How do readers judge blog success?

Bloggers have several ways of judging the success of their blog. Many are trying to get into the Technorati Top 100. Others look at how highly they are ranked in Google. Some judge their performance by analysing their web site statistics.

But there is only one true way of finding out if your blog is successful – measure the opinion of your readers. For instance, the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK is an outspoken, right winged, traditional British values publication. Many people find its views offensive. But it’s readers find it is fantastic; they love the views and position it takes on things because it confirms their own views. Success for the Daily Mail is how sure it is to its readers.

However, to do this the Daily Mail has to truly know its readers. It uses all sorts of market research techniques to ensure it stays on track with its readers views. Otherwise, it will lose readership and therefore won’t be commercially viable.

To make your blog successful you need to know your readers; that’s an essential step in judging the success of your blog. Once you know them, your blog can spend time confirming their views so that you maintain reader loyalty. Also, by having a fixed position that matches a particular readership, you will attract more of those particular kind of readers.

But having got your readership, how do you know if you are being successful? Technorati ranking is actually not a measure of success. Neither is Google ranking. All these tools show you is that a piece of technology is judging you as successful. Similarly, Alexa can help, but it’s not a true measure of success of your blog.

Here’s how to measure the success of your blog. Track your web site stats, look at Google ranking, Alexa positioning and your Technorati rank. That will give you a general picture. But once you have that general view of things, you need to also look at reader loyalty. You can do this with tools like MyBlogLog or by Google Analytics.

Now you know some basics about your blog you need two other measures. First of these is market research amongst your readers. This may mean meeting them to discuss your blog – this is one of the measures I use, for instance. Another way is surveys of your readers – I will be introducing one soon. The second method is analysis of the commercial side of your blog. If it is intended to make money from your blog you need to use sales as a measure of success. Sales amongst your target audience are a much better measure of the success of your blog than a ranking on Technorati or Google.

But how do your readers measure your blog? They will read you and buy from you if you continue to match their needs, provide what they want and confirm their view of the world. Do that and your blog will surely succeed.

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