If you love blogging and if you are serious about it, I’m sure you would love to know some important statistics about your blog’s followers and subscribers. In this guest post, Justin Butlion will share all the best tools and platforms to help you learn more about our blog’s readers. Read on!
Understanding the types of personas which are attracted to your writing is very valuable to a blogger. Most bloggers start out by simply writing about something they love without much thought behind the people that might be attracted to their writing.
Thankfully there are a number of powerful tools on the market today which make it easy to gather accurate, valuable information on the individuals that are visiting your blog on a consistent basis.
In this post I cover my five favorite tools that help you learn about your blog’s readers. I cover the information gaps which each tool fills and some advanced tips for getting the most out of each tool.
Mixpanel is an advanced analytics service which specializes in marketing funnel, retention and behavior tracking. One of the best things about Mixpanel is that it has a free tier and a WordPress plugin which makes it an obvious option for bloggers who take tracking and optimization seriously.
Mixpanel has a number of reports which can be used to answer all kinds of questions you might be wondering about your blog and its readers. Here are some examples:
- How many people visit my about me page from my homepage?
- How many people download my eBook from post X vs. post Y?
- Which marketing channel brings me my most loyal readers?
- How many people bought my product from my last email newsletter?
Important note: Mixpanel is different from Google Analytics in that you need to code in each thing you’d like to track. This is Mixpanel’s power and weakness because as glorious it is to be able to track every click and behavior of your readers, it means that you will need to either write the necessary code yourself or pay someone to do it.
Pro Tip: Create a cohort report to show your most obsessive readers and then break them down by initial referring domain to understand where your most loyal readers are originating from.
Feedio is a marketing platform for bloggers that specializes in distribution via RSS, analytics, and subscriber growth.
Feedio provides a number of powerful analytics right out of the box which sheds light on blog contributors, subscribers and the blog as a whole.
Some of the questions which Feedio helps to answer:
- Which of my blog posts are bringing me the most email subscribers?
- Where in the world are my email subscribers from?
- Which of my blog’s contributors are bringing me the most social shares?
- Which of my blog’s posts have the most Facebook likes?
Pro Tip: Switch out your email capture widget with Feedio’s widget so you can understand which posts are bringing you new subscribers.
Most see Twitter as just a social network but in the arms of power users it can be much more.
Twitter has hundreds of millions of users across every imaginable niche and can be available source of information if you know how to extract the right information from its network.
Below I’ve listed 3 ways you can learn valuable insights into your blog’s target audience:
- Add individuals who share your content on Twitter into a list. Once your list has a few dozen members start analyzing the list for trends. Look at where these members are located in the world, what kinds of content they are sharing and their personal interests. This research can help you develop the personas of your target audience.
- From the research listed above you can find other sites in your niche and start following them to learn what works in your niche. You can also leverage the Skyscraper Technique to grow your traffic.
- Engage with fans of your writing by asking them questions about your writing and other topics in your niche. Twitter is the ultimate one-on-one engagement platform so make sure you are using it to start conversations with the aim of growing your fan base and for learning what interests your target audience.
Pro tip: Twitter search is Twitter’s most powerful, and yet underutilized feature. Use +,- and hyphens to filter your searches down.
Qualaroo is a great tool for anyone who wants to gather qualitative information from their readers. The service specializes in showing pop-ups to site visitors with the aim of getting them to either fill out a survey or click a call-to-action link or button.
What makes Qualaroo powerful is that you can set up logical survey flows to gather a string of information from readers. Qualaroo can be used to ask readers anything from what they’d like to read to how they found your blog.
Qualaroo is also great for driving visitors to specific sections of your site through their overlay popup.
Pro tip: If you know how to code or have a friend who does, you can set up different pop-ups on your blog posts based on the topic of discussion.
Mailchimp is an extremely popular email marketing solution but many bloggers aren’t familiar with a powerful feature which can be used to increase engagement, conversions and information gathering.
The feature I’m referring to is Mailchimp’s automation feature. If you are using Mailchimp to collect email subscribers then you can automatically add them to an automation flow and send them a series of emails. These emails could be educational in nature, lead potential leads down a sales funnel, or be used to gather valuable insights into your readers.
If you do decide to set up an automation flow then make sure you include some questions in your emails which encourage subscribers to reply. Even if a small percentage write you back this information will add up over time and it will open the door for more interactions with readers who would love to provide you with feedback.
Pro tip: Get some help from a developer friend and send through the tag, title and other data on your posts in hidden fields in your forms. Once the information is flowing through set up list segments and different automation flows based on the information you are passing through.
As a blogger it is critical to understand the types of people who are attracted to your writing. The tools I covered in this post will help you answer the vast majority of questions you have on your readers which in turn will help you become a better writer and help you grow your blog.
If you use tools not mentioned in this post to learn about your readers then please share them with us in the comments section below.
Justin Butlion is the co-founder of Feedio, a marketing platform for bloggers that focuses on RSS-to-email, social media engagement and blogging analytics. Justin loves to write and talk about online marketing and entrepreneurship and is a die-hard English Football fan.