Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Value of S3 Stat

If you own a blog or a website, there's a strong chance that you are at least curious about your traffic. Usually we try to avoid traffic, but cyber traffic is a different story.  Certainly there are people who blog for a small audience and have no ambition to grow the readership, and surely there are other writers who don't care anything about statistics and data. Most of us, however, who spend time creating and publishing work online are at the very least curious about the audience we are reaching.

When I started my podcast seven months ago, I faced a steep learning curve with just about every aspect of blogging and podcast technology.  I had to check out dozens of WordPress tutorials and learn how to use various software programs. After a couple of months of producing podcast episodes, I grew more curious about my audience.  Is anyone listening? What episodes are drawing the largest audience?

As it turned out, I had two means of monitoring my traffic, both provided by my web host. This was great!  Each month I reviewed the site visits and was encouraged by the upward trend.

But it didn't take long to realize there was a discrepancy.

My two reports were not telling me the same thing...not even close.  One, for example, was reporting 6,000 visits per month, while the other was reporting 1,200 per month.  The difference between the reports began to cause doubt and uncertainty.  It also tempted me to share either the higher or lower stat with whomever I was discussing web traffic.  This resulted in feeling like I was either not shooting straight with the other person (elevating my stats) or that I was selling myself short (using the lower count). Neither of these options was good.

And then I ran across S3 Stat.

Since I was already using Amazon S3 to host my podcast episodes, it made sense to give it a try...especially with their free trial.

What's been the result of using S3 Stat?
Great question!

No more guessing.  I can share my daily, weekly and/or monthly traffic results with confidence now. I can determine which episode is drawing the largest audience.  I can also get a global report, detailing where my audience is located.

S3 Stat has provided dependable reports that have allowed me to chart the growth of my podcast with confidence.