As a human we love to scale and rate things. How do you rate your pain? How do you rate your love life? How do you rate that hot guy walking down the street? Definitive scales of awesome or awful are just a part of life. It starts at a young age when you get that test back with your first A or your first F. Letter grades and numerical scales rule our freakin’ lives.  Personality tests, management tests, mental stability tests with little numbers and letters floating all around. And of course the big one, the IQ test – to tell you how big of a brain you have compared to the other idiots out there…

What the hell does this have to do with you and your blogging endeavors?

Well, the same thing can be applied to our websites, blogs and social media effectiveness. They have graders and measurements all to judge your effectiveness as a Website Mogul. Basically how to Grade Your Blog.  You just have to learn how to use them. Now, we know that it’s not just about the number of likes or followers. It’s about the reach. You could have 10K followers on twitter and very little impact if all of those followers could care less about what you tweet, post or blog about.

Rules of Engagement. What should we look for?

pageviews on your blogPageviews – The number one way to measure your blog always comes back to pageviews. How many people are actually coming to your site? Yet, with email subscriptions and Readers delivering your words in tons of different directions, pageviews are not always the end all. If you have a large amount of email subscribers you could just be seeing half of the actual traffic. When my email subscriptions went up my pageviews dropped.  Yet, when I decided to advertise, pageviews count. Because your advertising will most likely be on your sidebar or at the top of your posts. The email subscribers won’t be seeing your advertisements. Yet, how do we measure this? What quantifiable numbers do we put on our blogging goals? There are a few ways to judge our blogs…so let’s give it a shot here. These measurements are for our niche group as book bloggers. There is always room for improvement, even for the blogs that we consider the leaders in our niche. A pageview count can mean the difference between charging an advertiser $5 a day to $50 a day. If you want to get an idea of what people charge, take a look at blogads large blogs like Modern Baby & Perez Hilton who use blogads and their rates are staggering. But then we are talking about 30K pageviews a day instead of a month. I don’t know if any of our niche group even comes close to this. Unfortunately books aren’t as sexy as celeb gossip.

How to judge your blogThe Start-Up – The Sky is the Limit Blogger
(600+ pageviews a month, about 20 a day)

  1. This blog is just getting started
  2. This blog has just hit the six month mark of blog prosperity*
  3. A continually growing list of followers
  4. Active blogger (5 posts a week)
  5. Blogger could technically do advertising, but the impact would be low. It is recommended that you don’t charge advertisers more than $20 a month

breakoutThe Break-Out Blog – The I’m Just About There Blogger
(3K+ pageviews a month, about 100 a day)

  1. Other people in the industry know this blogger
  2. This blog has been in operation for over a year
  3. This blog’s followers continue to grow
  4. Active blogger and Guest Blogger, probably interviewed, quoted and Guest Blogs on other sites regularly
  5. Blogger can now reliably get advertisers
  6. Rates of advertising should stay below $100 a month, recommended about $2-$3 a day

Trend SetterThe Trend Setter Blog – Am I There Yet Blogger?
(15K+ pageviews a month, about 500 a day)

  1. This blog has been recognized by its peers and industry professionals as a Top Blog
  2. This blog has been in operation for 2+ years
  3. This blog’s followers continue to grow by substantial rates
  4. The blog has very active social media promotions in different outlets
  5. Very Active blogger, Guest Blogger, could even had interviews and posts on substantial media outlets outside of their niche group
  6. Blogger should be advertising
  7. Rates of advertising should be about $100 a month, recommended about $3-$4 a day

PinnacleThe Pinnacle Blog – Is this What the Top Looks like?
(50K+ pageviews a month, about 1700 a day)

  1. There will only be a few that reach this status
  2. This blog has been in operation for a considerable amount of time. It usually takes years to reach this status and consistently keep the traffic coming
  3. This blog will be recognized throughout the niche group as a leader
  4. This blog’s followers continue to grow by substantial rates
  5. This blog has very active social media promotions in different outlets
  6. Very Active blogger, Guest Blogger, even has had interviews and posts on substantial media outlets outside of their niche group
  7. Consistently quoted, linked back to and recognized throughout the community
  8. Blogger should be advertising
  9. Rates of advertising can range from $10 – $25 a day depending on pageviews

Google Pagerank checkerThe Google PageRank

 

The Google PageRank is the most recognized of the “Google Algorithm” parts  in SEO circles. But, most SEO gurus think that the PR is usually not updated regularly enough to be a major factor within the algorithm that Google uses to drive search results.

You gain PageRank by being “popular”. Basically having other blogs and sites link back. If you get a link back from bigger and bigger sites, your pagerank increases. It’s all about who you know 😉 What is yours? Check here.

Grade your blog

Grade it how?

 

Like anything else, there are always sites out there to make judgements for you. Just like the Google Pagerank, there are other companies that can put numbers on your site and tell you if you are doing a good job.

Alexa.com is one of them. They rank your site based on pageviews, sites linking in and other fun analytics. They are considered the top in their class, but– some claim that is generally garnered form people that use their tool bar only. Alexa claims this in only one way they gather information. They also use “other traffic sources.”

Besides Alexa there are a ton of sites that will grade, number and analyze your sites. Sites like SiteScore and Hubspot’s Marketing grader (which replaced their website grader). I personally like HubSpot’s Marketing Grader best because it gives you a run down on how you rock. This is how I found out I was on USA Today’s Book Section blogroll. Freaked out there, heard me?  And that a silly comment on People of Walmart is ranking me also higher in their estimation.

Parajunkee, Urban Fantasy, Blogger Tips

All of these numbers and letters will give you something to think on. I put most of my stock in pageviews right now, but once I reach my numbered goal consistently I’ll move on to focusing more intensely on SEO. It’s all a big process. There are steps I take with everything, but I find that to focus on everything at once will lead to a big slump in general, or a burn-out. It’s all about what you want to accomplish with your blog. You set your limits, you set your own goals. If you are okay with being somewhere in the middle, stick to it. If you want to reach for the stars and be THAT BLOGGER there are tons of ways of accomplishing it. Good luck.

Let me know what goals you’ve set for yourself.

*six months is considered by some to be the first milestone in blogging. Once you’ve reached six months vendors, publishers and potential advertisers gauge that you are ready to hang with the big dogs.