We are very concerned about the amount of time our engineers spend blogging. In our business, we think it's absolutely the right thing to do - get engineers to talk to customers directly about the products they support. They can use blogs to talk about things that the knowledge base doesn't typically cover, or expand on topics covered in other sources.
The amount of time they spend on this activity requires that we get some intelligence about the success of the content. As I've written in previous posts, analytics can be used to help build a story of the success of your efforts.
We get monthly reports from MSDN and TechNet that show us the monthly page views and RSS deliveries of our blogs. When I first started this blog several months ago, I was very curious to see how many people actually cared about what I was writing. The first three months of data was pretty surprising. I didn't believe the data:
I honestly doubted that so many people cared about what I was writing. I get very few comments in my blog posts, and my topic is interesting to a very small segment of professionals. So, how can I get a better view of my traffic?
About a month has passed since I started tracking my blog through AdCenter, and surprise, surprise - a more "realistic" view of my traffic emerged.
During the period between 7/17 and 8/13, I only had 56 unique visitors. Granted, I'm not comparing the same timelines between the two reports, but this is a huge difference between the two data sources.
What are the lessons here?
I hope to have similar reporting for the blogs that we are paying engineers to maintain. I don't want to have the reporting in place so that I can tell engineers to stop blogging, but we want to make sure they understand their audience as much as possible, and maybe re-think how they're blogging today (do they do more or less in a given month, etc).
Are you having success with analytics and blogging? Drop me a comment with your story.
Hunter DonaldProgram Manager - Knowledge Management StrategyCommercial Technical Support