Posted by: unlikelygrad | February 1, 2011


I am personally very fond of math/numbers/statistics in all shapes and forms. So it should come at no surprise that I find myself drawn to WordPress’s “site stats” page.

Of course it’s always nice to see that people are actually reading what I write. It’s cool when I pass a milestone. (40,000 total lifetime visits…just last week!) But what I really like to look at are more specific things, for example:

  • Outside sites linking to my blog…and how much traffic comes in as a result of those links
  • What search terms people use to find my blog (#1: searching for me by name; #2: grad school + depression)
  • And, of course, it’s always fun to see trends in the visit graph: is there more traffic on weekdays vs. weekends?

The last point is one that explains pretty clearly who my readers are. When I was applying to grad school, I spent the most time online between submitting my applications and the arrival of the last acceptance. The later it got in the application season, the more I read. Later I became a moderator at the GradCafe, and I noticed that the same pattern held true for other grad school applicants.

The fact that I have a lot of grad applicants reading my blog is made clear by the month-to-month traffic graph:

Note the peaks between February and April, which are the busiest times of year at GradCafe, too.

One other trend is obvious from the graph: despite the ups and downs, my readership is growing over time. Yay!!


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