Monday, August 14, 2006

5 ways to evaluate your blog

When you first started your blog, what was the plan? What goal did you have in mind? How do you evaluate it now? What criteria do you use to assess your blog? How do you know if your blog is successful or not?

Personal, family, and hobby bloggers probably have different methods of judging their blog than business and professional bloggers.

Here's a quick list of points you might use in comparing your blog's progress to the ideal you originally had in mind at the beginning.

Blog Evaluation
5 Point Checklist

(1) Personal Satisfaction

Do you really like blogging? Being a blogger? Maintaining and developing (not just "having") a blog?

Are you pleased with your blog, in terms of self-fulfillment? Do you have lots to say about a focus topic and side issues? Is your blog helping you express your expertise or interests...or do you feel like you sound foolish, amateur, clueless, bitter, hysterical, rash, empty?

Do you ever have misgivings, or even guilt or paranoia, about what you post to your blog? Has blogging increased your general anxiety or shame? Will you be proud of what you did with your blog, say 10 years from now? Or will you regret it?

Do you enjoy reading comments posted by visitors? Do you have fun with blogging, or is it stressful and frustrating?

(2) Blog Community

Have you made friends in the blog realm? Have you formed, within your blog readership, an online community of shared interests?

Do you feel comfortable and competent in the blogosphere?

Or are you just not cut out for all that goes with a blog: assessing and incorporating emerging technology (podcasts, video, feedrolls, custom search engines, tagging, etc.), web design, topic debating, and the discipline of frequent updating with new content (posts)?

(3) Professional Goals

Have you made business contacts with your blogging activity? Met new colleagues? Discovered new sources of online information? Gained new clients?

Sold downloadable products, like ebooks, at your blog? Accumulated ad revenue? Driven traffic to your corporate or ecommerce site?

Improved public perception of your organization? Generated good will, judging by comments and email? Explained, in the public forum of your blog, your side of a negative or fallacious news report? Used your blog to counteract bad blogospheric buzz? Or to attract new talent to employ?

As a personal/hobby blogger, do you see your computing skills increase through blog activity, like template tweaking, and adding new features and functions to your blog?

As an activist blogger, can you attribute any impact on the issue to the impact of your blog? Have you connected fellow activists? Have you rallied support outside the blogosphere for a real life problem?

(4) Communication Skills

As a result of blogging, you more confident, assertive, and articulate? Have you acquired sharper skills in debate, discussion, and idea propagation? Have you developed a unique "voice"?

Have you learned how to reply politely, firmly, and intelligently to negative comments, questions, complaints, advice? Are you a better writer, image uploader, podcaster, video maker?

Do you find that your social mingling and public or private speaking have benefited from blogging, podcasting, video making?

If an activist blogger, has your blog presented the issues in a coherent, effective manner?

(5) Marketable Business Skills

Can your blogging skills transfer to actual work situations?

Has your typing improved, speeded up? Are you better at word processing, content formats, page design, file transfers, web navigation, system security, usability testing, data entry?

Have you learned HTML, CSS, XML? Did you learn more about digital cameras, webcams, image uploaders, mp3s, or other technology in the course of blogging? Have you learned anything about ecommerce, web design, sales, marketing, editing, networking, beta testing, online research, auctions, or customer service?


David said...

Yes, Yes, No, Yes, No

steven edward streight said...

david: no pro goals and no marketable skills transfer, from blogging?

how long you been at it?

Harvey Dog said...

If you take pride in your blog you're developing marketable skills without realizing it.

Most people don't start up their blogs for this purpose, but by conveying your ideas and realizing the importance of the visual element you're definitely improving your communication and presentation skills. Interesting thoughts!