Data, the secret weapon we can all leverage to get greater success for our blogs
Yes I’ve said it, the dreaded ‘D’ word. Data. Data comes with all kinds of preconceptions; tech geeks, spreadsheets, way too many numbers, and the impending doom of data driven boredom. I know the connotations data comes with, trust me I do, but over the last 4-5 years I’ve realised more and more that data is our friend, and in fact, if we use it well, data can help achieve that ticket to success we’re all after. That ultimately blogging especially is all about art and science combined, that both creativity and data combined delivers not only the best ideas, but the rest results too.
I’ve talked about data a little bit before on mediamarmalade, whether it’s helping you to understand google analytics as a data tool, optimising your SEO strategy or just the geeky tips that can help grow your blog, but the reality is data plays a significant part of any bloggers business or hobby … whether it’s reviewing traffic and engagement, understanding audiences, or even optimising content. Data can and should fuel your blog strategy, and so today I thought i’d share a few more ways that you can start using data today, to optimise your content strategy and your blogging business overall.
HOW TO USE DATA TO OPTIMISE YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY & GROW YOUR BLOG
Demand Inspired Content
When it comes to blogging, i am a firm believer in blogging about what you want, when you want and how you want. I don’t believe in a right or wrong, and for me the beauty of blogging is the masses of unique, authentic and original content out there to choose from. The best blogs and the best content is that fuelled by passion and a true interest in the topic itself. That being said, art and science certainly comes into play when it comes to content production. At Cannes Lions the CEO of mashable talked about how all of their content is developed based on data (trends & social listening), and there’s certainly something to be said for using data to inspire and optimise your content and the content you feature.
It doesn’t have to be universal, cultural, topical or seasonal trends though (although Google Trends is great if you do want some inspiration or ideas), it can simply be YOUR own audiences trends & interests. Through using data (whether that is google analytics, your social channel dashboards or even audience trends data) you can see what of your content gains the most traction, what topics and posts get the most views and what themes or genres gain the most engagement and shares & optimise your content strategy based on that insight. Understanding what your audiences love about your blog and what content they love the most is invaluable, and can truly help you start to focus on the topics that not only you love, but your audience loves too!
And it’s not just about inspiring future content, using data to understand what content is working best for you, can also help you activate an evergreen content approach, revitalising the life of old posts which are still gaining great view volumes and engagement, even months after they first went live.
Improve Your Schedule & Distribution
Your content schedule and approach to distribution is (in today’s world) just as important as your content itself, I talked a lot about the 80:20 content rule earlier in the week, and the shift in focus, energy and time from content production to smart content distribution, and when it comes to smart content distribution, data is at the heart of it. Whether it’s optimising your schedule to the time of day most people are visiting your site, to maximising your distribution amongst the touch points that bring you the most traffic, to leveraging platform data and insights to ensure you’re posting at the most opportune time, to even understanding audience analytics and behaviour to ensure you’re adapting your approach to reach the most opportune readers (for example if the majority of your audience are on a different time zone, you should think about adapting your schedule & distribution approach to maximise the impact of your content).
And it’s not just about the when, where and why of distribution, data can also inform your actual brand strategy and the touchpoints you should be working hardest on to grow your brand and business overall. Marrying the platforms that match your brand values and ambition, with those that work hardest for your business (driving clicks, conversions, traffic etc), and optimising your strategy against those.
On that point, when it comes to blogging for business, understanding and optimising your biggest earners is clearly important. For many bloggers things like affiliates and commission based partnerships are an important part of their business strategy, and therefore understanding and maximising your conversion opportunities is key. And of course the main way to do that is through reviewing your data. If you’re signed up to a platform like shopstyle or reward style (or really any affiliate partner) then you will be able to review things like clicks, sales and of course conversion rates … once you have an idea of what’s working and what’s not you can maximise your affiliate strategy to drive your biggest converters even further. For example perhaps when you link to ASOS your conversion rate is double that of other brands? Or perhaps your audience is largely US based despite the fact you’re British, and US brands are actually delivering well for you? Whatever the insight, by analysing the data you’re able to see what is working best for you and push it even further. A simple use of data that can make a big impact on your business.
A critical first step in the process is of course understanding how to use your data and importantly ensuring it’s all set up to track things properly. I personally live by Google Analytics, it’s easy to use and to read and truly does provide invaluable insights, I wrote a whole post all about how to use google analytics here if you want a little starter for 10.. If you want more tips on improving your blog, using data to optimise your strategy & generally some tips to help you grow your brand then the posts below will help:
. 5 (FREE) PLUGINS THAT WILL HELP GROW YOUR BLOG . HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY TRACK AND GROW YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC . 5 WAYS TO TRACK THE SUCCESS OF YOUR CONTENT . 5 GEEKY BLOG TIPS THAT’LL MAKE A HUGE IMPACT ON YOUR BLOG SUCCESS . HOW TO MEASURE SUCCESS . HOW TO USE SEO TO GROW YOUR BLOG . 6 STEPS TO HELP YOU GROW YOUR BLOG . 5 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR BLOGS SHARABILITY . HOW TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR BLOG CONTENT . 5 WAYS TO MAXIMISE YOUR CONTENT . HOW TO INCREASE THE LIFE OF YOUR CONTENT & DRIVE TRAFFIC TO OLD POSTS . HOW TO CREATE EVERGREEN CONTENT & WHY IT WILL DRIVE YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC .
Do you use data to inform and optimise your own blog schedule, content and distribution? Did you find this helpful, i’d love to know what you’ll take from today’s editorial for your own blogging strategy?