June 9, 2018

Collecting Data for Your Atheist Blog

I have written several posts on the topic of blogging over the years. My goal with most of them has been to provide something of value to those who are looking to start atheist blogs or who already have atheist blogs and are interested in improving them in some way. Although these posts almost never perform well in terms of traffic generated, I keep writing them because I'd like to see more atheist blogs and because this is one way I can try to give something back to the atheist blogosphere I have enjoyed so much.

I've been thinking about trying to do more of these posts lately but with a somewhat different focus than I've had before. My target audience for what I have in mind is going to be those of you who are current or future atheist bloggers who would like to have more visitors, more regular readers, and perhaps more people commenting on your atheist blogs. I plan to share some of the things I've found helpful and some of the things I've tried that have crashed and burned.

But the biggest change of all has little to do with the content of the posts I have planned and everything to do with my ability to stick to the plan. You see, I have started a series like this several times and can never seem to get past the first couple of posts before forgetting I have done so and moving on to something else. I'm going to try to do better this time around.

Data Collection

You have probably already installed something to help you monitor traffic to your blog (e.g., Google Analytics). If you have not done so, go ahead and do that now. This will help you determine which of the techniques I'll be sharing in future posts work for you and which do not. This is important because you don't want to invest more time than is necessary into a method that is not producing results.

But what if you installed Google Analytics long ago and have never found it terribly useful or have never been sure about how to use it effectively? I think it is worth your while to invest a little time in learning how to use it. In the meantime, I recommend that you check out the free version of Quill Engage. It will provide you with some useful information about your blog in a language you'll be able to understand. I just started using it a couple weeks ago, and I'm already finding it helpful.

Using Data to Improve Your Blog

With your Google Analytics data up and running for at least a month, take a look at your numbers. Your bounce rate is an ideal target for improvement because a high bounce rate suggests that visitors to your blog are not finding what they want and moving on. By working to reduce your bounce rate, you will likely end up improving your blog. And by improving your blog, you'll likely convert more first-time visitors into regular readers.

Using Data to Inspire Posts

Google Analytics helps you understand what brings people to your blog. That is, it can help you understand what sort of content they might have been looking for when they arrive. This can be very useful information to have when it comes to generating ideas for future posts. If you discover a popular topic you have not written about much, writing more about it might bring you more visitors.