Why’d y’all come to the blog so much last month? (Not that I’m complaining, mind…)

I hadn’t looked at my blog stats for awhile, and then I saw to my surprise that I had 230,000 page views last month. And the last six months have averaged more than 200,000. (It’s been more than half a million “hits” a month, but I don’t put stock in those.)

That’s my second-highest ever, so I have to ask — what gives? There were no really hot news stories running then. No election, and the Legislature was out of town, and it was really, really hot.

Only thing I can guess is that this is the groundswell that occurs as we build toward a presidential primary. And it’s still building. If you look at the average daily “pages” up there, you’ll see that we’re on pace this month to exceed 240,000, without anything remarkable happening to break up the Dog Days. (The highest ever was over 250,000 in June 2010 — but that was because of the freakish confluence of the rise of Nikki Haley, and that of Alvin Greene.)

My peak on my old blog was January 2008, the month of both the highly-contested Republican and Democratic primaries here, which drew a good bit of national and international attention to the blog. The total was something between 80,000 and 90,000 (I don’t have the numbers in front of me.) A typical month in the year following that was more like 40,000 (which was still higher than in years before). So you see, my traffic has increased fivefold without the benefit of having my name in the paper every day. Go figure.

All I can say is, keep on reading…

6 thoughts on “Why’d y’all come to the blog so much last month? (Not that I’m complaining, mind…)

  1. Mark Stewart

    Maybe the general public was more interested in seeing if a debt/revenue agreement was forming in Washington than the politicians themselves?

    The State had an amusing article today about how the politicians were not hearing much different at their constituent ralllies this month; duh, who attends such drivel? Die-hard supporters and those rabidly against the candidate would be all – and the occasional reporter.

    The rest of us try to educate ourselves on the issues.

  2. Steven Davis

    Don’t put a lot of stock in those numbers. I run a small static website for mostly my own personal use and my stats show that I average about 60,000 hits per month. Except for one manual that I put online and has been linked on a website, I don’t know why anyone would be there. The manual is 40 pages long and each is in .pdf format, those are responsible for about 50% of my total hits. A lot of those hits are bots searching your site.

  3. Brad

    Yup, that might account for a large part of 60,000 hits. But I think I’d look for another explanation when you’re talking half a million.

    This is a case of statistics backing up the anecdotal feedback I get. Everywhere I go, I run into strangers who tell me they are regular readers (and can back it up). You do realize that the people who comment here are a tiny, tiny percentage of the readership, right?

    And even then, I get a lot of comments for a South Carolina blog. Not as many as I did when I didn’t moderate, but higher quality, and an awful lot for a moderated blog.

    Do I put total faith in the numbers? Absolutely not. I see them as approximations. They create an illusion of precision. (Remember, I’m a word guy, not a number guy, and I place my trust accordingly.) On my old blog, I had two counters — one that appeared on my front page, and another inside the guts of the site. They NEVER agreed, although they were in the same ballpark.

    I’d like to switch to Google Analytics, which I’m told is particularly good. I’m also told it tends to give you lower numbers than other such devices, but that’s fine. I want to know what the real numbers are, and I want that additional functionality.

    I’ve had trouble setting it up, though. I need to get some help from the folks at ADCO Interactive on that. I always hesitate to bug them with things like that, though, preferring to save my SOS for real crises. Like today, when I crashed the site trying to install a social media plug-in (it looked awesome).

    I went moaning to Gene, and he said he would help me, “Unless you were trying to install something” again.

    He helped me anyway. I went away meekly, and did not mention Google Analytics…

  4. Steven Davis

    Google Analytics will give you unique visitor which is a more true representation of how many individuals are visiting. The regulars here probably count for hundreds of “hits” per day.

  5. Brad

    I don’t know about hundreds, but yeah, quite a few.

    And I’ve very curious about uniques (I wonder if “Visits” in the above chart refer to those — I don’t know), and would like to dig further into them to try to learn more about the readers.

    But when you’re fixin’ to sell some ads, you’re more interested in impressions…

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