Google Analytics is an unfortunate but necessary part of a blogger's life. It's confusing, muddled, messy and definitely not easy to decode. How do you find the information that you're looking for? I've been using Google Analytics with Raye Social from the beginning(August) and I'm here to assist you through your analytics journey!
If you aren't familiar with google analytics, it's a tool to help you track traffic to your website. If you applied for a sponsorship or hit up a huge PR company they have probably asked to see screenshots of your traffic. While each platform usually offers their own version of the analytics, Google is the industry standard.
Let's start with the lingo on the main page! You might assume that sessions mean how many people have clicked on your site. Sessions actually mean what happened at one time that someone or a group of people logged on to your site. So one session could be 5 people logged on, clicking through different pages simultaneously. A session is the amount of time not the number of people. The bounce rate is the amount of your traffic that leaves after only hitting the main page. The rest of the terms are self-explanatory.
As a blogger, there are a few key things you want to take notice of.
- The bounce rate
- Demographics (age, sex, income)
- Content drill down (found under behavior, site content)
- Referrals (the origins of your traffic; found under acquisition and all traffic)
The bounce rate shows if your content is compelling enough to keep someone on your page. If your bounce rate is really high 40% or more, consider making your front page more appealing, adding more photos or better headlines. The purpose of demographics is solely for selling. This information is great if you are an affiliate marketer and looking for content to post for your readers. If you realize that you're writing for women ages 18-26 but men ages 25-32 are on your site, alter your content to include them as well for more hits and longer stay time. The content drill down shows you which pages are getting the most hits, you should write more content like the ones that are garnering the most traffic. As for referrals, that is the most important analytic to me because it shows me if my social media plan is working. As you can see I get about half of my referrals from twitter. So that means my tweets are freaking working! I haven't received any hits from Instagram or Pinterest, so I may want to adjust my social media plan to increase those areas as well.
I know a lot of you are like, omg it's about time! My bad. lol I've been on Sverve for about two years, passively collecting income as it comes and applying for blogging opportunities. Then with me resigning from my position at work and my seasonal job ending, I was frantically looking to make writing/blogging a full time lucrative gig for myself so I went through all the channels I was previously using including Sverve and PayPerPost both have paid in the past but one of them recently got the boot. I buckled down to figure out how I could increase my paid opportunities on Sverve.
Jan 2016 update** I have re-opened the comments on this post and added some additional websites that can earn bloggers money.
So, you're a relatively new blogger and you see all the big bloggers with their shiny badges on their homepage and your first instinct is "I want one too!". It's only natural however, before you sign up for bloglovin' or any other site be aware of the negative implications it might have on your website! Big sites like these prey on uninformed bloggers.
1. BlogLovin Steals Your Traffic
I know that sounds a bit off the wall but they do. If you click on a link promoting another blogger's BlogLovin page it is directed to the BlogLovin website and it also has their URL in the address bar. If you're a blogger you know that your traffic is everything. If you're looking to get brands to sponsor you, the first thing they ask is how many hits does your site get a month? If your clicks are going to the BlogLovin site, you're losing out on page views and possibly huge opportunities!
The Newlywed Notebook decided to do an experiment to see if she was getting her views from BlogLovin and she wasn't! To see her post, click the picture.
2. BlogLovin is stealing your content
There are horror stories of bloggers who found that their blogs were already on BlogLovin without their permission. BlogLovin is a RSS feed site so any thing you post on your RSS feed can easily be snatched by them and you won't get paid or credit for someone reading your blog!!
3. BlogLovin is shushing your brand identity
If you're a spectacular writer, or superb make up artist, promoting your BlogLovin link is only making them a household name not you! Take control of your brand. Make sure you promote your website or blog link, if they're on BlogLovin they can follow you but you should never promote their brand more than yours! You take a lot of time perfecting your website and graphics for your blog, let people see it!
Below is a screenshot of Vixella Beauty which was retweeted on my twitter timeline, I had to click twice to get to this page. The first click brought me to her blog lovin' profile. The second click brought me here. Just to see one blog post from Vixella Beauty, I had to give bloglovin' TWO clicks. Which could have been her traffic. I was mortified when I clicked the link to find this obnoxious BlogLovin frame and anything I clicked kept bloglovin in the URL address.
4. Join a site that can offer you real opportunities & do your research
Before I sign up for a site, I do a quick google search to see if anyone has had any comments or if the honest reviews were suffocated. There are people who post about blog lovin but you'll never find it on the first page of google. I joined IFB when I first started blogging and they have been an invaluable resource to my blogging career. I have also been a member of Sverve for 2 years, I have gotten paid for sponsored posts and tweets. When I decided to close my first blog, I was able to delete it from them with no problem and they never stored my posts. I get all the hits to my website and no where else. You could also join Izea or Cooperatize.