Since I went self-hosted in February 2021, I've been creating monthly blog reports for myself and it has been helpful in many ways. It doesn't take long and it pays off because I have all the data needed when I want to analyse something.

If you're interested in stats like me, I highly suggest specifically keeping track of them. Sometimes, the collected numbers show things that we wouldn't notice otherwise. I don't suggest this if numbers affect you and your creativity negatively, but keeping track of them will show you interesting patterns if they don't. I even wrote an entire post about my 2022 blog stats and what I learned!

In this post, I'm sharing the stats that I keep track of and a few other suggestions. Take what you're interested in and leave the rest. I suggest focusing on the areas you're curious about instead of tracking everything for no reason. I'm also linking a monthly report Notion template that I use as my blog statistics tracker to make it easier for you!

basic blog statistics

A lot of these are taken care of already by systems like Jetpack in WordPress and Google Analytics. However, you can keep track of them separately with any insights or notes to make them more useful. I prefer tracking these separately to have a different view of them and also track the difference (increase or decrease) to get a better idea.

1. number of blog posts published & their stats

There are many aspects that you can track for each blog post. Tracking every one of them would be too much. I suggest tracking a maximum of 3 things depending on what you want to learn about your stats. Here are some of the options:

  • View count
  • Number of likes
  • Number of comments
  • Number of linkbacks/pingbacks
  • Type of title
  • Post category
  • Promotion details (like where you promoted them, how many times, etc.)

Over time, it's really hard to remember what the response to your posts looked like. Some posts may receive a lot of views but low engagement. Other posts might receive fewer views and more comments or shares.

Noting down the statistics of individual blog posts a few weeks after their publication helps in figuring out what kind of posts receive attention and engagement soon. Especially if you note down the tiny details or insights like a new blog post format or day of posting.

I track the views, likes, and comments because I want to know what kind of posts get more engagement. Depending on what you want to learn, you can track different aspects.

illustration of a person blogging in a cafe with an open book next to them and a cup of coffee

2. total likes & comments

This is important to track if you post evergreen blog posts because those receive engagement over time. If you track total likes and comments over a period, you can see how much attention is going to new posts vs older posts.

In an ideal scenario, we want older posts to receive engagement as well. If they're not, this would help you figure out why and what you can do to change that.

You can also note any insights here like why certain posts received likes or comments which pushed the overall number up. For example, if you promoted your post somewhere or if you started receiving traffic from search engines which led to more comments.

3. number of followers

This is a basic number that gets tracked in the portal you use to blog but the difference doesn't usually get captured. I like to track follower count to see the exact number of increases or decreases. This helps me correlate the response to the blog posts that I published or to the amount of referrals from other places.

4. total blog views & unique visitors

These are properly tracked for every month in Jetpack and Google Analytics—and maybe by other blogging platforms as well—but there are benefits to separately tracking it.

If you're tracking analytics on a different cadence like every 2 weeks, this is the first thing you should be recording because it won't be tracked otherwise. Most platforms track this only on a monthly cadence.

I find this interesting to track because it shows the kind of readers who visit the blog. People from search engines generally read the post and leave. Friends or referrals from social media tend to stick around and read more. Sometimes, specific posts make even search engine referrals stay around. The ratio between the total views and unique visitors gives an idea of whether people are staying and reading more or leaving.

Total blog view count also helps track the effect new blog posts have on total traffic compared to old posts. Mainly, I like to keep track of it separately so that I can make notes on how it relates to referral traffic vs direct traffic (from emails, WordPress Reader, Feedly, etc.)

5. bounce rate

This gets captured automatically if you use an analytics tool like Google Analytics. It's beneficial to track it separately so that you have all the information in one place. If you have information scattered across platforms, you're less likely to notice patterns.

I like having this info next to my total blog views and unique visitors. It adds dimension to what I'm trying to see there.

For example, if the bounce rate is higher but unique visitors are lesser, it means that people are leaving but coming back later to read more. This is the kind of readership we want. You can't know this without tracking the bounce rate.

illustration art of laptop, mug and a plant

6. number of referrals from search engines

If you're making evergreen posts, chances are that you have at least a few posts getting search engine traffic, however minimal. Sometimes, even random blog posts get search engine traffic.

Tracking search engine referral count is good if you want to increase that and/or are looking at search engine rankings. This is especially helpful to notice patterns over the year, especially if you have content specific to a certain season like summer or Christmas. If you're not looking at SEO, skip this.

I like to record just the total number of referrals from search engines and eyeball the posts that seem to get search engine traffic. If there are any new posts or changes in the list, I write them down.

7. number of referrals from social media

This statistic is mostly helpful if you promote your content on social media. You can correlate between the amount of promo you're doing, your ways of promotion, and the traffic. I found it helpful because some posts received more clicks from social media while others got nothing.

