Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More OneWinePerWeek Stats

I was wondering what, if anything, to write about today when I ran across this post on Catavino's wine blog. They were discussing the subject of visitor statistics - like how many visits, what method, what does it mean, etc., and they also issued a challenge to wine bloggers everywhere to join in and share their own stats. So that's what I am doing today.

As you can see from the above graph, freshly taken this morning, Google Analytics tells me I have had 1,219 visitors during the past 30 days. As you can also see, the majority of them happened by on one particular day and then it trailed off. The effect of this giant spike is to make everything else on the other days seem insignificant by comparison (well I guess it is insignificant), like they're all zeroes. Yesterday, for example, there were 15 visitors but you really can't tell from the graph.

Catavino uses several means to measure site traffic and they are all in disagreement with one another. So they wonder which one is the most accurate. I only use Google Analytics and still wonder how accurate it is because when I look at some of the referring sites and go to the actual page that generated the visit to my site, in some cases I can't figure out how the visitor got from point A (referring site) to point B (my site) because I see no link.

When I first started this blog, I thought it would be fun but I also didn't expect to have many, if any, visitors. So when the stats showed that I actually had some traffic, I was pleasantly surprised, as well as pleased. Hey, 10-20 people in a day was a LOT to my way of thinking. Then after that spike I got numbers-hungry (there were 572 visitors that one day, a dot by many standards but gigantic relative to little ol' onewineperweek) and was trying to think of ways to generate more traffic.

But why? I hadn't even expected any visitors at all when I began a short while ago and then my 15 minutes of fame caused me to get fixated on numbers. When I think about it, of what relevance is anything I post on this site anyway? I'd say the weekly wine reviews might be useful to people (assuming you can still find any of the wines) but the other stuff that has to fill in the remainder of the week - does it matter?

I like writing spoofs, but that's all they are -just spoofs- so they have no relevance to the world of wine. And the other stuff, like my obsession with the temperatures inside of my little Emerson Suite wine storage units - of what interest would that be to someone else? Other wine blogs I read feature wine tasting notes much more prominently, or else discuss matters of a more global and wine-relevant nature.

I dunno.. but nevertheless I still continue to write just for the heck of it. Another weird idea for a post will invade my brain and I eagerly jot it down to expand on it later.

Getting back to the original topic broached by Catavino.. I appreciate what they do to educate people about the wines of Spain and Portgual. Their blog serves a good purpose. And most understandably we are all curious as to how many people out there are reading what we write. But are the numbers really important if we are not conducting a commercial enterprise? For someone like Gary Vaynerchuk, it's important but for someone like me, other than for my ego, what difference does it make? If the numbers start getting too big I'm going to start feeling like I have to write for the readers rather than for myself.

(By the way - on Wine Library TV episode 307 doesn't Gary have kind of an Asian look? Haha, like an old Asian man.. I would have posted that comment over there but I didn't want to have people get offended and call me a racist - even though I'm Asian meselfs).

I briefly considered subscribing to Google Ad-Sense (i.e,, allowing Google to post ads on my site) but decided against it, one because I figured there wouldn't be enough traffic to generate even a dollar's worth of revenue for me, and two, personally I didn't feel right about having ads on this blog site.

Anyways.. we're a numbers society. Look at the stampede Robert Parker incites for wines he deems worthy of 90+ scores. And I'm still gonna be checking my Google stats on a daily basis even though I claim it has no relevance to my blog. Well, this is my response to Catavino's "challenge" of the day. I hesitated about it since my numbers are laughingly small, but if you get any pleasure from reading this blog, then that's all that matters.

***Tomorrow: Arnold announces California's new Wine Czar***


Anonymous said...

Two things:

1. Google and other search engines put you in a "sandbox" for like a year to make sure you're legit. Then you'll start getting ranked and more traffic due to search.

2. The beauty of blogs is they're micro-following. Small numbers of very loyal followers that you influence (if you make an interesting and "niche" enough blog). So, at some level, making money and worrying about traffic to your blog is a bit of a lost cause. Publishing an interesting journal/newsletter that we can learn from will earn you alot of juice with a relatively small crowd.

Anonymous said...

great thoughtful post! It's writing like this that makes it worth it. I think it about 2 years before out site started getting any real traffic, and now we're still in that "micro niche" range. In truth we use Catavino as a platform to get recognition in other things we do. Maybe someday, Iberian wine will be so hot we'll have thousands of visitors, but I'm not holding my breath!


MonkuWino said...

Thanks, Joel and Ryan! I appreciate your comments.

Even if no one reads this, it's therapeutic for me just because I am so wordy..

Catavino fills a good niche - very informative about wines that most of us would never have even known existed so I hope Iberian wines will soon get the recognition they deserve!

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I think your site is a breath of fresh air. Plus, I'm going to pat myself on the shoulder (at least in part) for your looks like we posted a link to your site on August 21st, around the time of the big rise in your stats. Yay! Let's all feed off each other. We're going to definitely post more links to you soon (d547 doesn't have a traditional blogroll, but you'd be on it if we did). xod

MonkuWino said...

Thanks, Jill! Yes, I did notice that there was a good amount of traffic coming from the link on Domaine 547 and I appreciate that (I appreciate your site, also - it's part of my required daily reading!).

Thanks again for your comments. You sure you didn't mean to say "breath of hot air?" Haha.. thanks.