Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Blog

After you’ve been blogging for a few months, it’s a good idea to take a step back, examine what’s worked, and refine your blogging strategy. Especially if you have only recently begun blogging, it’s important to frequently review your strategy and successes, to make sure that you are progressing toward your goals. This can be hard to do if you aren’t sure how to go about measuring your blog accurately, or how to draw the correct judgement out of your information. Let’s examine one methodology to review your blog’s analytics and determine successes. To get started, log into whatever analytics platform that you prefer for your blog, be it Google Analytics, HubSpot, or whatever else is available to you.

Once you’ve signed into your blog, gather all of your blog’s data and export it to a spreadsheet so that you can slice it up and look at it from different angles. Your blog software can usually provide you with this general data, including the author name for each of your posts. If not, you may need to combine data from different systems. This way, you can easily build averages for each of your blog authors for how many views their posts get, or other criteria that you’re interested in. Depending on what data your blog can export, you have many options here – If it exports the tags for each post for example, you could also cut across the tags and see which of your blog’s tags generates the most views, tweets, or conversions on a regular basis.

Break Down Your Post Success By Author

Begin reviewing your blog’s performance by looking at clear breakdowns of your posts, such as by the author. This is an easy to access piece of data, and can show you who your real star authors are. Here is a Google Doc that can help you visualize how to break down your blog analytics by author. If you’d like to use it to get started, you should download it or save it on your own.

While the left contains the raw data from some sample blog analytics, the right hand side breaks down blog post performance by author. In this example, you can see that the average post by Kurt just isn’t performing as well as the other authors. This sheet can’t divine why Kurt’s posts aren’t performing as well, but it can point out the trends that you need to make your own observations. You can take this spreadsheet with you for your analysis – Just paste in your own blog’s data for post title, date, views, and authors into the left, and then fill in the right with the name of each blogger who writes for you regularly.

Look At Other Variables

This process works just as well if if you replace the content of Column D with another attribute that you know – For example, the post category, time of day, or other information. For example, you can do some surface-level research very easily into what times of day are most successful for your blog if you’ve previously tried out publishing posts at different times of the day. Go through your last two months of blog posts and categorize them into rough times of day, like “Morning”, “Afternoon”, “Evening” and “Weekend”. That way, you can break down the post averages by when you post them and see if different times of day lead to more successful posts for you. If you haven’t tried this out yet, spend a month varying up your posting times for your posts, and then check out if there are any consistent patterns.

Consider Your Business Goals

Finally, consider the business goals for your blog. Are you trying to generate conversions or leads? Or establish a presence as an authority on a subject? Review what metric you are trying to change by having a blog, and then look at how you can bring this into the analysis. Remember that the most important part of blogging is how it plays into moving your goals as a business organization. Do not just blog for the sake of doing it; if something is not working in your strategy, or if your marketing analytics show that your hard work is not translating into success, change things up until you find something that makes you successful.

About Brian Whalley

Brian Whalley is a marketer at HubSpot, a software company based in Cambridge, MA that makes inbound marketing and marketing automation software.


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