How Do You Measure The Success Of Your Blog Posts?

How do you measure the success of a blog post?

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Which of your blog posts are the most successful?

As we drift into the last few weeks of the year, I find the world of blogging gradually becomes a quieter place. Like thousands of others, I’ll be taking a seasonal blogging break as we head deeper into December. 

However, one of the most popular posts I see appearing every December and early January is the traditional ‘My Top 10 Blog Posts Of The Year’ post. It won’t be long before these annual posts drop into your email box and WordPress Reader. 

But how do bloggers measure the success of those top 10 posts? What is it that helps make those posts appear in their ‘top 10’ lists?  

The more hits, the more successful? 

Most bloggers who will publish their ‘Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021’ blog post will base their list on the number of hits each blog post achieved. But that always has me questioning if that is the right way to compile a top 10 list. 

A blog post may have thousands of hits, but how many actually read the content? Does not reading a post make it successful? Should the number of hits count towards success when we’ve no idea how many times the post was read?

Does landing on a blog post by mistake make a post more successful when some of those landing there don’t stay and read the content?

Search engines are significant when looking for something in particular on the web. However, how often have I clicked on a link and then moved on quickly after realising the page I’ve landed on is not what I was looking for? I’ll be honest and say that I’ve lost count!  

It’s made me question whether that click I made should count towards making the post more successful when I haven’t read the content. 

Volume V’s Sales

Let’s have a look at it another way. Take these two identical shops: 

Shop ‘A’ gets hundreds of customers a day because of its location or large advertising budget. However, it gets few sales a day. 

Shop ‘B” gets a much smaller number of customers because of its location or smaller advertising budget but gets a high sales volume. 

Which of the shops is the most successful? A or B?

When should comments count towards success?

If I compiled my ‘Top 10 Posts of 2021’ post based on the number of comments every post got, my top 10 list would look very different from the list I compiled for the number of hits or ‘likes’ a post got.

For example, one of my posts that received the most hits did not get any new comments or ‘likes’ left in the last 12 months. Yet the post that was number 21 on my most hits list got three new comments and six further ‘likes.’ Which one should be considered to have been the most successful in the last 12 months?

Then there are some bloggers (like me) who may not count specific comments. Comments that add value or prove the post was read, count. Whereas lazy comments such as ‘Great Post’ or comments that only included a line of emojis may not count. 

When measuring success, should we include all comments or just the ones that add value or prove the post was read? 

When is a ‘like’ not a ‘like’?

I’ve never been a fan of the ‘like’ button on blogs since I discovered that some bloggers and readers misuse it. However, I see many bloggers basing the success of posts on the number of times the ‘like’ button has been clicked. 

Should clicking ‘like’ without reading a post count towards making a post successful? How many times have you had the same person press the ‘like’ button on lots of your blog posts within seconds of each other?

How many times has somebody clicked the ‘like’ button within seconds of you publishing a post?

Surely Sandra read my 900-word post if she clicked ‘like’ within ten seconds of me publishing it, didn’t she? Otherwise, why would she have clicked the ‘like’ button?

How do we know if somebody who clicks ‘like’ actually read the post?

Unfortunately, unless somebody clicks ‘like’ a reasonable time after publication, and leaves a genuine comment that proves they’ve read the post, we don’t know.  

Misuse of the ‘like’ button seems to be quite widespread in the blogging world, with some readers even pressing it to take away the feeling of guilt for not having the time to read and comment on a post. Some click ‘like’ as a sign of support but may not read the post. Should those ‘likes’ count towards the success of a post?

Some see the ‘like’ button as nothing but a free promotional tool for their blog without reading a post. Leave a ‘like’ and, fingers crossed, it will bring in some new visitors. 

The only success we should be discussing for these types of ‘likes’ is that the person clicking the ‘like’ button feels the post and blog are successful. All they’re doing is jumping on the success bandwagon of somebody else’s hard work.

