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THE Guide to Tracking Your Blogging Goals and Crushing Them

Ever feel like you’re pouring your heart and soul into your blog, but you have no idea it’s helping your readers? You’re not alone! Tons of awesome bloggers struggle to see exactly how their amazing content is impacting the world (well, the internet, at least). And I totally get it! 

I used to be in the same boat. I loved setting SMART goals for my blog and writing blog posts, but when it came to actually seeing if anyone was reading my amazing content, I was clueless! Was I shouting into the void? Were my blog posts actually helping anyone? It was kinda frustrating not knowing that. 

I bet you’re creating awesome content as well, but like me, you’re not sure if anyone’s seeing it. That’s where tracking blogging goals comes in!

By tracking the right data, you’ll uncover valuable clues about what’s working and what’s not. This way, you can adjust your course and improve your blog. 

We’ll crack the code together to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and how to use that info to take our blogs to the next level. Let’s dive in and turn those blogging dreams into a reality.

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The Key Metrics for Tracking Your Blogging Goals

Alright, so you’ve smashed setting your own SMART goals for your blog (high five!), but now you might be wondering, “How do I know if I’m actually hitting them?” Well, that’s where tracking your blog performance comes in.

Ever experienced the thrill of digging up a buried treasure after following a cryptic map as a child? Tracking your blogging goals offers a similar sense of discovery. You uncover valuable insights into what’s working on your blog and what needs improvement.

The best part? You don’t need a complex system to unlock these insights. There are key metrics, like clear markers on a treasure map, that will guide you toward successful blogging. Let’s delve into these metrics to understand what they reveal about your blog’s performance.

Visitors and Views – Are People Finding Your Blog?

Imagine you throw an epic party, but nobody shows up. Tracking visitors and views is like checking the guest list. If the numbers are low (not a lot of guests show up for your party), it might be time to adjust your blog promotion strategy to attract more readers (tweak your party invitations to attract more guests).

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Engagement  – Are People Enjoying Your Content?

Engagement metrics tell you if your content is keeping them entertained (or if they’re bored and leaving your party?) If people are participating, like commenting, sharing your posts with friends, and sticking around to read more, that’s a good sign (they are joining your party games, are engrossed in conversation, and stay for hours). Let’s take a look at some key metrics:

  • Comments: These are like two-way conversations with your readers. Do they have questions, or feedback, or just want to say, “Hey, this is awesome!”? Lots of comments are a good sign that your content is sparking engagement.
  • Shares: Sharing is caring, right? If readers are sharing your posts on social media, it means they found your content valuable enough to spread the word. Your readers want to share what they learned with their friends.
  • Time Spent on Site: This metric shows how long people stick around after landing on your blog. Longer dwell time indicates your content is engaging and readers are finding value in what you have to offer. 

Conversion – Do Your People Wanna Stay Around?

Let’s say your goal is to grow your email list. Tracking sign-ups shows you if your blog is attracting the right kind of readers who want to stay connected to learn more from you. Conversion metrics track whether your blog is achieving these specific goals.

For example, if you have a call to action (CTA) at the end of your post encouraging readers to subscribe to your email list, tracking sign-ups tells you if your content is effectively converting readers into subscribers. Think of it like giving guests (your readers) who are interested in the next party (your next blog post or offer) a nice party favor (your freebie) when they leave your party. It means your blog is attracting the right kind of audience and motivating them to take action and stay in touch!

Remember, these are just a few key metrics to get you started. As you delve deeper into your blog’s analytics, you’ll discover even more valuable insights to optimize your content and achieve your blogging goals! Now it’s time to explore the tools and resources that help you track these metrics and unlock some secrets of your blog’s success!

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Essential Tools and Resources for Goal Tracking

Now that we know which key metrics we want to track, it is time to gather the tools and resources we need to actually track our blogging goals. Once we have this in our blogging toolkit, we can start tracking. The final numbers then will tell us whether we’re on the right track or if we need to adjust our strategy. 

To keep it party-related, we need to figure out if our blogging party is a hit or if we need to adjust some of the decorations or music. How do we do that? By using tools to track our blog’s goals.

Powerful Tracking Tools at No Cost!

The good news is you don’t need to break the bank to get started. There are amazing free tools that can be great and all you need right now:

  • Google Analytics: We all know this tool, right? It tracks website traffic, visitor demographics, even where people found your blog, and so much more
  • Social Media Analytics: Most social media platforms have built-in analytics that reveal how your content performs on each channel. Did your latest Instagram post go viral? Is your Pinterest pin picking up traffic? Social media analytics will tell you!
  • Free SEO Tools: Google Search Console, Rank Math SEO, Yoast, and other Free SEO tools help you see how your blog ranks in search engines for relevant keywords. SEO makes sure your blog (and party) has every chance of being found by the right people. 

