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Blog Challenge: How Do You Judge a Blog Post as a Success?

How do you determine the success of a blog post?

Is the number of comments on a post indicative of the post’s popularity and success? Is it the traffic that comes to that post? Is it the number of trackbacks? Is it the fact that the post got dug by Digg or linked to from a popular traffic-driving site? Is who linked to your post part of your determination of a blog post’s success?

Your blog challenge this week is to answer the question:

What score cards do you use to measure a post’s success?

We all have different measurements for what makes a blog post a success. Answer the question here or blog about it, and examine what statistics you use to determine whether or not a blog post is successful, and what that success means to you and the blog posts you write in the future.

This is one of many I offer weekly to help kick your blogging ass. For more challenges, see the category.

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  1. Posted July 14, 2007 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    I will call a blog post as successful if it can force visitors to subscribe to our blog feeds or if it makes them visit again.

    I guess you get more number of comments for your “blog challenges” than for those you invest much time on.A great post which doesn’t confuse us may not recieve many comments.

  2. Posted July 14, 2007 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I think a post is a success when it gets lots of daily hits. Lots is defined has 20 or more not counting returning visitors.

  3. Posted July 14, 2007 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I think a blog post is a success when I get comments on the post or if someone else on another site links to my post.

    Also, a spike in hits or seeing people come in on Google searches is also encouraging.

  4. Posted July 14, 2007 at 9:17 am | Permalink


    So, a blog post is a success because of a gain in traffic through a increase in hits and subscribers, number of comments, increase in search engine driven traffic…what else? What other score cards do you use to evaluate the success of a post? Are there any others?

  5. Posted July 14, 2007 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    If the post has made a few readers think – or laugh – about what they’re reading as much as I’ve had to think or laugh about what I’m writing, then the post is a success. Pretty hard to measure or quantify, but the quality of the comments is a good clue.

  6. Posted July 14, 2007 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Success is when Lorelle leaves a comment saying I did a good job. 🙂

    We write at least partially to get read so numbers of readers does count for sure. As I write on my About page are visitors welcome, readers even more so and subscribers and commentators are the best of all. Since you can rarely pinpoint subscribers to a specific post do I especially enjoy a thoughtful comment. I do not get many comments as I have few visitors, but the quality of the comments is generally good and the commentators are often people I read and appreciate, which mostly comes down to that I “invited” them to come. Their comments is of their own choosing though and as such very appreciated.

    To me it is hence not just about quantifiable things, but also about quality. I try to write quality stuff and appreciate comments adhering to the same standard even if that sounds elitist of sorts.

    * Lorelle, pretty please with sugar on top when are you going to install a plugin allowing me to subscribe per email to the comments? I just cannot remember all the places where I comment and these emails serve as essential reminders.

  7. gulfcoastpolo
    Posted July 14, 2007 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I use number of hits each post or my site gets, but also I use tags that are relevant and people will search for to increase traffic.

  8. Posted July 14, 2007 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I agree getting at least 20 hits a day is pretty good for my blog, and I started it about 3 weeks ago. As for the past 2 weeks I have been getting about 30 a day average

  9. Posted July 14, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Success is when the post, reviewed the next day, clearly moves the site closer to the goal of the site. If the intent is traffic, then an increase or maintenance of traffic is success. If the intent is to express a feeling or concept, or to describe and activity, then success is to illuminate an aspect of that feeling or concept. If the purpose of the site is to record thoughts the success is a combination of sharing the thought, and developing the thought through introspection. If the purpose is to create a community, to entertain, or to engage in dialogue, then success is the presence or content of comments.

    Success. It depends. Success depends on what the site is intended to do.

  10. Posted July 14, 2007 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Stats, rankings, number of comments, etc. are a measure of “success” but at the same time it’s easy to let those kinds of things own you. I try not to base whether or not I feel successful or good about my blogging based on those things, and it is hard — I walk too close to that line too often. Although not quantifiable, I try to look at the content of the comments. I’m just a little ole mommy blogger, but hopefully I’ve made someone laugh or feel better about their parenting or touched them in some way. Those kinds of things are not quantifiable, but probably just as well. Keeps my pride in check.

  11. Posted July 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Two metrics:

    1. Lots of hits + a low bounce rate (the people that come to the post stay and read it!)
    2. Long-term # of other blogs that link back to that specific post

    Ok, I guess that’s technically 3 things…

    I’d put more value on #2..


  12. willtaft
    Posted July 15, 2007 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    My site is fairly new and small and has drawn up to 30 visitors a day, max. Because of this, I would say that a successful post for me is one that draws a comment or two! I have one post with 6 comments, but I think 2 of them are my responses and one is a pingback. 😦

    Interestingly, compared to the number of visitors to my site, I get quite a few email or “contact form” questions. Sometimes these questions are very specific, others are really comments sent in an email. I answer them all and encourage people to comment, but there must be something about my site that prompts email, but not comments. Weird.

