Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night, I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.
(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)
This week’s theme: Understanding your blog’s analytics and using that info to grow your blog’s readership
Stats are the bane of my existence. I don’t like tracking them. I don’t like studying them. I just like to blog about topics that I find interesting and see what happens. I know that this is a total cop-ou and a disservice to readers, so I track stats anyway. But I don’t have to like it.
When talking about stats, what I find most helpful are real ways to take the numbers I’m seeing and apply them to be a better blogger. Something that I haven’t thought about:
@abbisiler If you blog daily, you can monitor which days are your peak days– post your ‘best’ or most ‘shareable’ content on those days!
This is one of the best blogging tips I’ve read in a long time, and I read a lot about blogging, so that’s not something I take lightly. I do that that applying this tip is not necessarily as easy as just looking for peaks and traffic spikes, but it is something that you can definitely apply to be a better blogger.
If you do any kind of research on “best days to post” at all, you’ll find that the overwhelming number of people who speak about the topic tell you that Tuesday morning is a golden time. There’s a number of reasons why they’re right in many respects – on Mondays, people are bogged down answering work-related emails, by Wednesday and Thursdays, there’s so much new info for the week online that stuff gets lost in the shuffle, and by Friday, a lot of people have checked out for the weekend or are desperately trying to finish work so they can leave their computer until Monday. Tuesday makes sense.
Well, for some bloggers. See, your target market might be different. Let’s say, for example, that your audience is comprised mostly of stay-at-home parents. For a mom or dad on the go, Tuesday morning isn’t necessarily a point that sticks out. They aren’t sitting at work, bored and looking for a way to entertain time between meetings or job tasks. They’re running after their kids because, presumably, the other parent is at work. For the stay-at-home parent, peak times might be at night, after the kids have gone to bed or on weekend when two parents are home and they get some free time away from the kids to read blog posts.
It’s all about analyzing your market, and I think that’s where @abbisiler‘s top comes in most handy. Your audience is represented by your stats, so it’s like getting information straight from the horse’s mouth.
Be careful, though, because peak times may be driven by outside influences. For example, let’s say that you only post once a week – on Wednesday afternoons. You can’t look at your stats and say, “Oh, hey, it is best to post most on Wednesday afternoons because that’s when I get the most hits.” No, you’re creating a situation to get the most hits at that specific time. If you posted every single day, the peak time would likely drastically change.
Be careful also to look at the big picture, not a single week. If a post you wrote is tweeted by someone influential, for example, you’re going to see a stats spike at that time. So, make sure you understand why stats spikes are happening when they’re happening. There could be a reason outside of just “audience preference.”
When you do find that sweet spot, make the most of it. Schedule posts to go up at that time, especially if you think the post has the potential to go viral. Make site announcements at that time. Email your list at that time. Launch a product at that time. you get the picture. When people are visiting your site most, make it shine.
I want to say a personal thanks to @abbisiler for this stats tip! It’s something I haven’t really considered, but am now going to give some thought.
Check out “Overheard on #Blogchat” here every Sunday to read about some of the most interesting tweets from participating bloggers.