In the next three posts I’ll be looking at reader engagement. This time I’ll look at how to measure engagement, and propose short-term targets in an Engagement Scoresheet. Next time, the topic will be how to build engagement. And in the third post, I’ll explain how I plan to convert engagement into sales.
To make a start, let’s see what Google Analytics can do for us in this 5-screen display.
This display created with Google Docs and the WordPress plugin, Google Doc Embedder.
Another WordPress plugin, WP Google Analytics, helped me to connect the blog to Analytics in just a couple of minutes.
There’s much more that Google Analytics can do for you. For example you can find out which links have been clicked (although I can’t get this to play with WordPress at the moment); you can see how many times people have revisited; you can see which outbound links are the most popular. But which are the most important measurements for me?
Once again I need to go back to my objective. $18,000 net income per year is my target. Let’s suppose that my receipts are 50% of total sales revenues (and if I can improve on that percentage, that’ll be good). So I need to aim at $36,000 in sales revenue. That means I’ll have to find around 3000 engaged readers who are prepared to spend at least $12 a year on my creative output.
How do we define the number of engaged readers? I’m going to be measuring the number of people returning at least three times a week. I’ll be tracking also the number of visits per week where more than 3 pages were accessed, and where the time spent on site was more than 3 minutes.
I also want to measure how many people are actually reading the creative writing elements – at the moment how many people are reading the sample chapters of The Lebanese Troubles. And when they’ve started, do they continue? This after all, is the point of the whole marketing exercise. The key measurable here will be how many people have read at least 50% of the creative writing samples on the site – we’ll be aiming at 3000 by March 2011.
Am I expecting to get 3000 engaged readers for this site – A Real Writer? Absolutely not. I hope that fellow-writers will enjoy my experiments in literature, but I’ve identified other niche audiences for my work too – which I’ll talk about next time. I’ll be aiming for engagement with them too, but they’re unlikely to follow me here. There will be other sites, a Facebook fan page, Twitter – I’ll expand more on this as we go on. But for now, let’s look at a possible Engagement Scoresheet, laying down some fairly modest targets for the next 30 days.
Engagement ScoresheetA monthly update, showing the results achieved to date and the targets for the next 30 days. (This display created with the Wordpress plugin, WP-Target Reloaded)
|1st March||Target |
|BLOG Visits||0||600||Fairly low expectations for Month 1 - Seeking min 150% increase per month for each of these targets.|
|People > 12 visits this month||0||40|
|Visits > 3 minutes||0||200|
|Visits > 3 pages||0||200|
|Feed subscribers||0||20||As recorded by Feedburner|
|FACEBOOK friends||30||50||Novel fan page planned for April.|
|TWITTER fans||33||60||Tracking writer communities this month.|
|TWITTER mentions + questions||0||20|
|No of Sales||0||0||First sales expected May|
|Net income||- $60||- $60||Cost of website for 12 months|
Nothing too ambitious for month 1, but if I want to achieve the targets, I’ll need to register month-of-month increases of at least 150%. How? That’s for next time.
Now tell me which other key measurements I’ve missed.