So, you’ve put in the hard yards, taken and edited the photos, written and proofed your copy, and pressed publish.
Go you! But the fun (aka work) doesn’t stop there. The next step is for you to track the success of your content, so you can understand if it’s what your audience likes. Because (as we all know) that the key to having a successful blog is content that keeps people coming back, you want to give your readers more and more of the great stuff, and less of the stuff they feel ‘meh’ about.
I thought I would share with you what I do to understand if a post has been successful or not.
Comment number & contents
Ok so we’ll start with the most obvious metric – how many people take the time to comment. Although comment numbers have decreased in the last few years as people have started to use other forms of media to react (insta, twitter, Facebook etc), a truly good post will illicit comments. The trick here is also to understand not only the number but the contents of what people are saying. A great post will have highly engaged commenters asking questions and getting involved (what are they asking for?), rather than lots of short mentions.
I’m a pinterest addict. Not just because of the quotes and pictures of puppies, but because of the research it allows you to do on whether your content is resonating with your readers. I use two different ways to do this. I use this site in the weeks following a post to gage how many people are pinning from that specific page. I also look at all the pins originating from from my site here (to do your own do this: www.pinterest.com/source/yoursiteURL) which is sorted in chronological order. I think this is important because with the former you get a specific view of a post, and with the latter you get a general view about what people are loving from your site as a whole.
The second function also lets you see what content is trending (note that posts from 5 years ago show up all the time) which is key to giving people more of what they want. If a post gets no pins it could be because of a lack of readership, because you didn’t have any great images for people to use or because your post didn’t have any meaty, sharable messages. We’ve all been there, onwards and upwards! As a user of Coschedule (highly recommend!) you can also see which are your highest pinned posts, from which you can ask yourself what it is about them people like. My highest pinned posts? DIY Scalloped Heels, the DIY Ladder Wardrobe and How To Care for Your Succulents. I’ll ask myself, what did these posts have that my readers liked so much?
There are a million different things to look at over at GA (I’ll go into that one day) but when it comes to understanding the success of a blog post, or the success of various content types, I often just look at a few things. Go to Behaviour>Site Content>Pages and have a dig around. Firstly, I look at the specific URL for the post, and see how it performed over the course of the following weeks. And then secondly I also look at the overall content for the blog, to see which posts are doing the best across the site – often you may find posts trend well after the date of publishing and it’s important to understand why (was it a referral from a bigger site? Are you getting those hits from Google?). Although you want diversity in what you do, if there are ten posts that are old but popular month after month you could ask yourself what they have that your other posts don’t. My top posts for the last 6 months are How to Pack, DIY Lace Bralette, How to Email Someone and How to Care for your Succulents. I’ll ask myself, what did these have that other’s didn’t?
Social Sharing & Interactions
Make sure you are assessing over time how many people are sharing and interacting with your posts across various social networks – Twitter, Bloglovin, Instagram and Facebook are a good place to start. You want to gage what people are saying both on your own social posts (i.e. the ones where you are encouraging people to click over) and on their own profiles (i.e. when people share the posts with their friends). You can get a quick idea of how many shares are happening on your post in the Calendar of co-schedule.
Click & Conversions
For monetised posts (i.e. ones that are sponsored or affiliate linked), you want to be clear on how much value you add. The number of clicks you get on any outward links is a good metric for whether people were tuned into what you are saying, so make sure you’re tracking those babies using a link shortener. In addition, a harder metric to get your hands on but a very useful one is about conversion, meaning how many of your readers bought, subscribed or in some other way engaged further from what you are saying. Understanding this is key to getting a good idea about the value you can add – so make sure to ask your clients if you can about conversion. Sales you make through affiliate link companies are the same as conversions.
What it boils down to is that in order to build a loyal audience you need to consistently generate content that gets them coming back – and for me that’s about finding that apex of attributes that your readers like. And you may just be surprised about what they like. You also want some case studies so you can understand and argue your value when working with brands. And don’t worry or let it get you down if you’re not experiencing success all the time – not every post you write will be a winner. But when you do create one, you’ll want underastand why, so you can replicate your success over and over. Or atleast try to!
Do you have any other ways that you track/gage the success of your content?
The 1 month on Analysis of this Post
45 comments – all well engaged which shows that this topic, and the information, is engaging for people. Thanks for getting involved guys!
Facebook: 700 likes, 20 comments.
Bloglovin: 429 likes. Not too bad when the average is around 100.
Pinterest: 500 pins
950 in total to other sites