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May 2010

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Venlatakrishna Nalamothu

bounce rate on myblogs is around 40-45% with 75% new visitors. Please explain on bounce rate.

chris blow

Feedburner for RSS subscriptions! Whenever I setup a blog for clients my (current) configuration is Wordpress + google analytics + feedburner. All three of them are just hands down best in class IMHO. I simply can't imagine not using any one of them.

I prefer to skip the plugin stats packages, rather using the semiologic google analytics plugin. you can have G. Analytics data live in 10 minutes.

Getting your feed setup with feedburner is a little bit of a trick -- you need to redirect your traffic through their service.

(With Wordpress use steve smiths' feedburner plugin to make the redirection seamless and near-instant.)

Thanks for a great post, Beth!

Beth Kanter

Chris: Thanks so much for the advice. Typepad integrates with feedburner. I was able to successfully redirect all the subs to the feeds into one and now can get stats.

The total number is actually 678! Thanks!

The number doesn't mean much - but the process forced me to fix something that wasn't working on my blog very well.

Catherine Carey

Hi Beth,

Your blog on Avinash Kaushik's Tips For Measuring Success Of Your Blog (365 Days In Numbers)is fantastic. I think of it as Blog Outcomes. Naturally, I love that.

# 1: Raw Author Contribution.

I would add posts per topic. Why? We are experts about something, or more realistically, several related things. Well, some of us are experts about several sets of related things.

Number of posts and words per post are process outcomes. Process outcomes? Process outcomes are the stuff, the activities – bloggers write blogs – to change something. Some folk call process outcomes outputs. I demure because without process you will be without outcome.

I'm not blogging yet so this is a imaginary exercise. My blogs would mostly be about:

Monitoring for continuous improvement, small and medium nonprofits, measuring the “hard-to-measure”, making it practical, advocating for understanding your organization's performance, tech tools for understanding your organization's performance, outputs are process outcomes, keeping my community strong, advocating for my community and it's children, investing in my community (ies) (aka volunteering), youth development, community strength, investing in nonprofit investors.

I'd want to count the posts per topic. Then I'd analyze the results asking:

Topics with the most posts – any connections among the top 3 or 5 topics?

Are my interests / expertise broadening? Narrowing? Intentionally – did I set a goal? Organically – in response to comments, projects, or something else?

Topics with few posts – set a goal to write more on these topics? Why? Decide to move away from them – for now, forever?

I really like this from Avinash:

“If I graphed the words per post over the last 12 months you’ll see a nice gradual upward trend, and if I correlate that with the trend in comments per post (also going up) it would give me a primitive indicator of quality.”

Excellent example of interpreting the data. Combining trends, combining data with intentionality and combining data with unexpected events are the basics for interpreting data. Interpreting data involves making sense or learning from your data.

# 3: Conversation Rate.

Avinash did not credit himself with another measure:

“For me the most awesome part of the experience is the content you all contribute. Notice you all have written as much in comments, approximately 120k words (eliminating approx 31k from my comments), as I have in posts (161k)!!”

My Words / Readers Words

Avinash wrote:

“That is 1,523 minus 115 (a recent post got too many comments so I am eliminating it as an anomaly) times 0.9 (since approximately 10% of the comments are mine) divided by 97 (number of posts).”

Excellent example of “eliminating outliers” or getting rid of the unusual and extravagant because it would mess up the analysis.

# 6: Return on Investment.

ROI is notoriously difficult to measure so KUDOS for trying. Avinash includes these many good things to quantify:

“You (and I) should track ROI. Use what you have: job offers you get, proposals for marriage, increase in salary at work, sales driven to your ecommerce website from the blog, reduction in the cost of PR because now your blog is so omnipresent and a big bull horn (for businesses this is big), number of paid conference speaking engagements, and so on and so forth.”

Additional ROI measures:

Time from prospect to sale, ratio of sales to prospects, increase in volunteers, increase in donors, increase in hours per volunteer, increased average donation, change in “quality” of volunteer activity (from chaperone to tutor), number of donors who become donor recruiters (adding a donate to you widget on their blog or website).

Since I've been at this for an hour I'll stop. Time to move on to something that has a financial ROI.

Avinash Kaushik

I'll email Catherine as well but I also wanted to express my deepest appreciation here for her long comment and for extending the conversation (with suggestions of new metrics and outcomes). I absolutely loved it, and was smiling all the way through. So: Thank You Catherine!!!!

[Beth: This is great:

Whether you want to make money or educate people or just deepened your own learning -- setting some realistic benchmarks or goals, figuring out a way to determine if you reached them, and reflecting on why or why not - can lead to continuous improvements in the quality of your blog writing.

Each person will draw their own conclusions from the set of recommended metrics, some will be more important to you than others. My hope was simply to highlight that you can measure lots even in this most social of social mediums and provide a framework for you to think of any blog's existence.]



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