Monday, January 13, 2014

A Bit About Analytics

By Laurie Epps

Everyone has statistics on their blog, but what do they mean? How do they translate into positive changes on our blog or website? Today we'll talk about using those demographics to help tailor your blog to the mission of what you hope to accomplish.

Here to show us the ropes, is my mentor Edie Melson with her book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

To understand your analytics, you must first know what it means. By definition, it's a process of storing your visitor activity, and then makes a mathematical evaluation or analysis of where your followers are stemming from.

This process rakes through your demographics, and creates pie charts and graphs so you can see concretely what type of visitor your blog is attracting. By viewing these pages within your blog, you can evaluate if you're doing your job effectively. This brings up the first point: you should have a set goal for your blog.

Some sample goals include:

  • Connect with like minded people.
  • Share Information.
  • Build a platform or following.
All of these are great goals to have, but how to achieve them varies greatly.  This should cause you to evaluate where you are, where you're going, and the best plan of action to get there.

Here's some important stats to look for:

  • Unique hits.
  • Returning visitors.
  • Traffic graph.
Unique hits monitor a particular visitor within a certain period of time, usually in the course of 25 minutes.

Returning visitors are the ones we treasure. This statistic keeps track of who they are.

Traffic graph gives the overall popularity of your posts. If you need a blog post idea, this is the stat that will help you discern what's working, and what's not.

All of these stats put together make up your analytics. It gives you the opportunity to listen to your viewers, and start the conversation with them. In turn, you can produce work tailored to what's interesting to them as well. All of your hard work will be rewarded with a strong online presence that showcases your platform, cause, or idea.

I'd like to know who watches their stats or views them as a regular thing? What information do you find especially helpful? Please share it with all of us in the comments section below.

Connect Activity:

  • Become familiar with the stats on your blog.
  • Start to create your own record of them.
  • Create a report quarterly to show your progress in your portfolio, or to an editor or agent.

Can't get enough about social media? Check out Edie's Social Media Monday column at:

Laurie Epps is a senior at Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet. A seeker of beauty and world traveler, Laurie hopes to grow into a career in travel writing illuminating the many stories that make us human despite our differences. Currently, Laurie also has a Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

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