How To Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 2

How To Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 2

Episode 43 of the ProBlogger podcast is part two of the Q&A series I’ve been doing on how to create great content for your blog (episode one is here). In it, I answer your most recent questions from the callout I put on the ProBlogger Facebook page about:

  • What are my three best blog posts ever and why they worked
  • What type of content I find most resonates with my audience, and whether I think video or the written word is more important and why
  • When I first started taking on paid writers, how I recruited them and how I added them to the schedule
  • What I think the pros and cons of outsourcing blog content are
  • Whether or not I believe there an optimal length or word count for a blog

I hope the answers are useful to you – I cover the post I almost didn’t publish but garnered more than 700,000 views, posts that get high traffic and how I keep them going across social media over time, my thoughts on video and audio content (especially in terms of audience and SEO), how I feel incorporating writers both brings value and dilutes your brand, the system we use for hiring new writers and editors, and the length of posts we’ve been publishing that make the most impact on our readership.

You can find episode 43 and the show notes at – would love to get your feedback.

Further Reading:

5 Tips for Optimising Facebook Ads Campaigns

This is a guest contribution from Luke Moulton.

Blogging about something you’re passionate about? chances are there are others just as passionate as you, and chances are, a high percentage of these people hang out on Facebook and share the stuff they’re passionate about. Using Facebook ads to reach your target audience can get people Liking and sharing your content, and kick-start your traffic if you’re just starting out.

If you’ve dabbled with Facebook ads and not seen much success or traction, here are a couple of techniques to try to improve performance.

1. Laser Focus on Your Target Audience

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make with Facebook ads is to go too broad with their audience targeting. You probably have a good idea of your target demographic. For example: new mums living in Los Angeles. So when you setup a Facebook Ad Set, make sure you target your audience accordingly.

5 Tips for Optimising Facebook Ads Campaigns

Recently I was helping an Australian e-commerce client with his Facebook ads campaigns. He has a range of items that are season and weather-dependent. Digging into his campaigns, I found that performance varied for cities in the north of the country compared to the south. Given it was winter in Australia when he was thinking of advertising, he was wasting money trying to promote warmer climate items to those in the southern states (remember, we’re in the Southern Hemisphere). Segmenting his campaigns down into regions (such as cities or states) help him to target products according to the weather in that region.

2. Boost Facebook Posts that are already getting traction

You may already have a healthy bunch of Facebook followers who share and like your content. When you notice a new piece of content you’ve posted getting more traction than usual, this is a good indication that the content could be popular to a broader audience.

This is a great opportunity to broaden you follower base.

5 Tips for Optimising Facebook Ads Campaigns

The trick that will ensure you get maximum engagement for you spend is to boost your post to “Friends of people who like your page” AND share a similar interest to what you blog about.

Doing this means that the “Friends of people who like your page” will see a little social proof on the ads that appear in their news feed. And social proof is a powerful motivator.

5 Tips for Optimising Facebook Ads Campaigns

3. Test vastly different images

Facebook is a very visual medium and the right image can make a huge difference in engagement and clicks to your ads. When you setup a new campaign, make sure you test at least 2 different ads that are identical except for the image.

Try adding a call to action to your image, making sure you your copy takes up 20% or less of the image space, as specified in Facebook Ads terms and conditions.

4. Setup Facebook conversion tracking

Wether you’re building an email list or selling product, Facebook conversion tracking gives you the ability to see which audience segments convert better, therefore giving you the ability to focus on getting more of those people to your website.

Running a Facebook ads report with Conversion metrics will show you (for example) which age range are converting best.

5 Tips for Optimising Facebook Ads Campaigns

In the example above, Women aged 55-64 are converting the best and costing the least. If you see something like this as an on-going trend, it can be worthwhile separating this audience out into their own Ad Set so you can try to better tailor your ads to this demographic.

5. Rotate your ads

If you’re targeting the same audience on an ongoing basis, eventually they are going to get sick of seeing the same ads week in week out. Try to set a monthly schedule to refresh your ads, or focus more on promoting your better performing posts.

Luke Moulton is a digital marketer specialising in Facebook Ads campaign management. Checkout more tips on his blog at Plankton Digital.

Behind the Scenes of our Latest Six Figure Product Launch


In today’s episode of the ProBlogger Podcast, I discuss the behind-the-scenes view of our latest product launch, which made $US120,000.

