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How to Break Your Blog Traffic Addiction

This guest post is by John Burnside of MoneyIn15Minutes.

My name is John Burnside and I am a recovering traffic addict.

I got sucked into the analytics quicksand, and barely got out alive! I used to wake up in the morning and check how many hits I had over night. I used to stay up until after 12, even if I was tired, because that is when the day’s Google Analytics results came out. As soon as I got a mobile phone that could access the internet anywhere and everywhere I wanted that was when I was truly lost to my cravings. I would check at least once an hour and sometimes twice.

The thing with traffic addiction is that checking up on your traffic then leads on to more procrastination. ‘I’ve had one more person on my blog. Maybe they sent me an email or a comment?’ Then you go and check your emails and log in to your admin area. The list could go on and on and you can make that cycle last all day (I know because it’s been done!). This means that you will actually do nothing towards getting more traffic and you will end up just watching your traffic get smaller and smaller which is exactly the opposite of what you watch traffic for.

Hopefully these techniques that I’m about to share will help you, just like they have helped me, to actually get on with something that will help your blog.

Method 1. Rigorous planning

Now I know the nature of the traffic addict is not to plan. That is how I got stuck in the rut in the first place. I would say to myself, “I’ll just check this while I am thinking of what to do.”

The way to get around this is to plan out your day to the letter the day before. Give yourself tasks and time limits for the next day that you are going to work on your blog. If you are part-time, then plan when you are going to work and what you are going to work on during that time. Do not use the excuse, “I only have a couple of minutes.” A couple of minutes is enough time to get a bit of exposure for your blog.

Go to another blog and write a comment or have a look on a forum to see if anything interesting has been talked about that, day and if there is anything you can help with. That only takes a second, but that work will stay online helping you for a long time with a backlinks and, we hope, relevant traffic.

Method 2. Restrict the times when you look at your statistics

This method is very basic and reminds me of dieting or quitting cigarettes. Simply do not allow yourself to look at your emails or your analytics outside a certain time of the day. Write down all of the things that are included in your “procrastination list” and then give yourself a small window of time during the day that you are allowed to check them.

This is the method I use to restrict myself from checking all day. I have allowed myself to look at them first thing when I wake up and then after I have finished my work for that day. Also for the morning check so that I actually start work I actually time myself and give myself a 15-minute limit. I realize this sounds a little extreme, but when I look back over how much time I have wasted when I could have been expanding my blog, I know the restriction was worth it.

Method 3. Replace the cravings

This method is very simple and I think of it a bit like shocking the system out of the habit. As soon as you think of going to check up on your stats, redirect your activity. By this, I mean change that thought into something constructive. For example, every time you have that bad thought of wasting time, do something else like write an article or socialize on your networks (yes, this can also be a form of procrastination, but that’s another article entirely!). After doing this for a little while, you will soon get into the habit of doing constructive things.

Once you employ these methods, you will start to see results very soon in your traffic rankings. Keep in mind that everything you are doing instead of checking up on your statistics will stay online and help you for a long time. Checking your stats does nothing to help you.

My name is John Burnside and I am an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about blogging or making money online then please subscribe to my feed.

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Comments

  1. tim says:

    Wow, I just checked my stats after commenting on this article. Am I sick?

  2. Ruth B. Cook says:

    You certainly nailed a lot of us! Thanks, too, for a three-step program instead of twelve. I will subscribe.

    • Jen says:

      Ruth I’m with you! And I am a bit ashamed to admit the frequency of which I’ve checked my stats! Starting tomorrow I’ll be working on this three step program! It’s time to be more productive!

      -Stat checker anonymous! (new support group?)

  3. What you’re talking about is a “game mechanic” that game designers use to engage people in a game. Another word for it is “leaderboards”. A better way to use the statistics is to realize that they don’t mean anything in daily increments. Meaning is developed over a period of time. Maybe looking at a specific day during an ad release might be beneficial.

  4. Hey, where’s my analytics!? Muuusst Haaaavve AAAnnalyyytics! More… more… Analytics. Oh, wait, this isn’t the analytics bar?

    Never mind.

  5. Alison says:

    I love checking my stats! Haha. But it actually gives me motivation with a quick glance. Wow more people are coming. I better get some more content published so more people will come and I keep the other people coming back. But I don’t spend a half hour or even 15 mins at a time looking at my stats. Maybe 2 minutes.

    Love the article though!

  6. I found the solution for this addiction – I installed Google Chrome Extension, which shows you the visitor count for the current day, right on the Chrome menubar. No logging into Google Analytics anymore, just a glance, and my craving is satisfied.