Upgrading Your Toolkit with Paid Tools

As your blog grows (your parties are getting bigger) and your goals become more complex, you might consider some additional paid tools (like hiring a party planner) to keep track of how your blog is performing. 

I’ve done a bit of research, and the paid tools that most articles talk about are Matomo, Piwik Pro, Plausible, and a few others. I have no experience with these tools, because the free tools are sufficient as my tracking tools, like probably for most of us. But if you want to explore upgrading your toolkit for a deeper analysis and try out a paid tool, I suggest doing some research of your own to see which tool best suits your needs. 

The most important thing is to pick the tools that best suit your needs and blogging goals. 

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Decoding the Data and Unlocking Insights

I love the comparison of our blog posts and the parties we host, don’t you? By the way, if you want to host a real party and play a few games, maybe to celebrate reaching your blogging goals, you can find a bunch of fun party games on Aquita’s blog

OK, let’s get back to the topic of tracking blogging goals, shall we? Now that we have chosen our tools and tracked the data, it is time to analyze it, so we can adjust our strategy (and build an even better party). 

Just like a pile of party decorations doesn’t tell you how much fun everyone had, raw data needs some decoding to unlock its true potential. Don’t worry, it’s not going to get technical, but this is where things get exciting. We’re going to translate those numbers into actionable strategies that take your blog to the next level.

What’s the Data Telling Us?

Let’s stay in the party vibe a little bit longer. Imagine you have a guest list with everyone’s names but no details about who likes which music or activities. It’s the same with your blog’s numbers. Data analysis helps us understand the “why” behind the numbers on our blog. Here’s how:

  • Traffic Sources: This is like seeing where your guests heard about your party. Did they come from social media, search engines, or word-of-mouth recommendations? Knowing this helps you focus your energy on promoting your blog in the right places.
  • Audience Insights: Think of this as getting to know your party guests! This data reveals demographics like age, location, and interests. Are you attracting the kind of people you hoped for? This information helps you tailor your content to resonate with your ideal audience.
  • Engagement Deep Dive: Overall, we saw high engagement metrics, but what content had people glued to the screen (like dancing the night away), and what fell a little flat? Analyzing engagement metrics for specific posts helps you understand what types of content resonate most with your readers (which games were played most at your party).
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Turning Insights into Strategies

Now that you’ve decoded the data, it’s time to use those insights to create a great blog strategy (aka party plan).

  • Traffic Source Tweaks: If social media is your biggest traffic supplier, focus on creating engaging content specifically for those platforms. For Instagram, think of fun quizzes, polls, or eye-catching visuals. For Pinterest, you could create additional pins.
  • Content for YOUR Readers: Knowing your audience’s interests is crucial to writing the perfect blog posts for them. Craft content that directly addresses their pain points, needs, and questions. Imagine serving up delicious pizza because you know it’s a crowd-pleaser.
  • Replicating Popular Content: Did a particular blog post have everyone raving (like the hit song of the night)? Analyze what made it successful and use that formula to create more winning content. 

Keep in mind that data analysis is an ongoing process. As you publish new content, you want to keep tracking the metrics and adjust your strategy accordingly. This way, your blog will become the ultimate destination for epic content and a guaranteed good time for your readers.

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Setting Up Your Tracking System

The next step in tracking blogging goals is setting up a good system for it. As I said before analyzing your data needs to be done on a regular, so to make sure we do that, having a system is helpful. 

Setting up a tracking system ensures you’re consistently gathering the data you need to keep your blog thriving.

Step 1: Picking Your Tracking System

You need a place where you store your gathered data. There are many free project management tools you can use. Popular options include Notion, Trello, or Asana. Even a simple spreadsheet in Google Sheets, which I use, will do nicely. Choose a platform that works best for you. 

Step 2: Scheduling Your Regular Data Checks

It is important to know if you’re on the right track with your blogging content because if your content is not getting any traction, you should adjust course. That is why you don’t want to wait months to analyze your date. Here’s a suggestion:

  • Weekly Check-in: Set aside some time each week (maybe over a cup of coffee?) to peek at your key metrics. This quick check-in helps you stay on top of things and identify any areas that might need attention. You don’t need to write anything down, just see what is happening. If you do this every week, you will notice quickly if anything is really off. Here are some key metrics to keep an eye on during your 15-minute data review:
    • Website Traffic: total visitors, unique visitors, pageviews
    • Engagement: average session duration, bounce rate, comments 
    • Social Media: top performing posts (which content got the most shares and likes), follower growth
  • Monthly Deep Dive: Once a month, dedicate maybe an hour or so for a more in-depth analysis. Dive deeper into specific metrics, compare them to previous months, and brainstorm new strategies based on your findings. Here’s what you can explore:
    • Content Performance: Compare traffic and engagement metrics for different blog posts. Identify high performers and brainstorm ways to improve content that fell flat.
    • Audience Insights: Dive deeper into your visitor demographics in Google Analytics. Are you reaching your target audience? Understanding your readers helps you tailor future content to their interests. If you want to reach a different demographic, you might need to adjust your content. 
    • Goal Progress: Revisit your initial blog goals (remember, these can be things like growing your email list or increasing website traffic). Are you on track? Use your data to identify areas where you might need to adjust your strategies to reach your goals.
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Step 3: Adjusting Your Goals Based on Data

Imagine planning a board game night, but everyone wants to dance instead! A good host adapts, right? Tracking your blog’s performance allows you to do the same.

