September 20, 2014

How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years

Posted by: of Stephan on 05/14/13

I left my blog dormant for a few years, but I’m finally back in the saddle! I drafted up a post entitled “How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years” because it seemed fitting. Here are my main points to get you started:

1. Jump in and write something. No apologies. Or a lengthy explanation or justification for being off the grid.

2. Get some tools or processes in place that will make it as painless as possible to post. Like Dragon – which incidentally is available as an iPhone/iPad app.

3. Hire a virtual assistant if that will help you. (More on using VA’s in a future post).

4. Roll out a site redesign at the same time to let everybody know you’re reengaged and committed.

5. Don’t try to get all your readers all caught up on your life all in one post. You’ve got plenty of fodder for many blog posts – so save it for later.

6. Finally, silence the perfectionist in you. I have this bad habit of pouring over my blog posts – my articles even more so – trying to make them perfect. I put a dozen hours or more into articles on search engine land. That’s crazy. That’s not good use of your time. Much better to freeze all those great ideas and insights stuck in your head – share them with the world. It’s okay if the sentence structure isn’t always on the mark. It’s a blog post for Pete’s sake.

How Interactive is Your Blog? Measure It!

One of the coolest things about business blogging is the social interaction and community that is built when readers leave meaningful comments. Like a good story, a post elicits a response from the reader. As your community develops, the value of your brand increases. But this warm and fuzzy feeling that people get about your brand as they interact with you on your blog can be hard to measure and quantify. That’s where blog interaction metrics come in.

Building a blog to one or more interaction metrics can help you focus on what’s important – brand engagement.

Do you measure a successful post by the number of readers, bookmarks added to del.ic.ious, diggs, comments, number or quality of backlinks, or a combination of all the above? Some metrics have a place in your blog marketing scorecard, like number of comments. And some do not, like number of trackbacks (unless you like counting spammers — and that you could do all day!). Because the last thing you need is just more data for the sake of data.

Avinash Kaushik came up with some really nifty blog success metrics that really resonate with me. I bet they’ll resonate with you too. They are:

  • Raw author contribution (posts per month and words per post)
  • Audience growth (onsite & offsite, visitors and unique visitors)
  • “Conversion” rate (comments per post)
  • Citations (blog inlinks, Technorati rank)
  • Ripple Index (# of unique blogs linking to your blog)
  • Cost (time, hardware/software technology, opportunity cost
  • Benefit / ROI (comparative vs. direct vs. “non-traditional” vs. unquantifiable)

As you start measuring the above and then gauging the success of what you’re doing on your blog based on these metrics, you can tie your activities back to something more meaningful than just the “hits” you’re generating.

If you want to learn more about metrics, I encourage you to watch the archived recording of a “Website Metrics and ROI” webinar that Avinash and I presented last year. No registration required. Just click and watch (or download). It’s 100 minutes of the two of us talking about our favorite metrics — not just for blogging, but also email marketing, web marketing, search marketing, and more. And if you just want to scan over our Powerpoint slides before you invest 100 minutes of your time (and I don’t blame you — time is precious!), here’s the PPT file. Enjoy!

FeedBurner Blog Metrics

What blog metrics do you value most? How do your readers interact with you? Do you have any particular reporting tools you recommend? Your interactivity is welcome and invited.

 

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