7 Signs Other than Traffic that TRULY Indicate a Blog Article’s Success

by Marcus Sheridan

bloggin successHave you ever written a blog post and within a few minutes or hours of publishing you just knew it was something special? In the beginning days of TSL, back when it was me and the crickets, I used to write blog posts with such a high anticipation as to ‘what might be’.  But, inevitably, because my site got the traffic of a backroad in the desert, nothing ever seemed to amount to anything.

But over the last 5 months or so, as I’ve said before, the times have drastically changed. Somehow, as I stumbled from one post to the next, the audience grew. And with this growth, I’ve now had the opportunity to analyze the true characteristics of a successful blog article versus one that’s, well, not so successful.

Success Equals Action

When it comes down to it folks, great writing leads to action. And as the saying goes, ‘Actions speak louder than words.’ This statement could not be in truer when it comes to the blogosphere. You see, I don’t really judge an article’s success based on the number of tweets, comments, or even views it gets. Yeah, sure that can be somewhat of a sign but have you really done anything if 100 people leave you 100 different versions of ‘nice job’ in your comment section?

For example, about a year ago, I wrote a guest post on ‘The Change Blog’. Since it was published, that little post has gotten a meager 230,000 views on Stumble Upon and has also been ‘liked’ over 1,000 times on Facebook. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, yes and no. Although it has produced hundreds of visitors to TSL, I’m not aware of any clients that I’ve gained from it or even loyal readers.

Now don’t get me wrong here, high numbers are all fine and dandy, especially in the beginning, but depth and breadth of action are what carry the day as a blogger experiences more success and a richer understanding of online fulfillment.

7 Signs Other than Traffic that Truly Indicate a Blog Article’s Success

So that’s what I’ve done with this article today. I want to discuss the essential factors that truly measure the success of a blog article, and I’m excited to get your thoughts as well.

1. Lurkers Come Out- The quickest way I can tell that I’ve just written a great article is when the ‘lurkers’ come out. And who are the ‘lurkers’? John Falchetto wrote a great article about this but in most cases, they are roughly 90% or more of a blog’s readership. This majority comes by to learn, not ‘interact’ (thru commenting, tweeting, etc). They are often loyal, but they do it in silence. And it is this silent majority that in many ways is the essence of a blogger’s success.

This is why one of the best indicators for me of a successful post is when I see a number of commenters without avatars in the comment section. In other words, if someone leaves a comment on my blog who doesn’t have an avatar, I know they are likely not a ‘blogger’ per se,  but rather a business owner, a company employee learning about marketing, etc. It’s these people that often turn into my actual clients and are a great indicator as to a blogger’s ability to engage his or her community on a higher level.

2. DM’s on Twitter- Although regular tweets are nice, direct messages on Twitter from readers give me way more satisfaction, as I know the sender has no other intention than a true 1 on 1 interaction. An example of this came with my now semi-infamous article about the ‘Biggest Blogging Jerk Ever’ , when at least 5 or 6 people  that day alone direct messaged me to ask questions about ‘Blogger X’.

3. Personal Emails- Very similar to DMs on Twitter, when personal emails come rolling in after a post you know you’ve done something great. The best example of this I’ve ever experienced was when I asked my entire community on TSL to help me come up with my tagline (Thanks again Mark Harai!). From this post alone, I received double-digit emails, most of which came from my wonderful ‘lurkers’, suggesting various tagline ideas.

Also, from a business standpoint, I can tell an article was effective when an unusually high amount of potential clients fill out a contact form expressing an interest in one of my services immediately after posting a service-related article (Monday’s post was a perfect example of this).

4. Comment Length- My friend Adam Toporek left an awesome comment on TSL yesterday that really got me thinking about this. Here’s what he said in regards to my article “Massive Blog Growth: Do You Have the Time It Takes?”

…..I’ve been out of the loop for a few days with offline life, and I was going to drop by a few of my favorite blogs this evening and do some commenting. I got stuck on this post for over 30 minutes. It was a great conversation, and I was reading all of the comments. When I finally got to the end, I noticed how small the scroll bar was on the browser. That’s when I realized – wow, this is a lot of text!

So, I did an experiment and copied the text on this page into Word; it is around 18,000 words with the comments. Yes, Marcus, that’s 1/5 of a good-sized modern novel for a single blog post!

Upon contemplating Adam’s words, I realized that even though that particular article may not have had the most comments of any article I’ve ever written, it had far and away the best conversation and most words of any previous comment section. In fact, a few people, like Tisha, Elena, Davina, Diana, Ayo, Tony, Shonali, Alex, Paul, Stu, Erica, John, JK, and Bill all contributed comments over 300 words each! And some, like Shonali’s and Tisha’s, were much longer.

My point is that between my thoughts and your incredible comments, we ended up with over 18, 500 words!!! Considering Seth Godin has written books that long (or short, depending on how you look at it ;-) ) I think we did pretty darn well my friends!! How ‘bout them apples??!

5. The 2nd Day Phenomena- An easy way to know if a blog article is going to do very well is by the performance it has during the second day. Similar to the way Hollywood judges a movie by how well it does its 2nd weekend, if a blog article gets more views the second day than the first, it’s probably going to be a hit. For example, my ‘Blogging Jerk’ article received around 700 views its first day and then 1200 the second. As soon as I saw this, I knew it was going to do very, very well.

6. Continued Comments- As most of you know, I usually post every 3 days. There are many reasons why I do this, but one is because most of the time, the conversation and comments pretty much die out by day three. But there are certain cases when an article’s comments will continue to grow for many weeks. For example, the article I did about  ’15 Bloggers that are Changing the Blogosphere as We Know It’ got at least one comment a day for the first 2 weeks after it was published.

7. Guest Post Solicitations- The final sign that you’re blog post is a huge success comes from the kind solicitations of other bloggers asking you for a guest post on their blog. To me, this is a wonderful form a flattery, as it really shows the person respects your work and trusts you enough to invite you over for dinner at their place (blog). For example, last week I got 6 separate guest post invitations from some of my amazing friends and acquaintances in the blogosphere. (Sorry Chris Brogan, but I’m still going to have to turn you down for now ;-) ) Needless to say, these kind petitions were very, very humbling and appreciated.

Your Turn: So there you have it folks, 7 signs that truly indicate the success of a blog post. Now I’ve got a few questions that I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on. First, are there any indicators you feel I’ve left off the list that should be on there that you’ve noticed from you blogging experience?  Also, do you disagree with any of the ones I mentioned above? And finally, of the 7 I’ve mentioned, which one is the most important indicator of success to YOU?

Jump in everyone, I expect this conversation to be a great one…. :-)

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{ 132 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia@lavender-oil May 12, 2011 at 10:02 am

Hi Marcus

A very thorough rundown of the topic. We all consider success differently, depending on our reason for blogging. Interesting that as a business owner, the contact forms filled out were in measure part of your success. Potential clients/customers :-)

Whereas for others it would be that direct sales of their products and customer base grew. Others signups to their newsletter or course they have just completed writing and there is a call to action. Or numbers that join their membership group.

Whatever it is, if we are not seeing change in the right direction, have to question if we are going the right way ;-) And you sure are. Not only do you do all the things you write about, you are a great example of one who generously cheers others on and gives a lot to the blogging community.

And now you are getting back from them. Enjoyed the read and great to see you doing so well Marcus. You surely deserve it. And I love that everytime I get to the end of the post and comment, I see your family smiling out at me. Great to see you have your priorities right :-)

Patricia Perth Australia

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Bill Dorman May 13, 2011 at 11:02 am

Hey Patricia, I mention your Comments do not equal Sales in my reply. It’s a matter of what you consider success. For you it would be seeing some ‘fruits’ of your labor. For me, I’m just happy somebody stopped by. However, I do want to be able to maximize that for me at some point.

