Now is a good time to review your previous year’s blogging results and see what you can learn. I just went through this exercise today and thought I’d share what I learned. Hopefully, it will encourage you to do a similar assessment.
Here are my top 10 posts for the year, along with the number of page views they generated:
- How to Setup Google Calendar on Your iPhone (206,004)
- 12 Ways to Get More Twitter Followers (139,014)
- How to Organize Evernote for Maximum Efficiency (136,014)
- Creating Your Personal Life Plan (118,060)
- Fix for Wireless Connection Problems on MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs (101,581)
- The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter (98,680)
- Why You Need a Platform to Succeed (89,913)
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day (79,113)
- How to Speed Up Your iPhone If It Starts Slowing Down (61,430)
- How to Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less Screencast
Essentially, these statistics represent how well readers responded to my content. Each page view is a “vote.” If I am paying attention, I can learn what worked and want didn’t. This can tell me how I need to shift my emphasis for this next year.
For example, as I reviewed this list (along with my top 100), I came to three conclusions:
- Practical technology posts are very popular with my audience. Productivity is also my most popular category. I plan to do more of these posts in 2013.
- Platform-related posts—particularly regarding social media—are also popular. I am launching an entire new website about this in 2013. I can’t wait to tell you about it.
- My Evernote posts are still a major overall traffic-driver. Six of my top 30 posts overall were related to this. I plan to update these in 2013, since my use of Evernote has evolved considerably since I wrote the original twelve posts.
While none of my leadership, personal development, or publishing posts showed up in the top 10, they still performed well overall. I will continue to write about these topics.
You can go through this same exercise on your own blog. You can get the stats in one of two ways:
- Google Analytics:
- Log into your Google Analytics account.
- Select the appropriate website (if you have more than one).
- Select Content | Site Content | All Pages.
- Set the “Primary Dimension” to Page Title.
- WordPress (self-hosted):
- Make sure you have JetPack installed. (It’s free.)
- Log into your WordPress Administration page.
- Under the Dashboard, select “Site Stats.”
- Now select “Top Posts & Pages.”
- Select Summarize “Year.” (Be patient, this can take a while to tabulate, depending on the number of posts you have on your blog.)
By the way, WordPress.com just compiled an “Annual Report” for me that summarizes all my stats for the year. They sent one to my wife, Gail, too, so I am assuming they sent these to everyone who has JetPack installed. I made the report public, so you can have a look.
It’s instructive to look at the top 10, you might also consider the top 100. This will help ensure you don’t draw the wrong conclusions based on a limited data set. With the data in hand, ask yourself, “What worked?” and “What didn’t?” Most importantly, what are you going to do differently next year?