Define, Test, Measure, Repeat – Successful Blogging

    April 23, 2007

The key to success in blogging, whether you want to make money, gain more subscribers, or increase visitor engagement is to constantly test new strategies.

With A/B testing and using web analytics to measure its performance anyone can move closer to their ideal formula of success. Here are a few suggestions you can try testing within your blog:

  • Internal Search – Ideally it should be near the top of the page because you want to enhance visitor engagement with your blog by making it easy to find more information. Try it in different locations near the top as well with a variety of text-box/submit button colors. Test the results by measuring the number of searches and the overall quality of the keywords.
  • Feed Subscription – Test different combinations of feed chicklets, I personally use 6 different chicklets plus an optional email subscription option (all above the fold). Top Rank Blog offers a simple way to create feed button variations. FeedBurner’s stats are an excellent method for getting a better understanding of your subscribers.
  • Header – I mention this because it can dictate the layout of the rest of the page. For instance if your blog’s header is massive graphic, it can potentially push much of the important items below the fold. However if your header is lost within the entire page it becomes difficult to promote your brand to visitors. My header is now 50% of it’s original height and next I plan on reducing its width to be able to test ad/key link placements.

Other items worth addressing include:

Archives – By Category, By Date, How far up to place on the Page, the affects on Pages per Visit

About – Allows visitors to get to know the blogger, but how much emphasis is too much? Is a LinkedIn button good enough?

Widgets – One of the hottest topics on the Internet right now. Trying to find a balance between placing widgets that compliment your blog versus widgets that take over your blog is important to keep on top of. Widgets can also potentially cauase you to lose visitors by navigating them off your blog.

The cool thing about this process is that it is applicable to all bloggers (at all levels of authority) not to mention it’s fun seeing your blog flourish.