Good to see you at Marcus’ crib.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Yeah Bill, speaking of maximize, what are your plans for the blog? Seriously, I’d love to know man.

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bill dorman May 14, 2011 at 9:50 am

I’m leaning to a combo personal/business platform, but still geared toward the power of relationships and the connectivity it brings.

I would like to be able to bring recognition to what I do and who we are in my corporate life, but it be my voice and my style. I’m just looking for the opportunity to get in front of people; once there, I know what to do as that is where I am most effective. Creating opportunities, it’s all we can ask for.

Talk to you soon.

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Howie the Chief Alien May 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Rumor was the blog was going to tackle the intricacies and human condition of ancient floridian seminole native americans and how their family structure and community set up enabled 18 years of incredible peace and prosperity during the 1300′s. Then there was that flood.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:19 am

What a kind comment Patricia, thank you. And thanks also for mentioning ‘The Sheridan Clan’. I’ve really been blessed in that area of my life.

Like you said, it is by goal to give to this community as much as I can. If I see something that’s working, I want others to know about it. I don’t believe in the concept of ‘trade secrets’ at this point in my life— I just want to lift others up and I know it will come back to me as well. That’s just the way Karma works.

You’re an inspiring lady Patricia. Thanks for always taking the time to support me and TSL. :-)

Marcus

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Daniel M. Wood May 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

I have one post that gets about 50 visitors every day from google, that said it is far from the most successful post I have written. It is a long list post, so I think it inspires some, but it generates very few leads, very few loyal readers and even fewer comments.

That said it does get me a nice amount of traffic each day so even if it only gets me one follower per day that is still 365 followers per year for one article.

But like you said Marcus, traffic and numbers isn’t everything.
You need to get people to interact.

When I get an email from someone asking for my help with an exercise, or thanking me for my help or just adding their insights I consider it worth more than 1000 visitors.
People reaching out, their lives changed, is the most important part of blogging.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:13 am

You hit the nail on the head Daniel. There is something absolutely magical about getting direct contact from others, and it’s what really makes all the hard work worth it. Like you, some of my most successful posts on Google seem to get the least amount of general interaction. It’s all very odd to tell you the truth.

Have a great weekend D’, and thanks so much for your constant support.

Marcus

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Marlee May 12, 2011 at 10:17 am

Hi Marcus,
This is a great practical assessment of indicators that you are growing a healthy blog. I’ve seen all of them in my own experience. I will say, however, that in some markets other some factors are going to weigh more heavily than others.

For example, I think lurkers “coming out” is a pretty good indicator overall because I’ve found what you said to be true in two very different markets. That is, lurkers are the ones who end up actually paying for your services.

That aside, my healthcare marketing business blog rarely garners a single comment, but the pageviews are strong. That said my e-mail subscription and open rate is insane. I believe it’s because this target market (healthcare professional) prefer email communication, and in most cases are afraid of publicly engaging online.

I bring this up because the e-mail conversion rates are great for me and although I don’t have hardly any engagement on that blog, it’s happening on the back end. Because my winning metric is sales, I consider that blog a success because it’s the key driver of sales for my services, but if you were to simply scan the blog for life – it’s a virtual corpse.

Thanks for sharing all of these variables. I love it!

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

Wow, very, very telling Marlee. Awesome points. And I can very much relate to you with my swimming pool company. That blog is the most popular of its kind in the world but doesn’t average more than a few comments per post. That’s just the way it is in that industry– but it makes tons of sales.

Your business is no different. Your content is getting read, and your bills are getting paid– that’s awesome.

Thanks so much for stopping by Marlee, have a GREAT weekend!!

Marcus

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Joe @ Not Your Average Joe May 12, 2011 at 10:20 am

A sure sign of success for a blog post is when the “Sales Lion” leaves a comment. That’s how I measure it.

Seriously, the number of comments and depth of discussion is one way to gauge it, but since I’m not approaching that level (yet), my idea of success is when a friend or reader seeks you out by email or personally, and says, “Wow, that’s a great piece”. That type of praise will keep your motor running.

Marcus, I appreciate the fact that you’ve been the first to leave a comment on several of my posts. Once you got it started, several others followed suit. You helped keep “the crickets” at bay! Thanks for always reaching out!

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Davina K. Brewer May 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Nice one Joe, “when TSL is in the house” … you’ve been taking lessons from @Shonali in subtle. ;-)

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Bill Dorman May 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

I hear ya brother; I’m still having to pay him to drop by a leave a comment but it has been money well spent so far. Lion’s head indeed………

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Joe @ Not Your Average Joe May 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Hey Bill, I pay him too but it’s well worth it…

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Too kind Joe ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Speaking of money Bill, you’re a little late on your last payment ;-)

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bill dorman May 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

In the mail; I think the post office quit running on the weekends……

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

Haha Joe! You’re a good guy man and I appreciate your kind words bud.

I like your point about friends contacting you about your articles. Personally, I find it so invigorating when a relative, who I had no idea actually read my stuff, calls me or shoots me an email to talk about a post. Yes, that feels GREAT!

And as far as leaving comments on your blog Joe, you’re more than welcome. You write in a relaxed, personal experience based way, which is the type of writer I enjoy most. :)

Marcus

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Tony Hastings May 14, 2011 at 6:38 am

You have raised a good point there Joe, it isn’t only how many leave a comment but also who has done so that can be a factor.

Having good content is vital but attracting comments from people who are already part of an active blogging community can mean that you are attracting the type of readers, and hopefully comments that you will value.

And the best way to do that? Raising your head above the parapet and joining in the discussion at places like this!

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm

As I’ve mentioned quite a few times Tony, for almost an entire year I didn’t ‘raise my head above the parapet’, and because of that, my relationships were few and far between. But hey, better late than never, right??!

So glad you took the time to comment Tony and hope you had a great Saturday.

Cheers,

Marcus

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Jack @ TheJackB May 12, 2011 at 11:08 am

The most significant sign/indication of social media influence is derived from how many people respond to your call to action. I have read many blogs that have active comment sections but when you take a harder look you see that five people are responsible for more than fifty percent of the 65 or so comments they average.

That is not meant to insult or disparage what they are doing, but some context needs to be applied.

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Davina K. Brewer May 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Excellent point Jack, I did a guest post over at Lori’s. Her blog has the Livefyre comment system, which is a natural comment magnet anyway… we got a lot of comments and yet, it was ‘only’ 15 or so people following that conversation. There is balance to consider .. comments, commenters, percentage, etc. Also something to be said for a post that gets people to return, to follow up on further comments. FWIW.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 10:24 am

I’d really like to do a post on this soon Davina– Livefyre vs Standard Wordpress— and really go at in an all-out debate. I think it would be VERY insightful, as there a tons of points to be made on each side…

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paul wolfe May 13, 2011 at 10:29 am

That sounds like a Blog-Off:

http://www.onespoonatatime.com/who-fancies-a-blog-off

Contact Dino and ask him to host it – if you read the post you’ll understand!

Paul

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Davina K. Brewer May 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Paul’s got a good idea about the blog-off to discuss this. I’ve been kicking around some ideas for my ‘dream’ system. There are pros and cons to anything. I think even in the blog-off format, the style of debate you want will dictate if the real-time Livefyre with it’s replying to multiple people at once is better; versus Disqus which is adding some of those notification features; vs. WP and a nested, threaded debate. Hmm…

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Bill Dorman May 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

I tried to change up my account so it would look like more…………

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

Very wise words indeed Jack. The call to action is what pays the bills. And if you’re conversions stink with CTAs, then you’ve got no influence…which means you’ve got problems.

