Stop Focusing On The Numbers

Posted on January 7th, 2014 by Kimanzi

When I started my blog, I started out checking the stats every few hours. It was pretty easy back then because there was only a handful of people who even looked at the blog. As the blog grew, my excitement grew and so did the number of times I checked the stats.

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 7.58.01 PMI can clearly remember the first time my little blog got a thousand views, 1,000! After that point my obsessing over the numbers spiraled out of control. When there was a day that the blog didn’t get many views, I was depressed.

If you have a blog, can you relate?

It took me a long time and it’s still a lesson I’m learning but at the end of the day, the numbers aren’t where our focus should be. I realize and hope that many that read my blog have set a goal of being completely supported by their online pursuits this year.

This will mean a number of things and some numbers do matter, like how much income you’re generating. However, when you’re starting out and building your thing, what really matters?

Focus on building your foundation

I’ve written about this a lot but if your dream is to build an online business from something you’re passionate about, your foundation is what’s called your platform: website, social media and overall online presence.

Building your foundation starts with just one. One reader, one social media follower, you get that one and then you help them get through the situation you’re passionate about. If you add value to their lives, they tell a friend and then you have two.

From that point on you build your foundation and get things exactly how you want them. Focus on what works for you and what works for those you want to serve. Despite all the good information you’ll see online, build YOUR foundation, not what others are doing, make it uniquely yours.

Focus on engagement

If what you’re doing hits the mark, people will respond. You bust your butt to put out amazing content, so when the engagement comes, you welcome it. Engagement starts and furthers the conversation, it also draws in new people to your thing.

Engagement is great and something you should focus on to make sure you’re on the right track but again, don’t get caught up on the numbers. If you only get two comments on a blog post, don’t freak out! If you only get four tweets on your latest post, life will go on.

At this point I know I’m on the right track when I see this:

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 8.06.03 PM

Focus on adding value

At the end of the day, this is all about adding value to your audience and helping them. When you take the focus off yourself and focus on who you’re serving, magic happens. People actually get helped and they scream your thing from the rooftops.

They get through those difficult situations and they move forward in their life and you’re a HUGE part of that. This is why you really do what you do, this is really where your focus should be at. When you start with others first, you’re building the best foundation you can possible build.

The numbers give you an indication of what’s working and how you can improve but don’t let them make or break your progress. Focus on what’s important, focus on who you’re serving and serve them.

This week, let’s try something out, lets see if you can go all week without obsessing over the numbers. However much you check them, see if you can decrease that time by 20%. If you do, come back to this post and let us know.

For those that have success in the next week, I’ll put your name in the drawing to receive a free one hour coaching session with me. We’ll get together and talk about your online dream and ways to build it! Are you in?

How often do you check your numbers and what numbers do you focus on?

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com/ Lincoln Parks

    The good old numbers.. They will always get us tripped up by looking at them constantly. Its hard not to but I am taking a page out of Dan Blacks book and just connect regardless of the circumstances. Then like you mentioned make sure you have a target audience that you want to connect with and the numbers will show up. Great Post Kimanzi.

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      Very great insights Lincoln and Dan is the man when it comes to connecting!

  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

    Numbers ugh. I hate them and love them:) I’m in. Always look forward to talking to you. I have energy and I learn something. I look at how many people come through the site. I check to many times to count.

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      We’ve all been there brother and it’s something we’re all trying to beat!

  • http://www.suttonparks.com/ Sutton Parks

    Great, encouraging advise! I’ve recently heard Cliff Ravenscraft say a similar thing: get to know every single reader you have by name. I’m not even planning on looking at my stats anytime soon; too much other work to do. Thank you Kimanzi!

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      Cliff know’s his stuff and I’m trying to do the same brother :)

  • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

    I was enamored by the numbers early into blogging. The middle last year I stopped tripping over the numbers. One thing that really helped me get over the numbers is when I was in Walmart, a person that I hadn’t seen in years stopped me and said they enjoyed my posts. She stated that the posts were really helping her. I looked at my stats for a brief minute at the end of December and saw they were up sightly, but I did not get crazy with it. I am focusing on adding value. Kimanzi, thanks for adding value to my life.