    I was thinking that there may be a “critical mass” with comments where until visitors see others regularly leaving comments, they don’t want to be the first and only. Anyone ever see evidence of this?

  13. Posted July 15, 2007 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    willtaft your comment intrigued me enough in my feed reader to go check your site, but you forgot to add the URL to your comment.

  14. Posted July 16, 2007 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    How long a user stays on the blog post is a good metric.
    We all leave irritating posts immediatly right??

  15. Posted July 16, 2007 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Lorelle – Here are my thoughts: When is a Blog Post a Success.

    It’s a great question. Brad K hits the nail on the head. Traffic, link backs, etc. can all serve as measures of success, but ultimately it’s about your goals for the blog and achieving them – as much as possible – with each blog post.

    Extrapolate a bit further and you can say that each blog post’s success can be measured by how it helps steer you towards your goals *in general* – since your blog is an extension of everything else you do.

  16. Posted July 16, 2007 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    I consider a post to be a success when it is still getting views weeks later.
    At the end of each day, two of our most popular posts are an old comic and a review of “Catcher in the Rye”, both more than two months old.

  17. Posted July 16, 2007 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I blog in order to relax or post something interesting that I can go back and remember or relive. It’s gratifying to see traffic spikes, but it’s not the goal.

    A great post is one that stands out in my mind weeks later as entertaining or interesting. Or other people say is entertaining or interesting. (Strangely, those sets don’t have much intersection.)

  18. Posted July 16, 2007 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I use a combination of the things mentioned above. What I look for are repeat visitors after the post, comments on the post, page views for the post, average visit times and pages per visit. It also helps to see what’s linking to it and how many responses you get. (Writing about a spammer threatening to sue me sent traffic through the roof and scored a few new readers. Oh, and it made the spammer back off.) Of course, my motivation is narcissism so getting feedback and more readers is my yardstick. YMMV depending on your goals.

  19. Posted July 17, 2007 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    @mpb: Thanks for pointing that out. I thought my name was linked to my site, but it isn’t for some reason. I’ll have to fix that. Anyway, it is

    Thanks for looking!

  20. Posted July 18, 2007 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Since I don’t have any readers yet, I can’t equate success with number of comments or RSS feeds, or anything cool like that. But I do consider it a success when I’m very, very proud of the post. The post I’m most proud of is one I titled is this one. (Unfortunately, the theme I based my theme on doesn’t show list bullets and I haven’t been successful in getting them reinstated.)

    I usually shy away from political posts, but I just felt the need to highlight how those politicians and companies who think they’re “supporting the troops” are doing no such thing.

  21. Posted July 24, 2007 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Great question. For months I’ve stopped by your site and just read the thing that got e here. I’m looking around now and it is just amazing what you’ve done here.

    Post success: I think some things are measurable and some aren’t. Gotta break that down first:

    Measurable factors: “gain in traffic through a increase in hits and subscribers, number of comments, increase in search engine driven traffic”

    Un-measurable factors: Folks who stopped by, thought about the post and went their way either affected, inspired and helped -or- unaffected, wanting or indifferent.

    I think my measure of a successful blog post is one that scores “yes” on one or both of these two fronts:

    1) Post comments reflect impact on readers.


    2) I feel proud to put the post out there again and again through my “Best of” page or through links and link recommendation.

    NOTICE neither of those two have a hoot in hell to do with seo or # of hits! I’ve always kind of nurtured this philosophy, but Lorelle’s interview answers recently drove this home and gave me “permission” to really live it!

  22. Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I guess I would rate a post as a massive success when it reaches the dizzy heights of 1 comment (smile).

    I just have started personal blogging. I have been doing family blogging since 2004 to entertain the family and friends in remote locations (US, West Indeis, South Pacific) as we are in Europe, but that definitely is not the same.

    I have also been a very active member of a discussion forum since 2000. Eventhough this has allowed to meet very interesting people and to learn many thing about electronic (and real) communication and social behavior, this now seems like a bit of a wasted time : all these lost ideas. Because this is what I love the most with blogging : tidy up my ideas, having a blog as a bit of an ideas shelf.

    These may be about pop culture (music, books, movies), internet implications in our profesionnal and/or regular life, or the things that upset me with the society I live in (France).

    Since I dont have many readers for now, a successful post for me is one that does make sense, describing interesting ideas, regardless if they come straight from me or from other bloggers that I admire.

  23. Manny Patel
    Posted November 13, 2007 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I dont believe the number of comments is a indicator of the success of the blog.

  24. Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I write a daily blog for military families. I think it is a success when traffic is continually increasing, people are linking or referencing your blog and people are writng to say they like it.

10 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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