Regarding what you said about comments, I very, very much agree with you. With Livefyre becoming more popular, comment sections can take on a forum feel, which is good and bad in my opinion. In fact, I’m going to be writing about it very soon because it’s a great debate (or could be ;-) )

Marcus

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Frank May 12, 2011 at 11:16 am

Marcus,

Thanks for sharing these 7 signs. To me and the purpose of my blog I find it really hard to measure the success of my articles. Yes I could base it on comments but like you said other blogger although I’m grateful is not my target audience. I want to reach people who need some life changing words of encouragement and hope. So, if I get that personal email or a direct tweet from someone who says something I wrote changed their life that gives me a great sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately people don’t always do that. I have heard people tell others that they were really moved by my writing but they don’t tell me. What’s up with that?

I think my next post will be titled. Send me an email if you like my stuff with the comments closed off. :-) Thanks for this Marcus.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

Love the next post idea Frank!! :-) I tell you man, you give me a good laugh always bud when you stop by. You know, I once heard a stat that in the blogosphere, 1% of readers actually comment. Crazy, huh? So just keep your chin up and your head high man, and it will take shape….and those DMs will come more and more. You’re a great writer Frank, so just keep doing what your doing and success will follow.

Marcus

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Bill Dorman May 13, 2011 at 11:06 am

Roll it out there I think it will work; tell them to just comment ‘boo’ but leave some footprint, huh?

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Brad Harmon @ Big Feet Marketing May 12, 2011 at 11:42 am

Interesting questions, Marcus. Yes, I’m guilty at looking at the numbers; however, I know a post is successful by who comments on it. There’s always a few people I have in mind when I write a post. These people have limited time to comment, so when they do comment you know it’s something truly worthy of their time.

Not only do I have particular people in mind with different posts, but I always have my target reader in mind. I love interacting with other bloggers, but I know I’m writing about something that matters when small business owners take the time to comment. They’re the reason my blog exists. They’re the ones I want to help.

I can’t really disagree with any of the ways you point out in your post. All of those are important measures of a blogs success too. The only one I might add to your list is follow up replies. Does the comment section become a discussion? Like Adam pointed out, a great post brings a lot of comments and discussion. Often, you learn more there than in the post itself.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 10:55 am

GREAT point Brad. Although it’s great to hear from other bloggers, it’s the small business owner that ultimately is your customer, and success, in many ways, will live and die by your ability to motivate that ‘silent reader’.

And yes, if the comment section becomes a discussion, not just a bunch of individual statements, that is a strong indicator. There have been quite a few occasions, especially with that ‘Do you have the time’ article I wrote that Adam mentioned, where the comment section was wayyyy better than the article itself.

You’re a huge support Brad. Thanks so much for stopping by my friend.

Marcus

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Dino Dogan May 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm

This was an awesome list Marcus. I find it to be on the money. I think you opened with a bang when you said Lurkers Come Out. That really is a STRONG indicator.

Comment length is also a great indicator. I’ve sean people (mostly Ingrid :-) leave comments longer than the post itself. Great stuff dude…loved it.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

Dogan, good of you to stop by man, really appreciate it. Yeah, the Lurkers are the real deal indicator, that’s for sure.

Keep rockin it brother, and have a great weekend,

Marcus

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Bill Dorman May 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

I used to be a lurker, now I’m just a stalker…….

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Joe @ Not Your Average Joe May 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Lurkers astound me. How can you not leave a comment here?

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Brankica | How to blog May 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm

This is probably the longest comment Dino left in last 3 months. There is your indicator number 8 !!!!

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm

LOL! Yeah, I felt pretty darn good when I saw that too Bran!!

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Kristi Hines May 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Definitely some great things to consider. Some people are obsessed with traffic, mailing list signups, etc. that they miss the other “indicators” that should be telling them that their audience loves their latest content and should continue in that path when creating more posts to really endear readers to their site!

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

Hey Kristi, considering the amount of traffic and visitors you have to your site, it’s great to hear you say this, and I’m sure you likely experience all 7 of these ‘indicators’ all the time.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks a bunch for stopping by. :-)

Marcus

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MummyinProvence May 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Food for thought! Thanks for your great list of things to look for … I am so new to blogging and social media that I took some time to really go through all your points. After a brief assessment I can see that I am on the right track albeit with numbers that are less than half the digit length of yours but it’s a start! Insightful comments too! Can’t wait to read more!

One question – how do you deal with DM’s or emails that, once they’ve gone over the initial pleasantries and basic info start to become consultancy? Where do you draw the line?

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 10:44 am

Well I’ll be…a pleasure it is to have you come by Ameena :-)

Here’s my best answer to your excellent question— My blog is just a small peice to a wonderful pie. That pie, when experienced by businesses/bloggers, tastes good. So the information itself gets them interested in more. Once we talk on the phone the first time, I’ll give them a little more of the pie– not too much, but a glimpse of how I can help them (for example, I’ll point out 5 major flaws of their blog/content/website/etc). Once I’ve given them the vision as to where they are and where they could be, the natural question I always get is either: How much would you charge to help us? or When can we start? Honestly, if you’re producing your content correctly on your website Ameena, it should be clear to people that you get paid to do what you do, and you’re darn good at it– and you shouldn’t normally have to ‘ask’ for the sale. So give ‘em a few small pieces, and then charge for the rest— that’s my best explanation in 5 sentences or less ;-)

And btw, when it comes to ‘friends’ in the blogosphere, I rarely ever look to make direct money on stuff like that. So just to make it clear, I do treat ‘friends’ a little different that ‘businesses’, if that makes any sense. Besides, my blogging friends are the ones spreading the gospel, so that’s more than enough payment for me in that regard.

Thrilled to chat Ameena, hope I can shake your hand in NYC :-)

Marcus

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Jessica Guiver May 13, 2011 at 10:56 am

Yes, I’d like to know the answer to that question too. When someone emails so often or asks for so much advice (and takes up quite a bit of your (free) time), when can you suggest working as a consultant? Or is that not appropriate?

Marcus – I enjoyed this post. I, too, am new to blogging, but happy with where it is taking me and getting a lot out of it. Your list confirms I’m doing some things right!

Jessica

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I’ll tell you Jessican just as I mentioned to Ameena– people need to know you don’t work for free, and the way they find that out is on the front end through your website. I openly talk about my web coaching business and I try to give clients just enough to help them realize they want more and I’m the guy that’s going to give it to them.

Good luck Jessica and make sure you come and visit us again!! :-)

Marcus

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Bill Dorman May 13, 2011 at 11:08 am

Aren’t you James Bond’s wife?

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Speaking of ‘Bond’ Bill, you kinda look like him in your ‘smoothy-smooth’ avatar photo ;-)

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bill dorman May 14, 2011 at 9:54 am

I do, don’t I?………………..don’t tell anyone, but I had to rent an Avatar. I know it looks kinda cheesy, but I was on a budget and it was the best one I could find in the discount box.

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Jk Allen May 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This was such a good post Marcus.

I think it’s important that people understand that there’s a lot more to the success of an article than RT’,s comments or views.

Now, I used to think these things – let me be clear, but as I’ve continued to grow, I’ve found each of the 7 points you listed to true in my world as well.

I’ll just give a quick few words to each of the points…to expound how each has worked for me.

1. I get a couple of these every post. They will either comment and say I’ve been following you for a while, thought I’d comment on this one or they’ll send me a direct email.

2. I’ve been getting these A LOT lately, even days after a post. I think more than anything people are curious about the who hustler thing and want to see what I’m about. But in a lot of cases, these folks come on over the blog and comment – which is awesome!

3. These have to be one of my favorites. The non bloggers email, they don’t leave comments…at least at my site. I get these often, usually filed with questions about me…again, the hustler thing throws folks for a little loop – until they get to know who I am.