If you’re wondering why I still have the ‘like’ button at the bottom of all my posts, allow me to enlighten you. I discovered (and was told by WordPress) that it is connected to the ‘reblog’ button. Remove it, and the ‘reblog’ button also disappears from your blog posts.

That’s something I was not willing to allow. 

And removing the ‘like’ button from your blog doesn’t mean it will be removed from posts when they appear on the WordPress Reader. If you’ve removed the ‘like’ button from your blog, are you aware that people can still click on a ‘like’ button when reading your posts on the WP Reader?

How do I measure the success of a blog post?

Simple. If I was motivated or inspired to write and publish a post, then it’s a success. Therefore, you won’t find a ‘Top 10 Blog Posts Of 2021’ post on my blog.  

Winding-up

At the end of the day, I guess it’s entirely up to the blogger concerned about how they measure the success of their blog posts. What I do question, though, is should bloggers be publishing results that are not necessarily accurate?

Allow me to run a final thought past you 

Suppose a blog post only gets a few hundred hits yet gets over 50 genuine comments and likes. Does it make it more successful than a post with thousands of hits yet very few comments and likes?

What do you think? How would you measure the success of a blog post?

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152 thoughts on “How Do You Measure The Success Of Your Blog Posts?

  1. This is a very tricky topic. Well, in the way that success might and probably will be defined differently by different bloggers.

    I know you don’t like the “like” button, but I like it. Sometimes, I don’t have time to comment on a blog I read or I have nothing to add. In those cases, I still press the “like” button and I always press it before I leave a comment. Pressing the button is my means of telling someone I read their post.

    Sometimes, I press the “like” button and don’t leave a comment until later, something I have noticed people doing on my blog as well. When you got rid of that button for a little while on your blog, Hugh. I did miss it. I was happy you reintroduced it, albeit for different reasons.

    I never check stats for my blog posts and am not too concerned about successful posts. You won’t find a 2021 top ten on my blog either. Not my thing. I mostly blog for myself, to share my experiences, and to inspire people.

    How do I define succes on my blog? By the engaging comments and when a post attracts new (and interested) readers and subscribers. Any post that grows my audience (or sells my book) is a success. 🙂

    1. It’s not that I don’t like the ‘like’ button; what I don’t like is how some readers misuse the like button, Liesbet. Clicking ‘like’ on a post without having read the post or coming back to read it gives false hope, and when it’s then considered a success, it’s such a shame that the person who published the post thinks it has done better than it really has. I don’t always have anything of value to add in the comments section, and that’s when pressing the ‘like’ button plays the part it was intended for.

      I like your meaning of success very much, Liesbet. I agree that it’s far better to look at success in a way like you described rather than basing it on false hits and likes.

      Thanks for joining the discussion.

  2. Hugh, all good things to think about. Likes are nice, but to me, engagement is both measurable and meaningful. I actually have a few followers who hit the like button and NEVER comment. They get a pass from me because they keep coming back and I have to think they are reading, or they wouldn’t bother ‘liking’. To each his own regarding that one. Success for me means that I am still enjoying what I set out to do with my blog and that some folks are paying attention and leaving kind acknowledgment.

    1. I had a bit of a think of those who keep hitting ‘like’ but never leave a comment. I think the majority of them will defiantly be reading the posts, but all of them? I’m not so sure. I guess it depends when they hit ‘like.’ I have one particular blogger who hit’s the like button on all my posts seconds after the post is published. It’s like they’re lurking in the background, waiting to pounce. And are there really followers who read every single blog post we publish? I know that I, for one, don’t read everything that is published.

      And I like how you describe looking at the success of your blog, Suzanne. That’s a far better way of publishing results based on success than taking into account on many likes or hits a post gets.

      1. Hugh, I think I would be very worried if someone read everything I published! I’m pretty sure there is a name for that….just sayin’ The ‘pouncers’ are a bit creepy too.

        I think the most important thing to remember about blog stats is that performance should not be tied to ones self worth and as long as writing makes you happy, that should be enough.

