Inside Google Analytics & Blogger Stats: Do you have a plan for your Blog?

  • Why are you writing a blog?
  • What are your blog statistics and goals?
  • How will you know if you've met your goals?
 Here's something you've probably never seen. A blogger, willing to share their online stats with you!

This blog post is the third blog in a series about blogging. See my post Accidental Blogger and Professional Blogger. I began writing this blog March of 2009. Though I got into blogging somewhat accidentally, within a few month of starting I began to ask myself some questions. There was a need to approach it in a more systematic way. I began to formulate a plan with goals, action items, items to learn, topic ideas etc. Creating an ideas file on your desktop or email account is a must have for any serious writer. Have you thought about how you'll  prevent the inevitable frustration with the workload required, the research required, the writing and editing required? What is the ROI (return on investment) you are looking for? Is it achievable and measurable? Are you using SMART goals for your blog plan? What is important to you?

As many of you know, I work as a Global MBA Career Counselor at Georgia State University, which is the largest business school in the SouthEastern United States (8,000+ business students). I have over 600+ MBA/MS business professionals on my own career advising caseload. I also provide specialty support for Global MBA and students in the Masters' of International business. These 2 cohorts must secure a global intership to graduate. This is where I come in. However, these students must work with me though they didn't hire me.

Thus, perversely one of my blog goals was to test out whether global professionals who do not know me, would be interested in what I have to say. Am I truly am a global career coach and do I have a global reach? At the same time that this idea was percollating in my mind, my students and clients began to inquire about my other students and clients. Due to confidentiality, I cannot disclose any personal details. However, I can share with you an overview of who my readers are. This should provide a snapshot of who is benefitting from my career education posts.

How can you capture a snapshot of who your readers are and all the other analytics variables? I would encourage all blog writers to use an analytics system. I have used both Google Blogger and the latest Blogger Stats, both of which are free. Google Blogger captures fantastically, granular detail. However, the technical side is spotty, it shuts down, freezes and looses months worth of stats. Then, you have to sign up all over again and/or beg their online technical support department to help you. This is akin to a close friend who is there for you in a crisis, but on a day to day basis may not be available, may not return calls or text.  That said, the first time I used Google Analytics - I spent 3 hours on the site. It was amazing to me that I could analyze, at a granular level the who, what, where and how of my blog and readers.

Blogger Stats is an auto-feature which was recently added to blogger. Anyone with a Blogger account and site has access. It is easy to use since unlike Google Analytics you do not have to spend hours setting up a complex profile, passwords and information capture. There is set up, no fee but the site is still in it's infacy and may not capture all the detail you desire. I do not yet have a long term view of it's efficacy, since I've only been using it for a few months. So far, so good - no technical glitches.

By using these tools, I was able to access whether I truly have a global readership. In fact, my readership encompasses people from over 40 countries! Below is recent weekly snapshot which rank orders the countries that contain my largest share of blog readers. It includes my most loyal, repeat readers. These are readers who do not land on my site accidentally, but rather intentionally. This is info that very, very few bloggers will share.

Pageviews by Countries (you are in good company)
  • United States 3,337
  • India 224
  • Canada 219
  • United Kingdom 184
  • Australia 118
  • Russia 114
  • Netherlands 88
  • Taiwan 74
  • Germany 72
  • Denmark 33
+ 30 more countries from exotic destinations with equally exotic, global readers!

I suspect that many bloggers may discontinue their sites within a very short period of time. There will be days when you or a family member will question the time  you spend on building your site. They'll ask why you can't go out, why you're 'wasting' your weekend researching ideas. I hope that this post encourages you to create a blog business plan and set SMART goals. Evaluate your goals regularly and/or add new goals. This will keep you motivated for the long term. Yes, writing in itself may be cathartic. However, but if no one is reading what you write then your blog site is only a weblog or journal. Ask yourself truly what your goals are?

I'd love to hear your feedback and reader comments.
Author: © 2010 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Counseling Psychology,CPRP.

Licensed Counselor. Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist.
"Virtual Career Counseling: helping business professionals, reach their career potential!"

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