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      I’m glad that’s what this blog is doing for you Bernard. That is a great moment that you had in Walmart and I’m glad you had it!

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    so glad you posted this, I think most bloggers struggle with this.
    I haven’t checked my numbers in months. I just don’t care. Numbers don’t show the relationships I’m building.
    I do still struggle some with not get depressed when someone unsubscribes and not getting too excited when someone new joins my following. Regardless of the numbers, I want to build relationships.

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      You have the right perspective, we have to add value to our audience :)

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        Thanks.

        • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

          :)

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    We’ve talked about this before Kimanzi. I used to check my numbers every couple of hours. Now it’s maybe once or twice a day. It’s not that I’m stuck on how many people are reading now but the fact I want to make sure nothing has happened with the site and it’s Google indexing.

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      You’ve made progress brother, congrats!

  • http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/ Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

    Jetpack Stats how I love thee…. and we are breaking up! Sorry, it’s not you, it’s me. Google Analytics and I are not having a fling. I need to be by myself for a while. I need to get back to the reason I started writing in the first place. I am sure we can stay friends, but for now, I need space to be creative. I need to be obsessed with the process of creating and not the results. So, goodbye my dear one. You will soon see I am right about this. I promise. :D

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      AMEN! I’m going to hold you to it now :)

  • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

    ouch. I check my numbers waaaay too much. Thank you WordPress iPhone App. It can be difficult not to obsess over numbers when requestion interviews with individuals who determine whether to not to accept your request based on your numbers.
    But this perspective is very valuable.
    And those who turn me down based on my numbers?
    who needs them.

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      To be honest, I don’t think I would interview or be interviewed by someone who asked about my numbers. For me, it’s all about value and you can add value no matter how big either of your numbers are.

      • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

        The irony is, even having your name or interview on a smaller site with a “small” number of followers or site visits is still exposure, and you never know when 1 reader may become your next biggest evangelist.

        Seems like some miss this point and get too focused on analytics. Thank you for your perspective!

        • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

          That’s so true and I wish more people thought that way. Here is something interesting that I read today that relates: http://fizzle.co/sparkline/third-tier-lessons

          • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

            I really enjoyed reading that post, thank you for sharing! Made me feel a little warm & fuzzy. Also made me really want to be at NMX

          • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

            I like what he says about focusing on the third tier, to often people try to connect with the big names thinking it will help them “get there.”

  • kentsanders

    Kimanzi, great thoughts! I am probably too obsessed with my number of podcast downloads and blog visitors. Numbers do mean something and indicate engagement on some level (hopefully), but they definitely don’t tell the whole story. I tend to check my numbers a couple of times a day, and honestly it’s hard not to get discouraged when they’re down.

    What’s been interesting is that my blog numbers seem to grow in direct connection to the number of OTHER blogs I comment on. It’s almost as if the more I focus on helping OTHER people with their thing, the more it helps me in return.

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      That’s a great observation, I have found the same thing too :)

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Great thoughts,

    Blog traffic numbers will always distract us from taking action. I try to only check them 2-3 times a week (Only glancing at them). I focus most of my time on writing, working on projects, and connecting with other people.

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      That’s why you’re the man bro :)

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

        Thanks man:)

        • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

          :)

  • http://www.overthinkersadvice.com/ Wan Muhammad Zulfikri Bin Wan

    I like how Shane Mellaugh from imimpact.com said about checking numbers, He said that the numbers that we searched for are usually vanity stats.

    We look at it in order to get that happy feeling but rarely will that feeling propel us to success. I guess focusing on numbers is okay but we must make sure to have a concrete reason why we are looking at it.

    Thanks for the post Kimanzi.

    • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thanks for your thoughts and welcome to the site Wan!