I’ve been watching my blog stats go up lately with a lot of hits from condron.us and alphainventions.com. I’ve done some research into both and I have a few opinions I’d like to share. (Note that you can see your blog hits here at WordPress by going to your Dashboard and then Blog Stats: currently http://[your blog’s name]/wp-admin/index.php?page=stats.)
First of all, make sure that you know why you are blogging. In other words, what’s your blogging strategy? At one end of the spectrum (let’s call this the orange end), you may by trying to make yourself heard in the world or to impress your family or friends. On the other end (let’s call this end purple), you may be trying to promote yourself professionally or share your genuine expertise on some topic. On either end of the spectrum you may also want to monetize your blog, i.e., figure out a way to make money from people reading it or from hits.
Next, decide what hits mean to you. How do they contribute to your strategy? Does a high number of hits indicate success against your strategy? Hits simply indicate that one of the pages in your blog was loaded by something somewhere. WordPress (this platform) attempts to exclude hits from yourself for you, as do many other platforms. So a hit indicates that a page was loaded by *something* (note that it doesn’t have to be a person) other than you, but it doesn’t indicate that anyone read the page.
Now that you have those two answers in mind, here’s what I think about the two Web sites above and any others that come along. If your strategy falls on the orange end of the spectrum, then bring on the hits, baby! You’ll want as many hits as you can get. If your strategy is more toward the purple end, then maybe those hits aren’t so good after all. The Web sites above (I am not mentioning them repeatedly so that they don’t “notice” this post too much) will bump up your hits, no question about it. But if you want your blog to get you real page reads and some good discussion in the comments, then those aren’t the hits that you want. You want real people reading the words you are putting in their browser windows. The sites above can’t promise that (and they don’t), but they can boost your hit numbers.
In case you are wondering, my blog is more of the purple variety. I want to (for the most part) post real solutions to real problems, generally about Microsoft SharePoint at the moment, and to help real people solve real problems. I also want to raise the level of discourse on the topics as much as possible by making my posts as correct as possible. Maybe I sound a little lofty or high fallutin’ or prima donna-like in saying this, but it’s *my strategy*, not necessarily yours. You went through the mental exercise of articulating your strategy above (right?) and it probably is different than mine, which is perfectly fine. But for me, the sites above aren’t much of a help unless they bring me a new visitor who solves a problem or someone who subscribes to my blog until they see something that does help them to solve something.