Elusive Followers?

I have always been a detail oriented individual and have often been involved in analytical work. WordPress statistics are, in my mind, intriguing because I keep coming up with illogical data, such as 2 or 3 visitors from 6 different countries, or no visitors even though I had received Comments!

Today I was looking at Followers, because I know that many bloggers see a relevance in that data… but should they?

Let’s “do the math”!

Using my Blog’s actual data, I currently have 380 Followers (331 WP + 44 FB + 5 Twitter). The first point of interest is that while WP tell me every time I have a new Follower, they have never advised me any “Unfollowings”, so I could deduce that nobody has ever unsubscribed since the Blog started on October 2014. While I find that an unlikely scenario, another explanation could be that WP simply do not advise of such circumstances (but hopefully do adjust stats proportionately!) This would suggest that I really do have 380 Followers.

I publish on a daily basis and so, if everybody were living perfectly scheduled lives, I would expect the April stats to show 380 (Followers) x 30 (days in April) = 11400 Visitors total for April.

Many of you certainly do visit daily (thank you!) however, many only visit once every few days (thank you also!). These are obvious (in my data) when I see a familiar name Liking numerous Posts, or writing multiple Comments, over the course of a single day.  I am going to assume that reading multiple Posts in one day counts for one visit(or)

Given that my April stats should ideally (and theoretically) show 11400 Visitors:

Let us assume (due to lack of facts) that my Visitors are broken down into the following groups for this past April:

Group A = 10% Followers visit daily ( 38 x 30 days = 1140 Visits)

Group B = 25% Followers visit weekly (95 x 4 weeks = 380 Visits)

Group C = 25% Followers visit every 2 weeks (95 x 2 = 190 Visits)

Group D = 25% Followers visit once/month (95 x 1 – 95 Visits)

Group E = 15% Followers are on vacation and with no internet for a month = No Visits

Based on the above, I would expect to see a total of 1805 Visitors for April!

My actual data for April shows 314 Visitors! I really cannot understand how 380 Followers can only generate 314 Visits to a Blog which published 30 Posts during that month.

I would like to give WP the benefit of the doubt, so would like suggestions as to what aspect of the data regarding Followers I am clearly not understanding? Failing that, then to the many bloggers who see a relevance in that data, I would ask “Should you?”

Food for thought.


39 thoughts on “Elusive Followers?

  1. Good point well made. I did used to take note of the stats – a mathematical brain I guess – but they are a bit beyond me, especially when I have posts which receive, say, 20 views but 25 likes!. Best not to wonder too much I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok so I commented once, but now it looks like it disappeared. Will try again. I love to write and the interaction I get with learning to know fellow bloggers through comments, etc. give me fulfillment. I don’t need statistics, besides my “wonderful” mathematical brain got tired already just by reading your graph. 🙂 Plus I am too busy trying to figure out nuclear physics right now thanks to the interaction with certain bloggers and so don’t have time for statistics 🙂

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  3. So my “wonderful” mathematical brain already got tired by looking at your graph. It really doesn’t take much 🙂 This just proves all the more why I hardly bother looking at my stats. I enjoy writing, its something I love, regardless of my stats. I know people are reading my posts by their comments and interacting with my fellow bloggers gives me fulfillment and keeps me smiling. Besides I am too busy now trying to figure out nuclear phsyics, don’t have time for stats! 🙂

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  4. Colin, I gave up understanding how that works. Perhaps it is not counted what goes over the reader but only when people are visiting your blog. I too was never notified about unfollows which I wasn’t from Facebook or Twitter either but I see that sometimes the number goes up and down too. Since I know one blogger in particular that he unfollowed me on WP it proved that WP doesn’t notify.

