In new year, everything starts afresh and so do bloggers. Aside from resolutions and blogging plans, it’s time to evaluate our blogging progress from previous year. Some of you may not be a fan in tracking stats but in order to plan well ahead, at least a simple review is needed. I don’t plan to bombard you with multiple tools, but some easy, accessible ways you can do for your blog evaluation:
1. Number & Quality of Comments
Most of the time, we are advised to track which post received the most comments as an indicator of its popularity. Truth is, quality factor is equally important as to get 50 times of ‘good post!’ is unable to compete with 40 comments with insightful, continuous discussions. Of course, time factor can affect since newer posts may need longer times to accumulate comments comparing to older ones.
2. Number of Retweets
You don’t need me to explain to you how ‘big’ Twitter is nowadays. If you’re going full force with social media as an publicity tool for your blog, you need to install tweetcount widgets like Tweetmeme (http://tweetmeme.com) or Backtype (http://www.backtype.com/widgets/tweetcount). Their reliabilities are unquestionable. Further more a visible widget earns you 50:50 chance for readers to retweet. Blog author has nothing to lose but a higher chance to get discovered. Therefore make sure you have the ‘WIIFM’ (What’s In It For Me) factor for all your posts, make them irresistible to go viral in various social networks.
3. Social Boorkmaking Submissions and Votes
StumbleUpon (http://stumbleupon.com) and Blogengage (http://www.blogengage.com) are examples of social bookmarking sites that allow people to submit, vote and review on the posts they like. Keep an eye on the voting amount and Analytical details that indicate which bookmarking site sent you the most visitors. This helps in prioritize your focus in certain communities and bookmarking sites that worked for you.
4. Google Analytics
Probably the best, free analytical tool I’ve ever witnessed. You can have all the analytical statistics required to measure blog progress. With Google Analytics you can find out which are your popular posts and traffic source. Knowing which keywords drive in the most visits from search engine is vital. Also, you can even identify and prepare for a follow-up post according to your most visited content.
5. Google Feedburner
Keep a periodic record of your RSS feed subscribers. For example, create an excel file, jot down the feed count in accordance to your published posts. You may think this is troublesome at first but these information and numbers can very well portray how do people react to your blog.
- Other Blogs’ Responses
This including the backlinks received from other blogs. Try to identify whether the links are reciprocal or one-way link? Are the bloggers link to you because of your post quality? Who are they and how did they find your post?
- Alexa and Google Page Rank
Two options you can take into account while measuring your blog success in general. Although it may not be the precise way to authenticate the quality of your blog but bear in mind that some advertisers do take them as references. Be ahead of your targeted group and improve these rankings can be helpful.
- Income & Profit Stats
If your goal is to blog for money, obviously Google Adsense and affiliate programs are what matter most to you. Evaluate your monthly income and identify what you could do to enhance your email marketing and be persuasive in your promotions.
Some of the ways mentioned may not be suitable for everyone, but in general they can give you some ideas how others are responding to your blog. Your blogging goals will affect much how you interpret those data. So what methods do you use to measure your blog success?