I started my venture into blogging by reading and commenting on other blogs. Then I got braver and actually started writing my own blog. The next step is now for me to learn how to grow my audience through social media outlets.
As I begin to use sites like facebook, twitter, friend feed. etc to distribute my content, it is important to know what is working. I also find it helpful to know what keywords are getting picked up in the search engines to help drive visitors. Knowing this can help me focus on where to spend my time and also help me understand what are the more popular topics to write about.
I recently began using the free tool www.getclicky.com to do this. They have upgrades you can purchase, but so far the free version seems to be meeting my needs just fine.
It was very easy to download. You just go to their site and register. Then you will get some code that you cut and paste into your Active Rain blog by going to My Home, My Settings, and pasting into Blog Description. Notice the little Get Clicky icon now in my right hand bar.
Below is a screenshot of my anaytics from yesterday. It is a little fuzzy to read, so let me recap the some of the highlights for you. So far this day, I had 118 people find me through a direct bookmark (or through the AR network), 12 people used searches, 3 people had me in their RSS feeder and 3 people found me by linking to me on another blog. Interesting stuff! You can see the importance of 1) being involved in a network and 2) writing good content so that people will subscribe and link to you.
Wouldn't it be interesting to know what searches the 12 people used to find me? With Get Clickly you can!
This week my zip code got changed by the USPS and I wrote about it, and thus this is how a quarter of the people found my blog from search engines. Months ago I wrote a blog post about all the first time home buyer assistance programs that the state of IL has, and for some reason it got picked up very well by the search engines. Months later I can see that yesterday 5 people found that article based on keywords they were using in the search engines. The smart move would be to write additional articles on this topic, as there seems to be a heavy interest for it.
Get clicky allows you to do other things, such as see the IP address of your visitors and even see who is reading your blog right now thru their Spy feature! But personally I am most interested in knowing how many people are visiting, where they are coming from and why they are coming.
If you are already using some type of analytics (goggle analytics seems to be the most popular) here is a chart Get Clicky created, comparing all the features of the different services.