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Monitoring Your Blog’s Topics and Industry

Cameron Olthuis of Pronet Advertising has a list of 10 things you should be monitoring, a great step-by-step list of the things within your industry you should be monitoring and instructions on how to monitor them.

The list is excellent. In brief:

  1. Company Name
  2. Company URL/Domain
  3. Public facing figures (key people)
  4. Product names
  5. Product URL/Domains
  6. Industry “hang outs”
  7. Employee activity/blogs
  8. Conversations
  9. Brand image
  10. Competitors

Let’s put this into an example. If you wanted to monitor the blogging industry, specifically WordPress.

Obviously, the company name is WordPress, though it is under the umbrella, but how would you monitor what’s going on and what is being written about WordPress?

One method is to use Google Alerts or . Simply enter in your email address with the keywords you want to monitor, and Google Alerts will automatically email you a list of the most recently found websites with WordPress in their keywords.

Unfortunately, immediately we run into an obstacle. Almost every WordPress blog has the word “WordPress” in its footer in the phrase “Powered by WordPress”. So you may need to be more creative with your keywords. I use “WordPress News”, “WordPress Tips”, “WordPress blogging”, “WordPress blogs”, “WordPress Themes”, “WordPress Plugins”, “WordPress blogging news”, and “WordPress blogging tips” to narrow down the focus a little bit. Play around with your word choices to get the information you need.

You can also check a variety of tagging services and social bookmarking services for the keyword “WordPress”. Technorati has a WordPress tag which also features a feed for WordPress articles in Technorati’s database. They also have updated their Watch List to help you monitor what’s going on with specific sites or keywords.

del.icio.us also has a WordPress tag for easy monitoring of WordPress topics, and there’s a feed for del.icio.us and WordPress to add to your feed reader to make things even simpler to use.

There are many other tagging and social bookmarking services you can check, but why try so many when you can take advantage of Keotag, a site that monitors 17 different social bookmarking services including Technorati, Furl, del.icio.us, BlogPulse, Digg, Tailrank, and more. Once you generate the list for each social bookmarking service, Keotag also offers you an easy link to the specific tag feed. Nice and simple and easy to use.

A fairly new feed monitoring service, Web 2.0 Original Signal also monitors a variety of feed sources and includes specific searches from among those feeds to narrow your focus.

To monitor “WordPress” trends, you can use Google Trends to monitor WordPress keywords and searches, which also includes categorizing keywords searches by city, region, language, and search volume. It’s a fascinating look at who and how people are searching for information on WordPress. On the day I checked this page for this article, Malaysia was the overwhelming source of searches on Google for information on WordPress. Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Norway, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were the next on the list, though Austin, Texas, San Francisco, and Seattle were in the top 10 of cities. And most people were searching in English, Swedish, Italian, German, and Danish for information on WordPress. Definitely changes your perspective, doesn’t it?

Here are some other feed resources to add to your feed reader for monitoring the news about WordPress, or whatever your keyword is for your subject matter:

So where do folks talking about WordPress hang out? Check out the WordPress Support Forums or WordPress.com Support Forums, the development and information blogs for WordPress.com Blog and the WordPress Development Blog, the WordPress Ideas page, or sign up for one of the many different WordPress support and activities mailings lists. Also check the feed that may come into your WordPress Dashboard or to your feed reader to keep track of what those most involved in WordPress have to say about WordPress and related subjects.

I list even more ways and sources for monitoring your subject or industry in 100s of Resources for Finding Content for Your Blog, so you have no more excuses. Keep track of what is going on so you can report on it for your blog.

Also see Read/Write Web’s “Trendwatching – Wired Or Tired In The Blogosphere”, a good look at how to monitor trends in keyword topics across the blogosphere.

Do you have any other resources you use for monitoring WordPress news and activities? Or other industries or keywords?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] I like using Google’s Custom Homepage. I monitor many feeds from various sources, so I like the speed of reading down title lists to see if anything jumps out […]

  2. […] Monitoring Your Blog’s Topics and Industry Lorelle always has great tips about using WordPress and blogging in general. This one caught my eye because with me trying to crank-up some websites, I’m going to need to process a lot of information. (tags: blogging tips) […]

  3. […] There are a variety of ways of mixing and combining feeds to get information from around the web to you so you can track your social, such as with Yahoo Pipes!. Tracking your social means tracking you and your online presence across the web, as well as what is being discussed and covered in your blog industry or specialty. […]

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