Nobody Gives a Damn How Many Followers You’ve Got3 min read

Apparently it’s easy to get zillions of subscribers to your blog – Just follow a few simple steps, work hard, and write good stuff.

I know this, because there are a ton of pro-blogging sites which are eager to dispense the wisdom of their own success whilst making you feel inferior for having less than 20,000 subscribers.

Unfortunately for many of us, the promise of multiple thousands of subscribers is unrealistic no matter how hard we try – sometimes because we work in less popular niches, sometimes because we just don’t have the available time, and sometimes because we just don’t have that magic mix of talent and luck.

Ultimately this leads to frequent disappointment among bloggers.

But the bitter truth is that blogging is not a hobby or a profession for those without perseverance.

Why we obsess over stats

The only reason so many of us obsess over our statistics is because page views and subscriber numbers are the most obvious ways to measure our success. But are they really?

A business that only measures itself by its profits is unlikely to be successful in the long term. Profits are obviously important, but profit is only one measurement of success, and crucially, it is an outcome not a determiner. Outcomes are the things that ultimately we are judged by, but they don’t tell you anything about the underlying factors which will make future success possible, and which are making current success difficult.

For example, a firm which is making roaring profits today is a poor investment if their products are so bad that few of their customers return tomorrow.

A blog might have 10,000 views today from social media, but that’s hardly a success if visitors don’t find any reason to return the next day.

How can we measure ourselves

Success is self-defined. It’s also important to know why you’re blogging in the first place.

If you blog for money, then obviously revenue is the most important outcome for you. But if you blog only for pleasure then perhaps your level of reader engagement (which can be determined largely by comments) is more important to you?

If your blog is part of a longer term plan, then perhaps generating kudos within the blogging community is your best measure of success?

Next, consider (or don’t consider) the things which you can’t influence directly – such as page views. There is nothing you can do to directly influence these, so to a large extent you shouldn’t waste time worrying about them. However, don’t ignore them completely.

Stats provide you with useful information as to why your blog is not performing as expected.

For example, if you have few new visitors each month (often the case after the first few months) then perhaps you are getting poor search engine placement, or you are lacking in inbound links?

If a quick check on Google shows that you are lacking in links, then perhaps it is time to re-focus on community interaction again?

Your time and energy should go into the things you can influence. And the thing you can influence the most is the quality of your articles.

In reality, most bloggers (myself included) will continue to obsess over stats.

However, rephrasing what success means to you can often give you the motivation to create great content even when you don’t have as many followers as you’d like.


Join the conversation

comment 107 comments
  • O.A

    Love this!

  • Nuno França Photography

    I tried, even after posting, to continue posting, at least one post per day. Ok, sometimes I don’t have time to post everyday, but when I see stats going up, I become motivated and with will to post more or, at least, schedule posts for the next few days or weeks. 🙂
    Yes, I think people is obssessed the stats.

  • crystalleto

    What I post – I post purely to help people. To help small businesses in particular. I honestly don’t even look at the stats. I’m not doing it for views, or followers or likes (not that I don’t love seeing that another blogger has liked or followed me – that’s a lovely feeling). I want to help. Sometimes – like in the last several weeks – I’ve forgotten my purpose. THOSE are the times I freeze, compare myself to other bloggers and to others in my profession. When I focus on my desire to help – while I may still rewrite and edit until I have to just tell myself to hit publish – the ideas flow.

  • Nidhi

    Very realistic advice.🙋

  • Celeste

    thank you for this


    As for me I do prefer having a few ‘good’ followers, people who come often, share views, they are more like friends than followers…of course I don’t expect any revenu from blogging, not even from my art or so little, my revenue come from other sources, Art and blogging, to me they go together, it is my own private gallery…are more like a way to show and try to reach peoples, so I guess numbers for me do not convey if it is working, of course I did had, and will have periods where I am not in the mood to produce, either because I need a break or to much work or other things to do, but usually when I do come back, my ‘good’ followers are there for me. So I guess success is having those followers and finding the drive to do art and blogging to show it.

  • Susan L Hart

    A valuable perspective. Thank you, Cristian.

  • The Dream Girl

    I don’t obsess over my stats, but I do monitor. I’m trying to build up an organic following on all sides- social media and all my websites.
    Right now, I am not doing too much to monetize the blog or anything, but I am working on 2 different projects I’m going to put out (self publish) this year. (hopefully) so I’m trying to gain enough of a following to do that successfully.
    I’d much rather gain a following of people who want to see what I post than buy thousands or follow tons then unfollow to build up numbers when I’m not sure they’d be in my target.

  • Dr. Martha Andrea Castro Noriega, MD WMA FACS

    hahahahaha, you made me laugh so hard when I read the title of your article. It’s true. However, if we blog for business and helping people is our venue, then it’s important to have great stats for marketing and companies who want to sponsor our blogs and activity in media.
    Anyways, you rock, Cristian. I love your blog and your writing. Kudos.

  • Peter Martuneac

    Excellent advice, thanks! I will admit I am somewhat jealous of your enormous following haha, but I intend to match it one day!

    • Cristian Mihai

      If you keep working, improving, and overcoming different obstacles and setback, you will match my numbers one day. Until then, enjoy the journey. Most times, I didn’t.

      • Peter Martuneac

        Thanks! I’ll remember that advice

  • Mercury the Scribe

    I try to focus on how much interaction i’m getting. Are people actually liking and enjoying what I post and if they are commenting. Even reaching a few people feels like i’ve achieved something!

  • Angela Jelf

    Yep, great post. For me, if something I’ve written brings hope or encouragement or a smile to someone’s face, then it’s worthwhile.

  • Jim Borden

    Count me in the obsessed with stats category!

  • Calamari Love

    Beautifully said. I think it’s easy to obsess with stats because in content creation, stats equal revenue but as you also said, if you can’t keep people engaged and find new readers then those stats can easily become stagnant.

    I work with stats on my day job and so for me, this is all hobby. Do I get paid for it? Yes… but I also can’t make a living from it either since I refuse to allow my hobby feel like my day job.

    That’s just me though.

  • Stryde

    I didn’t think about how different stats may be more important to other people

  • Jo

    good one :>

  • Jonathan Davis

    Really good post. There are so many platforms that push the need for stats and that’s all people seem to focus on nowadays. I’d rather have a few followers who come back for more than a ton of people that only visit once.

  • NotOldYet

    I read this post after checking my stats 🙂 They are tiny in comparison to yours but I genuinely get excited when someone views, comments and even follows me. For me this is because it is fun and I am really enjoying the process of writing and reading other people’s blogs. Thanks for this – I agree there is no point in obsessing about numbers!

  • smwgeek356

    Great insight. Thank you for sharing this wisdom. One of the reasons why I’m taking a break (and possibly moving away from) social media and focus on blogging once again. 🙂

  • Chocoviv

    Great reminder!!

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