Success always comes back to the question “of what?” Sometimes we do not a have our goal in place when we start something good. This often goes for blogging. It can start as an experiment, a hobby, and hopefully turns into an ever evolving piece of your community strategy. There are some basic metrics we can all look at to determine if the content we are producing is affective to someone out there somewhere. If you have your content strategy and audience defined you’re two steps ahead in the game. Go you! These will still stand true.
Are people reading?
If you’re blogging for yourself, your own private diary per se, this may not matter. In fact you should stop reading this now and go make some toast. Most of us want to be read (and by the way if you still are I love you). Website analytics apply to blogs as they do to any website. You have to have an analytics program installed in order to track. Google Analytics is free, popular program. Using this you can look at page views to get a good estimate of how well read your articles are. You’re no beginner so you probably knew that. What you might not know is that’s not the full picture. Many people consume blog content from RSS readers. Using Feedburner you can get the missing piece of the picture on those who never stopped by your site yet read your articles.
RSS and email subscribers (to your posts) are an indicator of loyal readers. Those who really like your content and want to come back for more. Feedburner is such an important tool because unlike a raw atom feed it will give you these statistics on your readership.
Quality of Content
Sharing metrics are an indicator of people recommending your content to someone else. If it’s good enough to share it’s good. You can analyze your sharing stats from properly configured buttons like Addthis.com or Sharethis.com, and from configuring your Facebook Like and Send buttons to report through Facebook Insights. If you’re using WordPress there are plug-ins to make this an uncomplicated process and give you metrics right in your dashboard.
These are the bare basics. There are more sophisticated ways to measure your blog with relevance to your goals for business or otherwise. What are your key measurements for success? Please share.
Mel – Great blog post! Feedburner is an excellent tool to use in providing additional information about your users who do not visit the blog post and read it through a reader. I think it’s also important to measure the effectiveness of the content for those who do visit the blog posts. It may only be a small percentage of a user base, but it does gauge effectiveness by looking at the average time spent on content and/or acquisitions of new readers. However, sharing metrics are also a great indicator as mentioned in your blog post. Thanks for the insight!
Excellent point Nicole thanks. Time spent is a great metric for a blog and add to that pages viewed per visit. Good stuff.