This isn't helpful if you don't promote posts on social media or don't care about traffic from them. There are chances that you will receive traffic from social media without promoting yourself—through shares by others—but it's not useful without being able to trace it back to the piece generating the traffic.

It is also not helpful if you don't use social media. Currently, I'm off social media so I am not tracking this anymore. While the referral counts are interesting to see, it doesn't help with anything.

8. number of shares

If you can track this using tools or plugins, this can be a really interesting statistic! Shares are the highest form of engagement (above comments) because they're signs that your content is great. It also puts your content in front of more people in a more genuine way (because it's not self-promotion).

The number of shares, the content being shared, and the timing can show us interesting things.

For instance, I find that posts with the right balance of useful information and personal insights like my guide to annotating and my blog aesthetic breakdown get shared more than others. I thought it would be discussion posts but they get more comments and fewer shares.

9. number of linkbacks/pingbacks

Similar to shares, this is another really interesting statistic. I don't track this because I don't have a specific use case to learn from it but I know how it can be helpful.

If you're an active blogger with many blogger friends/contacts, this statistic would help you understand what content works better for your audience. The ones that get featured in others' wrap-ups or articles are the ones that connect with your readers the most.

This shows that your words stayed with them beyond the time they spent reading on your site. That is the ultimate compliment.

The articles that get linked also become your "cornerstone content" because they're what you'll be known for. It can give you a direction to take your content in.

10. top-performing posts in the month

I don't currently track this because it doesn't vary much for me but this would be good to track if you have a new-ish blog or if your top posts change often.

Top-performing posts are not necessarily your newest posts, which is why this would be interesting to track. The usual definition of a "top-performing post" would be one with the highest number of views but you can choose your definition and track accordingly.

You can track the top few (up to 5) posts and over time, it will help you understand what content your audience likes the most, whether posts peak immediately or after a while, and understand what posts consistently do well.

illustration of a person using laptop and making notes

external stats

These are less important items that aren't tracked directly on your blog. However, they complement your basic blog statistics and can be helpful in different use cases. Depending on what you want to work on, you can choose to track specific off-blog statistics.

11. domain authority

Domain authority is a ranking that shows how much authority a website has over a specific subject or area. It is also an indication of how well the site is doing on search engines and the probability of new posts ranking on search engine results.

The metric is often used to obtain sponsorship/ad deals and set a price point. If you are interested in monetizing your blog, this statistic will help you. It is also helpful if you're interested in getting more traffic through search engines.

There are mainly two sites that keep track of and provide these rankings—Moz and Ahrefs. The way they calculate is slightly different and neither are exact indications of how search engines work. However, their rankings are a good enough measure.

I suggest keeping track of only one of them because they usually say different rankings and the point is to focus on the improvement and not the exact number itself. Both of the sites have several guides to help you improve as well.

Do note that a high domain authority does NOT equal high traffic. It is possible to be an authority in a niche that receives less traffic overall. If someone does search on it, they will reach your post, but there might not be that many people searching.

12. total keywords ranking in search engines

I used to track this when I was focusing on SEO a lot. You can track it using external tools or plugins. I used RankMath which told me for how many keywords my posts ranked under 100.

A higher number of ranking keywords isn't necessarily a good thing (it's possible that all of them receive less traffic). However, it does increase your chances of receiving traffic. It also increases the chances of your new posts ranking faster.

13. search engine rankings of individual blog posts

Basically, regularly tracking the rankings of your blog posts over a period of time. I don't suggest tracking the rankings of all your posts because, while it may sound helpful, you might spend a lot of your time and not get much use of that data.

If you're interested in growing your search engine traffic and learning what makes posts rank, tracking this for a few posts can be helpful. I suggest tracking posts when they just start getting search engine traffic or tracking posts that you want to see listed for search engine results.

You can spend a few minutes every month or so to check the current rankings of those few posts until you don't have anything to learn from them. I used to track evergreen posts from when they were published up to three months later. It gave me insights into what kind of posts ranked faster and the length of posts that did well.

an illustration drawing of a girl using her laptop

14. stats from google search console

The Google Search Console provides some interesting statistics that can help you gauge a variety of things, especially on the search engine front. Both the new and old dashboards (called Google Search Console and Search Console Insights respectively) are good. They show different aspects and are helpful in different ways.

I liked to track the average CTR (click-through ratio), average position, clicks, and impressions. Search Console Insights' "most searched queries" is also helpful. If I noticed that I was ranking for a query that I did not answer, I would add it to the post.

15. statistics on other platforms

If a platform complements your blog and drives traffic to your blog, it's a good idea to track the stats of those platforms. Especially if you're actively working on that platform.

Include every platform that you have an account on and which drives significant traffic to your blog. For example, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, We Heart It, TikTok, and Threads. Don't track all of them, track only the relevant ones.

