3 Metrics to Help Stop Abandoned Blog Syndrome

The following is a guest post by Anne Giles Clelland of Handshake 2.0

Know thyself.

– Inscription at the Delphic Oracle

Know thyself.

Although the reasons for why we do what can be both, most of us tend to be one more than the other, either intrinsically or extrinsically motivated.

"Which are you?"

This is a question I have begun to ask clients who seek to increase
a corporate online presence, particularly through a corporate blog. 
Since I can write about clients, but not for them – social media is
personal after all – and blogging is hard work, so hard that 95% of blogs are abandoned,
if we know the answer to the intrinsic-extrinsic question from the
outset, we can help avoid the “lights on, nobody home” Abandoned Blog

Clients who answer that they’re intrinsically motivated, frankly,
have an easier time maintaining a blog.  They enjoy their ideas, gain
satisfaction from expressing them in words, and appreciate seeing their
own work online after they click “Publish.”  The process itself is the

For extrinsically motivated clients, the way is more challenging. 
When the reward comes from the results of the process, not from the
process itself, what’s an extrinsically motivated blogger to do?

Monitor metrics.

Once a blog post is published, it’s globally accessible.  Each access to the post?  “Score!”

The premier metrics monitor is Google Analytics, but its
comprehensive complexity makes using it a task akin to writing a blog
post itself.

For the busy corporate blogger who welcomes extrinsic rewards, here
are three metrics to check quickly to hear the crowd cheering.

Blog Software Metrics

Right there on the blogging software’s dashboard is a traffic hit
counter.  As soon as the post goes up, the blogger can see when someone
else has seen it, too.  If the company’s blogging software doesn’t offer
metrics, I recommend ditching it and using software that does.  On a
busy day, if checking other metrics doesn’t happen?  No reward, no
motivation, no next blog post.

Fans and Followers

Once a blog post goes up, either automatically or manually, the
extrinsically motivated blogger needs to share links to the post on
Facebook and Twitter.  In an age of media fragmentation, the days of a blog being found by people are over.  A blog needs to be brought to the people.

A benchmark count right now of Facebook fans and Twitter followers
is essential.  Then the blogger adds well-written posts with meaningful
content to the blog followed by thoughtfully expressed updates to
social media channels.  Tracking the number of fans and followers
generated – or not – by each post lets the blog’s audience guide the
blogger about what's valued and what isn't.  (I check fans and
followers before a post, then about 8 hours later – that's about the
lifespan of a blog post on its own.) The blogger takes the hint:  Write
what they value.  More fans and more followers result.  Checking the
original benchmark often and seeing the comparative increase can feel
like applause.

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

Achieving results with a Google search results
metric requires patience but can prove particularly rewarding to the
extrinsically motivated business blogger doubting the R.O.I. of his or
her efforts.  When people type search terms into search engines, 68% click a search result within the first page of results.  That means for 32% of search engine users, results on other pages essentially do not exist. 

When prospective customers uses a search engine to check out a
company, what do they see on the first page?  If the company’s blog is
not there – the personal expression of the company’s vision and mission
– it can be.  High-value blog content, created consistently over time
by a motivated blogger - whether through intrinsic or extrinsic reward
– shared in social media channels, can move the blog to the first
page.  A prospective customer can see what the company says, not only
what others say about it.  If that blog-generated lead converts to a
sale?  It's Hammer time.

Blogger, Know Thyself

My grandmother, just turned 100, still knits cotton yarn dishcloths
for her daughters-in-law and granddaughters.  She finds knitting
intrinsically satisfying and finds giving what she creates to those she
loves extrinsically rewarding.  If she could not give her knitting
away, would she still be motivated to do it?  Good question.  Answering
for ourselves why we do what we do can give us great power to take
actions that reward and inspire our motivation, whether to knit, to
blog, even to consciously abandon a blog before we start it.

Anne Giles Clelland is the president of Handshake Media, Incorporated and founder of Handshake 2.0.

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2 Responses to 3 Metrics to Help Stop Abandoned Blog Syndrome

  1. Amvandenhurk says:

    Great post. I thought long and hard before I started my own blog. No regrets. It has allowed me to shared my thoughts that usually either stay in my head or are shared privately. While I have a plan about what I want to talk about it and goal to post every week (after all I am a PR pro & am all about plans), I try to keep it flowing. I embraced the metrics you’ve mentioned and it does motivate me to keep on sharing.

  2. “I thought long and hard..” Perfectly put – you’ve distilled the essence of the post, Amvandenhurk! Thank you! I was fascinated to learn, too, that you’ve used these metrics and they work for you. Thank you for the kind words and for the comment!

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