I've always been a huge believer in defining for yourself what 'blogging success' looks like to you. A big part of this is getting specific about the metrics you measure your blog by and really tailoring it to your own specific goals and intentions. It's really easy to get stuck in a cycle of comparing ourselves to everyone around us and how they're measuring their own growth and lose sight of our own goals along the way.
Depending on the purpose of your blog, your long term goals, and what your 'big picture' looks like, staying on the right path and making the best decisions for you and your online space depends on really honing in on the metrics that matter to you. Today I'm talking through five different metrics we can analyse and explore, and how to get specific on the best ones for you and your blog.
Google Analytics Visiting your Google Analytics will probably be your first stop for getting to grips with your blogs initial metrics. Exploring your traffic, most read content, traffic sources, and how long readers are spending on your site is a great way to really understand your blogs metrics. There's so much information to be found over on your analytics dashboard, though my best advice is to only obsess over it as much as you need to. For example, if your long term goals with your blog are to monetise through advertising, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing than a focus on growing your traffic will probably be super important for you. If though your blog is more focused on personal expression, creative growth, and connecting with likeminded people then you don't really need to obsess over your daily pageviews. I check in on a weekly basis for over here and ALO, though I pay much more attention with our ALO analytics as our business model for over there is a lot different to my goals over here. Chaitra has an awesome post on How To Use Google Analytics To Enhance Your Blog and Lauren brings a super fuss free guide to SEO Made Simple if you want to focus on improving your Google ranking.
Engagement Engagement is a huge metric for assessing the impact and reach your blog is having with your audience. Comments, interaction, and the community you build around your online space is a huge focus of mine when it comes to running Jennypurr. If your long term goals are to build community, connect with likeminded people, and really share your voice and experiences with the world than a focus on engagement will probably be one of the most relevant metrics for you. Engagement is also super important for anyone looking to monetise, both through advertising income streams and through selling services/products. Traffic isn't always related to the value of your content, sometimes clever SEO and being in the right place at the right time can drive a bunch of pageviews your way, but building a consistent and engaged readership really can help to set your blog up for the long run.
Social Media Presence Our blogs are way more than just our websites, in this day and age our social media presence can play just as big a part in our blogging adventures. If you micro blog (connect with your readers via social media, usually Instagram & Twitter) you'll probably find yourself giving as much attention to your social media channels as you do to your blog. Personally I tend to fall short in this area and my social channels can be a little neglected - I like to focus mostly on creating long form content for my blog - but I know so many awesome bloggers who have utilised their social media platforms to be a huge part of their brand. Assessing your follower count across platforms and engagement with your audience over there may be a huge part of how you measure your blogs success. How much your content is shared via social media and how you connect with your readers on your platforms can be a great way to assess your online presence.
Conversions If you monetise your blog and run it as a business then conversion rates are probably something you spend a lot of time assessing. Whether you sell services, products, or advertising, reaching your ideal customers and converting views into sales is probably a huge focus for you. If you're starting to run your blog with a business model - maybe you're branching out into e-commerce - focusing on conversions instead of just high traffic means you can start to get really get specific with your goals and intentions. If you're interested in understanding conversion rates, this post over on Design Sponge is a must read.
Readers/Follower Count I know so many of us like to keep an eye on our Bloglovin follower count, and there's no denying that huge smile that hits all of our faces when we receive an email letting us know we've hit a new milestone. Growing your readership is a huge achievement and will always be something to be proud of, but in my experience that number of 'followers' is just one part of the story. Amber said it perfectly in her post on Growing Your Blog Versus Growing A Following, and I think for a more well rounded view of your blog it's good to look further than just your follower count. An interesting way to look at it is that someone with 1,000 followers that are all active and engaged readers is exactly the same as a blog with 10,000 but with only 1,000 of them really engaged with their content.
From personal experience, not getting specific with the metrics that are relevant to my blog and my own personal goals can leave me feeling lost, uneasy, and a little overwhelmed. Instead of putting unreasonable pressure on yourself to master all areas, if you pinpoint what's most important to you and invest your time and focus into the metrics that work towards your long term goals you will probably find yourself making better (and more informed) decisions and enjoying your blogging process much more.
What about you? Do you focus on specific metrics with your blog?
Do you want one-on-one support to help you identify and assess your blogging goals, find your focus, and build a plan of action?
This months Spotlight Advertiser
Nine of this months sidebar advertisers