What makes a blog successful?

Many of you have already started a personal or business blog, and there will be some of you who are contemplating starting a blog in the hope of driving additional traffic to your website. If you are in the ‘contemplating’ category then I suggest you probably need to start pretty soon.

The content you write is visible for all on the web and particularly those who are searching to find the answers to their issues, problems and questions. Search engines love blogs too. This is because, unlike your website, the content within your blog is always changing depending on your posting frequency.

Our blog has now officially overtaken our website for monthly traffic and we have seen an increase in newsletter subscribers after reading a blog post or two, which leads me to ask the question “Is our blog our website or is the website still the website?”. It goes to prove that a blog can generate much more traffic than your main website! This is essential in assisting with your online objectives and proves that ‘valuable, informative’ content is still king.

So, what makes a blog successful?

1. Traffic – Check your analytics on a weekly or monthly basis and note the traffic data your blog is attracting. The more posts you write the more visibility your blog will achieve. Also note which types of posts attract the most visitors. Sometimes the posts you think will be popular turn out to be the least visited or shared posts.

blog_traffic

Increase in blog traffic

2.  Comments – Blogs are meant to be social and engaging. You write the content and your audience comments on the topic or story at hand, thereby voicing their opinions. It’s a two way conversation. Gaining comments can take some time and you should be patient. Not everyone who visits your website will have something to say but those who do are usually influencers so keep a tab on those who comment. You should be aiming to spark conversations with your blog posts so write with that thought in mind.

3. Shares – If it’s of value, people will share it. I’ve seen many blogs out there that still do not allow people to share posts with others and this acts as a barrier to your success. Allowing people to share your blog posts in the social space will attract more traffic and increase awareness of your blog and your brand. The more people think of your blog as a resource, the more advocates you will build along the way.

4. Returning Visitors – Using Google Analytics, view the number of visitors who return to read the latest posts. This indicates you are building a following and a following which enjoys reading what you have to say. You will be surprised at how many people keep coming back. Monitor this number and look to increase the ‘returning visitor’ metric over a period of time.

returning_visitors

Increase in returning visitors

5. Subscribers – Not everyone who visits your blog wants to subscribe. However, the people who say “Wow, this blog is amazing! I don’t want to miss another post and I want to be one of the first to know when a new article is released” will go on to subscribe. Look to increase the number of people who subscribe to your blog via email or RSS readers but make sure you allow for that facility. Use the subscriber info alongside the ‘returning visitor’ metric to get a bigger picture of your blog lovers.

6. Links – How many people are linking to your blog? The higher the number of links pointing to your blog, the more authoritative your blog is. People want to link to your blog because its a resource. See at as online word of mouth. A recommendation if you like.

7. Number of keywords – Using Google Analytics, record the number of keywords used within search engines to get to your blog on a monthly basis. The number of keywords should grow depending on the strength of your post, copywriting and the value it provides to your audience. Well written posts, with SEO in mind, will appear in more searches completed by your audience.

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Increase in number of keywords used

8. Conversions – Most important one of them all. How many people visit your blog and then go onto complete an action or goal like download a technical paper, data sheet or CAD drawing or send in an enquiry or request a sales rep visit? The example I provided earlier regarding the number of newsletter subscribers is an important objective for us and to be able to see that the blog has an influential role in increasing sign ups means that it is working. Is your blog working for you? Is your website built to allow your blog to work for you? A blog is not a seperate website, it is not a microsite either, it is an extension of your main website and provide the visitor with multiple ways of accessing and consuming information which you put out.

These are just some of the ways to measure the success of your blog. Depending on your overall objective you may just want one or two of the above successes, what is important is that you do set some goals for your blog and then look to measure the success along your journey. So, share with us the success you have had with your blog?

About Pauley Creative

Pauley Creative is the digital marketing agency for the construction industry. We create, build and manage brand awareness and lead generation strategies for building product manufacturers within the construction industry. You can follow us on Twitter here - click here.

4 Responses to “What makes a blog successful?”

  1. Greg Cheney

    Hi Nick,

    Quick question – all the blogs I follow by subscribing to them with Google Reader (including yours). How does that affect a sites analytics?

    Greg

    Reply
  2. Pritesh Patel

    Hi Greg,

    You should see traffic in your analytics reports coming from Feedburner or whatever reader you use.

    Pritesh

    Reply

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