Monitoring your blog stats for 31dbbb

Back on July 4, we were to analyze a top blog in our individual blog niche, but we had to postpone. Here we are, combining two complementary topics: analyzing a top blog in our niche and monitoring the stats on our blog.

Remember you were supposed to install a stats tracker on your blog? Open it up and pull the stats from July 1 until July 28. That’s a nice, solid period of about a month beginning the first day of 31dbbb here at yeah write.

A screenshot of July 1-July 28 for yeah write itself:

since July 1

All of our numbers are up, which is usually one of the goals when taking on a project such as 31dbbb. Your stats tracker helps determine if all the work you put into the project is worthwhile. It also helps if you set a goal beforehand. Looking for a 30 percent increase in total visitors? If that was the goal for yeah write, we exceeded it (we didn’t set a goal beforehand; next time, though).ย 

Bounce rate is another number significant to our writing project. We want our visitors to stick around a while. In the 28-day period displayed in the above graphic, our bounce rate—the amount of time/number of actions a visitor completes on your blog before bouncing away) improved from 35 percent to 20 percent. During 31dbbb, a full 80 percent of our visitors completed at least one action before bouncing off to another web site or blog. We held the attention of 80 percent of our visitors long enough for them to check us out, no matter their original reason for stopping by. That’s good stuff.

Where did our visitors come from?

sources

Most of our visitors (64%) came from a direct link, meaning ย the visitor headed directly to yeah write without any social media prompting or being sent here by email and whatnot. Our second-largest referral was links. That’s our yeah write badges at work during the weekly writing challenges or any 31dbbb participating blogs. Third was “advertising” which is how Clicky, our stats tracker, interprets referrals from our MailChimp weekly email blast or any Facebook promoted posts. Social media shares (2.7%) were additional pieces of happiness, but most of the referrals came from hard work: building relationships with our readers, hosting weekly events and sending yeah write directly into readers’ email boxes or promotional feeds. Growing your blog doesn’t just happen; you really do have to work for it.

Analyze a top blog in your niche

How do you know which blogs to choose for comparison with your blog? Don’t pick the biggest ones out there unless you have about 50,000 unique visitors a month. You’ll just get your feelings hurt and become unnecessarily discouraged. Top blog shouldn’t mean stratospheric. Choose one you love. One that seems to be doing all the things right you dream of getting right.ย 

Here’s a good scale to give everyone some perspective. Where does your blog fall? Yeah write falls between “a small blog with passing interest” and “a mid-traffic blog with sustained readership”. Some days, it feels like we have the sustained readership numbers, then our stats tell the true story. Yeah, we’re passing interest, but we are working hard every day to get to the next level.

However, we shouldn’t get caught up in pure numbers while forgetting that 20 percent bounce rate. A significant percentage of our readership is engaged with what we are saying, and that’s very important to us. Set your goals based on what’s important to you.

monthly-visitor-scale

We recommend this: figure out where your blog is on this scale, then analyze a blog one step ahead of yours. What is that blogger doing right? What is that blogger doing successfully that you would still do another way, your own way?

How do you find out the data for another blog?

Dig around. Most bloggers trying to make money off their sites are obsessed with their stats, and they’ll have an entire page devoted to Alexa or Klout scores or Google PageRank or, if you’re lucky, straight-up monthly unique visitor data. You can also make a pretty good guess based on comment count. If they have 238 comments on a post about ketchup, that’s a good bet that blogger has a sustained readership. But don’t base it all on numbers, especially if you’re tracking a writer’s blog. One, data is easily manipulated. Two, on micro-niche blogs, the numbers will be smaller and you’ll analyze it mainly because the subject is important to you.

The important thing is to find a blog in your niche (not sure of your niche? Check your elevator pitch) that will serve as a model for improving your own space.ย 

Questions, concerns, encouragement, suggestions in comments…