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Figure 13-2. Your RSS stats at FeedBurner
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3. For WordPress, see the plug-ins listed at http://wp-plugins.net/ under Stats. For Movable Type, sample the buffet at www.eatdrinksleepmovabletype.com/tutorials/monitoring_site_statistics/.
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Link Measurements
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The final part of knowing what level of influence you blog has reached is how many and how often other blogs and websites link to your posts. This is more art than science. Search engine optimizers, online marketers, and online advertisers have their own take on exactly how important a link is to your blog versus a link to a post, and a few dozen other ways of measuring imprecise terms like traffic, reach, and influence.
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Measurement Tools
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As mushy as link measurement is, it is by far the most important of way of knowing how you are doing. Here are three measurement tools to help you gauge your blog: Your Technorati rank: Simply go to www.technorati.com, search for your blog, and you ll see some ranking numbers. As shown in the example in Figure 13-3, you ll see the number of links to your blog in the past 180 days (95); the number of distinct blogs linking to your blog in the past 180 days (50); your rank, defined as how many blogs have as many blogs linking to them as yours (64,114); and the number of links to your blog ever recorded by Technorati (216).
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Figure 13-3. Technorati ranking Blog Juice Calculator: While blog link counts are good, what about links from websites, and how likely people will find your blog if they search for a given subject Enter the Blog Juice Calculator, offered by Text Link Ads. Originally designed to support Text Link Ads valuation of your blog for its ads (see 12), this handy tool can be found at www.text-link-ads.com/blog_juice. It returns a simple numerical score and HTML you can add to your blog to post your score if you are so inclined, as shown in Figure 13-4. Bloginfluence: Another useful way of comparing your blog s influence to that of other blogs is at www.bloginfluence.net. This site is useful in three ways: it breaks down your various rankings via Google, Yahoo, and Bloglines; provides links to show your blogs popularity charts on IceRocket, BlogPulse, TouchGraph, and Alexa; and lines up eight searches including your Technorati ranking.4 Figure 13-5 shows an example of a Bloginfluence score.
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4. For Bloginfluence to work correctly, you need to enter both the URL of your blog, and, if you ve registered your blog with http://www.bloglines.com, your Bloglines site ID. The easiest way to get your site ID is to look at your blog s feed within Bloglines.
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Figure 13-4. Blog Juice rating
Figure 13-5. Bloginfluence rating
CHAPTER 13 BUILDING READERSHIP
More Measures
While we re in a measuring mood, I d like to share with you three more ways to measure your blog. These measurements are a little more out there, but they are invaluable as you start applying the techniques in this chapter. Page Strength: How relatively hard or easy it is to find your blog via search engines is an important thing to know. SEOmoz is a Seattle-based search engine optimization company that offers a tool for estimating this called Page Strength (www.seomoz.org/tools/ page-strength.php). For example, my MyMicroISV blog recently got a 3 out of 10 score and this commentary: Although not a considerable presence, your site/page is making inroads online. Visitor traffic and search engine visibility is within your grasp. Conversational Index: Stowe Boyd, at his blog www.stoweboyd.com/message, came up with this in February 2006: Want to measure the health and likely success of your blog Divide the number of comments and trackbacks you ve gotten by the number of posts. This is your Conversational Index (CI).5 If your CI is less than 1.0, it is more monologue than blog. The higher the CI, the more likely, in Stowe s opinion (and others, including mine), your blog is going in the right direction. As Stowe said in his follow-up blog: So, to put back into context: The Conversational Index is intended as a leading indicator of present and future blog viability and vitality. I don t know whether an index of 3 would be twice as good as an index of 1.5. Perhaps there is some sort of reverse log scale involved, where 3 only indicates a slightly more engaged and active community than 1.5. But I do know, empirically, that those with subpar CI, where there are way more posts [than] comments or trackbacks, are unlikely to be successful in the long run. Socialmeter: Social networks permeate the blogosphere, but is your blog on their radar The socialmeter (www.socialmeter.com) measures your presence in eight ways, as shown in Figure 13-6.
5. Actually it s a modification of Stowe s original formula (posts/comments+trackbacks) he proposed in his post at www.stoweboyd.com/message/2006/02/the_social_scal.html, suggested by Don Dodge and adopted by Stowe in his follow-up post at www.stoweboyd.com/message/2006/02/the_conversatio.html, if you really, really wanted to know.
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