Maybe it’s the Planner in me, but I want to measure everything. I can’t help it. No matter what I do, I’m always looking for some sort of success metric, or at least a way to measure ROI (return on investment). Blogging is no different, although in this case the investment is time rather than money. However, since I put a rather lot of time every week into Branded and through a Branded lens, I that having some idea of what I’m trying to achieve is important.
WordPress gives you 4 ways to measure success, in my view:
- Page Visits
In case you’re wondering, the order here is actually rather important in my mind. When I because writing I tracked my success through page visits. Every day I would eagerly log on, tracking which days I did better and which topics/styles of writing gathered the most hits. I didn’t necessarily revolve my posts around my observations, but it was good to know. (In case you’re wondering, photo posts get the most hits).
That was my first success metric. I thought page views was a good way to measure how well I was doing. The longer I’m on the site, however, the more I realize that it’s a flawed measurement. The wordpress reader and email subscriptions means that plenty of people can read without actually visiting the page. Case in point, I frequently get more likes then I do page visits in a day. Similarly, people can visit without reading, or read without enjoyment.
My next metric was likes. It was a good way to see how many people were responding positively to what I was writing, which is more important to me than how many people simply visit. Again, though, the more I used wordpress, the more I analyzed the tool and realized it’s flaw. Clicking a like button is easy. You can click it on a moment’s whimsy and move on, without actually thinking about the blog or the post ever again. It shows momentary approval, but doesn’t encourage real engagement.
What I finally realized is that for me and my blogs, engagement is what I seek the most. Which leads me to #3 & #4. At the end of the day, these are the real measures of success. To have a follower means someone wants to read you over and over again. And to prompt a comment means someone took the time to think about what you said, and decided you’re worth their time in a reply. They are the hardest form of success to achieve, and thus the most valuable in my mind.
Now of course the question is, at what point do I consider Branded successful? Honestly, I don’t know, but I think it’s a question every blogger should ask themselves. So much time and effort goes in to this action. At the end of the day what’s the point for you? Is there a purpose or a goal? And at what point does it become worth it or not worth it?
So I guess I’m putting these questions out to the community in general. Why did you start your blog and how do you measure what you’re doing?