The focus of my blog is baking and cookie decorating.
The three statistics most important in growing my blog audience are:
1. Inbound Links
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In the cookie world, being linked to by a “famous” cookie decorator can mean hundreds or thousands of new hits. It’s really important that other bakers and cookie decorators link to and recommend my blog on theirs as it can help grow an audience quickly. Also, the more my blog is linked to or mentioned on another blog will increase my search optimization results, leading to a better ranking on search engines. In turn, I will increase outbound links as well, creating a symbiotic relationship with other cookie blogs.
2. Time on Page
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I want my blog to be as interactive as possible. I want readers to comment on my posts with questions, recommendations, recipes, etc. I would also like them to post photos or videos of their creations, whether they are from my recipes, or their own creations. Therefore, the time they spend on the page is very important. The longer they are on my page, the more likely they are interacting with me and other readers, which should lead to a growth in my blog audience.
3. Returning Visitor
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Finally, one of the most important aspects in building an audience is that you need visitors to not just come to your blog once, but to return and come to your blog over and over again. I want to keep track of my readers and how many of them return to my site after the first visit. I’d like to know how many of them come back and what areas of the blog they are specifically coming back to look at. If I know that, I can use that information to target specific posts towards those interests, and hopefully have those visitors returning again and again.
Some tools I will use to track my blog’s statistics are:
1. Google Analytics
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Google Analytics will provide me with a great deal of information regarding my blog and it’s visitors. It can tell me how many people came to my blog, where they came from, and with it’s real-time reporting, it can even tell me what readers are viewing right now, letting me know if a new post is successful or not. It can even show me exactly how readers navigate my blog, allowing me to, if necessary, rearrange some things to make the viewing experience easier and better for my readers. This will be a great tool for me, especially as I am beginning to build an audience. It will let me know exactly who is visiting my blog and what they are actually using my blog for (which pages are visited the most, etc.). I can then somewhat tailor my blog to their needs and requests, which will in turn, hopefully encourage them to return often, allowing my audience to grow.
Photo Credit: Klout
I plan to post each blog post on my blog’s Facebook page and Twitter account as soon as it is available for viewing. Social media is huge in the world of cookie decorating, and many cookie fans find new cookie blogs via sites like Facebook. Klout will allow me to track how well my social media posts are helping my blog gain an audience. Facebook and Twitter also allow another venue for readers to interact and engage with me and my blog, and Klout can also help me track how often readers interact and how engaged people are with my posts. This can help me learn what interested my readers the most, and I can use that information when creating future blog posts.
The one statistic that could be an issue or a problem, especially in the beginning is:
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I think it will be difficult as a new blog to get a great deal of reader engagement. I think once comments start coming, they will continue to come and come in greater amounts, but it’s difficult to get that going as a new blog. One possible solution is to encourage comments by asking for participation. Asking what my readers think of a topic, or encouraging them to list their favorite recipes or tricks and tips in the comments could lead to readers commenting. One idea to keep this consistent is to have a day of the week where I ask readers for recipes. For example, every Wednesday may be Recipe Wednesday. I would provide a theme or ingredient in my blog post, give my favorite recipe using that theme or ingredient, and then ask my readers to share. I could even take this one step further and ask for readers to also vote for their favorite shared recipe in the comments, and reveal a winner the following day. This encourages engagement on two levels, with the reader commenting and sharing their favorite recipe, as well as voting on the recipes of their fellow readers.