The Stats I Track

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Justin Cox
Justin Cox
This Week In Writing, we explore which stats are necessary to track and which are safe to ignore.

Photo by Jose Francisco Morales on Unsplash
Photo by Jose Francisco Morales on Unsplash
I took AP Statistics in high school. At the end of the year, I prepared a statistical analysis of strikeouts over the previous 100 MLB seasons. There was a tri-fold board and everything. Today, there are far too many statistics in baseball to track. My strikeout presentation would be pretty pedestrian when you can determine the most obscure feats.
As writers, we have access to a multitude of stats as well. View counts, read time, followers, sales — you name it, and you can probably track it. But are all of these numbers worth our time? I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty obsessive checking stats if I’m not careful.
While stats are vital since they represent people engaging with my content, I try to ignore as many of them as possible. I’m not a writer influenced to change styles, topics, or tone based on what does well — maybe that makes me naive, but it works for me. Instead, I keep track of a few stats that are important to me:
  • Total Views (30 Days): The total number of views across all of my content in the past month.
  • Membership Referrals: The number of Medium members who use my affiliate link.
  • Partner Program Earnings (Total): The total amount of income generated from stories on Medium.
  • Write Now Reviews: Reviews of my book on Amazon and Goodreads.
  • Patreon Members: The total number of supporters on Patreon.
It’s difficult for me to track the individual success or metrics from single posts, mainly because they span such a huge timeframe. Something might sputter back to the top and find new life, but I’ll never know. Instead, I focus my stats-based attention on aggregate numbers and revenue generation. After all, those are the numbers that support my writing.
What stats are important to you? What do you keep track of regularly? Hit reply and let me know.
This Week's Featured Links
Things You Can Do Instead of Checking Your Stats | by Shannon Ashley | The Writing Cooperative
3 Signs You’re Improving as a Writer No Matter What Your Stats Says | by Allison Cecile | The Writing Cooperative
Stop Looking at Stats, Just Write | by Bryan Ye | The Writing Cooperative
This Week's Featured Tweet
K.
Writers, how do you make sure that your work isn’t dated? For instance, I have one WIP written years ago. Even after updating it, it feels very early 2000s. It was befitting for the time, but the intent is to keep it “fresh and modern”. Do you have any similar issues / solutions?
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Justin Cox
Justin Cox @writingcoop

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