On my main blog, Digital Photography School, we have more than 30 products, and the Lightroom Presets Pack was our most recent. Today I go through the complete life cycle of the product, from how we came up with the idea, how we marketed it, how we launched it, and how it went.

I also describe how I learned about great marketing and launch strategies, and also what kind of things my audience would respond to by first promoting someone else’s product as an affiliate. Not only do you get to see for yourself the strategies other people are using to sell a similar product, but you can also gauge the reaction of your own readers to things like price points, email frequency, and interest in the product.


Today I discuss:

  • how long our Lightroom Presets Pack took to produce (and how we go about deciding what to produce in general),
  • our marketing system, how it works (and how this particular system was slightly different),
  • how we launch,
  • how we priced the product,
  • the discount we gave and why,
  • the competition we incorporated into the launch,
  • what kind of email campaign we usually run, and how we deal with it if the campaign isn’t working well, or if it is successful and needs extra time,
  • how often we send emails,
  • what was in the emails

I also talk about how we promoted this sale outside our email list – on the blog, on social media, etc , and how well that worked.


Of course it’s not always enough to retire on the launch success alone, so I also include our plans to continue sales after this initial run, how we incentivise affiliates to sell, what happens when affiliate sales aren’t as strong as we hoped, and what percentage they each make per sale.


I would love to hear your feedback on this process – what do you differently? what do you similarly? what kind of products do you have in development at the moment? feel free to leave a comment here, on the show notes, or on Twitter – I’m @problogger.

Further Reading:

Super Niching: The Dirty Little Secret Of Successful Bloggers Everywhere

Super Niching The Dirty Little Secret Of Successful Bloggers Everywhere - on

This is a guest contribution from Michaela Clark.

It’s the one thing most bloggers avoid talking about the most. A shameful, hidden secret we keep from each other.

It’s the old way of defining a ‘successful blog’– your website traffic numbers.

I’m here to combat the stigma of low readership and show you how having the right kind of targeted consumers of your content is the best thing you can do for your blog and how you can still make money blogging no matter what your audience size.

So here goes.

I’m Michaela. I write a blog for trades and building contractors.  I have less than a 1000 visitors a month and I still make money from blogging.

I am proud of every single one of the readers that I get and I’m not ashamed to admit it.   I work hard to inspire and connect with each and every one.  How amazing is it that a few hundred people a month actually want to read and listen to what I have to say? I wished my husband was as keen to hear what I have to say as some of my readers are.

So stop worrying about volume and look at how you are making a difference – even if it’s just one person you have an effect on. Isn’t that worth it?  That you can change one person’s life for the better with your words?

Without massive readership, how do I make money from my blog?

Well it’s actually really easy.  It’s all in the power of super niching.

A blog about cooking is a niche. A blog about cooking with tomatoes is a super niche.

The world will open up once you build authority in a clearly defined super niche.

How it all started:

Just over 12 months ago I went looking for online influencers to connect with to help promote my virtual assistant support business for trade contractors.

Sure there were lots of blogs about small business but I couldn’t find anyone that had built a following online around business advice for small, trade business owners. 

Spotting a ‘first to market’ opportunity, I decided to become the online influencer I had been searching for.

My first concern was that if no one else was doing it then it simply mustn’t work.  Even my mother said, “Surely there are people smarter than you that would have thought of this before now?” Geez mum, thanks for your vote of support there.

However with over 400,000 tradespeople in Australia alone, I knew there was an influencer gap there somewhere, just screaming to come out.

Straight away things began to change once I focused on delivering highly relevant and regular content to this area of the market.   I began to blog more and started to produce a bi-weekly business podcast just for trade contractors called the Tradies Business Show.

In less than 12 months and with only a handful of readers, I now have over 10 different revenue streams that are all a direct result of the content I am producing.

This additional revenue has been gained through sponsored posts, event sponsorships, podcast sponsorship,  affiliate deals, a membership site, product integrations, speaking and consulting. This is all in addition to the core VA services my business offers.

The key point I quickly realised was that potential partners and sponsors weren’t too concerned with my seemingly ‘low’ traffic numbers but rather the opportunity I gave them to speak directly to a highly relevant and engaged section of their target market.

Relevancy to the readers, not quantity of visitors, has become the new measurement of a successful blog.

Being relevant cuts through the noise, makes connecting easier and builds authority quicker.

Once you have authority you can achieve just about anything.

