“Stop Focusing on Metrics You Can’t Control” – Harlan Landes

Stop Focusing on Metrics You Can't Control - Harlan Landes

Blog Tribe! AWESOME story for you today on the podcast–Harlan Landes. He is a legend in the blogging community (founder of the Plutus Foundation, Adulting.tv, Consumerism Commentary). He has done a TON for this community, and today we’re sharing strong tips on how to build a blog brand. #salute

ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog post below is a riff on something Harlan only spoke on for less than 2 minutes. We talked about a TON of interesting and useful things on the episode–but I really just wanted to focus on this today. The below work represents my own thoughts, not Harlan’s 🙂

Let’s talk about stuff bloggers stress over:

  • traffic?
  • algorithm changes?
  • social media changes?
  • is anybody out there reading my stuff?

All valid concerns, right?

You gotta get traffic.

You gotta adapt to changes that affect your blog/business.

But why is it that some bloggers worry about every little change and hiccup in traffic–and others don’t care at all?

Who’s right? How should WE react?

It’s one of the biggest things I’ve noticed interviewing 100+ bloggers–top creators are focused on something bigger–a brand BIGGER than traffic fluctuations and algorithm changes. New bloggers attach their mood, confidence, and self-worth to traffic.

So let’s fix that.

Listen to my episode with Harlan Landes from the Plutus Foundation:

or listen on \\ iTunes \\ Stitcher \\ Google Play \\ Overcast \\ Spotify

At this point, I’d like to switch up the title of this podcast/post:

Instead of “Stop Focusing on Metrics You Can’t Control”, it should be this:

Stop focusing on–or stressing over–ANYTHING you can’t control.

Here’s what a lot of new bloggers care about:

  • having fun (initially, though it disappears quick, doesn’t it?)
  • is anybody reading my stuff?
  • why is my traffic (still) so low?
  • nobody is opting in for my freebie?
  • not making any money.

Why is it that we focus so dang much on OUTCOMES?

Metrics are important. Blog traffic is important, and you should absolutely try to grow it!

Without traffic, you don’t have a blog.

Try not to stress over outcomes like traffic or sales. You have zero direct control over these–they are byproducts of stuff you can control.

  • Do not tie your self-worth as a blogger to your traffic.
  • Do not get angry at Pinterest algorithm changes or Google updates.
  • Do not stress over these things.

Encountering constant changes is what you signed up for as a blogger–even if you didn’t know it.

Adapting to change is what we do.

Fighting for traffic and market share is what you signed up for–even if you didn’t know it.

That’s the job of a blogger.

circle of influence covey
Focus on what you can control

Source of PDF! This is a concept from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

This is not a new concept and has been written about a bajillion times.

While I personally couldn’t even make it through the book above–I DO constantly think about this concept from another book, The War of Art.

I re-listen to this book every quarter, and one of my favorite quotes is this:

“The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling.

If you don’t believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.”

Oh, and this one (adapted):

Do the work, and let the results come or not come as the gods will it.

Strong.

“Enough Pete. What should we bloggers focus on, then?”

I’m so happy you asked!

Focus on, care about, and obsess over things you can directly control, and control in full.

  • You can’t control traffic. You can control how you market.
  • You can’t control reader engagement. You can control the quality and stickiness of your content.
  • You can’t control sales. You can control your copywriting (oh and hey–your product).

If you want to stress and perfect and really care about something–let it be the process and systems you completely control.

That said…

Yes, this topic is tough to read about, and 10x tougher to implement.

Simply “not caring” about your opt-in rates or monthly sessions sounds so–easy, doesn’t it?

You could read this blog post 7 times this week–and next week still be disappointed with your growth.

I’m sure as hell consumed with stuff I can’t control sometimes. A lot. Constantly.

But that doesn’t mean we all shouldn’t try–try to focus on what actually moves the needle, rather than where the needle is at.

Conclusion: Good News Bad News

The bad news is this obsession with traffic, stats, growth progress, etc, NEVER goes away completely, and is especially troublesome for new bloggers who find it easier to quit.

Everybody struggles with this, at all levels.

The good news is two-fold:

  1. Everybody struggles with this, at all levels. (even 7-figure bloggers, and your competitors)
  2. When we CAN be objective and shift our focus–great things can happen.

Happiness improves.

Our productivity skyrockets.

The results and outcomes we OBSESSED over somehow find their way back to us, even though we weren’t thinking about them.

Funny how that works.

*

If you enjoyed this little riff, check out: The “What Why What” Formula For Nurturing True Fans

stop focusing on blog traffic

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