        1. Yes, I agree entirely, Suzanne. If somebody isn’t happy writing or blogging, then why do it? It’s a bit like me going to the gym and hating every moment. I had to ask myself why I was doing it. Now I walk every day and feel far happier with how I am filling my time.

  3. That’s a very interesting read, I hadn’t really thought about what makes a blog post popular. I enjoy blogging and I write as a kind of therapy for myself and I have connected online with other bloggers so certain blog posts which facilitated these online friendships would be my most popular. You are spot on with the use of the like button 👍

    1. Thank you, Dawn. I think I’ve hit on a hot topic amongst bloggers and writers.

      Engagement is certainly something most bloggers consider when measuring the success of their blog posts and the blog posts of other bloggers. I believe most bloggers blog for engagement.

  4. As I press “like” I do so as an acknowledgment that I am reading or am interested in the post and content, Hugh. Still some Sally Field at the Oscars in me (“you like me, you really like me,” LOL). I’m sure most “like-only” readers are just thumbing through their WP readers and hitting like willy-nilly. Whatever. Their loss. You raise good points about blog post success. I can definitely see the difference in engagement from US Thanksgiving on as readers and bloggers take their seasonal breaks. As for me, I am always excited when bloggers leave their links and engage with my Sunday Stills posts and that is my measure of success. Thanks for the reminder about WP’s TOp Posts of 2021. I’ll be on the look-out for that. Even if just for my own info.

    1. I think it is a shame that some use the ‘like’ button for their own benefit, Terri. It’s like giving false hope to the blogger whose post you didn’t read but still liked. It’s one of the reasons why I take no notice of who has clicked ‘like’ on any of my posts (or those of other bloggers).

      In the seven years I’ve been blogging, I’ve always seen a decline in the number of published blog posts as we head deeper into December. I’ll certainly be taking a blogging break to enjoy the festivities, although I may pop by from time to time to respond to any comments etc. But other than my ‘Merry Christmas’ post, I won’t publish any new blog posts as we get nearer to Christmas.

      The engagement aspect of blogging is certainly something many bloggers see as a wonderful gift, especially if it continues for as long as we all blog.

      1. We all have various motivations for blogging and then sustaining it, Hugh. You are so right about the social engagement being a gift! As for posts, I saw the decline during Thanksgiving week, too, which makes me think I’ll take the short break between Christmas and New Years. We may be road-tripping south again! I rarely miss your posts so I will stay tuned!

        1. I noticed a dropoff in posts and comments last week, Terri. Given that most of my readership is in the U.S.A and Thanksgiving week, I wasn’t surprised. It seems busy again now, but come a few weeks, those posts and comments will decline again. I’m definitely taking a blogging break between 20th Dec and 2nd Jan.

    1. I agree, Willow, although I think some comments should not be counted towards the success of a post. For example, comments which have nothing to do with the subject of the post. That’s just my thoughts, but sometimes the comments sections of blog posts can be full of general chit-chat that has nothing to do with the post. I always encourage conversations like that to be taken off-line or done on social media sites like Facebook. I think they’re better suited there.

        1. We’re probably all are, Willow. If a post is a general chit-chat post, then it doesn’t matter. When I read a post on a particular subject (such as social media tips), if the comments section is full of chit-chat that has nothing to do with the post’s contents, that’s when it spoils the whole reading experience for me. Those are the conversations that are better taken off-line.

  5. Great points Hugh.
    I don’t know the answer but only know that I watch for any kind of feedback on my stories and try to make sense of the composit results.
    One are you did not mention is when we post an alert of some kind on social media that we have a new post and share a link which readers then follow and like and/or comment on but only on the social media which never makes it to our blogs. Some of my most popular stories have lots of good comments – but only on my Facebook stream. I’m toying with ways to capture some of this where I won’t lose it.

    1. It’s difficult, isn’t it, Gary? For example, I don’t have a Facebook account, so I would not see your Facebook alert and could not comment on your stories on it. Whereas (via the settings on my blog), I allow anyone to leave a comment on my blog regardless of whether they have a WordPress account or not. I’ve even had some comments left on my blog via Twitter profiles, although never via other social media channels.

