I recently trained over twenty nonprofit communicators on blogging, and the question most asked was, "How do I know if the blog is working?" As you probably know, there’s no cut and dried answer to that but strategies include:
- Number of visitors who come to your website or call your organization via a link on your blog (of course you need to set up a specially coded homepage or phone extension to track this count)
- Number of visitors
- Links to your blog from other blogs and websites
- Anecdotal feedback.
Now, Copyblogger Brian Clark attests that its return visitors (trackable only by logging subscribers to your blog’s email or RSS feed) that really count. Here’s what Brian has to say:
"Due to the principles of commitment and consistency, the most important blog metric to track is not raw traffic, page views, or unique monthly visitors. The most important thing to build and track is your subscriber base.
A subscriber has made a commitment to you that a mere site visitor hasn’t. Something magical happens when someone raises their hand and says “please communicate with me on a regular basis.” A subscription not only increases the frequency and regularity of contacts with your target audiences, it also changes the frame through which those audiences view your organization and its programs and services. The audience’s world view may now be such that active engagement is more likely thanks to the subscription relationship."
Thanks Brian for this fresh way at looking at blog readers. So nonprofit bloggers, get out there and add subscribe buttons for email (via Feedblitz) and RSS feeds to your blog.