The power in super niching lies in the fact that it makes you relevant to those readers that matter– the ones that need your help the most.


It’s not about how many readers, but the right reader, that will make you money.

Recently I had someone ring me after reading my blog and watching some dodgy old videos of me on YouTube I had forgotten about.

I soon discovered this reader was actually the founder of a national company that has one of the biggest databases of trade contractors in the country. He rang to pitch me on how we could possibly partner together.

That one reader alone could potentially be worth millions to my business.

That only happened because of the niche content I was producing online.

Super niching will help you to attract the right reader and that is where the magic (and money) happens.

Do you have a super niche blog that you make money from?

Michaela Clark is the founder of Tradies VA,  co-host of the Tradies Business Show podcast, and Event Director of Podcast Revolution happening on the Gold Coast Nov 2015.

How to Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 1

How to Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 1

Today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast is a melting pot of your inquiries – really diverse topics, such as:

  • Should I share personal posts on my business blog?
  • How often should I be posting on my blog?
  • How do you develop compelling content?
  • What days of week/time of day are best to post?
  • How did you come to have the great writing skills that you use to blog? Did you ever get any formal training?
  • What have been your most effective techniques for engaging readers? What types of posts have generated lots of authentic comments from your readers?
  • Where do you get your ideas for content? Do you have any techniques/tips to share?

I’m sure these questions are ones that more than one person has, so I’ve given quite extensive answers to each.

You can find episode 41 of the ProBlogger Podcast “How to Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A” at, along with show notes and extra reading.


I’m also planning on doing a part two to this series of Q&A podcasts, so feel free to head to the Facebook page and submit your question here.

Further Reading:

How to Write Brilliant Blog Posts: 5 Tips from Psychology

How to Write Brilliant Blog Posts 5 Tips from Psychology - on

This is a guest contribution from Ellen Jackson of Potential Psychology.

Are you ready to rock a brilliant blog post? Do you want to write faster, think more creatively, just do it all better?

Writing is a thinking task. It requires creativity and problem solving. We need to process information, retrieve things from memory, read, develop ideas, research, plan and review. We’re considering the next word as we’re writing this one, and we’re managing our own thoughts and feelings about the process and results as we go. On top of all of this we’re typing or handwriting and probably flicking back and forth in different browsers and applications. Your brain is working hard here, people.

To get into the writing zone in which the ideas come easily, you’re not distracted by every little thing and the brilliance flows from brain to fingertips, it helps to provide your mind with the right setup. You need to give it the time, space and environment to work at its best.

Here are five tips from psychology to get you in the blogging zone.

1. Keep things quiet, but not too quiet.

Different people cope better with different levels of noise but we know from studies that if you want to get creative you need just the right amount of background sound.

If the ambient noise in your work space creeps up above about 85 decibels (about the sound of a large truck passing close by) your brain is too busy and distracted for fresh ideas and ‘a-ha’ moments. You can’t think creatively with that kind of sound.

If it’s too quiet though your brain doesn’t make it into the creativity zone. We need some sound to kick the brain into gear and get those ideas flowing. Too quiet and we tend to be distracted by our own thoughts.

The ideal ambient noise for creativity is around 70 decibels. That’s the sound of the shower running, the dishwasher humming or maybe a lawn mower out in the yard. A bit of background sound without it getting in your ear.

Different people will find different types of sound distracting. I’m writing this in a busy café surrounded by plenty of chatter and background noise. It’s perfect for me. My mind feels cocooned by the ambient noise and I can focus fully on my ideas.

Others might find the content of close conversation distracting and be better off with white noise like distant traffic, bird song or kids playing (as long as they’re not yours and on their way to disturb you).

Tip: If you’re trying to find the right noise type and level for you, play around with it. Think about when and where you’re at your creative best. What type of noise surrounds you? Turn the music up. Turn it down. Change rooms. Change locations. Try a white noise app. Experiment and find what works for you.

2. Get the timing right.

Every one of us operates on an internal body schedule known as circadian rhythm. These rhythms roughly follow a 24 hour cycle and they respond primarily to light and dark in our environment. Some of us function better in the morning and others work at our best in the evening and at night. (Not sure whether you’re a morning or night person? Try this questionnaire).

There’s some research that suggests that morning is the best time for creativity for everyone, regardless of whether you’re an early bird or a night owl. Your willpower is stronger in the morning (it’s a finite resource and may not stick with you all the way til an evening writing session) and the creative connections in the brain fire more readily in the early hours of the day, just after sleep.