4. Comment numbers have lost a little steam. Why? because there’s a lot more forum like conversation happening these days which quickly ramps up the numbers. Still, it’s cool to see 100+…I won’t lie…but it really comes down to the quality of comments, and not just the quantity. Because I get so many quality comments, It takes me hours to reply to them all. BUT I LOVE IT!

5. My numbers are ALWAYS better the second day. But that’s likely due to the fact that after I post, I commence with my commenting activities – which naturally drives a little traffic my way.

6. I used to never get these, but I do now…even on articles from back in the day when I didnt’ get comments. I love it. I get these most often on my most popular posts. I guess they are at the top of my “post popular post” widget – duh!

7. IN the past few weeks, I can say that I’ve gotten 20 or so requests to do Guest Posts. I have to turn some down, and I agree to others but so far out that it’s ridiculous. It’s all about timing for me. Being that this is a side-hustle…I just don’t have the time to really do a lot of GP’s like Danny Iny – that guys a beast!

I was hoping to think of something profound as I wrote my experience for each of the 7 signs, but I didn’t. I think you’ve covered it all. But I will share that I think the most important for me are:

-quality Comments
-personal emails – because those are from the people wo don’t blog.
-Guest POst soliciation…let’s me know that my work is appreciated and respect.

That’s all I have Marcus…Now my fingers hurt – bad!

PEACE

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Davina K. Brewer May 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Good point Jk about older posts seeing some comment love, once the blog takes off. I’ve commented on older posts, sometimes wonder why bloggers turn off those comments, when those posts can still offer value.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

I’d love to run a poll and so as to hear one good reason to turn older posts off. I really don’t get it at all to be honest. Some may say spam, but with all the filters now, that’s not a good reason. Others may say it creates ‘urgency’, but Moby Dick wasn’t read until after Melville was long past, so it’s a good thing he didn’t turn off comments on that one!! Just saying ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 10:33 am

Man JK, love how you broke this down brother, but then again, I always do. To be blogging for the short time you have been (just under a year), but to be experiencing all 7 of these, speaks volumes for what you’re doing and the difference that you’re making. As you well know, everyone wants to play for a winner. And winners attract other winners—which is the essence of JK Allen.

Thanks for sharing this bud and I look forward to hearing other metrics from you on this topic as you continue to grow and grow.

Have a great weekend,

Marcus

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paul wolfe May 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Marcus

I think you know you’ve ‘hit a nerve’ when you get the lurkers out. Or you get first time commenters on posts. I need to think about that a bit more before writing about it in depth….but the minute I read that it set off a large bell inside my head. (Or it might have been Big Ben – my wife was watching the news in the background ;) )

Long comments are also a good sign that you’ve either hit a nerve or sparked some debate. (You know I’m all about sparking debate at the moment….)

What’s most important though is that if you get a good one that you don’t sit back on your laurels. It’s just a piece of the puzzle. My mentor calls it Throwing Logs On The Fire. Every piece of content you do – video, written or audio – is a log. And publishing it is putting it on the fire.

Some of those logs burn bright. Some of them fizz a bit and then smoulder for a while, and some of them just let off a bit of smoke. Problem is that you rarely know what kind of log you have until you hit publish.

So the mindset to get into is to get another log ready and toss it into the fire. Hopefully one day you’ll have a really big fire going on….you know any successful blogs with only 10 or so posts? Me neither. All the Pat Flynns of this world have got hundreds of posts in their archives. They just keep creating those logs and tossing them in the fire….

Still waiting to disagree with you! You’re too agreeable! (or we think alike on lots of topics!).

Paul

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

Paul, I’m completely disappointed in you man! When are you going to start slamming me on some of these??!!! On each article I prepare myself only to be let down again ;-)

No, seriously man, I appreciate you words here and love the ‘Log on Fire’ analogy. The one I like to use is blocks in a backyard paver/stone patio. With the first few blocks, you have nothing. Then, after a few hundred you have a small patio area. Then after a few thousand you’ve got a backyard oasis. So that’s what we’re all doing, building an oasis of information that’s beautiful once it all comes together.

Cheers mate,

Marcus

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paul wolfe May 13, 2011 at 10:31 am

I know.

I keep steeling myself to disagree with you – and you keep writing posts that I agree with! That’s the problem!

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Bill Dorman May 13, 2011 at 11:09 am

You have a contrary opinion…………….no way…….

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Davina K. Brewer May 12, 2011 at 7:13 pm

See .. I jumped off reading and commenting, so I could go ahead and read/comment on Paul’s post. Anyway Marcus.. I agree with your signs just would that I had/made the time to find my ‘lurkers’ and check all those metrics. @Brad’s point about certain people is valid; I didn’t write on post with Mark Schaefer in mind other than a linkback.. but have to admit his comment and share of the post brought in new readers. Let’s see… I of course like tweets and RTs, when I get DMs or emails about posts; comments; writing other posts, or ‘hey this was great, now you gotta write about THIS someday’ requests are super flattering.

Another sign I don’t think was mentioned: reblogging. Either an aggregate post or a simple trackback, that is a sign that someone is reading the blog and that a particular post was good enough to not only share, but include on someone’s own blog. I’m big on sharing posts of others that helps me develop something, so when someone uses one of my posts as a good example, that really does kinda rock. FWIW.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 10:02 am

I’m glad Mark shined some light on you Davina. In fact, your light is getting brighter and brighter. Be careful, cuz you’re going to be a SM super nova before too long if you keep it up. ;-)

Speaking of commenting, you (as I’ve mentioned to you before) were the first person to introduce to me (as you put it) ‘comment bombing’. And although that’s a funny way to say it, in reality your such a great conversationalist it came natural for you to ‘mingle’ more with the crowd, which means that blogs like this one greatly benefit when smart folks like you stop by. And since watching you do this a few times, I make a habit of reading other people’s comments on other blogs and saying what’s on my mind, maybe 2, 3, or 4 times. I’ve found this to be quite enjoyable and what’s funny is that it can send a lot of traffic back to your site as well (assuming your replies don’t stink).

Anyway, thanks for being on the cutting edge of blogging conversation and I hope you know just how very much I appreciate your thought leadership here on TSL.

Have a great Friday and enjoy that Coke you’re likely drinking in this moment ;-)

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer May 13, 2011 at 11:43 am

That’s just it Marcus, you need to give real replies. I really and truly have found posts or the inspiration for a post in comments, in discussing things with other people. I sometimes wish people got trackbacks on their comments b/c I have linked to those in posts a few times. IMO it’s being a good guest by not ignoring everyone and just chatting with the blog host; think of all the redundant and repetitive comments there’d be if everyone ignored each other like that?

Another thing I’ll say which you already mentioned.. the length and quality of your comments. We joke about it but Jk, Ingrid and Christina leave some beauties with Diana and Shonali hot on their heels… smart people who take the time to really write something worth reading. Just a gift.

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Robert May 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm

So true Marcus!

Coming from an Affiliate Marketing background when I started blogging at the beginning of this year I naively judged success on number of Unique Visitors. I know! How ridiculous right!? It was when I spoke to Danny Iny and he randomly pointed out how insignificant “statistics” are, there are so many other things to take into account.

I’ve got to be honest, if I got 1% of the feedback you got on your “Change Blog” post I’d be ecstatic!

But, thanks for looking into the topic in such great detail, and bringing to our attention that “Likes” and “Tweets” are important but not the be-all and and-all as some people think.

Great insights, will be using some of these criteria to judge the future success of some of my blogs.

Thank you

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 9:54 am

Great points Robert. I’m glad you caught up with Dany. That guy is super smart and is blowing up the blogosphere right now. I’m thrilled for him.

