This morning, I woke up to a Twitter DM from the lovely beauty blogger Tsunimee enquiring about how valid Google Friends Connect is as a measurement of your blog readers. A lot of beauty bloggers seem to use it as a guide to how popular their blog is, and to an extent it does prove to visitors how many regular readers you have.
The thing is, there are so many ways for someone to subscribe to a blog that it’s difficult to rely on one tool to showcase how popular your blog is. Visitors to your blog could:
- Sign up to your RSS feed, or through your Feedburner feed
- Sign up to a newsletter if you have one
- Add you on BlogLovin’
- Add themselves to your Google Friends Connect
- Follow you on Twitter
- Follow you on Facebook
- Follow you on LinkedIn
- Follow you on Google+
You get the picture…
Some people may use several of these methods, while others may choose just one or two. As long as they’re reading your content, does it really matter how many options you give them to subscribe?
The alternative way to measure your blog success is by looking at your blog stats.
Ah, blog stats…
The thing is, most of them give you completely different figures. Compare your Blogger stats with your Google Analytics and the results can be vastly different. Add Get Clicky into the mix and it all gets very confusing. To add to this, it’s not unknown for some bloggers to stretch the truth a little about their stats, which can create false competition between other bloggers.
So perhaps the key is to focus on quality and not quantity. If you’re creating content that others are happily sharing on their social networks, commenting on and blogging about themselves, then you’re probably doing the right thing. If the stats you have are rising as a result, you’re definitely doing the right thing.
Tsunimee asked if there was one tool for measuring a blog’s success, or one tool she could embed to show other bloggers (and PRs) how she’s doing. Personally, I’d suggest not worrying too much about it. I have a Google Friends Connect gadget on the right (which you can get here) so people can join if they want, but I don’t use it as a measurement as I know many others use RSS. Additionally, as Tsunimee pointed out, Google Friends Connect can be limited to those who use Gmail/Blogger.
How do you measure the success of your blog? Traffic? Google Connect Friends? Comment? Social Sharing? Let me know in the comments!
(Keep an eye out for a post in the future with some methods for increasing traffic)