If you want to get analytical, however – the type of thought required for editing – you can leave that til later in the day when those neurons have settled down and are ready for more methodical, structured thought.

Tip: Keep a journal of when your best ideas come to you (waterproof notepads do exist for the shower creatives). Do this for a week or more and look for patterns. Find ways to capture the ideas when they land. According to some research, morning people might get their best ideas at night and night owls in the morning. It’s something to do with the brain being better at creativity when it’s a little fuzzy.

Take note of your best times for editing and other blog tasks too. If you can plan your day around when your mind works best for each type of task you’ll improve your efficiency.

3. Engage in rituals.

Legend has it that Victor Hugo, to avoid procrastination and get down to writing, would strip off and instruct his valet to hide his clothes so that he couldn’t leave the house. This may or may not work for you depending on the availability of a valet but you may have other rituals that get you into the writing frame of mind.

Maybe you always use a particular pen and notebook, or you like to be seated by a window with a view of the street. You might work best after exercising or in your PJs. I get my writing mojo in my favourite café after a yoga class.

Rituals are important because they serve as ‘cognitive cues’, signals to the mind that a particular activity is about to take place and it needs to get into the zone. It creates an association between the steps you take as part of your ritual and a preparedness to knuckle down and get stuff done.

Tip: The key to creating a successful blogging ritual is consistency. You need to enact and repeat the same steps over and over to make it work. Some of you might write every day. Others will only write in a certain location. Your task is to create your writing ritual, put it into practice and repeat it again and again.

4. Ditch the phone.

As any practised procrastinator will tell you, distraction is the enemy of productivity. When you’re sitting at your desk ready to write there is no end to tiny tasks that loom up and demand your instant attention. Junk mail is fascinating. Desk items require rearranging. You may even be tempted to work on your taxes.

To write a brilliant blog post you need focus and attention. You need to train that brain on the task at hand and resist the urge to be distracted by the many little items tempting you, particularly the technology that goes ding and beep, calling you with a message, notification or email.

Cruelly, the part of your brain that you need most to focus your attention and do all of the complex thinking that writing entails (the pre-frontal cortex) is also the part of the brain that is most easily distracted. Your pre-frontal cortex loves a distraction, particularly if it’s offering something novel and entertaining. Cat videos come to mind.

Don’t think you can multi-task either. Every time you are distracted from your blogging task you lose focus and productivity. It takes longer and longer for the brain to switch back into work mode. Studies have shown that there is no such thing as muti-tasking as far as the brain is concerned. It can’t do two things at once. It can only switch quickly from one task to the other and this is inefficient and exhausting.

Tip: To increase your efficiency, remove as many distractions as you can from your work space. Switch the phone off or leave it in another room. Use only the apps or programs that you absolutely need to or set yourself up with a program like StayFocusd that locks you out of websites that you have nominated as time wasters.

To manage distracting thoughts or a busy brain trying paying attention to your attention. Acknowledge that your mind will wander and you will be distracted, particularly when your blogging task is challenging. When you notice yourself thinking about something other than the task at hand or looking around for distraction, remind yourself that it’s just a normal brain doing its thing and gently bring your attention back to where it’s meant to be. Now get back to work.

5. Find your flow.

There’s a psychological phenomenon called ‘flow.’ You might have heard of it. When you’re in flow (known also as ‘the zone’) you’re in an optimal state of consciousness for getting stuff done with the added bonus of feeling great. You’re not thinking, you’re just doing. Time disappears. Nothing distracts you and the quality of your output is unparalleled. When you’re in flow, you’re on fire.

The beauty of flow is that when we’re in it we lose self-consciousness and inhibition about what we’re doing. A segment of that pesky pre-frontal cortex deactivates and quietens our inner critic. We are free to be more creative, to think more expansively, to worry less about what we’re writing and whether it’s any good.

The experience of flow also causes of a whole avalanche of happy hormones and neurochemicals to release into the brain which further enhances our productivity and makes us feel good at the same time. It’s a great place to be.

Tip: To find your flow you need to get the balance of challenge and skill for the task just right. Challenging tasks increase the likelihood that you’ll drop into flow and stay there. If you’re not challenged, you get bored and boredom leads to distraction. If you’re too challenged and your skills aren’t up to the task, that’s when anxiety sets in and you can’t work effectively when you’re anxious.

