We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Our opinions are our own.
How many times have you heard the phrase, “Treat your blog like a business”? This little phrase keeps popping up at me in blog posts, webinars, conferences, you name it. And I’d like to think that this is obvious. Right? Why else would we be diligently poring over our content and community if we weren’t serious about it as a business?
Here’s the thing. For many of us, blogging started out as an outlet to be creative, or a means to stay home with our children, or a dream to leave our 9-5 job and work for ourselves. So, we got to work teaching ourselves all things internet and blogging. We read blog posts, we wrote, we shared, we took classes, we attended our first conference, we joined blogging communities, and faithfully responded to every comment, share, tweet, and retweet.
Turn Your Daily Tasks Into Tangible Results
But, why? Why are we doing all these things? Is there a bigger reason than because it’s what we’re “supposed to do”? Of course there is.
Treating your blog like a business means taking all these little tasks that we do every day and formulating them into a plan that produces results. Long gone are the early days of doing things because we’re supposed to do them. The days of targeted efforts and tangible results are upon us. We’ve been at this blogging thing long enough to know that every action we take should propel us towards reaching our goals. How do we know it’s working? Simple. We track our results.
Take a look at these 5 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you should be tracking in your business.
1. Email Subscribers
Your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are growing at an exponential rate. It’s exciting and it’s valuable. But, don’t be fooled. You’re operating on rented space. Your newsletter subscribers are the most valuable members of your community. Here’s some perspective… If Net Neutrality prevents you from reaching your target audience tomorrow, it won’t matter. Because you will be able to reach your community in their inbox, where they’ve invited you to correspond. If you aren’t currently collecting email addresses, or have a newsletter incentive in place, please put this at the top of your list of goals to accomplish.
2. Publishing Frequency & Performance
Consistency is the key to any blogging strategy. Choose how often you want to publish, then stick to it. Keep an eye on your Google Analytics to learn which posts are performing well. This will guide you as you create future content, as well as give you an opportunity to add affiliate links to any posts that continue to receive traffic.
3. Social & Blog Comments
Your social media and blog comments will help you measure your engagement levels. Sure, you may have the reach behind you, but is your community responding to what you’re publishing? Tracking and presenting this information will help you show your value when working with advertisers on paid opportunities and ambassadorships.
4. Social Shares
You’ve heard it said in a traditional business sense that the best form of advertising is word-of-mouth referrals. That is exactly what’s happening when people share your content. They are referring their friends and family members to your site. Tracking social shares will tell you what content your community loves to promote for you, and how often your site is being recommended to others.
5. Open & Click Through Rates
Your open and click-through rates will be a reflection of your conversion rates. Whether you’re promoting an affiliate link or publishing a paid opportunity, your conversion rate matters. This information will tell you what keywords and phrases convert best within your community. Keep tabs on these rates so you can adjust your technique to continually improve your sales strategy.
Hone in on your Key Performance Indicators so you can make the most of every action you take to build your business. Everything you publish should have an intention behind it that is designed to help you reach your goals, whether it’s connecting with your community, sharing your knowledge, recommending an affiliate link, or converting your own products or services.