Awstats is Awful

Believe it or not, I never checked the traffic of this site until only a few weeks ago. My plan to was write as much and needed and not check the stats after I had finished most of it, which is where it’s at now. Upon first glance, the traffic looks good, at 5000 uniques a month and 300 visitors a day

But – I noticed a few peculiarities: First, about 1/2 of the ‘pages’ are coming from my own IP and China. I only load this site a few times a day (to write a post and check the post). How could I possibly generate a quarter of all the page requests? That makes no sense.

Awstats, a server based traffic monitoring service included in cpanel hosting plans, dramatically inflates traffic. It’s not even close. Awstats should be used if you want to unscrupulously serve up inflated traffic stats to clients and customers or to impress people, but Awstats is in no way representative of actual human traffic. Awstats must be counting bots, spam requests and spiders as unique visitors, as well as counting JavaScript loads as page views, too. That means if you have a script-intensive page (as most WordPress sites are) each external JavaScript request counts as a hit/visitor/whatever within the single page load.

The problem is traffic is low, the niche (HBD,IQ, etc) is saturated, the news cycle is kinda slow, and pretty much everything of importance has been discussed on other blogs by professionals who write better and have connections.

On the other hand, some ‘for-profit’ sites I had running got 52 million pageviews and 27 million uniques in a 7-month period in 2010-2011. If converted into awstats it would be multiplied by a factor of 5-10.

For comparison voxday, one of the most popular blogs, gets 400k visits a month – which would still take 7-10 years to equal just seven months of some crappy sites I had running. No comparison..blogging loses. It’s fun writing the articles and all, but considering the time and effort blogging is probably the worst way possible for an average person to make money. Writing fiction is close second. (Again, this is for average people. If you are a genius, success in writing fiction is possible) Even those fitness blogs that you see everywhere hardly make a profit after factoring in costs. How-to guides and salespages are far more lucrative. When I used to sell books and guides, the idea was to keep costs as low as possible and optimize the ad copy. I would write a 50 page book on a financial topic, such as strategies to make money in the stock market, and sell it for $250-500 a copy on my own webpage (not Amazon).