

    I do check my stats once a day, however I have my reasons. Currently I am trying to learn the basics of SEO and Alexa Ranking and Page Ranking and I guess checking my stats is showing me what is working quickly and what is not. For example just adding in some plugins to my blog, learning about tagging etc made drastic changes within a week. It was interesting to watch the change.

    I can see how one can get addicted though and thanking for reminding me of what is important. It is all about creating great content.

    Thank you for a very informative read. See you back here soon! :mrgreen:

    Jacinta 😀

  29. John says:

    I’m guilty of stat-checking-addiction myself.. first step to recovery is to admit it right? Your right though, it is demoralizing, so I’m gonna stop. Thanks.

    Btw, you don’t need to check your stats! You know already that they are awesome! haha

  30. Novephel says:

    Great advice. I will definitely remember not to check my stats every day when I launch my new blog in the coming weeks.

  31. neelmoney says:

    My part time home base job is blogging which starts daily with checking my traffic statistic. Now I hate to read newspaper while taking a tea because it is better to read a increasing traffic report than bad paper news.

  32. I totally laughed when I read this post because it was like you were describing me to a tee. lol

    I’ve recently started the whole SEO thing on my blog and quite frankly, it’s been going great! Doing really awesome with the big G himself.

    So now, I’ve got into the habit of logging in and checking which new keywords I got hits for, or where I’m ranking for my current main keyword etc, and sometimes, whenever I drop a bit.. which is so normal.. I’d get a bit disappointed.

    But you know.. even though you’re so right, I think it’s what keeps me motivated. Because whenever I see that I dropped, it pushes me to work harder to go back up again! So I guess I sorta take a negative and turn it into a positive with the stat checking thing.

    But I definitely agree with you that you need to give yourself room to grow and just keep keeping on even when you haven’t gotten a single click or hit all day.

    Great post!

    TriNi

  33. fas says:

    I think one should hace stats mailed once in a while.

  34. Good point about checking stats. It’s like people trying to lose weight and checking every day, it can be discouraging.

  35. Oxbargain says:

    My blog is just 3 months old and I cant stop checking the stats. Happy to say its dropping massively everyday (Alexa). The Google PR refuses to register however. Anyway, I’ll wait for 6 months for that 🙂

  36. I dont think there is an issue with checking your stats on a regular basis. I think you need to learn from your traffic, bounce rate, page views , etc….

    Unless your spending hours checking your stats daily, then I dont feel this gets in the way of your productivity. Spend a few hours analyzing your numbers each and every month.

  37. Tran Harry says:

    Gotta check them stats I keeps an eye on my monies.

  38. Well, it’s at least good to know that I’m not the only one with the stat-checking obsessions! 🙂

  39. Kevin Pasco says:

    I check my stats only once a day but I analyze everything and find out as much as possible. I want to see what’s working and what’s not.

    I can’t help it. I’m a very analytical person and I like seeing the technical sides of things especially my blog and other websites.

    I think the point of this post is to raise controversy and generate a little more traffic to the author’s website than it would if it were a more informational post.

    Interesting to say the least.

  40. Saku says:

    Great post, I find myself addicted to checking stats too. I know it will not change a thing.

  41. Suzy says:

    i am checking it daily and compare with few statcounter or either using google analytics.

  42. Lester says:

    this is completely true. I was usual to check stats every day and nothing was changing and as result I was so frustrated that I stopped to write….

  43. I am addicted as well. Usually going to click bank looking at the clicks. I check way too much and I am guilty. But if I notice that the clicks are way down what could be the cause? did my top keyword ranking just drop? If so I will write an article and get back links on my web 2.0 sites. But with that being said checking stats can be addictive. Oh wait gotta go… check my stats now

  44. videostar says:

    I absolutely share the opinion that checking stats once a day is enough.I do it in the evening.

  45. Jay Castillo says:

    In my case I check the stats more than once a day just to be sure there is nothing wrong with my blog. Been paranoid because of past problems with my webhost but I guess I could survive with checking once a day before I go to sleep.

  46. Hi, My name is Penny, and I am a recovering (stats + adsense + CJ) addict!

    1. I never got into checking CJ stats. It was too much of a hassle to log in and get to the right screen. I only check my CJ stats about twice a week now.

  47. I’m sure every blogger and affiliate marketer has suffered from this addiction at least some time in their career online.

  48. Blog Tips says:

    I think there’s nothing wrong with checking your stats as long as you know what’s more productive things you can do and that you really have time to implement it.

  49. Cigars says:

    I am all about being as productive as possible. I would definitely prefer to be disappointed once a week, instead of 30 times a day. I think that also applies to facebook, myspace, etc. All the social networking sites are an incredible waste of time (if you let them become that). I am going to kick the habit and start checking once a week! Thanks!

  50. Dean Saliba says:

    The grammar in this post was shocking.

    I check my stats once a day, I don’t think they need tp be checked more than that.

  51. Manga says:

    I don’t know what to tell you, but I never thought that checking the stats was that much waste of a time. I think your right, instead of spending time publishing my work I end up updating the awstats constantly. Also the problem with checking the stats it can get you down if your blog doesn’t improve. You will start getting failure thoughts, instead you should focus on pumping out content! Thanx John

  52. hey,

    I would prefer watching stats at least twice a day. I get 800+ uv’s everyday from Google and checking them keeps my mind relax that my site is still on the first page. Although, I would say that is a purely addicted habit. I will not say it’s healthy but you can’t help it.

    Although, I would really look into the suggestions you have marked in your article.

    thanks

    abhishek

  53. chester says:

    Good advice. After all these years, I find its best not to micromanage the stats.

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