One of the drawbacks to blogging is that it’s very difficult to gauge your progress.
Because every blog is different, every audience is different and every blogger uses a different marketing approach, there’s nothing carved in stone.
It’s impossible to say “If you have this exact number of subscribers or this exact number of comments you’re on the right track” because everything varies from blog to blog.
Of course, there’s another way to look at it, too. What does “the right track” mean? It’s another relative term that means something different to every blogger. Bloggers blog for any number of reasons – to share their message, to meet new people, to make money online. So that’s another variable that makes it difficult to determine if you’re “on the right track.”
All that said, let’s take a look at ways to know if your blog’s on the right track in general:
Comment activity: In most niches, regular comment activity is a good sign you’re on the right path. In the Make Money Online niche, not so much. Look at the comments on your blog and see how many of them either help keep the conversation moving forward or ask questions. If all your comments can be condensed down to two words – Nice Post – then chances are you’re just getting comments from lots of other bloggers because they want that link. But if your commentors are non-bloggers and they actually add something to the conversation, then you’re on the right path.
Subscribers: Are you seeing a steady increase in subscriptions? And don’t forget, there are different types of subscriptions. Your readers can subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed, they can subscribe to a single comment thread, they can subscribe to one or more categories on your blog, and they can subscribe to your newsletter. Subscriptions in any area indicate you’re providing valuable, useful information for your readers and they don’t want to miss anything.
Again, if you’re blogging in the Make Money Online niche it’s a little different. A lot of your subscribers could be other bloggers who just want to use your blog as another source for blogging ideas.
Incoming links: Incoming links from other blogs are a very good indication you’re on the right path. Other bloggers only link to you if they think you’re providing valuable, unique content. If yours was a poor-quality blog they’d be risking their own page rank by linking to you. So yeah, those incoming links really count.
Networking: Are you connecting with other bloggers in your niche? Are you connecting with other bloggers and online service providers who can help you with your business? Are you guest blogging and interacting in the social networks so you can build your brand and broaden your audience? If so, then you’re on the right path.
Your niche: Have you clearly defined your niche, your market and your target audience? You could be attracting thousands of visitors a day, they could all be leaving comments and subscribing to your blog, but if those visitors aren’t targeted then you’re not on the right track. Use keywords to attract the searchers who would be most interested in purchasing the product or service you’re promoting.