Numbers are one of the most important factors in blogging. If you want to turn blogging into a career, it means you need to make a pretty substantial amount of money, which means you probably need to work with lots of companies, which means you need lots (and lots) of readers. This has been the bane of my existence. Though my blog is growing, it is doing so at a snail’s pace, and my social media is growing even more slowly. Needless to say I’ve been very frustrated with blogging, but recently I became even more frustrated.
I don’t know about you, but I check my traffic numbers every single day. It’s pretty much the first thing I do when I turn on my computer. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but I always hope one day I’ll jump up and down with happiness at the numbers. I check my Awstats daily. Over the past few months, it has been holding steady at 23,000-24,000 unique visitors per month, a pretty respectable amount.
I also periodically check my Google Analytics. This statistical measure is one of the most well-respected in the industry. While it runs lower than my Awstats, it’s reporting 16,000-18,000 unique visitors over the past few months. This is still a pretty respectable number.
Here’s the problem. When companies are surfing the web, trying to find bloggers like you and me to promote their product, they can’t see our stats unless they ask us directly. With the thousands of bloggers out there, companies aren’t interested in doing that, and honestly, I don’t blame them.
So they frequently use Compete. I’ve been on there many times too. Go there now and check your traffic stats. I’m guessing there’s a good chance it says your numbers are too low to report unless you upgrade to pro. That’s what it says when I look, and I’m not interested in doing that. However, I always figured the numbers would at least be close to those from Google Analytics.
I’ve recently been contacting public relations firms to help me grow my blog and social media. I spoke with a lady last week who asked me where I was getting the traffic numbers I gave her because Compete was reporting about 2,000 unique visitors a month. That’s right, when companies look up my blog, they think only 2,000 people are visiting my site, when in reality at least 16,000 people are. That’s going to make companies overlook my blog and me in a heartbeat.
The lady suggested I call Compete to have this remedied. While the woman I spoke with at Compete was nice and said though there is usually a discrepancy, it’s not typically that glaring, there’s nothing that can be done. Really?!? They can’t fix this?
I’m not entirely sure what to do. Maybe if we band together, we can get Compete to change their ways, or perhaps companies to change theirs and realize Compete has inaccurate information. At the very least, I wanted to make you, my blogger friends, aware of this upsetting and frustrating information. I do also really hope companies realize Compete is not the be all end all. I would really love to work with more companies and hope they will consider me despite what Compete says.
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says
Ugh that’s annoying!!! Stupid Compete
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
All stuff i didn’t know. Thanks for the info Laura and keep up the good work!
Becky @ Olives n Wine says
I have never heard of Compete! I actually just clicked over to check my blog and they don’t even have any information on it and I have similar traffic numbers to you… is that weird?
I just searched for it on there to see exactly what you saw, and yeah, I think that’s really weird. I’ve searched for other bloggers and none come up like that unless I typed it wrong. I might give them a call to see what’s going on.
Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron says
That’s awful. I hope we could do something about it soon!
Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie says
I had no idea about this – how lame 🙁
Yep, I hate compete. I’ve had similar issues with them! I’m glad you made a step towards getting it resolved! In brighter news…I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog (for one of Ryan’s necklaces) and I’d love for you to visit. I hope you are doing well, my friend!
Zainab @ Blahnik Baker says
I had no idea that is where companies look. I just went over there and I got the same message too. But I figured I’m so new and my numbers are not impressive so it must be correct.
In general I try not to worry about the various numbers that various sites report…I know brands look at a LOT of factors – Alexa ranking, Klout, Compete, but often times they’ll actually ask me to send over my stats and I just send over what google analytics says! It’s so easy to get stressed out about all these things…but really try not to sweat it!
I hear you on not trying to sweat it, but unfortunately I don’t get many emails so it’s a bigger deal to me.
Debbie Eccard says
Let me know if I can help in any way….
Since Compete doesn’t actually have access to a website’s traffic, they use data from a sample panel of users. That’s why it’s so inaccurate. I work in PR, too, and definitely tell my colleagues all the time that the data isn’t even close to exact. I *think* most people in the industry use Compete more as a way to compare blogs with each other and less as a traffic number. But it still is very annoying and discouraging!
Thanks for your comment and visiting, Sues! I hope you are right that people only use it as a comparison, but you never know. Do you have any PR tips to share that could help my blog grow?
Good article and I have never heard of Compete. I am afraid to go there. Companies always ask me for my numbers.
I’ve not heard to Compete. I usually look at Alexa when I want to get a sense of how I compare (and they undercount by a bunch, too). It’s pretty much academic for me, because although I may run ads someday (and ad companies will know exactly what your traffic is once you start running their ads), I’m not that interested in the sort of relationships with companies you’re seeking. Must be frustrating though – I hope you can figure out a way around that.
I just found out about Alexa – they seem slightly more favorable than Compete. Yes, the ad companies know exactly the traffic I get. I think I’m just feeling a little unfulfilled by blogging and would like to work with some more companies like many of my counterparts do.
Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories says
Well that’s disturbing. I don’t think I want to look! =)
Irina @ wandercrush says
Yikes, I just got started with blogging earlier this year so I try to go along in happy ignorance as long as I can manage to! This whole thing is a heck of a lot more complicated than I could’ve imagined, and I definitely have come to understand that running a blog (even if you’re not trying to make it into a full-time career) can be extremely stressful. Hang in there though… and maybe this is just naive and fluffy talk, but I figure if you put all your energy into loving what you blog about, it’ll naturally grow and attract readers who recognise that.
Blogging is so much more complicated than I thought. It takes so much more time than I anticipated too.
Miss Messy says
Oh no! How did I not know about this?! I searched my site and it’s not there! I get 1000 hits a day!
I had never heard of Compete either. Seems like there’s always something else to worry about.