  6. I’m afraid I had to click ‘like’ for this post because I did indeed like it! I’ve never worked out how I could accurately measure my most successful posts, but the ones that feel the most successful to me are those that trigger interesting conversations or debates in the comments. I’ve also never published a top ten list but I did do a post to mark my first whole year in blogging, in which I commented on how using different measures results in very different ‘top posts’ lists 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah, I have no problem with anyone clicking the ‘like’ button, providing they have read the post and genuinely did like it. I wouldn’t click the ‘like’ button on any post I didn’t enjoy reading, although usually, I will have abandoned the post by the time I got to the ‘like’ button if it wasn’t interesting to read all the way to the end.

      And I’m pleased you mentioned the different results you got when measuring the success of posts based on hits and likes. It shows that we should probably look at something else when deciding which of our posts were the most successful and not base the results on the number of likes and hits. I’m sure most readers would prefer that.

    1. I think most of us are when that happens, although we should always avoid the trap of following another blog simply because they left a comment. I’ll only follow back if I know the content they’re publishing will be of interest to me. No point following a blog that we’re unlikely ever to revisit.

        1. I mark those types of comments as spam. I don’t tolerate any misuse of the ability to leave a comment. Uninvited links either get deleted from the comment or sent to spam.

  7. Such a thoughtful and insightful post, and I liked the questions you posed, Hugh. To me, success is subjective and it’s different for everyone. What makes a blog post ‘successful’ to a blogger may not be ‘successful’ to someone else. Each to their own.

    When I see the title say, ‘Top 10 Posts of 2021’ or ‘Top 10 Posts of the Year’, I think of two things. Perhaps the post is a post about the most viewed, most liked or most engaged post of all time. Or perhaps the post is a post about the the most viewed, most liked or most engaged post written that particular year – and this is the kind of post I expect to read. I do like reading these latter kinds of posts as it is nice to see a recap of the blog for that year like a trip down memory lane, especially if I’ve been following them regularly.

    I agree with your sentiment at the end there. When it comes to blogging, for me success means enjoying writing my blog post and having motivation to publish it, knowing a lot of hard work has gone into it. A lot of my most successful posts are posts that I enjoyed writing the most, and they don’t have high views or the most comments.

    1. Thanks, Mabel. I think I’ve hit on a hot topic.

      If you’re stating how you’re measuring success, then I guess that makes it a lot clearer, but I can’t help but think how many of those ‘likes’ or ‘hits’ were just that – with the post not being read. For me, that doesn’t equal the post being successful simply because somebody clicked ‘like’ without ever reading the post. And I’ll be perfectly honest here and say I don’t understand how the blogger publishing the post would not see or question how many of those ‘likes’ were genuine. Imagine if a post had ten ‘likes’, but actually, only two read the post. Is it right to class it as more successful than a post with only nine likes but where eight read the post? I’ll leave that thought with you.

      When using ‘likes’ hits or comments, it’s not easy to calculate success. Which means we could be giving out inaccurate information.

      Some bloggers have mentioned they do a yearly round-up post where they publish their 10 favourite posts rather than base it on inaccurate calculations. Top 10 posts based on recommendations would certainly get more attention from me.

      1. It is a very good thought, how to measure success and how phantom ‘likes’ equates to a successful blog post. Liking a post is one thing, and liking a post, reading it and leaving a thoughtful comment is in another league of its own.

        Everyone will define a successful post differently. I like how you say it, a yearly round-up post where bloggers publish their favourite posts. Reading these kinds of posts, sometimes I find posts I might not have read, find interesting and go on to read them. Again, great topic, Hugh.

  8. That’s an interesting reflection on the success of blog posts, Hugh. I guess I measure my own success by my ability to meet my blogging goals, which is to regularly post to my blogs keeping to the schedule I set for myself, ensuring each post reflects my purpose for writing.

    1. And that’s a great way of measuring success, Norah. I have many draft posts that I’ve never published, so those are what I would class as unsuccessful. If they are still there a year later, I delete them.

