A decade ago the term blog was typically reserved for stay-at-home-moms and tech enthusiasts. Blogs were largely seen as forms of online diaries. Sure, some blogs were interesting to read but at that point in time they were not viewed as an integral component of brand success.
Fast forward ten years and the blogging landscape has changed dramatically. Now, every company across every landscape creates blog content – there are even fan blogs devoted to companies. To launch a company without a content marketing arm, regardless of industry, would raise eyebrows among audiences. Today’s audiences know that they can seek out brand blogs for tips, insights, behind-the-scenes views, and inspiration.
Although blogging is essentially a non-starter today, it’s still difficult to grow readership. Online consumers have a vast array of content to choose from, which makes it difficult for new blogs to cut through the noise. To give you some perspective on how difficult it is to command online attention, consider this: people share 1.3 million pieces of content on Facebook every minute of every day. On Instagram, 85 million videos and photos are uploaded on a daily basis. Although these statistics are daunting, it is possible to find a niche audience, even within today’s oversaturated content marketplace.
After you’ve developed an initial content strategy, created a content roadmap, established production and distribution processes, you should be thinking about how you can measure the effectiveness of your content and the growth of your blog. Sure, click-through rates are telling, but if you’re only paying attention to the amount of clicks your content receives, you’re overlooking several elements that comprise strong blog content. There are other blog metrics to look at, and here are some signs to watch out for.
Traffic is up
First and foremost, if people are clicking on the blog links you share on social media and visiting your site on a consistent basis, it’s usually an indication that you’re doing something right. As you are starting out any spike in traffic is a good sign – as this means that your blog is gaining awareness among your target audience. But you want to strive for consistency. One of the blog metrics to monitor is – you got it – traffi. When you can attract a high and consistent traffic rate each day, you’ll know your blog is working.
You’re sparking social engagement
Anyone can garner followers (especially if they’re buying them) but generating daily engagement across social platforms is a feat. When your posts and blog shares begin to elicit likes, reposts, and comments you’ll know two things: 1.) people are reading your content and 2.) your content is sparking an emotional reaction.
Your email list base is growing
Delivering content directly to audiences’ inboxes is an assured way of staying on their radars. But to get to that point, people first have to choose to opt in. When your email list grows on a weekly basis, it’s a sign that you’ve discovered a unique voice and means of creating compelling content, and your target readers are hungry for more content.
People are commenting
Too often brands approach blogging as a one-sided conversation. But blogging is meant to spark discourse. If the comments section below all of your articles is blank, it’s likely an indication that even though people may be taking the time to read your posts, they don’t necessarily feel compelled to weigh in, ask questions, or, simply, applaud your efforts.
People are sharing your content
Engaging content elicits a ripple effect: one person reads a piece and has an emotional reaction to it, and then decides their social networks would also gain something from taking the time to read it. When people go to lengths to share your content, even if they don’t agree with it – it is a clear sign that your brand is on the way to establishing itself as an authority.
Views and traffic continue the day after posting
One and done content is not your friend. Spikes in clicks and social engagements followed by radio silence means that your content likely was not relevant or intriguing enough to have a lasting effect on readers. However, when views and engagements increase in the days following distribution, it’s a sign that your content carries enough weight to make a clear impression on readers.
People ask to contribute to your blog content
Individual entrepreneurs and industry experts are always on the hunt for new ways to contribute their thoughts and expertise. Once a blog establishes itself in its respective niche, main individuals begin to come forward and offer their own content creation services as a means of self-promotion.
Your Bounce Rate is Down
Because of the nature of blogs, visitors typically dwell for a longer amount of time before bouncing. In fact, 70-98% of visitors stay on a blog page for at least 70 seconds. Although this isn’t a terrible statistic, you want your visitors to explore your blog for as long as possible. When your bounce rate diminishes it is a sign that they not only found what they were looking for, but also responded to other pieces that may not have been on their radars.
Readers are requesting content
When readers begin emailing and commenting with specific content requests, it means that they trust your authority and want to hear more of your insights and opinions.
David Wither is a professionally accredited leadership and marketing coach who works with young founders and early stage teams to help them navigate through emerging marketing opportunities with a current focus on artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
David is also a weekly contributor to The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business.com, and Tech Cocktail. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.