It was a few days before Christmas and I was staring down at my phone again. Every few hours I opened up my WordPress app and checked out the stats for my site. Were there any new visitors? Was the latest post gaining traction? I’m not sure what kind of magic number I was looking for, but each glance left me a little more deflated. What was I doing wrong? Was my content not interesting? I knew that if I wanted any hope of enjoying my holiday season, I was going to have to put a stop to this every other hour doubt-fest. So I made a promise: I wouldn’t look at my site traffic until after the Christmas holidays were over.
In this analytics age the obsession for statistic watching can sometimes get the best of us. How many followers do I have on Instagram? How many likes did I get on my last Facebook post? Is anyone reading my blog? Now I’m sure you’ve read more than enough posts about how you need to put down your phone, engage in real life, and stop caring about your follower count. You get it. I get it. But I did learn a few things from my analytics fast that I wanted to share with you. And none of them are get off Instagram.
- Creating out of desperation is never helpful. Sure necessity is the mother of invention etc., but desperation is not the precursor to good creative. Creativity springs from joy, struggles, interests, desires, and a fully-engaged life. When I stopped checking whether anyone was watching, I started to enjoy creating again.
- Analytics can’t tell you everything. Understanding and tracking your analytics is an incredibly helpful exercise. You can tell how people are landing on your blog or what kind of content they’re enjoying. But analytics can’t tell you whether your words are touching someone else or if your creation is an act of worship.
- Sometimes the simple act of creating is enough. Instead of spending my holidays deciphering some numbers, I read books, wrote things, designed graphics and planned content. Will all of those things eventually make it out into the world? Maybe. Or maybe they won’t. But they brought me so much joy. I had a ton of fun drawing calendars and colour coordinating ideas and getting right into that creative zone. And if that’s all that ever comes of it, it will be enough.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Do you sometimes find yourself examining your stats or staring into your analytics, hoping they’ll tell you what you need to hear? Do you have any favourite creative projects where the simple act of creating was enough? Share in the comments or tell me all about it on social. I really need to get my numbers up . . .