  9. There’s much to think about in this – I think like you I would measure my best posts on how they made me feel rather than the highly ambiguous view / likes / comments.

    1. This seems to be a hot topic, Simon. Measuring success on the number of hits, likes and comments, doesn’t relate to me either. In fact, anyone using those statistics is probably publishing inaccurate information to their audience.

      1. This is true, the problem is that even a bad metric is still a metric if there’s nothing better. Makes you think that like and all is a waste of time.

        1. I much prefer the idea of basing the top 10 lists on which blog post resonated most with you. That way, you know you’re not giving out any incorrect information.

  10. I measure the success of a blog post by how often it keeps reappearing in my ‘top then viewed this week’ list. Those that keep appearing, even years later, must be being looked at, passed on, or even have a link to them posted elsewhere.

    I don’t measure it by comments, because I think they’re largely a reciprocal thing between bloggers. I am not in that club, so I don’t get that many. I remember one blogger saying to me a few years back ‘I’m sorry I haven’t commented on your blog for a while’, and I genuinely didn’t know what she was talking about. Surely you wouldn’t comment unless you had something to say? Also, I find that lots of people comment via Twitter, or repost it via Twitter, rather than actually comment on the blog..

    1. It is nice to see older blog posts getting hits, isn’t it? But unless I get a new comment left on them, I don’t know whether the post has been read or passed on. Those hits all may have been people ending up there by mistake and who may have left seconds after arriving. If I get a pingback notification to an older post, that’s good because it means it’s probably been read, otherwise why link to it and share it?

      I agree that many bloggers feel that they have to reciprocate comments, which I find strange because I will only comment on a blog post if I genuinely have something of value to add, not just because they commented on one of my blog posts. Likewise, I find it strange when somebody apologises for not leaving me a comment or because they haven’t published or read any blog posts recently.

      I get some comments left on my posts that get tweeted, but the vast majority are left on my blog rather than on Twitter. I prefer it that way because everyone reading the blog post has access to the comments left. Whereas not everyone is on Twitter. However, Twitter has been fantastic in bringing traffic to my blog. I’ve had great success with it.

  11. I never pay attention to likes. Like many others, engagement is important to me. As you and others have reinforced, I respond to every comment.

    1. Same here, Pete. I never take notice of who has clicked the ‘like’ button on my blog posts or on any of my comments or those of other readers. I turned off those notifications a long time ago. It has helped make my email box a lot trimmer.

    1. Hi Bella, I understand they use ‘likes’ in algorithms but only for recommending other content to you based on what posts you have pressed the ‘like’ button on. Therefore, it’s not going to work for those who misuse the like button. But I’ll be honest and say that those who misuse the ‘like’ button probably don’t read many posts or leave comments anyway.

      1. Hi Hugh, I am in total agreement with your thoughts and experience, because I see the misuse of likes. But that is everywhere in any social activity on the Web. Shame, but true. Bournemouth Post always great and helpful and good reminders

  12. I’ve never done a post like that, I’ve read a couple in the past but I get the impression it’s done to build one’s self-esteem, as you say, how does anyone know if a post has actually been read? Success means two different things to me, 1) if what I’ve written has resonated with someone, helped or made someone feel less lonely, and 2) engagement, the few regular readers I have, I really enjoy having a nice conversation flowing. Over the last few months, I have been noticing that engagement means 2 different things to bloggers. Shame, but I prefer to have a conversation flowing rather than a one comment wonder as I call them x

    1. Hi Ami. I guess we all like success, but that’s why rather than base the success of posts on the number of ‘likes’ or hits they get, I (and other bloggers who have mentioned it in the comments on this post) regard all posts as successful if they’ve been published on a blog for all to read. I believe many of us build self-esteem just by writing blog posts and publishing them.

