One of blogging’s most important goals is to keep thinking of innovative ways to reach a larger audience. That’s pretty much the point of blogging, isn’t it? At a personal level maybe it’s okay just to reach your friends and family but if you’re blogging for a company or hoping to make your blog your job it’ll take a bit more.
In order to make your blog a success, you have to remain passionate instead of complacent. Luckily, there are many blogging tools you can use to measure your blog’s progress and whether you are reaching the goals you have set for yourself.
Before looking at specific tools you can find online to measure progress, one has to define what is meant by the term “progress.”
In order to have a clear picture on whether your blog is reaching its goals, you have to define what “progress” means to you. Now thinking about month over month growth or even, gasp, ROI, may sound intimidating, but never fear we’ll give you a quick run-through to keep you up to speed.
A common term for these metrics is ‘KPI’, or Key Performance Indicators’, there’s a great article on these here as specific to blogging but we’ll give an overview of a few ones that deserve special attention here.
If your blog is focused on driving content, you will want to make sure that your blog emphasizes search optimization which means you are looking for your content to appear easily on Google searches. As a result, blogging focused on content measures success through page visits, the percentage of new visits and how many find your blog through a simple web search. You’ll want to focus on the number of visits, as well as page views per visit to see how engaged your visitors are, as well as how often they come back.
Those looking to make their blog profitable, either for a company or themselves, will be measuring “progress” by other metrics. First, they measure success through the time spent on their site, the number of pages viewed per visit and whether your blog is referred to on other websites. You’ll want to expand your reach and retain your readers to monetize their traffic or convert them to become customers.
Ideally, your goal should be to incorporate all of these varied understandings of the word “progress” into your blogging goals.
Blogging Tools to Measure Progress
So how do we do all this?
It’s one thing to say ‘you should be tracking x, y, and z’ but another to get into the nuts and bolts of how to actually record and analyze your data. Fortunately, you’re not alone in this and there are some pretty great options out there.
If you are just starting out, one of the easiest and free options is Google Analytics. Google Analytics may seem overwhelming at first, but Google provides many helpful video tutorials about how to use it in order to track your page visitors and what posts resonate more with others.
Google Analytics may seem overwhelming at first, but Google provides many helpful video tutorials about how to use it in order to track your page visitors and what posts resonate more with others. ‘GA’ as it is commonly called provides you with extremely valuable insights into your traffic, the demographic trends of your readers, and even the habits of site visitors. For any blogger/marketer, this is crucial information that can be used to get a sense of who your target audience really is, as well as how well your marketing efforts are paying off.
There are more tools out there that bloggers can use to track their progress. Check out this article from Blogging Wizard to find out more about what tools you can use to measure your blog’s success if GA isn’t the right fit for you. While Google Analytics is the old standby for most content writers and managers, there are other tools that can be used as well.
The word “progress” is different for every blogger out there. When you sit down to write, make sure to think about your blogging goals and be flexible to change them over time as your blog starts reaching its initial objectives. In time you’ll find it’s easier to analyze the data your blog records as well as how to leverage that to expand your reach. Keep blogging with a purpose, and look for any trends you can exploit and you’ll see your traffic (and hopefully bank balance) grow!