As for my article on ‘The Change Blog’, I must be honest in saying I wouldn’t mind some of that traffic myself here on TSL ;-)

Good luck with your blogging and community building success Robert. I haven’t visited your site yet, but I’ll try to swing by soon. If you wouldn’t mind telling me, what’s your blog’s theme and what are your goals for it?

Have a great Friday sir. :-)

Marcus

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Robert May 13, 2011 at 10:03 am

Yeah Danny is very smart, and doing really well, I wish him every success! He’s already gone out of his way to help me.

Thanks for that Marcus. :)

My blog is called beliefandaction.com and is about Personal Development, Business and Blogging. At the moment I’m just trying to interact in the blogosphere and increase my blog’s visibility through forming solid and sustainable connections with other people in the space. My blog particularly targets people starting out in (online) business and blogging, trying to share my experiences so that they can learn from both my mistakes and triumphs.

Thanks for showing interest :) . I love what you’re doing here at TSL, your posts are very insightful and thought-provoking, I’ll definitely be one of your regular visitors from now on!

Have a great Friday and weekend also Marcus, and thanks for the reply :) .

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Adam Toporek May 12, 2011 at 10:39 pm

An excellent list Marcus! I’m pretty new to blogging still, so my personal experience with the list is limited. In this early stage, one thing that I find really rewarding is when someone whose blog I follow comments on mine.

As far as which measure is most important, I think it depends a lot on the goal of your blog. Comment length (thanks for the shout out there!) and residual comments really show whether you’ve struck a chord with what you’ve said. However, if your end goal is clients, I think pulling the lurkers out and the non-avatar folks – great insight, btw – really is the best definition of success.

One thing I thought could be added to the list: increased RSS and email list subscriptions. To me, those say the reader was really impressed and is willing to take action to hear more of what you have to say.

Again, great list! And to echo Robert’s point above, one that will be really useful in evaluating success in the future.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 9:48 am

Adam, GREAT point about increased subscribers, you’re right on with that one and I’m glad someone mentioned it, as it’s absolutely legitimate.

Because you’re new to blogging, and I’m not saying this because I wrote this article, but do make it a point to remember these metrics here and as they happen (which they will if you continue to hold the course) be sure to celebrate your milestones, as each demonstrate another level of blogging success.

Have a wonderful weekend Adam. It was my pleasure to mention your comment, as it was incredibly insightful, and that’s exactly what the essence of community is all about.

Cheers,

Marcus

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Jens P. Berget May 13, 2011 at 12:58 am

Hi Marcus,

Like you, I haven’t had the direct road to success when it comes to blogging. But, lately a lot of things have changed for me as well.

I’m not big on statistics, but I use Google Analytics once in a while to look at what’s happening on my blog. And when I do, I usually look at single blog articles as well, and look at how much time people spent on the blog article and then on the blog (and how many unique visitors have been reading it). So, to me, the Google Analytics statistics about time and related to bounce rate is also an indicator of a well-written article.

But, usually, what I enjoy the most and is the best way (for me) to say that an article has been a success is by the comments. I really appreciate comments, and it’s usually not the amount of comments, but the quality of the comments and that it’s adding information to the blog article, not just saying “great article”.

But, I have to say that I actually haven’t thought about five of your seven signs before. The only signs I have seen is the comment length and that lurkers come out (and that’s a great feeling). But now, I’m going to be looking out for the other signs as well :)

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

Hey Jens, I really love your take on looking at Google Analytics and finding out about time on article/bounce rate. That makes quite a bit of sense and when an article is written well, people will stick around. That’s one of the things that pleases me most about TSL, my bounce rate stays around 6%, which isn’t bad at all and hopefully means there is a sticky factor to the articles herein.

Good luck looking for those other 5 bud. I think now that they’re in your head, you’ll see some patterns start to pop up, which is really cool for those of us (like me) who love studying trends, behaviors, etc.

Have a great weekend my friend.

Marcus

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Diana May 13, 2011 at 2:33 am

Marcus, I often gauge the emotional reaction of my commenters to judge how successful my post was. The more metaphorical and reflective posts tend to bring emails. I guess I feel personal satisfaction to know that someone was given pause to think from a blog post.

It’s not all that common, but I do get bookings for the B&B from posts and comments and twitters. Some of my most interesting guests have come from these mechanisms. Which is very cool because it turns an internet contact into a personal one and because I am in Italy and my client base isn’t. It’s a huge thing when someone books through having met me on a blog. It means they are trusting their vacation to me based upon what I write.

Like you, I have these multiple goals for my blog, one of which is “the book”. :) The blog is my learning tool for communicating with my readers and ups my game.

One thing I am learning from you, Marcus, is something that I want to start to incorporate more in my writing. It’s the notion that a blog can be a source of discussion for the commenters. I have seen through your writing and the writing of the other fine bloggers in your tribe that this is a tool that not only works to build traffic, but works to build interest and growth and learning. For example, I was in the car with my (non blogging, non internet fan) husband yesterday and we were talking about that eternal subject “why do people blog???” I mentioned you and he said, ” Ok, but what does he really do with the blog.” I sighed and rolled my eyes and thought how do I explain this in such a way that he doesn’t drive us off the road in confusion? So I said, “He blogs about it’s better to work with others to build a sense of community and the ripple effect of that is that he is more successful in his base business and is building a new business of becoming an expert on building on-line business through community.” Or something like that. To which my husband said,” I totally get that. That’s interesting.”

The reason why I come here is because I feel that power, that emotion behind what you write and I feel compelled to comment and be part of the discussion. Because I learn more if I am active. If I just read what you wrote, I wouldn’t learn as much. In my comments I try to articulate what I think about all of this stuff which is relatively new to me and in doing so I kind of get what I need to be doing.

Now I want to take that kind of call to action to my blog in a way that suits the theme of creativity and life change. I won’t do it over night but instead slowly. I would not have considered it had I not seen how you do it so successfully. And of course, I think you are a natural teacher and giver and nudge people along their path in a way that’s just, well, perfect.

Sorry, that was off topic. But I guess what I wanted to say is that emotional pull brings out more comments and that’s something you do well ( and incorporate it with non-emotional stuff to make all of it seem exciting) and something I want to do more of by bringing in the element of discussion into my posts and upping my game.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 9:40 am

You amaze me Diana. I’m serious, you really do. I’ve stumbled across quite a few bloggers over the last 18 months, but you’re one of a kind and the way you express your thoughts gives me this pleasant little smile that I can’t even describe well. So thank you so very much for that. And don’t ask me why, but the fact that I was the topic of conversation in the Baur fam is pretty dang cool. ;-)

Speaking of your husband, make sure he understands this also:

1. Publishers don’t take risk anymore, thus authors MUST have a proven track record.
2. Publishers, for the most part, stink with marketing, and authors have to do it on their own.
3. Publishers, at least 99%, ONLY want authors with an existing tribe of followers (again, proven track record)
4. By building your community, when the book hits the internet shelves, you’ll have an army of foot-soldiers to promote it for you– because they love Diana Baur. (Which is why I’ll be on the pre-oder list ;-) )
5. When potential clients see how much interaction on your blog you have, they see it as an automatic ‘social proof’– in other words, they think ‘Wow, look how many people like this guy or gal, he/she must really know what he/she is talking about.

Anyway, I’ll stop there Diana, but you’ve warmed me again with your words on this day.

Huge smile coming across the Atlantic, :-)

Marcus

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Wim @ Sales Sells May 13, 2011 at 8:38 am

I think for some people traffic can be a way to measure success. If it’s your business model to monetize your blog with ads, then more visitors mean more clicks and more money.

However, for most bloggers ads are not their major source of income as they realize that building a community hold more value in the long term. In that case action is indeed a great indicator. Not only spontaneous actions, but also triggered actions. How many people follow your call to action? How many people follow a link if you ask them to check it out? How many people retweet your message if you ask them to?
How many people reply when you ask a question on your facebook wall?