      There are indeed two different types of comments. And you’re spot on in identifying them. Dead-end comments (as I call them) that do not encourage a discussion are pointless because they don’t confirm that the post they’ve been left on has been read. Whereas a comment (like the one you have left here) proves that the post has been read and encourages the person leaving it and the blog host to discuss the subject. I believe the latter are the types of comments most bloggers crave.

      1. It makes me think back to a post by Rory (A Guy Called Bloke) where he talked about vanity metrics as bloggers, that they prefer numbers over anything else. Whenever I get a dead-end comment, I ask a question to encourage a flow, but 90% of them just like my comment and don’t reply, so I steer clear of the bloggers that do that.

        1. I call them ‘number collectors’ Ami. All they’re interested in is numbers, not reading content and engaging.

          I’ve also been in the same position of asking questions in return comments and not hearing back from the person I asked the question.
          I guess some people don’t want to get into a discussion, which begs the question, ‘why leave a dead-end comment?’

  13. I thought about this too, Hugh. The hits don’t say, how much a post spoke to others or how helpful or inspiring it was. I agree that the number and quality of comments tell a better story or even the reblogs.

    1. Yes, I think we have a better chance of measuring the success of every post based on the number of the comments, Erika. However, personally, I would not count comments that add no value to the post. Comments such as ‘Great post’ or ‘I like this’ can not be confirmed as genuine comments. Likewise, I wouldn’t include any general chit-chat comments outside of the subject of a post (e.g. How is your dog? What’s the weather like? Did you have a lovely holiday? etc., etc.). And don’t get me started on comments that contain nothing but an emoji or a row of emojis. I don’t think they should count either.

      1. I am completely with you, Hugh! If only an emoji or a something like “nice” shows up that is not even a comment for me. It needs to have “meat on the bone” as we say… hehe.

        1. Yes, I love that phrase, Erika. I recently used it in a comment on writing and publishing a response to a challenge immediately, rather than not submitting it just before the deadline. I said that the first draft of any story (or blog post) is the bones. Come back the next day and do some edits (add meat to the bones). You’ll end up with a much better story or blog post than your first draft.

  14. It’s interesting that you posted this today, Hugh. I was just thinking about my year-end wrap up post on the weekend. Personally, I prefer to focus my year-end blog update on key accomplishments and highlights. I will include a top 10 list, but it’s not based on views or likes. Instead, I focus on the 10 posts I am most proud of because I feel they’re meaningful and important messages, regardless of the number of views.

    1. That’s a great way of looking at what to put on a year-end wrap-up and top 10 posts post, Michelle. Personally, I think it is a much better way to base what goes on the lists rather than using the number of ‘likes’ or hits a post gets. Given we don’t know how many of those hits and ‘likes’ are genuine, we don’t know how much of a success those posts really are.

  15. I feel a blog post is successful if it touches someone or makes them laugh. My most viewed post is a silly thing I wrote about tuna noodle casserole and it’s probably just folks looking for recipes!

    1. And to touch someone or make them laugh, that post has to be read, so I agree with what you say.

      Yes, I expect your tuna noodle casserole is popular for those looking for recipes, but I wonder how many actually went on to make the dish? I would hope that those that did will have left you some feedback via a comment.

      1. It was actually a post about how the simple recipes we knew as children have been pumped up and made into haute cuisine! My mother made Tuna Noodle with 5 ingredients (all inexpensive) and I ran into a recipe for the same thing a few years ago that had over 20 ingredients and some of them were expensive!

        1. A sign of the times, I think. To me, that’s like cluttering up something already good. I wonder if it did taste any better using those extra ingredients? I have an idea that the makers behind those additional ingredients tried it out and decided that it did.

  16. HI Hugh, an interesting topic. I don’t check stats on my posts but I do endeavor to answer every comment. I always end up having conversations on my own blog and often on other people’s blogs too. I blog because I enjoy it and I like engaging with other writers, authors, poets, and artists. I nearly always leave a comment when I read a post and usually it is quite a long one because the post usually triggers some sort of thought response from me. I don’t get many generic comments.

