Building and developing a blog can be an exciting endeavour, but also a real challenge at times. You will eventually hit road blocks on the way to whatever it is you’re after with it.
I believe that simple blog analytics can be a great tool in such moments to receive the input that enables you to keep going or to reach the next level.
Motivation — Create Your Own Feedback Loop
People start blogging with often very different intentions. Some consider it as a creative outlet, for others its an online business project with the goal to create an income from it. No matter what the intention is, probably the biggest challenge for every blogger is to stay motivated over a long period of time.
While the beginning might be very exciting, fueled by all the inspiration and novelty that comes with starting something new, after a while it dawns on everybody — blogging requires long-term commitment to reach the things you would like to achieve with it (even if those aren’t very clear to you yet).
It’s not a bad thing. It means that you will have a long-term project that allows you to develop and improve new skills and to apply them to something practical. But it also means that you will need to come up with consistent motivation to keep up with it. This can be very difficult.
In difficult moments you will want to have something that can push you to keep going, when you don’t feel like it at all. Something that can make the difference between losing interest and tackling this road block. Using blog analytics to track your traffic can be very helpful for this.
Let’s be realistic — not many people will find their way to your blog in the very beginning. It’s very likely to be only your friends and family, because you force them to. Or not even that, if you’re too shy to share your humble beginnings. It’s the same for everyone.
Time is a very important metric when it comes to generating traffic to your blog, so set your expectations accordingly. But even then, I think it is a great idea to set up and get familiar with a blog analytics solution that allows you to track the traffic coming to your blog.
One day you will check it and there will be a number that surprises you. Your first organic visitor. The first time you have ten unique users in one day. Cracking 1000 total unique visitors. Those are all moments that will spark excitement in you and will want you to have more of it. It’s the feedback that will fuel your motivation to keep going.
It will happen at some point. The internet is a numbers game and that’s just how it works. But to give yourself the opportunity to have such moments, you will need to be able to track your incoming traffic. Set yourself up with blog analytics and get that feedback loop going.
Learning — Your Blog is Your Case Study
Using an analytics tool on your blog also equips you with a new tool to analyze your content and to check how it resonates with the visitors of your blog.
Especially in the beginning, you might be all over the place with the topics you are writing about and the different styles you are trying out. This is also very normal and part of the game, but you will eventually end up asking yourself what stuff you should be focusing on moving forward. Then the data you are collecting in your analytics dashboard can give you valuable insights and information.
The graph and charts can tell you which content people are most interested in when visiting your blog. How long they stay on your page and even from which other website they were coming from. This will allow you over time to have a much better picture about who your target audience is, which will allow you to create more targeted content, which then will make your blog even more relevant for your visitors.
With a suitable analytics tool, you will be able to treat your blog like a case study for you to try new things and to see what works and what doesn’t. That’s a great way to constantly learn and develop your skill set.
Future Opportunities — Your Blog as an Asset
Screenshot of my actual blog analytics dashboard showing data of the past 30 days
One of the biggest motivations for me to keep developing my blog is that it might someday put completely new opportunities in front of me that I might not even think of yet. A blog can be a great asset to have on your side in today’s world.
Collaborations with other creators, brands, or companies. All new career opportunities in the field of content creation. Who knows what might come up one day. But one thing that I know already — we live in a numbers-driven world and that’s even more the case online.
To be able to take advantage of that asset when a new opportunity comes up, it will be very useful to have some data to showcase the fruits of your hard work. Your analytics dashboard could then become a key for a door, which you wouldn’t have been able to unlock otherwise.
Being able to show that you managed to build your own blog from nothing to attracting organic visitors on a daily basis is a really sought-after skill in today’s world. Don’t underestimate what your small blogging project might end up enabling for you one day.
Blog Analytics Don’t Require Excessive Data Tracking
Last but not least, I want to address one of the biggest concerns that I also had myself about the website analytics solutions out there — the aggressive tracking behavior of personal data.
As you can read in my article about ads and data tracking, I’m really against tracking any personal data if not required to deliver a good service. Fact is, most websites do it anyways and many website owners aren’t even aware of it, but use third-party plugins and tools that are tracking visitor data.
In the realm of website analytics, the most popular solution is Google Analytics, which as we all know belongs to a company that had its fair share of data tracking scandals in the past. Therefore, using it for my blog was not an option. I just don’t want to pass my visitors’ data over to Google. Also, their analytics solution is way too complex and over-engineered for what I need. I wanted something simple.
Personally, I found the perfect solution for me with Fathom Analytics, which shows me exactly the data that I want to see, while not tracking any personal data of my visitors and respecting their privacy.
To make the extra step towards transparency, I even decided to make my analytics dashboard completely public for anyone to see. There you can see all the data I have about my blog’s traffic and visitors.
Ethical blog analytics solutions exist.
Looking forward to hear about your experiences with blog analytics tools in the comments below and feel free to ask any questions.