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I'm obsessing about my blog stats too much.

I sometimes have this weird nightmare where I'll be invited to speak at a work-related function (or some other event where there's a decent number of people who would recognize me), and although everybody will be polite and really receptive at first, I'll open the floor to discussion by saying, "Any questions?" And then some guy in the back will raise his hand and shout,

"Why do you write your blog?"

And I'll just be totally speechless.  Probably my cheeks will burn red and I'll run off the stage (if it exists) to go hide in the corner behind a fifth of Jameson (if it is served).

One of my favorite solutions.

I can give general reasons why I thought a blog would be a good idea, but over two years into it, I still can't explain why I'm writing it.  My stated reason is that I wanted to manage my time better and I needed a formal journal to track how much effort I'm putting into my writing.  My backup reason is to have some place to market my books and generally keep my name on the Internet.

But to be honest?  I think it's just something I have to do.  It's a compulsion, really.  If I wasn't writing this crap down here, I'd be doing it in some Word document and hiding it from everyone else.

The thing is, the Internet isn't really the best place to be honest and try to exorcize your thoughts.  The way I see it, there's only four possible outcomes:

1) You get lots of attention and people think your thoughts are amazing.  You can eventually parlay this into legitimate success as an entrepreneur, usually through online networking efforts and having a readily identifiable product.  This would be pretty awesome, but it's the least likely.

2) You get lots of attention, but it's primarily from jerks who don't feel like starting their own blog and decide to complain to you instead - usually about you.  You can't really do much about this except to stop posting and hope the attention goes away, because who wants that kind of stench hanging over them?

3) You get no attention, but that's okay because you have the freedom to write whatever you want and you're enjoying the craft more than the "results," whatever the hell those might be.  This is actually kinda sweet and charming, and I wish I could tell you this is where I am.  But I'm more in the last category:

4) You get no attention, and instead of shrugging this off and focusing on something productive, you obsess about it and keep looking up articles about SEO strategies and bounce rates and referral spam and suddenly you feel like one of a billion faceless consumers who bought into something bizarre and scary, and then you wonder if you should even bother to keep going.

I spend way too much time checking out what my traffic looks like.  On the one hand, it's been steadily growing.  On the other hand, I'm not really breaking out and I have no idea if my stats are good or bad.  I have no context.  I just have a bunch of dumb numbers that give me anxiety issues.  This is what I spend my time on some nights instead of writing my damn books, which was ostensibly what I wanted to focus on in the first place.

This.  This is what I spend my time looking at instead of hanging out with my daughter.

So, here's some numbers for people who care.  Last month I got 2,200 page views, a third of which may have been false results from Ukrainian penis pill vendors.  In the last week, my average daily page views have been in the range of 70-80.  Is that good?  Is that bad?  Who the hell knows.

My most popular post continues to be that review of Anna, which is almost entirely because people keep coming here hoping to figure out the ending.  That post alone - out of over 500 at this point - accounts for a tenth of my traffic, and it doesn't look like people are sticking around too long after reading.  So I keep wondering if I should go back and revise it for the fourth or fifth time to try to keep people reading my other stuff.  It makes me feel like a desperate car salesman.  "Oh, wait, you can't leave yet!  Have you considered a coupe?"

And some of my other most-read content just baffles me.  Like this post about animal characters.  I remember writing that at like five in the morning right before it had to go out, and it was one of the only times I actually couldn't think of something to ramble about.  I don't think I even have a point in that post.  I'm pretty sure it's among the worst things I've ever written.  Yet it's consistently driving traffic.  Why?  Is it because I name-dropped Air Bud?

The posts that I actually thought were going to drive traffic have slipped by completely unnoticed so far.  Like my post about Fifty Shades of Grey, which is still one of my favorite exercises in screwing around, and which only has five views as of this post.

And the search terms that drive people to my site?  Jesus... I'm so screwed.  Here's a sampling:

ginger lynn allen
breaking them in
movie sex18 hard in driving
amanda tapping hot
welcome to woop woop sex scene
stonehearst asylum sex scene
laser butt plug

And, of course:

anna movie ending explained

Let this be a lesson to anybody out there who has opinions and is thinking of writing a blog.  Very few people are going to be interested in what you actually say.  But if you have a naked picture, you're pretty much guaranteed to win.

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