There is tons of advice available out there for those new to blogging and social media – how to come up with post ideas, where to get free graphics, the top ten best things to do, the top ten mistakes everyone makes. But, whether you’re new to Blogland or a seasoned pro, we all end up with the same question: How am I doing? Some professions are easy to label successful or unsuccessful, but it’s a bit more complicated with blogging.
For many of us, a successful blogger is someone who has thousands of followers and daily page views. Unfortunately, there are probably millions of people out there blogging and very few of them garner that kind of following. And that’s okay.
For most bloggers, the best tool for measuring your blog’s success is a friend. Ask a fellow blogger that you know well to browse your blog with a critical eye and tell you what areas need improvement. Sometimes just getting a fresh perspective will make a difference.
But if you’re interested in analyzing the hard numbers of your influence and reach, here are the top web tools to use:
Popurri has a nice, simple format. You just put in your blog URL and it instantly shows you the results, no registration required. This is the easiest way to check your Google Page Rank and Alexia Rank, along with the number of times your site is linked to from Yahoo, Linked In, and other popular sites.
- Google Feedburner
Most Blogger users probably already use Feedburner for email subscriptions. If you don’t, it’s easy to add under Settings/Site Feed. Once you have your feed set up, you can use it to not only see how many people subscribe to your blog, but how many actually click and read your posts when they arrive via email. This is called your True Reach and can be seen as an average or on specific posts.
- Google Analytics
Analytics has a lot of useful information for bloggers. It’s easy to install and provides detailed information. Not only can you see how many views each post has received, you can also see how long people stay on your blog and how they got there to begin with. My favorite section is the keyword feature; it shows you what someone typed into a search engine to get to your site. This is helpful because if you know what people are searching for, you can be sure you use those words again.
Pingdom shows you something no other site can – how fast your site is. Just enter the URL and Pingdom will time how long it takes for each feature on your blog to load. People have short attention spans and will often leave a blog that takes more than a few seconds to load. Pingdom can show you which pictures, pages, or widgets are slowing you down.
This is a fun site that measures your success on Twitter. If you use Twitter to promote your blog, this can be very important. Create an account and link it to your profile and it will give you a grade. This is based on how often you tweet, how engaged you are in conversation with others, and how many followers you have.
- Tweet Reach
Enter your username, a keyword, or hashtag and see how popular it is. This is a great way to see how many people were reached when others retweeted you.
- Tweet Grader
This straightforward site requires no registration. Just enter your Twitter name and you’ll receive a grade from 1 to 100. If there are errors, it will provide information on how to improve your account.
- Square Grader –
Just like Tweet Grader, but for Four Square.
Lots of people use this site to shorten a URL, which can be helpful across every social media site, blogs, and other sites. Although many sites are now able to shorten URLs, Bitly goes one step further and can analyze your shortened link, showing you how many people have clicked on it over a given amount of time.
- Facebook Insight
There aren’t really any great tools out there for analyzing your Facebook fan page, but the one Facebook provides does have a bit of useful information. You must be logged in to access it. Then browse the graphs to see how many people like your page, visit your page, or even unlike your page.
All of these sites have one thing in common – numbers. You can add up your statistics all day long, but unless you know what to do with them, they won’t really help you much. If you are happy with your blog or social media page, then that is all that really matters. If not, it is time to start setting goals and making a plan to achieve them.