Lots of people write a blog for pleasure – it’s undoubtedly the most common type out there. For them, a blog is a way to let off steam, communicate their thoughts on things, write about what they’re feeling, chat about a hobby they’re interested in etc.
That’s great but that’s not the sort of blog we’re dealing with here.
What we are concerned with a business and marketing tool which has a focus, a target audience and a purpose it also has costs attached to it, in terms of time if nothing else, which need to be justified. Because of this, we need to measure how successful it has been and, to do this, we need to decide what criteria we should be using to determine this.
Ideally the criteria will reflect the main objectives that we set out for the blog but there may still be different ways to evaluate these. For example,
- you might consider that it is the number of new or repeat visitors to your blog because it displays the attractiveness of the blog in terms of content;
- it could be the number of comments that you receive on your posts because you are looking to achieve a certain level of interaction;
- the number of subscribers to your RSS feed may be important because you feel this best shows active interest from your readers;
- the number of blogs and websites which link to your blog or refer to your articles via trackbacks because the interest levels of other bloggers is important from a viral marketing perspective ;
- the number of sign ups to a newsletter which you have as your main marketing call to action on the blog;
- the number of new potential customers who get in contact through the contact form on your Blog because you are looking for new client introductions.
There are a number of different methods we can use and so it is a case of deciding which is the most appropriate in terms of our stated aims for the Blog.
However, lets not kid ourselves totally. At the end of the day, although a Business Blog is not a direct sales tool, its end goal is to generate additional revenue whether that comes as a direct or indirect result of our efforts. So in addition to the criteria listed above, we need to try to identify as many of the new clients that the blog has generated as possible – it will help us to verify our focus is correct and, if nothing else, give the Finance Team a figure to plug into their ROI calculations. Bless them!