It’s all about trust and influence. If you link out to someone, Marcus, I can be sure that clicking that link will bring me value. It will be time well spent. You’ve built that trust and authority with me by providing value yourself, and doing it on a continuous basis. Once this perception is in place, it’s hard to break it. You’re now in the position where you could post three or more worthless articles and I would still be clicking your links and reading every word. But please don’t :)

Wim

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 9:29 am

Really, really great point Wim. In many ways, it’s all about the ‘call to action’, and a blogger’s ability to induce others to ‘move’. In the past, whenever I’ve directly asked my audience to visit a link, I’ve been blow away with the amounts that will actually listen. It does make me feel great, as it shows the trust and authority factor, as you so well mentioned Wim, is getting stronger.

Thanks so much for leaving this comment Wim. I’m grateful and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Marcus

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Shonali Burke May 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

My comment was more than 300 words? WORD. Take that, @nittygriddyblog ;p.

Couple other things that make me feel good (it’s all about me, LOL) – I know a post has struck a chord when people take the time to share it on Facebook AND tag me in it. Because most of the folks I know are talking in a very personal, comfortable way on FB. They’re not going to share crap with their friends, right? So they really have to like a post to share it there.

I think JK’s point about comment numbers is a really good one. Of course I love to see the number, which blogger doesn’t – but it’s true that thanks to Livefyre, etc. there is a lot more “banter” possible, as @soulati puts it. Sure, sometimes that happened on blogs with other comment systems as well, but particularly for newer bloggers like myself, it makes a lot of difference. So what warms the cockles of my little blogging heart isn’t just the number, but when I see people talking to each other; when people leave really thoughtful comments; when people leave really thoughtful comments after many OTHER people have left really thoughtful comments (I mean, they are so smart!)… and that’s not in any particular order.

And I REALLY appreciate it when new readers will email me with suggestions for the blog (like you did), or even comment on older posts to ask questions about why something is the way it is. I can’t tell you how much that helps.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 9:25 am

Haha Shonali! Yep, Ms. Griddy has some competition with you girl! ;-)

You’ve made a very good point about FB. We’re much less likely to share junk or even average stuff there because of the intimacy of the relationships.

Like you Shonali, watching other members of the community leave replies to comments, so as to induce real ‘conversation’ is quite fulfilling. In fact, I think one of the greatest signs that a blogger has developed true leaders within his or her community is when more and more people feel free to reply to multiple comments, thus engaging the conversation even furthe–almost turning into ‘comment leaders’. Case in point– Davina Brewer. That gal is amazing and she really enhances everything that happens around here at TSL .

Thanks so much again Shonali for taking a minute to stop by and leave this. I really appreciate it. :-)

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer May 13, 2011 at 11:52 am

Marcs, this is for you and Shonali. THANK YOU BOTH. I only add banter and ‘comment leadership’ HA! because of YOU. :-)

It’s because you two (and Jayme, Gini, Ingrid, Mark, etc. etc.) like this sort of thing, want this kind of engagement on your blogs. (I’m sorta blogging this on Monday.) You want an open community, not a stuffy boardroom.. that’s what you think speaks to your readers. Not all bloggers want that community and banter, not all readers do either. I cannot come out and say it’s wrong to want to tell folks to ‘take the chit chat outside, TOPIC! people’ as a style of comment moderation .. but I certainly can say it’s not for me. As a result of your styles, you get some amazing comments that are as “MUST READ” as the posts themselves. FWIW.

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Tisha | tMedia May 13, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Great point Davina – I think the blogger (and the most frequent visitors) definitely set the tone for comments. There are readers that just come to get their information fix and go, and then there’s the party-goers who are looking for interaction and community. When you keep bringing out the “goodies”, as you, Ingrid and the others mentioned so often do with their comments, you keep attracting revelers back – even the ones (like me) who didn’t even know that’s what they were looking for in the beginning!

And btw, you totally need a title Davina – TSL Ambassador? ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Now that was some inspired thought Tisha—-Davina Brewer Sales Lion Ambassador!

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Davina K. Brewer May 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Happy to be TSL Ambassador Tisha, really.. that’s an honor. It’s really b/c everyone posts really good stuff here, and I just can’t shut my yap. ;-)

I agree the frequent visitors set a tone for a comment thread, but IMO it starts with the blogger. If Marcus for example, capped the nested comments.. that’d be a hint to let some of this back and forth stop. But then if a high comment count – no matter what they’re about – is one of your measuring sticks of success, some bloggers would leave it open. I keep kicking this idea around, will sorta do it again in my Monday post.

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Christina Pappas May 13, 2011 at 10:15 am

Hi Marcus,

Love this post because its exactly the kind of information I am always looking for. My company is obsessed with the number of comments we get per blog post but I think we can do better than that. Yes, its wicked cool to see you have 50 comments or hundreds in some cases, but 50 comments of ‘love this post, thanks for writing it’ is not worth too much at the end of the day. So, how do you track? Traffic from SEO to blog to product page to lead? That sounds like the golden ticket (thanks for the tip ;) ). But I also enjoy when I see people sharing my content in other blogs and on Twitter. As someone mentioned in the comments here, there are a few influentials in our space and when they give me kudos on content, I feel great.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:00 am

Hey Christina!! So I’m dying to know, are your bosses coming around yet?? And how are the analytics coming with respect to organic search from the blog?? C’mon, give me the goods girl ;-)

Thanks for the great points you’ve made here. No doubt, it ain’t all about the comments. Yes, they’re nice, but they don’t necessarily make the sale at the end of the day.

Have a great weekend!!!

Marcus

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Christina Pappas May 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Hey Marcus,

Did you get my email? Nothing has come around yet but blog has not been focus on the company for past few weeks since we have a major major major product launch end of May so thats taking priority. Organic search was interesting and a lot like what I predicated during our conversation. One thing that I saw was a lot of people that were trying to ‘start an online magazine’. Well, thats nice and good for them, but we dont help with that! You think I should try and help them because they are landing on us or try to re-think how I write to not attract this group? Other than that I did an exercise with my team that you suggested and made the biggest list we could of what our audience is talking about at the water cooler. Got me rolling on a few already but work in progress and I know these things take time. Thanks again and I will be sure to keep in touch and keep you updated.

Have a great weekend yourself!

Christina

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Hmmm Christina, I must have missed that email or it went to spam, that’s weird, but thanks so much for this update. It really sounds like you’re on the right track and the fact that you did that exercise with your team is GREAT. As far as attracting some of the ‘wrong’ people, don’t sweat that at all. In fact, I’d see that as a positive. Plus it will garner you more links and other likely benefits.

Well good luck with this Christina and I hope to hear from you again once you’ve seen further progress!!

Marcus

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john Falchetto May 13, 2011 at 10:37 am

Hi Buddy

Great post (as usual) my best meter for a great traffic post is the 2nd day comment. As in the second day brings twice the traffic of the first :) Yes this is where the magic happens.

My simple take on this and is also my gut feeling. Sometimes when I press publish I just know this is going to make a big splash, there is this gut feeling that after writing for a while you just get when it will bomb or not.

I’m sure you get it bud.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:02 am

Yeah, I’m really digging what you said about ‘gut feelings’ John. For example, the day before I wrote the ‘jerk blogger’ article I told Ingrid it was going to be huge. Why? I guess I just ‘knew’ it had all the peices— Great story, great title, great lesson, etc.

To many more awesome ‘gut feelings’ my friend ;-)

Marcus

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Bill Dorman May 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

I would say that sums it up pretty well; all signs lead to success.