As you analyze your data, you might discover that your initial goals need some tweaking. For example, maybe you realize your audience craves more video content instead of long blog posts. Use your data insights to adjust your goals and make some data-driven decisions. That is always better than just winging it or throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what will stick in the end. 

Building a tracking system isn’t about becoming a data analysis whiz. It’s about having a simple, organized way to gather information about your blog and use it to make informed decisions. By dedicating a little time each week (and month) to tracking your party metrics, you can ensure your blog keeps attracting a crowd and becomes the ultimate destination for engaged readers!

Overcoming Common Challenges in Tracking Blogging Goals

Alright, we’ve identified the metrics that matter, developed an action plan for using them, and set up a system for staying on track. Now, let’s be honest, sometimes, tracking goals can feel like navigating a confusing maze. Let’s look at some common challenges you might encounter and how to address them.

Challenge #1: Data Overload – Drowning in Numbers?

Ever open your analytics dashboard and feel like you’re staring at a foreign language? Data overload is a real thing, especially at the beginning of your blogging journey. Here’s how to keep things manageable:

  • Focus on a Few Key Metrics: You don’t need to track each and every single thing your analytics tool is able to give you. Remember that list of metrics we created earlier? Start with the ones that directly relate to your blogging goals. This way, you won’t get bogged down by every single number.  
  • Visualize Your Data: If you are a more visual person, charts and graphs can be your best friends. They translate complex data into easy-to-understand visuals, revealing valuable insights. There are free tools and features within your analytics platforms to help you create these visuals.
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Affiliate Disclosure: This article might include affiliate links. This means that I earn a small commission without any extra cost to you when you buy something through these links. It helps me continue creating useful blog posts for you. Thank you!

Challenge #2: The Analysis Dip – Feeling Lost in the Data?

Sometimes, staring at data can get you discouraged, right? You’re not sure where to begin because there is so much to track. Here are some tips to help you analyze your data effectively:

  • Look for Trends, Not One-Offs: Did your traffic dip slightly one day? Not a cause for panic! Focus on identifying trends over time. Are your visitor numbers steadily increasing month-to-month? That’s a trend worth celebrating!
  • Ask Questions and Explore: This could be fun. Think of yourself as a data detective. If a metric seems low, ask yourself, “why?” Dig a little deeper to understand the reason behind the numbers. Maybe a specific blog post wasn’t as engaging, or you haven’t promoted a particular channel enough.

Challenge #3: Adapting Your Goals – Sticking with the Same Plan Despite What the Data Says?

Imagine pouring your heart into a long-form blog post, but your audience seems to crave quick video snippets.  It’s like moving your pool party indoors when the rain is down. A good blogger, like a good host, adapts, right? The same goes for your goals. As you track your data, you might discover your initial goals need some tweaking.

Embrace flexibility and be open to adapting your goals based on what the data tells you. As I said, maybe your audience craves more video content instead of long blog posts. Use your data insights to adjust your goals and keep your blog content fresh and engaging for your readers!

By the way, RightBlogger is perfect for turning blog posts into video scripts and can even turn your YouTube videos into a blog post. (affiliate link)

Tracking your blog goals and learning to read the data isn’t about becoming a data analysis expert. You just want to have a clear system to gather information about your blog and use it to make informed decisions. By staying focused on key metrics, using visuals to understand the data, and embracing a flexible approach, you can overcome these common challenges and ensure your blog is a roaring success.

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My Final Thoughts

I love tracking my numbers every month and seeing my blogging business grow. It’s a great boost for my productivity, and it helps me keep going. 

You’ve seen how important it is to embrace data-driven decision-making and ensure that each post isn’t just a shot in the dark but a strategic step towards your larger vision. 

With the right tools and a systematic approach, you can transform raw data into actionable insights, consistently aligning your content strategy with your audience’s evolving needs.

Think about the empowerment that comes from knowing exactly where you stand on your journey. Isn’t it incredible to have the power to tweak and optimize your tactics based on solid data? You’re not just guessing; you’re growing with purpose.

So, what’s stopping you? Get super excited about tracking your goals.  Draw a map of where you want to go, set up checkpoints, and start your adventure to be a blogging star. 

And keep in mind that every big win starts with being brave enough, not only to dream big, but to chase those dreams with all you’ve got. Let’s not just hope to reach our blogging goals, let’s make sure we do! Start tracking today, and watch your blog turn into the cool success story you want it to be!

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