    1. And that’s what commenting is all about, Robbie. To start a discussion. Comments such as ‘This was a great story,’ ‘Nice photos’, and ‘I really liked this’ are what I call dead-end comments because they don’t give the incentive of starting a conversation. Much better conversationist comments are why it was a great story, why the photos are lovely or what was it that made you like the post. I think most bloggers like feedback on what they’ve published rather than just being told that something they have published is good/nice/bad.

      Thank you for joining the discussion.

        1. That’s what commenting is all about – having a discussion. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy discussion, but any discussion is better than the dead-end discussions I mentioned.

  17. I’ve never published it, but I always enjoy seeing the list of top ten posts when it lands in my inbox. I think my posts tend to sometimes be difficult to comment on. I do appreciates likes, even though I realize they may not always indicate reading, but actually, the part of the top ten I find most fascinating is that I often have posts show up as having lots of views that are actually much older than this year. My greatest measure of success is usually seeing the number of views a post that is linked to the one I just published gets. It’s an indication I think, that my work was appreciated enough the reader felt compelled to read a little bit more of what I might have to offer.

    1. Thank you for joining the discussion, Sarah.

      I know many bloggers who measure success on how many hits a blog post gets. And I agree that it’s great to see posts published years ago still getting traffic. But I do wonder why some of these posts don’t get any further comments or likes. Did those landing there get to the post by mistake and not read everything, I wonder? If you have older posts still getting hits, that is an excellent sign that you’ve used specific keywords that SEOs such as Google and Bing like. Keep up the great work.

    2. Dear Hugh and Sarah,

      The use of “Like” button can be quite a contentious issue. I concur with both of you and a number of other commenters.

      Furthermore, I would like to add that nowadays, I have neither the time nor the inclination to always engage with and/or inform people of what they have not been able to fathom or find answers for themselves, not to mention often having to deal with their behavioural problems and attitudes when I chose to engage in such matters in the past. Having said that, I would sooner risk being summarily misunderstood, dismissed or anything worse, than remaining completely silent and not giving them just a little nudge or acknowledgement by clicking the “Like” button when someone has written and published a post, whether or not they have bothered to do their own due diligence to reach far better discernments of what they have read and/or blog about.

      Happy December to you soon!

      Yours sincerely,
      SoundEagle

      1. And that’s precisely what the ‘like button is for on a blog post. Press if you’ve enjoyed reading the post but have nothing of value to add by way of a comment or have time to leave a comment.

        Personally, I’d remove the ‘like’ button from all blogs, especially given that many bloggers don’t take any notice of who has clicked it. Ceratinly I take no notice of who has clicked ‘like’ on my posts or comments. I much rather leave or receive the occasional comment that adds value to what has been read. I’ve always said that an occasional genuine comment (once every three months) is worth a thousand clicks of a ‘like’ button.

      1. Yes I always wonder this too. I may have a lot of views but very few likes. However, when I meet people on the street, so to speak, they give me positive feedback 🤷🏼‍♂️

        1. It’s great that you’re getting feedback, but I hope it’s more than just ‘That was a great post.’
          Many readers don’t like the ‘like’ button, so they won’t use it. Some may have read your post but not necessarily liked it. It happens, but it’s nothing to concern ourselves with.

  18. I’ve never actually done a top 10 blog post, the only similar one I do each year is a list of my favourire reads. You raise a valid point though, Hugh. You never know who has actually read your posts. Having someone like a post immediately after it’s published is a definite give away that they haven’t read it.

    1. Yes, agreed, Cathy. As are those who click the ‘like’ button on lots of your blog posts within seconds of each other. I find it’s usually the same bloggers who do it, and they never leave comments on any of those posts. I wonder why? I think we all know why.
      Thanks for joining the discussion.

      1. I notice when looking back over a few years that stats are cyclical. May and June are always the most popular time. I think that engagement is the best way to measure but even then, it might just be because you wrote a controversial post, not a good one. Often the posts I think are my best are not what others judge to be my best. Thanks for the thought provoking post Hugh 🙏

        1. You’re welcome and thank you for adding your voice to this subject.

          Interesting what you said about May and June being your busiest months. I guess it all boils down to how many posts we publish each month. I tend to publish an average of 9 posts per month, with March and April being my busiest months this year to date.