Training your focus and attention when you’re blogging will also help. Avoiding those distractions and staying mindful and focused will improve your chances of getting into the flow state.

Finally, do what you love as much as you can. ‘Good work’ as it’s known by positive psychologists aligns our strengths, out interests, our values and our sense of meaning and purpose. It’s the kind of work that fully engages us. When you’re doing something you love you’re in the right zone for flow and you’ll be rocking those brilliant blog posts in no time.

Ellen Jackson from Potential Psychology is a workplace psychologist, blogger and author who specialises in well being, positive mental health and helping working parents to flourish.

7 Productivity Tips for Bloggers

7 Productivity Tips for Bloggers on

If you’ve been listening to recent ProBlogger podcasts, you’ll know the last two episodes featured questions I asked listeners: how are you? (as part of the biggest lesson I’ve learned in blogging in 2015), and what is your why?

In today’s episode, I ask a third question: how are you using your time?

Knowing your why gets you started on the road to success, but how you you use your time is how you’re going to get to your destination. Over the years, I’ve realised I need to do some analysis on how I spend my time and come up with some strategies to use my time more effectively.

Today’s podcast is all about the 7 productivity tips I’ve used, particularly over the last year, to help harness my time and stop wasting it.

From getting an overview of your working habits initially, to what I’ve learned about how I spend my time, the tools I’ve used to track my online habits, and how I’ve figured out what the best use of my time actually is, these 7 tips should get you on the right track to your destination. I also share my new, revised weekly schedule, how I devised it, and give you ideas about how you can create your own.

We also discuss the workflows, systems and routines that help me automate small, achievable steps. I’m less overwhelmed, I’ve eliminated decision fatigue, and I’ve learned to delegate or outsource where necessary.

You can find episode 40 of the ProBlogger Podcast “7 Productivity Tips for Bloggers” here.

Further Reading:

20 Tips on Writing Building a Great Blog [Watch the Blab Replay]

Live streaming technologies seem to be everywhere at the moment with the release of tools like Meerkat, Periscope and Facebook Live.

While other tools – like Google Hangouts and older tools like Ustream have been around for years it seems that these new tools are getting easier to use and have better and better features. More importantly they’re working better and better on mobile.

One of the new tools that I’ve started using in the last week is Blab – a tool that enables you and three other people to live stream at the same time on the same page and to have an interactive conversation while potentially hundreds or even thousands of others watch on and interact with you in streaming comments. It’s like the lovechild of Google Hangouts and Periscope.

Blab is still in beta but I’m almost overwhelmed with the possibilities of this tool for bloggers and have run a few blabs of my own to test it.

The biggest of these was this morning in a blab where I presented 20 tips for building great blogs.

The blab only finished a few minutes ago but Blab have already emailed me an audio and video file of the session and sent me the embed code which I’ll paste here.

At present the embed code doesn’t show you any of the comments from the chat but you can head to this page to see the replay, the last 200 comments and to see how the tool looks (there were many hundreds if not thousands of others).

While you’re there if you sign up for an account (it uses Twitter to set up your account) please do follow me here and you’ll be notified of future blabs that I do (I’ve got more planned as it’s been so good so far). You’ll also see my previous blab replays listed on my profile page if you want to check those out.

8 Data KPIs Every Blogger Should be Using to Grow Their Blog

8 Data KPIsThis is a guest contribution from Justin Butlion.

When it comes to growing a blog, there are a hundred different directions one could take. Some decide that the design of their site is outdated while others remove or add share buttons in the hope of increasing engagement.

In this day and age there are many free tools that provide insights with data that eliminates the need to guess. In this post, I cover eight different key performance indicators that every blogger should be tracking, and how each of these metrics can be used to grow a blog over time.

1. Bounce Rate

Definition: Bounce rate is the percentage of your visitors that view a single page during their visit.

Can be found In: Google Analytics

Bounce rate is one of the best metrics available to determine if there are any major issues with your site from a design or compatibility perspective. The first thing you should look at is your site-wide bounce rate. If this figure is very high (above 85%) it could indicate that your site has major design problems which are putting off the vast majority of your visitors.

If your site-wide bounce rate falls within the standard 65%-80% then you should compare your mobile vs non-mobile traffic. If there is a big difference between the bounce rate of the mobile version of your site compared to the non-mobile version, then your site is not fully compatible for mobile or tablet viewing, and you should address this issue ASAP.