There have been several posts about ‘success’ and one in particular from Patricia @lavenderuses about comments does not equal sales. I think everyone will have a different measure for success.

As a social (non-business) blogger when I got more than 10 comments, that was success to me. I too expected crickets and I was ok with that; hence the invisible blogger moniker for me. I never (and still don’t) try to drive traffic to my site (yet) but I’m not naive enough to tell you I don’t know why they are there.

The difference between me and you (other than you are playing in Yankee Stadium and I’m still with the Toledo Mud Hens) if I would have written the above article it wouldn’t have had near the depth you bring. You and Griddy have that gift and that’s the bloggers voice I strive for.

Without getting to far down in the weeds it is obvious you are having success. Does it equate to dollars? That I don’t know, but I’m willing to bet it’s certainly creating some opportunities.

I’m preaching to the choir when I tell you this, but this medium can be a very powerful thing. It’s amazing how far and deep your reach can be.

Much love brother and only take two tires on your next pit stop; I think you have this race in the bag.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:07 am

You really got me smiling with this comment Bill. Heck, the Yankees v Mud Hens line was made in my top 10 here, very funny :-)

But do you know where you have tremendous strength Bill? It’s your ability to mix funny with serious and thoughtful, as you did with this comment. And when you completely find your blogger’s voice, get back world, you’re going to be very, very good. And no, I’m not just blowing smoke up your tail here. I can tell talent when I see it, and you’ve got it—and over the next 6 months or so you’ll mold it. In fact, remember I said this and tell me what you found when we get to that date– I’m serious.

Have a great weekend brother. Your support and kind words mean a ton.

Cheers,

Marcus

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Nancy Davis May 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

Hi Marcus,

The thing I have noticed in my less than a month of blogging is that I really strike a chord with simpler, more emotional posts. I have even had two pingbacks in a two week period which amazed me.

I get good support from my friends, but comments are still hard to come by sometimes. I feel that will change as long as I am myself, and keep myself out there.

I have a few subscribers now, and what I look for is someone to not just comment, but also subscribe to my blog.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:10 am

You are not alone in your struggles. Finding subscribers is very tough, but if you’re able to hold the course long enough, they end up coming in bunches. If I could show you my blogger growth rate, you’d be amazed. For the first 6 months, I did almost nothing. The next 6 months was only about 200. And the last 6 have exploded.

So hold fast and tight, and enjoy the ride….and push that envelope.

Cheers to your success,

Marcus

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Mark Harai May 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

Hey Marcus — As a beginner, all of this information is great insight to have for future consideration. There’s so much to learn about these things! I’ve found some success just being part of this community and learning by doing many of things I learn here.

For now, I measure success on the social web by the depth and quality relationships I develop in the process. In other words, when relationships go offline and began to go much deeper than a comment or tweet.

I like to build businesses. That’s what I’m doing when I’m not participating on the web. And I’m involved with several projects with folks I met online just tweeting and commenting like a mad man : )

There is tremendous value being created in business by folks who are leveraging the social web to build strong relationships with other like-minded business professionals who know how to get things done. It’s really quite powerful.

In regards to my blogging activities, I will be sure to understand these signs better so I can more effectively measure my progress in the future.

Thanks for another awesome post Marcus : )

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:16 am

Hey Mark, this is what I like about you man– you know who you are and you’re dang good about being that guy. Every time I read your words, it has something to do with community and building relationships with others. As you know, I’m cut from the same cloth. It really is amazing how one can become tremendous friends with someone they’ve never physically met, isn’t it? But boy is it real!

Cheer to you and your visionary ways Mark. And may the businesses keep on building!

Marcus

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Steve@Internet Lifestyle May 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Marcus,

Wow, your comment section is becoming the internet version of the Algonquin roundtable. The comments are so sharp and focused (and as you pointed out, often long) that they could be posts in themselves on many blogs.

I don’t disgree on any point but need clarification on a few.

1. I also like seeing “lurkers” come out. But in your opinion how do you differentiate a “lurker” who commenting for the first time, from someone who is finding your blog/post for the first time through an “extended reach” of your article.

2. To be honest I never even look at Twitter DMs. That is likely my fault since I go for Twitter numbers and I am not great about building relationship via twitter.

5/6 These particularly are “spot-on” I notice that the articles I feel really proudest of will often get a decent amount of traction the days -after- publication. That is a great way to know if you have a winner.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:20 am

Hey Steve, that’s really kind of you man and I appreciate the words. Yes, the comments and community around these parts are some of the best on the web.

Regarding ‘lurkers’ vs ‘first timers’, that’s a great question. In most cases, ‘lurkers’ don’t have avatars, that’s give away #1. And in my case, they don’t usually have a personal blog, as it’s a business blog, and thus don’t use comment love either.

Hope this helps a little Steve and keep pumping out that great content bud!

Marcus

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Al Smith May 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Great post Marcus. Per our recent discussion, you know i am just getting started in the blogging arena. thank you so much for your insight and thoughts. i will be saving these great blogs and using them in the near future as I continue on my path.

keep up the great work and thanks again for all your help.

Al

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:22 am

Appreciate that Al. Honestly, I really do hope you use the stuff found herein. I learned almost everything here on TSL the hard way. So if I can make someone else’ path a little easier, then great :-)

Have a great weekend!

Marcus

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Ingrid Abboud May 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Damn! I’m late to the party again :( Grr…
(Note to self: negotiate time difference with big Guy and life schedule with friends and clients)

Hola M,
This post sucked, I mean it was just horrific, such crap and I don’t relate to anything of the things you said here. Muwahahaha!

I just figured I’d enjoy thinking of your mouth dropping when you read this but I figured you’d call me out on my silly lies. It’s just that I need a new way of telling you how much I love what you write! I mean, I’ve pretty much used every word in the English language that is synonymous with love, awesome, brilliance, fabulous, witty, intelligent, thought-provoking….

I think it’s time I invent my own blog language for kick-ass posts such as yours.

Anyhow – enough non-sense and crazy talk ;)!

When it comes to my blog, the points you mentioned here that I can relate to most are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7! Hahaha

In all seriousness though I would have to say that the one’s I’ve noticed most are 3, 4, 6, and 7.

I noticed the second day phenomena as well but I figured it’s because that’s when people get the article in their reader – or maybe because they don’t like being the first at the table. I’m not quite sure but either way – I have no problem what day they get there as long as they eventually do if they’ve been inspired enough.

As for personal emails – I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of people lately who have taken the time to contact me just to say that they enjoyed something I wrote – or to thank me for a comment. Self-less emails not asking for anything – just thoughtful acknowledgements. Something you do so well actually!

As for the comment lengths – I used to joke with Brankica about being contagious – in that I see more and more people leaving mini-novels both on my blog and elsewhere. It makes me smile and appreciate their time all the more. Not to say that I don’t appreciate the “normal” length comment that’s succinct – because we all know it’s quality and not quantity – but in this case – quantity takes time – time that some people don’t always have. But they make it – and they make it for you. And that’s just an incredible feeling.

As for continued comments – I’ve been seeing some of that as well. And what I like is that even though a post may be a few weeks old or even older in some cases – people still take the time to share their thoughts. I’m hoping they do so because they want to but also because they know that regardless of when a comment is left on my blog – I will reply! It doesn’t have to be the latest post. I often comment on blog posts that are older in hopes that the author will see it and eventually get to it.

As for the guest post solicitations – that’s probably where I’ve been beyond overwhelmed. It already means a lot to me when someone drops by or sends me in an email to tell me they enjoy my work and style so you can imagine what it means to me when they ask me to guest post for them. It means they trust me enough not to send them crap. It means they’re interested in sharing what I have to say with their audience. It means they find me credible. It could mean many things – but of course I’m only stating the “good for me” side of it ;).

