A what point can you call your blog a success? Is it the number of visitors? When you reach a certain Google Page Rank? When you have hundreds of RSS Feed Subscribers? Or maybe you know your blog is a success when your Technorati authority is higher than your IQ!
Kaushnick’s Blog, Occam’s Razor had a great article on defining blog success. In it he gives 6 tips for measuring the success of your blog. Here is a summary of his tips, and my thoughts.
#1. Raw Author Contribution
Also known as content, content, content. Are you writing and posting regularly? How long are your posts? Kaushnick says to ask yourself, “Do I deserve to be a success?” Are you putting in the effort? Calculate your average number of posts per month, and average number of words per post to find your “raw author contribution”.
#2. Holistic Audience Growth
Now that we know you are talking, the next question is, Is anybody listening? Kaushnick stresses organic, holistic growth. He points out that getting on the front page of Digg might get you a one time spike in hits, but that will not carry over to the day to day readership of your blog. Track your visitors and unique visitors per day and look for steady constant growth.
Also look at the number of subscribers you have. Most people consider subscribers a better indicator of blog success than visitor count. And that only makes sense. Subscribers have actually given permission for you to push your content to them.
#3. Conversation Rate
Are you getting any comments? Kaushnick points out that blogging should not be a monologue. Ideally you start conversation and interaction with your guests. He feels that blogs should be a social interaction.
#4. Ripple Effect (Citations)
This is my favorite of all Kaushnick’s blog metrics. The ripple effect is how much of an impact you are making outside your own little “blog world”. Are people writing about you on their blogs? (Like I am here!) Are you creating controversy? Do people love you or hate you? Either is better than indifference!
What does it cost you, both in time and money, to maintain your blog? I am not sure if this is a success metric. But it is an important metric.
#6. ROI (Return on Investment)
This is probably the most concrete of all the metrics. What are you getting out of your blog? What is it giving to you for all your hard work and money? Kaushnick mentions 4 values that you should look at.
Comparative Value is what your blog is worth to others. If you were to sell your blog today, how much money would you get?
Direct Value is the money you are getting today. How much are you earning from advertising, blog reviews, or consulting engagements. Maybe your blog drives traffic (and customers) to your business website.
Non-traditional Value. This one is a little harder to define. This is the social value of your blog. Instead of a public relations firm, use your blog to create great PR with your customers.
Unquantifiable Value. This is the good stuff you just can’t put a number on. The email from a stranger that says Good Job! and makes your day. The day to day happiness you get from blogging. Maybe it’s the ability to give to charity, or make a small difference in the world. This is the feel good value.
So that is just a quick summary of a blog post that is packed full of advice and information. I know I am falling short on almost every metric on this blog! That just means there is lots of room for improvement! Help me out and leave your comments. Do you think these are effective ways to measure the success of a blog? What is it about your blog that makes it a success? Then, I highly recommend that you read the complete post at Occam’s Razor. There are links to tools and more great tips on measuring the success of your blog.