Instead, I have one thing that gives me a sense of value or lack of value: comments.
When I met Liz Strauss, she introduced herself, and told me next that her blog had over 39,000 comments (it's coming up on 60K now). What a STAT! I thought, "engagement measured by comments." Now that's a neat measurement.
But just to throw this into a full-on "blog post in your comments," what if we look at this:
Who cares how many people come? The real stat is "who takes the action you want them to take?"
That, dear friend, is my measurement holy grail.
Ya see, this is the thing that troubles me a bit about the discussions of how we can help businesses 'measure the effectiveness' of blogging and other forms of social media. When we do so, we tend to look at say blogging as a tool to grow business. We look at how we can measure if blogging is contributing to a business' bottom line. We look at how blogging can directly benefit a company.
But look at what Chris focuses on, comments. Why? My guess is because Chris knows that if his readers comment, it's a sign that he's creating content that they find value in. So why can't businesses and marketers have the same goal? Why shouldn't the top measure of the effectiveness of a company's blogging effort be the amount of value created for the blog's readers?
Because the great thing about blogging is that blogging makes things happen indirectly. I think Hugh MacLeod said that first, but it's the truth.
If you are a company, think of what you might want to accomplish from your blogging. Maybe you want to boost your website's Google PageRank? Maybe you want to boost online awareness in order to boost sales? Maybe you want to boost your company's reputation in your industry?
These are all direct benefits that a company might want to gain from blogging. But these benefits only arise if you FIRST create value for your readers. So if the key to getting what YOU want is to first give your readers what THEY want, why not focus on giving your readers value first?
Let's simplify things and say your goal for your blog is to have it raise your online awareness among customers. The path to arrive at that destination might look something like this:
Create valuable content on blog--->Visitors comment on and link to posts--->More visitors discover blog, readership grows and community is created--->Online reputation grows as blog readers blog about company and value its blog is creating
Your company reaching its blogging goals are dependent on you first creating value for your blog's readers.
If your company wants to be successful in its blogging efforts, approach the process as successful bloggers like Chris do. They strive to DIRECTLY create value for their readers, knowing that they will benefit INDIRECTLY. That's the power of being second.
Tags:The Viral Garden, Marketing, Blogging