21st August 2015
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!
As an ode to the post, in a month I am going to do an update about how this post went. We’ll look at whether it resonated with you. We’ll ask: if so, why? and if not, why? Stay tuned!
Do you have any other ways that you track/gage the success of your content?
20th August 2015
Travelling with so much tech can be a liability, but there’s really not much of a choice if you’re a photographer, blogger, or just someone who wants to be able to whatsapp your family if you happen to stumble upon some wifi. But there’s just so many things can go wrong! Take for example, the collective gasp of a whole cafe when you drop your iPhone on the floor and the screen shatters…. NOT the best way to start out your trip. That’s exactly what happened to me when we were in Hoi An a little while ago, and nothing is more of a universal language than the ‘oh sh****t’ that you hear from those around you post screen smash.
Yes, someone as clumsy as me should probably have a giant protector case on it the size of a pillow, but let’s just say they get in the way of adventure and travel, let alone the fact that they don’t fit in your cross body bag. Which is why, I’m pretty happy to get my hands on the new Native Union (those of the amazing real marble iPhone case fame) Clic 360° case. With internal (ahem, military grade) 3D rubber mesh and shock absorbing screen bumper, it acts like a giant rugged phone case, but in true Native Union style looks pretty good. After all, you want your tech to be as adventurous, and well presented, as you are.
In case you’re wondering, protecting your tech doesn’t stop when you get home (that’s if you ever left at all), if you’re like me and love to be a tourist in your own city or town. As you can see from the pics, a day out on the Star Ferry is like discovering Hong Kong all over again, with a zillion opportunities for a screen smash. And while the Native Union case can’t stop you from dropping your phone overboard, it will protect you from pretty much everything else!
Wearing: H&M Playsuit, Coach Bag, Sportsgirl hat, Daniel Wellington watch.
Photos by Bryant Lee
This post is in collaboration with Native Union
19th August 2015
My friend is an ice-cream addict. She lives, breathes and dreams it, and can enlighten you on all the news trends in the world of ice creamery. Which is actually perfect for her, given the explosion of in cream and Japanese inspired soft serve shops here in Hong Kong. As a mark of friendship and solidarity for all that is hot and sweaty and in need of a cool down, this summer I’ve been accompanying her one of the many food experiences in Hong Kong – the ice cream tour. Although ice cream isn’t my usual choice (IQS and all that) , who can resist in Summer? And it was more than just the eating – it was amazing to visit all these different corners of the city and get involed in what turned out to be a burgeoning sub set of the dessert field. Who knew?!
Expedia recently asked me to share with them my ultimate food experiences, which I have done over on their website – that includes the amazing ice cream tour, the best dumplings, which rooftops to hit and the best food market stalls. Head this way to read all about it.
Milk Soft Serve from Via Tokyo
Purple yam soft serve from Small Potatoes Ice Creamery
Froyo in Fish Cone from Tai-Parfait
Matcha Ice Cream from Via Tokyo
Fruit Ice Blocks from I See I See
Read about all of my favourite Hong Kong food experiences over at Expedia here.
17th August 2015
We’re all about a test tube vases in the studio, hanging or otherwise. But sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge to enjoy them as much as you would like on your desk, what with their inability to stand up and all. I mean, who had time to hold your vase up all day long? In the absence of a high school science lab from which to sneak off with a wooden stand, we got a little crafty and created these simple bolt vases. All they’ll set you back is a trip to your local hardware store. Read on for a ten minutes DIY!
- Test tube vases
- E6000 Glue
1. Apply some glue to the inside of your bolt
2. Stick the test tube vase inside the bolt and allow the glue to dry completely
3. Cut flowers to size to fit inside the vases