Bloggers all have a different approach. They share news, information and opinion with the world, but find ways in which to make their own output unique.
Due to this individuality, finding a universal metric for success is nigh on impossible. For some it might be traffic, others income or you could just be looking for interactions (via comments and social media). Your ultimate goal for the blog will often define which metric defines success.
Driving Targeted Traffic
Let’s take a business blog as an example. If you are using it to channel visitors to money sections of your primary site, then traffic levels passing between the two will probably be the most important measurement.
You’ll probably not be featuring any affiliate adverts or be overly concerned about gaining comments, so finance and buzz won’t be motivating factors. However, that wouldn’t be the case for a news blog.
Earning a Living
However if you’re using your blog as a small business and are producing news to attract visits, you need to be able to generate income. The ability to effectively monetise is therefore going to play a key part in judging success and ensuring longevity.
If it is your sole source of income, gaining visits will be vital in generating clicks on adverts; however, it is the revenue that comes from those click-throughs that will really determine whether you’re being effective. Lots of visitors who are entirely uninterested in the sponsors section won’t do much to keep you blogging.
Building an Online Reputation
Some people choose to use their blog as a promotional tool. Whilst they might also host affiliate ads, the primary goal is to attract interest and gain clients. This is really where you want to be building a buzz.
A high traffic volume is all well and good, you could get lucky, but reaching out to the right audience is far more vital. Therefore you want to entice visitors who are likely to spread the good word, leave comments and interact with you in the social sphere.
Client conversions might well be the ultimate metric in this instance, but to achieve it you’ll need the subsidiary benefits such as traffic and interaction. Nothing’s ever simple.
We can all be greedy of course. Why not look to be successful on all levels? There are certainly a good few sites that achieve just that.
They are able to use their identity to attract more visitors, who are encouraged to leave more comments and in turn will deliver clicks to the monetising areas of the blog (adverts or otherwise). But even these must have a driving force. The ultimate ego tickler or business booster that defines success or failure.
Unfortunately this isn’t achievable for everybody. Many blogs target niches, they are also managed by unique individuals, each of whom has their own aspirations. Whilst we’d all love to get stupidly rich in double quick time, the reality is often very different.
Understanding what it is that your blog is trying to achieve is the first step to ensuring success. Some might use it simply as a tool for networking, finding new contacts on Twitter and developing useful business relationships. It might just be a passive forum to provide a basis for your social activities – helping to maintain visibility and encourage conversation.
Others follow their analytics software carefully. Always determined to achieve the next step in their Alexa ranking and viewing visits as an indicator of popularity and growing influence.
Comments might be the only thing the writer is trying to attract. Getting feedback on their work and interacting with the posts. This is particularly the case with anybody passionate about writing and perhaps less concerned about the business side of blogging.
So hard currency isn’t always a primary driving factor. Sure businesses and professionals want to get a return on their investment (both in terms of time and money), but for others notoriety and acceptance are often more important.
What would you say?
I’m sure if I asked everybody to write down their (honest) ultimate metric there would be a fair few answers below. Therefore identifying any kind of universal measure of success is next to impossible – it is all down to personal interpretation and aspiration.