If you don’t have any of the two issues I mentioned above, but still suffer from a high bounce rate, then break it down by traffic source. You might find that there are certain traffic sources which are bringing you junk traffic which is bouncing at a very high rate.

If you are happy with your bounce rate but still think there is room for improvement, then work harder on driving more relevant visitors to your blog via activities on social media, certain niche forums, and by getting backlinks from other sites in your space.

2. Exit rate

Definition: Exit rate is the ratio of page views of a specific page and the number of exits from your blog from that specific page.

Can be found in: Google Analytics

Exit rate can be very confusing, but in a nutshell it represents the likelihood of someone leaving your site from a specific page. The exit rate, similar to the bounce rate, can be used to help identify specific pages where visitors are leaving your site en masse.

If a page has a very high exit rate, it could indicate that visitors deem the page irrelevant or not what they were expecting. If you have certain flows in your blog then you can analyze the exit rates of the different pages in the funnel to determine which pages need your attention.

I wouldn’t obsess over exit rates because these will drop when other areas of your blog like better navigation, improved distribution of traffic and better formatting are implemented. The only thing I would look out for is if there are obvious issues like a high exit rate (above 80%) on pages which should lead to deeper dives into your blog like say your category pages.

3.Traffic distribution

Definition: The breakdown of your blog’s traffic by channel

Can be found in: Google Analytics

sources report google analytics

Capture: The Source/Medium report from Google Analytics shows the performance of traffic by different sources.

Understanding the distribution of your traffic is key to understanding the health of your blog. You can find a detailed breakdown of your traffic distribution in the “acquisition” reports in Google Analytics. I personally prefer to look at the “Source/Medium” report to see the breakdown of my blog’s traffic and I recommend you use the same report.

There is no perfect distribution of someone’s blog traffic because every blog is different and some niches can expect traffic from multiple channels while others might have to rely solely on two or three channels.

The major traffic channels are:

  • Organic search traffic – Traffic from search queries run on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Direct traffic – Includes all traffic which isn’t in any one of the other four channels. Includes traffic that comes directly to the site by typing it in the address bar, traffic from bookmarks and traffic from emails which don’t have UTMs tags in their links.
  • Referral traffic – Traffic that came via a link on another website.
  • Paid traffic – Traffic which came to your site from paid channels like Adwords.
  • Campaign traffic – Traffic which is tagged with UTM tags will appear in this category. Paid traffic is also technically campaign traffic.

The kind of distribution I’ve seen on a few different blogs is around 30-50% organic search, 10-20% referral, 20-30% direct and 1-10% campaign traffic.

If your blog’s traffic distribution swings heavily towards one channel, like say 80% of your traffic comes from search, then this could indicate that you are not distributing your content well enough and other sites in your niche are not referencing your content.

You should try and balance your traffic distribution to lower risk and maximize your growth potential, just like you would a financial portfolio.

4. Organic traffic percentage and growth

Definition: The percentage of your overall traffic that comes from organic search and the change in the absolute number of visitors from this channel.

Can be found in: Google Analytics:

If you are already looking at your traffic distribution then you will already know the percentage of your overall traffic which comes from organic traffic. The reason I specifically focus on this channel is because I believe it is the one metric early stage bloggers should try and improve aggressively.

Search remains a major channel for bloggers and needs to be a big part of any blog’s growth strategy. Understanding first the overall percentage of traffic from search, and then how this number is changing from month to month will help indicate if you are doing a good job in ranking for more and more keywords and improving the overall SEO strength of your site.

I highly recommend using a tool like Moz for tracking your rankings for specific, relevant keywords. By focusing on climbing up the SEO ladder for relevant keywords in your niche, you will drive more search traffic to your site. The best thing about this traffic is that it is highly relevant so it will convert very well, resulting in more revenue for your business.

5. Shareability of posts

Definition: Average number of total shares that your posts generate.

Can be found in: Social metrics WordPress Plugin or Feedio

The shareability of your posts is an important indicator for your blog. The number of shares your posts get help indicate the relevancy of your traffic, the quality of your writing and the readability of your posts.

The best way to track this metric is to use a tool like Social Metrics WordPress plugin or Feedio which shows the total share and mention counts from Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn for all your recent posts.

You can use this data to determine your average share count and use that benchmark to measure the performance of individual posts.