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    • … and Erika, you and I (any many others) know that the richness of blogging is in the interactions from Posts, and learning a little about each other regardless of our age, sex, race, creed, color, spiritual belief etc. etc. To overlook those relationship aspects and strive simply for higher numbers is such a sad perspective because it loses sight of the real pleasures of blogging. Do I hear a Hallelujah? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha…. you heard me well, Colin! I could not agree more! It is about taking each other serious and appreciating the gift of being here, of sharing and of getting to know so much of other cultures, countries, and perspecitives. It is about connecting with wonderful people around the world, leaving something and receiving wonderful insights. I am sure that in the end who only goes for high numbers of followers and views has a motivation that might not work out on the long run! And for sure, blogging cannot be fun that way for long!!! Hallelujah 😄

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  5. I don’t do the crunchy numbers, as my blog gets many more outside WP hits than within the reader. I get an average of 30 likes a post, however I get 1500 hits a day for my blog in general. Because it’s informational. I think if you know who exactly follows you you may be able to tell if someone specifically bails. I’ve never cared enough.
    I also feel many folks follow me to gain my follow back. They follow and never like a post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There certainly is a lot of manipulation “out there” in order to fulfill a hidden agenda… usually how to make money from blogging! Like you, I don’t put much (any!) importance on the stats. I just get so much pleasure from the interactions all around the world. 🙂

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  6. Hi Colin. I know that you exist. We give each other mutual likes and comments. We know that is true at least. Thank God. But page views I just can’t grasp. One would hope that a LIKE would also give a PAGE VIEW.
    This is where it all falls apart
    Plus ….the vast majority of my FOLLOWERS never read any of my posts. It stands to reason. But the ones that do … well I really appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel very fortunate Chris to not only have you as a Follower, but to have so many others of a similar mind set! Those who manipulate Posts to attract readers and increase their stats are missing out on so much. Have a wonderful day and, by the way, I have stopped Fotheringay from continually playing in my mind! Sadly, I now have another problem

      I just love the rhythm, the crescendos etc. and (in contrast to the link), it lasts for over 8 mins on their Secret Voyage CD. Now how to get rid of that! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. No, WP does not reduce your Followers numbers if someone Unfollows you. I know some bloggers have deleted their blog, but they still count as a follower. You are lucky if you get maybe 10% interaction of the total number of followers. I removed the WP Follower statistic from my Blog, because it meant nothing!
    And most people who visit my blog do not count as a View, even if they comment. I am commenting here in my WP Reader – this may not Count for you either!
    I think, if people like and comment on a post, then at least you know it is being read. The numbers? They make pretty graphs, but that is about it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fascinating post Colin for a number cruncher like me, though I’ve given up trying to work out the stats having had 12 likes for a post with no views and only 4 visitors that particular day. According to WIP I have 633 followers, but when periodically checking older ‘clickers’, I find their sites have gone, so really they shouldn’t count. Like you, I try to post something daily, though it is usually 2 perhaps 3. For April, I had 494 visitors and posted 79 entries.
    WP’s Magical Mystery scores………. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Di. I think the only purpose that the stats serve is to show trends, and that is based on the assumption that despite the apparent idiosyncrasies of their software, it is (hopefully) consistent!
      I tend to believe that it is simply WP marketing techniques. They provide supportive stats to encourage bloggers, and the more bloggers they get, the more advertising potential they have.

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  9. I have experienced similar things which is why I don’t get excited about statistics. I have had 6 comments with 2 visitors (of course I assume there was a party going on with everyone using one computer). I don’t think you can unfollow. A friend followed me on WP but he also followed me on Twitter and Facebook so he was getting 3 notices. He asked me to delete him but I couldn’t. I don’t remember what he ultimately did. There have been blogs I’ve stopped reading for various reasons. I usually delete them from my reader and turn off email notices but I don’t think they know. For me it’s all about engaging people in comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you Kate. You are, to me, a true blogger. I have always enjoyed volunteering and meeting fellow volunteers because they are doing something simply because they want to. They are a special “breed” because they are not demanding/expecting money for services provided. Blogging is, to me, much the same in that it can be kept really uncomplicated. I create a Post – people read it – comments are made – we get to know each other just a little. There is so much pleasure to be gained from that simple process. I think that most (if not all) the Blogs I follow are of a similar mind set… which is wonderful. Too often I come across a Post which appears to have the sole goal of increasing stats. Sad… because they are looking directly at a beautiful opportunity but not seeing it! Have a great day!

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