Let's use the six success metrics by A. Kaushik who wrote measuring the success of a blog. Those factors are in quotes, with some paraphrasing, along with this blog's measurements:
- "What has my blog contributed?" - measured by number of posts and words per post, i.e. content. BWS has 26 published posts over a 26 day period -- averaging one post per day. There is no information on our word count (if your blog is in WordPress you have a plug in to count words in posts, as well as in comments. We've had a mix of short tips and long posts that provoke reader interaction. The post length can be an indication of depth but also of rambling. Our Goal was to publish daily, so we measure up very well here, considering the plan was to have twice the number of writers!
- "Who consumes my blog's content? " - a tricky thing to measure. The easiest part of that question comes from analytics tools that record the number of visitors. A. Kaushik has added a factor for those who 'lurk' on RSS readers and don't actually come on the Google Analytics radar. Combined with visitors, you would then have 'readership.' Your Monthly Blog Readership = Total Visitors + Feed “Visitors” . For purposes of this post, we'll measure just the visitors shown on Analytics.For the 26 day period we had 559 visitors (or 792 Total Visits) from 43 countries/territories. Our Goal for unique visitors was 200 with 1,000 page views. Since there was no goal for readership (RSS + visitors), it's hard to judge this one. Obviously the the increase in RSS count is exceptional (from 4 to 30 in 3 weeks) --- so we're happy. But now we need to set more aggressive goals for total readership.
- "Is my blog a good conversation piece?"- are visitors dropping comments, having a conversation? Like many bloggers we shiver when the comment count stays at 'zero' for longer than four hours! So intuitively we knew that engaging you, making you want to stay in touch means comments.Our measure is 75 comments on 22 posts, 0 comments on 4 posts. We left comments from the writers in our count, since we want to be part of the dialog and add value. The average is then 3.5 comments per post. Our Goal was 3 comments per post, so we did okay -- thanks to you.
- "Is my blog making a dent in the world?" - I feel it's almost impossible to measure how your blog stands out, when there are over 70 million blogs worldwide! So you have to rely on rankings with your competition. Technorati is an accepted measure, counting the number of inbound links (your rank) and the same count over the past six months (your authority). This measures blogs who are talking about your blog and referring back to you --- they respect your voice and authority. The measurement by Alexa is useful when you track your blog's trends. The lower the number the more you've risen to the top of the world.We didn't set a measurable Goal in this area. Currently we have Authority= 10, Rank= 588,268 in Technorati. The higher the authority number the louder your voice can be heard. The lower the rank number the closer you are to the top 100 blogs in terms of links. For next year we might want to have a 40k standing in Technorati. As for Alexa, we have a traffic rank of: 9754,967445. We might want to get in the top '100,000' [one day!]
- "Does my blog give me what I want?" - be it money, fame, friends, admirers or more customers for your products. A quote from our About pages: "Posts will contain the best strategies and tips for starting, fine tuning, improving and promoting your blog. As a new blog we expect to draw new readers who are looking for a 'one-stop' blog. Together will can create shape BWS as a core resource." But for each of the writers we need to ask why we want BWS to succeed. For me, the more important reasons are exposure /learning to monetizing a blog, working with young enthusiastic bloggers and creating an interactive community. These reasons determine how you assess your blog's results. So when I see a quote about BWS like "wish i had read this a year and a half ago. it would have saved me a year and a half of learning the hard way..." , it's encouraging. My Goal is to see more people join the Blogger's Cafe and contribute more comments that enhance each post and increase interaction.
- "Is my blog costing me too much?" - is it worth my time and money or is it too 'high maintenance'? Mostly this measure is subjective or qualitative. Unless, you really overdo it, then the family lets you know in no uncertain terms!As far as software and hardware, we don't spend anything extra for BWS. The blog hosting is free. Each writer spends at least 10 hours per week (but bloggers tend to under count in this area!) We could calculate this time investment using a typical salary but I don't see much benefit in that. More to the point would be what we and our families give up because we're blogging. How else might we have invested our time?I find that I'm not hanging out at StumbleUpon as often or reading as many blogs. Definitely my other blog is suffering from lack of attention. We didn't set a Goal here but once we have projected expenses we need to do a cost benefit and maybe put an hourly value on our time. This gives a objective picture of where your blog is going. If you're "in the red," your time might be better spent elsewhere.
Just as you are the only one who can define why you blog, you are also the only one who can declare success. But being rational and fair, you might want to measure against predefined goals! Set goals for your blog's content value to others; readership level; dialogue and interaction; overall significance; usefulness to you; and cost to you.
Like resolutions, it's good to let others know about your blogging goals --- keeps you honest! What are your measures and how tall is your success?
photo by Pinkevich Family