Every blog has differing goals depending on what you seek to achieve: Do you want to expand your audience? Increase revenue? Increase engagement? Create a strong reputation as an expert in your field? The first step is to define your specific goals for your blog. Then, take actionable steps to implement those goals. Finally, you need to measure your success using targeted metrics that also match your goals.
As seen in the statistics provided by WordPress for my blog this week, I got the most traffic blogging about the Schwarzenegger paternity scandal and the unique angle I took when writing my post, focusing on tweets surrounding the news. I also received a lot of views on my post about Syracuse University and effective ways to engage on Twitter. Both are based around social media and my knowledge base, so that indicates even in the beginning stages of my blog I’ve had some success with content. Additionally, my referral sites are mostly Twitter or Twitter clients, with some success in search engines like Google so I should continue to focus on my social media efforts and SEO.
To build a highly engaged audience with regular traffic, as well as gain attention as an “expert” in my field
Actions (1-6 Months)
- Promote using social media sites, since I have an established presence and audience already
- Write targeted posts based on topics that will drive traffic and engagement about social media, journalism and technology
- Use SEO to bring in traffic from search engines, not only social media sites
Unique visitors and returning visitors: By tracking and measuring unique visitors, I’ll be able to see how many people are visiting my site and understand its growth over time. Returning visitors will indicate if my audience is regularly engaging with my content and have determined a value in visiting regularly. This will help me to measure if the steps I’ve taken to meet my goal of an increased target audience have been successful or if I need to take a different tactic in the future.
Time on site: Measuring the time spent on the site as a whole, as well on specific articles, will indicate if I’m providing effective and engaging content for my readership.
Comments, RSS feeds, email lists: These metrics are all indications of audience engagement. They would reflect if people feel comfortable or driven to comment on my posts, which ones drive the most discussion, and if visitors see a value in regularly engaging and receiving my content.
Popular posts/topics: These measurements will indicate my success in utilizing my expertise and body of knowledge to reach a particular audience (those interested in social media, journalism and technology). They also indicate what topics are popular with my readers that I should continue to feature in the future because they drive traffic, versus post that receive few clicks or a small amount of time spent reading them.
Referral sites and search engines: This will indicate the value and strength of my presence on social media and the benefits or drawbacks of using Twitter to promote my content. It will also measure the effectiveness of my SEO efforts, what keywords bring people to my site, and where they’re coming from.