I’m really not sure what success is in blogging. I guess it is somewhat contextual. Many blogs are probably cathartic and success is measured by how the blogger feels after righting. Some are even more basic, diaries made public (or kept private), and offer similar psychological benefits. Many are for friends and family – an easy way, ergo a place, to share goings on in words and pictures. Still more likely find there basis in ego gratification and, therefore, presumably, numbers matter. And some are for business or profit.
This one is primarily for business, with a dash of the friends and family component. Many people ask me what I’m up to. I have many irons in the fire right now:
- A complete book, tenatively titled Accidental Gods, that I need to polish up and sell.
- Plerts, a web 2.0 experiment that I will discuss soon.
- And, number one on the agenda, Oxygen Games – my new game company
At the time of this writing those links go no where. But they will, just like the projects.
Anyway, that wasn’t so much the point. The point is, I’ve started this blog to cover those things and to discuss things I’m interested in which are usually relevant to the projects listed above.
What I can’t figure out is how successful I am right now. Does 20 visits a day constitute a successful blog? 200? 2000? 200k? Somewhere in there the blog could likely be monetized, but again, when?
Why am I asking? Two reasons:
- I’m curious. Both as a web entrepreneur and as a blogger I wonder what makes a blog successful in a business / traffic sense. IE: what qualitative metrics (probably measured in unique vistors or page views) must be achieved to be successful? It’s hard to be successful when you don’t know what to target. And since most blogs (not all) aren’t run as much like businesses as other sites, it’s hard to set goals, much less meet them. I’m not out marketing this site and don’t really have any “value of a customer” model even remotely in mind.
- I’ve been getting a lot of spam comments recently. That must mean something. I’m sure there are bots posting blog spam now, but they have to be finding me somehow. So maybe I’m a little successful in some way since I’m attracting these spam bots.
Anyway, who knows. I just wanted to air this. It was carthartic. Or something like that. Anyway, any thoughts on metrics in non-spam comments would be appreciated. I wonder what other bloggers see trafficwise or if they even track it.
So in the interest of openness here is the quick summary on my blog (as of this post 3/21):
I use Google Analytics and WordPress. I’m getting 20-30 unique visitors a day right now, of which about 25-35% are repeat vistors.
My blog (http://www.jeffbeckham.com) gets a similar amount of traffic as yours (20-30 unique visitors a day, about 20% repeat visitors). I also use Google Analytics and WordPress.
From a pure traffic standpoint, the most popular blogs (like BoingBoing.net) probably have 5 million page views per month. I’d suggest, however, that an equally important measure of success is influence: how many people are paying attention to you? And who are these folks? That can be tracked to a certain extent via Technorati, which tells you how many incoming links you have and from which blogs.
The amount of spam, even for sites that get tens of visitors per month, is a huge problem. If you’re not already using the Akismet plug-in for WordPress, you should It’s a lifesaver.
I believe the best path to a successful blog is not to worry about page views and visitors, but on the quality of the content. Put great information out there and people will find it. You may even have a bit of an advantage because of your reputation on the Web. The secret to success is no secret: it’s having something interesting to say and joining the conversation and contributing something valuable on other sites.
You are successful when people comment on your postings.