  7. frank says:

    Thanks to this article I just discovered that I can actually check my Google Analytics traffic up to the minute… I don’t have to wait until the next day! I want instant results… I want to be on the cutting edge… I’m going to satisfy my curiosity right now…

  8. Thanks for standing up and admitting to the addiction that most bloggers quietly have. :) I was able to give mine up by reminding myself of the way energy works. What you pay attention to grows–so if your stats aren’t what you want yet, by obsessing over them, you keep them where they are. Better to go play on the blog–write posts, market, do constructive things as you suggest and EXPECT the stats to change without checking them constantly.

  9. Bash Bosh says:

    A very good tips and interesting article indeed.
    And yes, we are all bit addicted to our website traffic… especially at the beginning!

  10. Elena says:

    Ironically, I read this email right after I’d looked at my site stats!

  11. Very true stuff John. I must admit I’m a traffic junkie for my sites. Hopefully I’ll be much better after reading your article.

  12. I must confess I am a traffic addict. I recently switched to Woopra which is just amazing. Live analytics for your site! Now I find myself just watching the Woopra dashboard all the time.

    • DB Ferguson says:

      I’m a complete Woopra addict! I keep my desktop dashboard going all the time when I’m at home. Luckily, it’s such a fantastic resource that I can check it when I get home from work and know I didn’t miss anything. But oh, that rush of seeing the live surge of traffic with a Reddit or Digg or Stumble or high-status link? Stat crack.

  13. Tried to make money blogging but not very successful. Applied for adsense but could not get through and yes, traffic to blog make me stay up…blogwalking, hoping that people will visit my blog and this eat much of my time. I think, I may just give up blogging!

  14. mark ways says:

    John, I can truly understand what you mean. I wrote tech news for a blog, which used live stats. I lust loved it. The dashboard even revealed how many were online right now. However, I was constantly checking the stats and often lost precious time. So I totally agree with your tip number 2: determine times to analyze stats. Thanks Mark

  15. The three very good tips given by the writer are quite helpful as these are the ones which can add lots n lots of traffic to our websites and can further help us manage the blog and traffic addiction.

  16. Wallpapers says:

    This is great because just recently I feel into the “analytics trap.” In fact, I don’t feel like doing much else! It doesn’t feel very good.

    Hopefully, I can do something a little more constructive with that craving. Wish me luck!

  17. Fred Tracy says:

    This is so true. When I first started my blog I would check my traffic like 10 times a day, just to see each new visitor trickle in. It was incredibly exciting, but also a huge waste of time. These days I care less about traffic and more about great content. The traffic seems to take care of itself!

  18. Well great post I must say. Reading this I couldn’t help think to myself this is exactly what I do and I must break the habit so your tips will come in handy, thanks for sharing.

  19. Crawlcraft says:

    that’s an awsome article which fits perfectly to me. uhhh,,do not know if it is so easy to get rid of this addiction.

  20. I check my Google Analytics once everyday although it only take me a few minutes :D

  21. WebMarketingNinja says:

    Hey John — I’m perhaps a little more comfortable with my addiction, or maybe I just don’t realize how deep I am :) but a great post.

    I think scheduled reporting for me, really helped find that balance. My reports come in via email, I go through them — everything is good — I move on.

    If I spot something out of place, I jump on into analytics.

    This way, my pulse reporting, the stuff I want to read each day is done a whole system away from that quicksand trap of a website. With all it’s layers and layers of juicy data …. sorry.. I drifted off for a moment.

  22. Jason says:

    LOL, man we are all sick! I check my analytics and adsense twice daily myself! Gotta stop doing that. I know as long as I keep pumpin out content and doing my external seo they will come, just takes time. No use going crazy over stats!

  23. gneesham says:

    I’ve definitely fallen into this trap with my blog. I think stats are great, but to me they only make sense if looked at on a monthly basis to get averages, rather than meticulously checking every single day.

  24. Dipesh Patel says:

    True, I think an average time spent on the statistics is more than the time that the owners think about promoting and taking into next level. Watching stats is interesting isn’t it?

    Thanks, I hope now we will have more time for promotion. :)

  25. Oh dear, yes. I am guilty of all this. They are a form of procrastination and I add checking stats to my list of other forms of avoiding which includes Facebook, Twitter, general piddling around.

    I have slowly weaned myself down (note, not off) by exercising more which makes me more alert and willing to get on with the things I should be doing and eating better which does the same thing. Telling myself I can’t truly fail has also helped.

    So I guess, what I am saying is that I have worked on what is causing my procrastination rather than just working on reducing the stat checking because if I didn’t, I’d just find something else to procrastinate with.