Your aim should be to increase this average over time by improving your content, the quality of the traffic you are driving to your site, the formatting of your posts and use of media like video and images.

social shares

Caption: Feedio is one of many tools which show you the total number of likes, shares and mentions your posts are getting from different social media networks.

6. Pages viewed per visit

Definition: The average number of pages viewed by an individual visitor per session

Can be found in: Google Analytics

The number of pages viewed per visitor is a classic Google Analytics metric which helps indicate how easy it is to navigate within your site and the overall quality of your writing.

If you know that the right traffic is hitting your site but your average pages viewed per visit is very low then it could indicate that your site is very difficult to navigate and visitors simply can’t work out how to navigate to different pages.

You can use Google Analytics Behavior Flow Report (see screenshot below) to determine how visitors are moving through your site. You can also use the exit rate per page, bounce rate and landing page data to determine where visitors are hitting your site and where they are leaving.

behavior flow

7. Time on site

Definition: The average amount of time an individual spends on your site per session

Can be found in: Google Analytics

Like pages viewed per visit, the time on site metric helps indicate the overall appeal of your site to your visitors. If your bounce rate and pages viewed per visit are very low, then your time on site will also be low. In order to improve this metric you should concentrate on improving the other site performance related metrics like pages viewed per visit, bounce rate and shareability of posts. If you can improve each of these metrics then time on site will improve

Because the time on site metric is directly related to many other metrics, there is no reason to monitor it on a consistent basis. Look at it once every few months to see if it is moving in the right direction.

If you’re putting a lot of effort into improving metrics like your bounce rate, pages per visit etc and none of these metrics are improving then make sure you’re driving the right traffic to your site.

8. Call-to-action conversion rate

Definition: The percentage of your visitors which take a specific action on your site

Can be found in: Depends on the CTA (more details below)

Every blog should have at least one action that you want your visitors to take. This might be signing up to your email list or clicking through to Amazon to hopefully buy your latest book. Whatever that action is you should track the conversion rate in order to determine a benchmark and try and improve it over time.

Tracking CTA conversion rates can be tricky but thankfully there are good methods and tools available to help with this process.

There are a number of different CTAs that you can have on your site which can be at different stages of a funnel. Each step of the funnel should be tracked in order to determine where in the funnel people are falling out. Below is a list of different CTAs and how to determine the percentage of visitors which end up completing the action at the end of the funnel.

Email form to collect emails for a newsletter or RSS-to-email:

The funnel: Lands on the blog > enters email in sidebar, or lands on the blog > navigates to a different page > enters email in sidebar

To determine this conversion rate you would look at unique visitors to your blog and unique emails submitted to your email capture service (Mailchimp for example).

Purchases of a product which is hosted outside of your website

The funnel: Lands on the blog > clicks on banner, or link > purchases product

To determine this conversion rate you would look at unique visitors to your blog, clicks on the banner or link and purchases of the product.

To determine unique visitors to your blog, you would look in Google Analytics; for clicks on the banner or link, you would use a tool like Bitly, and for purchases of the product you would look in the platform which is hosting the product like in your Amazon account.

Downloads piece of gated content on your blog

The funnel: Lands on the blog > clicks on banner or link > fills out form and downloads content

To determine this conversion rate you would simply set up a goal in Google Analytics. This will allow you to dive into your traffic data at a higher resolution and determine interested things which are much tougher to determine in the previously listed funnels. For details on setting up a funnel-based goal in Google Analytics check out this guide.

If you consider yourself technical and you have a budget then I recommend investing in a tool like Mixpanel or Kissmetrics which will allow you to track every event on your site. These tools provide advanced reporting tools to help you run complex analyses of your funnels and traffic performance.


Caption: Example of a funnel report in Kissmetrics


Thanks to Google Analytics and similar web analytics tools bloggers have access to in-depth, useful analytics on multiple aspects of their blogs. Growth has moved from being something your address with your gut and passed experience to one of a science with methodologies and proven approaches.

If you consider yourself a serious blogger that really wants to grow their blog into a thriving business, then you will have to learn and master your site’s data so you can make informed decisions.

I hope this post has helped shed some light on where and how to start this process. If you have any questions, feedback on the post or tips you think should be added to the post then please comment below.

Justin Butlion is the co-founder of Feedio, a marketing platform for bloggers that focuses on RSS-to-email, social media engagement and blogging analytics. Justin loves to write and talk about online marketing and entrepreneurship and is a die-hard English Football fan.