I used to track Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest—with Pinterest getting the most detail. Now, I track Pinterest, newsletter, and YouTube statistics. Just the follower count on those platforms and the view count on Pinterest.

other factors to note

16. amount spent & earned

If you're spending on and earning from your blog, tracking the amounts is helpful. The data would be handy for future references and any renewals.

I don't track this in my monthly reports. Instead, I have a separate category for "blog" on my expense tracker. I have a few expenses for the blog since I self-host and they're handy to reference later on. I also earn a bit through ads and link inserts, so I track those.

17. items received

If you receive items in return for promotion or reviews on your blog, tracking them will be tremendously helpful. It will make sure you're not missing anything and are featuring all the items as agreed to.

If you're a book blogger, track the ARCs you receive. If you're a fashion or lifestyle blogger, track branded items or gifts received. Anything that is sent to you concerning the blog, track it.

illustration of a workspace at home showing a desk with a monitor, keyboard, mouse on a mousepad, and a glass and spectacles. the wall behind the monitor has two paintings.

18. any experiments/new things tried

Make notes on what you did on the blog, the response to it, and any insights learned from it. Makes notes if you started something new as well.

For example, you could have tried a new post format or type of post. Or you might have posted at a different time. Was there any noticeable change in the response? Does it make you want to try something else next time?

I usually write notes on anything new for the first few times or up to 3 months to get a proper idea. Trying something once is not enough to gauge whether it's good or not. So, I try variations over time and make a decision using my notes later on.

19. any trends noticed

For example, note if a certain post gets a lot of attention for a week or there are more visits to a type of post during a specific season. This will help you notice more and take specific action based on this data so that your blog does better.

Some examples of trends I've noted are increased visits to Kdrama reviews when the dramas become available on Netflix, more click-throughs from Pinterest for pins with a certain colour scheme, and the visible effect of new backlinks on Domain Authority score.

20. any achievements or milestones reached

Take the time to congratulate yourself! Document when your blog hits a certain number of views or followers. Record when a blog post gets more comments.

For all the effort that you put into your blog, there will be good outcomes. Make sure to notice them and celebrate them. It will motivate you to do more. It can also give you a checkpoint to pause and reflect on what factors helped you reach that milestone.

my stats report Notion template!

As I mentioned before, I track my stats every month. To make it easier for you, I've converted my format into a template. It's not perfect and doesn't include everything that I've mentioned in this post. However, it's a good starting point. Use the template so that you have something to start with and feel free to make changes as needed!

If you are already a part of the inner circle, you can directly get the template in the resource library by using the password. Otherwise, you can sign up below to get instant access to the library which has the template and a bunch of other helpful stuff ⬇️

bonus: FAQs

q: how often should analytics be tracked?

This totally depends on how much detail you want to record. For most things, once a month or once a quarter works fine. Even for SEO, things don't change much over a week. It's not a good idea to track very frequently because there will be too much repetitive and unuseful data.

The point is to have a bunch of data over time so that you can see what led to the results. Any bit helps.

However, you should note any insights immediately. If notice a pattern or something occurs to you, record it right then because you might forget it later on.

q: how long does it take?

This depends on how much you're tracking. When I was tracking all the things for SEO, I spent 30 minutes to an hour every month. I would comb through my stats and look at search engine rankings and all the Google Search Console stuff.

Now, I spend about 15 minutes every month jotting down the basics and any insights. That's it. Most of the time is spent writing my notes based on the numbers instead of recording the numbers themselves.

q: how often should you analyse?

The general assumption might be to analyse for new patterns or insights every time you record but I don't think that's helpful or a good use of time.

I believe that the point of recording everything in one place is to allow for serendipity and ease in the future. Instead of forcing yourself to analyse at specific times, just record and let the data be.

If you have free time and feel like looking over the stats, analyse it. Otherwise, there will be times when something occurs to you and you'll want to comb through your stats. The point of doing the work beforehand is so that when you have the motivation to analyse, you don't have to gather the data then. You can get right into analysing and learning.

q: should all bloggers track analytics?

Absolutely not.

This is important if you want to earn from your blog or are currently earning. Otherwise, do it only if you're interested in the statistics. There's not much point in tracking analytics if you're focusing on your writing or your craft. Track analytics only if it is useful to you.

chat with me!

Do you currently track your statistics or analyse them anytime? Is there anything worth tracking that I've missed to mention? If you don't track your stats or make notes, do you want to? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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  • Clo @ Cuppa Clo says:

    Ah I loved this post and seeing the things you track is so interesting! I used to track my stats when I was still relatively new to blogging but I haven't actively tracked them for maybe 2/3 years now. I just found myself getting too caught up in the numbers and feeling down when things didn't do as well as I hoped. Now I periodically check in on my stats on the WordPress interface to see what's cooking. Otherwise I leave them alone, I do plan to do a deep dive and share a post at some point next year on my stats though. Just because I think it's interesting to see how my stats may differ to those who are self hosted and anything I've noticed over the years.

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