  19. Hi Hugh, interesting topic, one that is near and dear to me. I feel success is measured in the ability to conceptualize, write and publish a blog. I will try to refrain from using the “like” button. I honestly only use it if I’ve read and like the posting. Considering the darker side of “Like” as you’ve pointed out, comments seem like a far better choice. My blog is not of a topic that garners much foot traffic, Likes are rare, comments are unheard of, but I knew this would be the reality when I started it. I’m cool with that, I’m having fun and I like what I am doing.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks for joining the discussion, Danny.

      Having fun is what blogging should be all about (unless you’re somebody who makes a living out of it where stress may prove a factor). I think any post somebody writes and publishes is a success simply because they’ve chosen to share it. If I had my way, I’d get rid of the ‘like’ button, but that’s a post I’ve written before but may update in the New Year.

  20. There’s no easy answer to this, is there? Likes are notoriously inaccurate, for the reasons you describe – though I tend to fall back on them. Comments volumes can be skewed by lengthy ‘comments chats’ with just a few followers. And WP lumps too many views into its ‘homepage/archive’ category to be helpful, unless you have time to check every post individually. I’ll probably just do my usual review comprising the most liked by others and the most liked by me – it’s more fun for me that way 😊

    1. If it’s more fun, then why not do it? It’s just a shame that some more successful posts may not appear on a list at a loss to some that were not read but simply ‘liked.’
      In her comment, Darlene hit on something good – engagement. If a post gets people talking regardless of how many comments they leave on it, I think that’s an excellent way to measure success if engagement is what you’re looking for. Those who don’t respond to comments won’t agree with me on that one, though.

      1. That’s why I try to do the mixture when I do my annual retrospective- adding in a kind of safety net to catch the ones that might otherwise be missed. Engagement is good – and it’s even better when commenters start chatting amongst themselves. Those who don’t respond to comments fairly quickly become the blogs I unfollow or stop reading!

        1. No. I use that as a basic starting point, and as the parameter for inclusion in the ‘all time top ten’ widget on the blog, but consider the other factors if I’m trying to make a more rounded assessment.

        1. Unfortunately, there is no way of measuring how many people actually read your blog by the number of hits it gets. Some of those hits may have come from visitors who left within seconds of arriving. Some may have stayed and read a post. Genuine comments can help, but otherwise, we don’t know how many of those hits were genuine.

  21. I would count the most comments as the most successful posts as that means the reader has engaged. And that is what I want when I publish a post. But to be honest, I never check those stats.

    1. Would you count those types of comments that don’t prove the post has been read? I’m referring to comments like ‘Great Post’ or where people comment with emojis. It’s not always easy to know if somebody who has left a comment has read the post, Darlene. However, your comment does prove you’ve read this post.

      And I agree with you about wanting engagement. Although some attempts at engagement don’t always work (like those earlier comments I mentioned in this comment). They’re what I call dead-end engagements.

        1. You’d be far better in a comment saying why it was a great post rather than saying ‘Great post.’ What made it great? Was it the way it was written? Was it the subject? Was it something that resonated with you? Give the author of the post more feedback. It will go a long way in helping them with other posts.
          If I could ban emojis from comments, I would. They’re nothing more than dead-end comments that add no value. But that’s just a personal preference of mine.

        2. I totally agree with the comments. I have learned from you in regards to this so thank you. I’m sorry to say I do love emojis but maybe that’s a generational thing.

        3. I think emojis are a personal choice. For me, they’re more suited to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, not for use in comments on blogs. I do use them on Twitter.

    1. I used to publish them but haven’t done so since I started questioning what made one post successful over another. Measuring success on the number of hits, likes, or comments doesn’t make sense to me.

        1. That it can. Very few of my posts have liked above 100. And comments are usually around 30-40. A few posts about blogging got more than 100 comments.

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