Thursday, August 25, 2011

Success of a Blog…

 “How do you assess the success of a blog?” is a question lingering in my mind for a while now. And I am not talking about private or restricted blogs – But the public ones…Many bloggers claim to run very successful blogs, but there is no universal definition of success…

Some of the typical yardsticks which many bloggers use are:
• How many views did a post get?
• How many reactions / comments did a post get?
• How many times was a post shared / tweeted / forwarded?
• How many followers does a blog have?
• How many readers / blog addicts actually await your posts?
• How many people respond in some alternate way to your posts? For e.g: Sent you feedback over an e-mail, Called to express their agreement / disagreement, etc.
• What kind of real impact do the blogs elicit in other’s lives? For e.g.: Did it get others to reflect? Did it initiate a positive change? Did it influence a key decision?
• The blogs are accessed by default by others if they are looking for specific information

In reality, all the above yardsticks are definite indicators of measuring blog popularity, which in turn is indicative of success. However, there are no baseline numbers for measurement. For e.g.: Is a post popular if it has X (X can be 100, 1000 or 10000) page-views in a day OR is a post popular if it has Y (Y can be 100, 1000 or 10000) all time page-views is a point of debate..

In my view, a lot of blog popularity and success depends on the following parameters:
1) The focus of the blog, i.e. what you are writing about? For e.g.: Is it a travel blog? Is it a technology blog? The target audience that would be interested in these subjects would vary a great deal. Some topics / subjects have universal appeal, while some are aligned for select readership and hence would have different criteria for popularity and success

2) Why one is writing? For e.g.: If you start a cookery blog, then you are probably writing to share all that you know about cooking & also get others to share view / tips / links on recipes. If you start a BPM [Business Process Management] blog, then you are probably writing to share your knowledge, experiences, point of view on the subject, to network with fellow SME’s [Subject Matter Experts]  and to create a brand for yourself. If you start a photo blog, then you probably are looking at showcasing your talent, connect with people with similar interests and also acquire business prospects

3) How vibrant the blog is? Specifically in terms of the topics of the blog & if they are aligned with the interests and sensibilities of your target readers and frequency of updates

4) How well the blog is marketed? This in the most differentiating factor in determining the long term success of a blog. How well marketed your blog is makes an ocean of a difference in the success of a blog. Multiple channels can be leveraged to reach your target audience from personal e-mails, to twitter posts, to LinkedIn updates, to Facebook status updates, Cross linkages from other popular blogs / web-sites, etc.

All the above directly impact the long term success of a blog. And if not periodically updated & marketed, they run the risk of a slow but certain fatality.

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