Numbers, Up and Down

The week of Christmas, my blog stats shot up. And they didn’t stop. Readership increased 78 percent, and I finished December with the biggest month in two years. It’s hard not to think about writing skills, choice of topics. I’ve had this happen before, so I kept my head from swelling too much.

But the trend continued. In the next week, the numbers went up again. A lot. And then, today. Sigh. Monday was the least-read day. Ever. I have no idea what happened to the readers, or what caused the wave to crest and then crash.


Chinese seal with ancient script. Translation to right.

I do know that many people weed out their reading list in the new year. I can make up lots of stuff, the opposite of what I could have made up when the readers boosted the numbers.

The truth of writing, whether it’s a blog or as a freelancer, or writing workbooks, is that there are good times and there are bad times, and often you don’t know why. Can’t predict the dip or the swell. Just ride it out, good or bad.

What to do? Keep the value up. Don’t worry about the quantity, worry about the quality. Fans, audiences, followers will come and go. Keep making art. Keep writing. Keep singing, dancing and making meaning. Your audience may take a break, but your work continues. “Do not become complacent with victory, do not become frustrated with defeat. “–Chinese proverb.

–Quinn McDonald is riding the wave. Down. Because it will come back up again.

33 thoughts on “Numbers, Up and Down

  1. Addendum: I really like the proverb, and I will post it to my Quotes board on Pinterest, where throngs of people will see it and may subsequently visit your blog. I think little things like that might make a huge difference.

  2. Quinn, let me encourage you to keep your eyes on the prize. I like to say that my favorite Bible verse is, “And it came to pass”. Because if life is good, enjoy it because the good times will pass. And if life is dreadful, hang on, because it too will pass.

  3. Ah yes, the elusive statistics! I never really understand it either. I do see some difference between weekends and weekdays and certain posts will attract certain people more than others, but other than that?
    I have two pictures up on flickr of a collage sampler that so far have attracted almost 15000 views (my regular view count on a flickr picture ranges from a couple of dozen to a couple of hundred, so this is a lot). I still don’t know why and how this happened. It must have been linked to somewhere, but I can’t for the live of me find out where and I’m just so curious! I won’t change my blog or flickr or anything based on the view counts, but I am fascinated by how this works and sometimes you just don’t know. 😉

  4. The numbers are curious, but you certainly do have a loyal following and though I don’t comment often, I look forward to you blog every day. Bless you and all your efforts!

  5. Fan, audience, follower . . . that caught me and made me wonder which am I? Somewhere between audience and friend perhaps as we talk so much, you with your column, my comments, your responses . . . and sometimes back and forth again.

    I’m not subscribed to your blog . . . I just pop in for a visit first thing each morning. I just open a new tab and type Q and there you are with your wise and witty ways.

  6. Always look forward to your thoughts and the wonderful way you paint with words. Who knows about the numbers and why. I guess just keeping the journey going, stopping along the way to translate what we see plus sharing those thoughts because we find some meaning is all that is important. This is what you do so well. You stay and numbers come and go.

  7. As you know, Quinn, I read your blog every day! I only have two blogs that open up with the rest of my tabs, when I get on the internet, and yours is one of them. It is curious, the differences from week-to-week. I’ll be interested to hear what you find out, if anything.

  8. I read your posts EVERY DAY in my email as a subscribed follower. So I and other subscribers may not show up in your stats? Visiting your page is reserved for rare moments like this, to comment. Or thank, or share, or remind. So just to remind you – you make a large ripple with your diverse and always interesting posts. We, your readers are alternatively soothed by these ripples or lifted out of fear, and complacence by their arrival..

  9. Quinn, you are so not alone in this wondering. I’ve been wondering for a long time what makes those numbers fly around. “Was it something I said?” Your blog is great – one of very few that I take precious time to read because it is always worth it. Up, down, or whatever, we just keep on keepin on.

  10. It’s not you, it’s the time of the year. People draw inward, regrouping and waiting for the light and the warmth, at least here in New England.

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