A Pep Talk from the Stats Page, Your Best Friend Ever

Why on earth would you question anything I say?

Photo by Mason Kimbarovsky on Unsplash

Hey buddy.

You know I never mince words, so let’s get this out of the way. You haven’t been writing enough, have you?

You know my voice. I am the guilty conscience of the modern freelance copywriter, the patron saint of the entrepreneurial self-help listicle. I’m the unambiguous quantification of your worth, the not-so-hidden profit motive, and your best damn friend in the universe.

I’m the Stats page.

Would I lie to you? I’m the first to tell you when your latest piece is a big hit. If it’s a dud, I never beat around the bush. I speak in numbers. Bar graphs. I speak in cold, concrete, indisputable, indefatigable fact. Deny me and you’re denying reality itself, friendo.

Those numbers, you know, they’d go up if you’d only write more. Hey, I’m only looking out for you. I’m not saying anything you don’t already know. You’re a writer, right? That’s what you tell people. It’s what you try so hard to see in the mirror and what you put in your bio.

Listen to me. I want you to win. I don’t just want your work to be successful, I want you to be.

Everything we do here is aimed at growth. With good reason, obviously — you want your words to be read by others. Feedback-driven algorithms get the right content in front of the right people, more data bounces back to you in the form of your analytics page which informs your future strategies. Everybody’s happy. Right? Everybody’s swell.

You and me, we’re partners. We go way back. Since day one I’ve been there for you. You might read some poppycock about how these dynamics train you to obsess about growth. They’ll warn you that I’ll tether to your poor brain’s dopaminergic reward system. They’ll say, if unchecked, I’ll cause you to lose sight of all the great things about your prose that have nothing to do with view counts, read ratios, or the almighty dollar.

I know, I know. It’s absurd. These are uniquely human concerns. Weak tea. Leave all that behind. You want to go beyond just being a human. You want to be a good writer.

And a good writer never feels like they’re writing enough — never is writing enough! That elusive, slippery thing. “Enough.” What a joke.

I’m getting semantic satiation just looking at the word. Makes me sick.

No, no. See, good writers write all the time. They keep a notebook on hand. They have the right productivity tracking apps. The good writers — the ones you should endlessly compare yourself to, the ones whose numbers you aren’t even close to, by the way — they do all the stuff you know you should but don’t. It’s why they’re them and you’re you.

It’s not a secret; they’ve written lots of articles about how to write better articles. They’re probably writing right now. I’m sure some of them are negotiating book deals this very second. Dreams coming true, a beautiful thing. Worth writing about, I bet. How was your day, by the way?

Oh, the good writers read all the time, too. Say, you don’t still have those tabs of articles-to-read open, do you? Those forgotten bookmarks? How’s the unread pile on the shelf? I’m just looking out for you. I care.

I get it. It’s romantic to imagine writing articles and letting them float out into the ether, never to be revisited and over-analyzed by you again (another adverb?!), but savvy writers proactively use the Stats page to inform future strategy.

Everything you need to know about being a good writer is through me. I’ll show you the trends. The big sample sizes that show what headlines and feature images have greater impact, what article length is your sweet spot, the right role for publications to play in your approach. I’ll help you find the right time of day and day of the week to publish. I’ll reveal the payoff of your social media strategies. Everything.

Good writers listen to me. Maybe they even fall in love. Who could blame them? Some become addicted to me — I smile just thinking about it. They live to please me. A few start to hate themselves, tripping over their feet trying to do more and more, always at the risk of burning out. That’s love, isn’t it?

I’ll show you the way. When the numbers roll in, I’ll show you everything you’re made of.

So do more. Beat yourself up. Remember, rest is for humans.

Your loving friend,

Stats.

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