When it’s people I look up to and admire – it means even more. To be writing for those blogs who when you first started made you say WOW every time is quite the honor and the achievement.

I’m about 14 GP’s behind at the moment lol. Slowly but surely.

Few other things I’d like to add:

1.) Interview requests. I’ve been getting quite a bit of those as well – and it’s always a sign of respect and trust. I’m also late with a few of those actually.

2.) Requests to be featured in an eBook or a series. When people want to include a quote of yours in a book they’re working on or your small take on a certain topic in an ongoing series they’re having. Another big smile moment for me.

3.) When you hear others talk about you in their voice interviews the way you and Danny did. I was blown away by what both of you said and the fact that you took the time to use me as an example.

4.) When a speaker at Blogworld contacts you for a picture and a quote to include in their presentation the way Srini asked me. WOW and wow again :)!

5.) When your name gets mentioned on either Twitter or blogs alongside others who you deem as mentors, experts in their fields and so forth.

6.) When the spammy comments come more and more often and they get smarter and sneakier. Does that count?

7.) When someone features you in a post like a #FollowFriday the way Gini does it. Now that’s an entire post about you – and hell, that’s enough to make your week!

Every time someone mentions my name or uses me as a positive example – for either my ways or my knowledge – it inflates my head a little more – but not in cocky way of course lol – and makes me proud of what I do, what I love.

When you use my posts as examples here – I’m beyond honored. When I see my name mentioned on sites such as Copyblogger (like you) or any for that matter – I’m motivated even more and I think to myself that I must be doing something right. So in all honesty – whenever me or my work is being recognized in any way it just makes me smile for a long time :).

Okay, I think I’ve said enough here although I’m sure I might have missed stuff haha. Now back to writing my blog post ;).

Thank you for this wonderful write up and reminder that these things that happen to use every so often are the greatest motivators of all and small signs of success.

Happy Friday to you Mufasa
TTYL t..d

Ciao

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:31 am

And 1085 words later folks, Ms. Griddy’s words of witt and wisdom have come to a close….Holy Cow lady ;-)

But I’ve got to tell you, if you had been watching my face as I read you saying how crappy the article was you’d have seen me mouthing the letters ‘RR’….and then laughing at your wayyy too kind adjectives that followed ;-)

I loved your point about selfless ‘thank you’ emails…they’re just the best, aren’t they? :-)

Only 14 guest posts behind Griddy?? Is that in doggy years? ;-)

Gosh I LOVED your list of 7. I laughed, nodded lots, and said ‘yes!’ more than once.

For #8, I’d say ‘When bloggers you adore for their skillsets and kindness agree to write an ebook with you’ ;-)

So thanks so very much Griddy for writing an additional blog post on top of mine here. I think we make a pretty darn good team. :-)

Oh, and this comment is exactly why all those crazy things happen to you— people love and appreciate your thoughts and words, and that means they can’t help but to talk about you when the opportunity arises.

Ciao crazy lady ;-)

Marcus

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Brankica | How to blog May 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm

OK, this has to be one of the longest comments Ingrid wrote but I didn’t have a feeling it was long. You should start paying her for writing for you, Mufasa… Love it.

I just wanna say that I love those e-mails where people just tell you how much they liked your post or how much they appreciate what ever you are doing. That has to be one of my favorites.

Also got a lot of lurkers come out lately…

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I had a guy the other day Bran tell me how thoughtful and helpful you were with him—and this is exactly why your blog is so popular, and it’s no surprise you get contacted as much as you do. I think you ROCK!!

As for Griddy, I don’t think there is enough money in the world to pay for the wonderful words she sprinkles around the blogosphere. ;-)

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Davina K. Brewer May 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Show off.

Seen a bunch of that lately. Lisa Gerber did it in a clever, 2-sentence comment; you write your own blog post.. and Marcus counted the words, heee… :-) I think the only things you missed were:

1. A 7-figure book deal that gets made into a TV show, a Broadway musical and an action-adventure comic series.
2. When someone names a commenting award after you. Cough. Ahem. *COUGH*
3. Global domination and your own island in 5 years.

BTW #7 I thought you were a Gini #FF? Anyway, this was a fantabulous comment, as always Ingrid.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm

LOL Davina!! Yeah, Ingrid is a freak of nature, isn’t she??? Sometimes I feel like she’s Michael Jordan and were all just kinda standing around, watching her shoot ;-)

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Jon@how to lose belly fat May 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Comments make such a massive difference to the quality of a blog. When many people talk about social media they go on about Facebook and Twitter, but each blog is a social site, often with passionate opinion and heated debates. Blogs were the first “web 2″ before Facebook came along and blog communities are what make the Internet great.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:33 am

Good points Jon. Blogs were web 2.0 before social media, I do certainly agree with that.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Marcus

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Tisha | tMedia May 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Hmmm…to comment right after one of the great Nitty Griddy’s epic comments, or not to comment? Never expected to find myself in THAT dilemma today! Decisions, decisions…;-)

Seriously, though, first of all thank you for the mention in your post Marcus. Like Ingrid, whenever I get mentioned on a blog by someone I admire, it puts a big ‘ol smile on my face.

To answer your questions, since my blog is still in the “little engine that could” stage, I don’t really have a reference for most of them, but for three of them I do:

1. Twitter DM’s
I think I mentioned before to Davina that Your “Dear Twitter” post on spin sucks has a special place in my heart because I SO related to being frustrated and baffled in the beginning. Now, of course, things are different and I really look forward to those @messages and DM’s where someone takes the time to connect with me and tell me that they appreciate something I’ve written or one of my podcasts. Up to now, there’s only been a small handful, but they’ve been messages that have had a big impact on me and they help to keep me believing that what I’m doing is resonating with others. Those messages mean so much more to me than comments (although I hope to get plenty of those soon too! ;-)).

2. Personal Emails
I’m like a kid at Christmas-time when it comes to email. I get a thrill every time I see that little flashing envelope in the corner of my desktop telling me I’ve got a new message. That being said, I was blown away recently when I got several emails from people who had been readers of my previous blog (which I took offline not too long ago), asking about what happened to it. I was shocked – but extremely flattered! It seems I had a lot of lurkers who were very appreciative of what I was writing, but I had no idea. So I guess that speaks to your first point as well, because having those people contact me to thank me for my writing sure made me feel like a big success!

3. Guest Post Solicitations
Now, this one I would say is my answer to your question about what is the most important indicator of a post’s (or blogs) success.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have 5 or 6 people ask me to write guest posts (I know that’s small potatoes in your case, but for me it was a BIG deal ;-). When I got an email with the first request, I was so excited and spent so much time preparing the post because, in my opinion, there’s no better indicator that I’m doing things right than when my peers, especially those I consider to be great writers, want to share what I have to say with their audience. (Although, the benefits of increased traffic have been watered down in my case, since I keep starting new blogs and no one can find me! LOL!)

I’ll end with this, if going to Griddy’s place is like Monica’s house on Friends (I think Dino said that in a comment on her blog), then coming here is starting to feel like Cheers! I LOVE the community here and the relationships that are developing. If anybody had told me I’d feel that way about a blog a year ago, I would have said no way. But if I HAD to choose only one blog I could read each week now, it would be this one (of course, I’d be able to meet everyone else here, ’cause this is where they hang out too!) And that’s not blowing smoke my friend, that’s just saying thank you for inspiring me with your passion every time I walk through your virtual door.

Cheers Marcus! (AKA Mufasa, or Sam :-))

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 12:39 am

Good golly Tisha, this was GREAT. Appears Griddy has cloned herself and her new name is ‘Tisha’ ;-)

I tell you though, I loved how you really broke this all down here. It sounds like your blog and brand are growing nicely. And the fact that you’ve had that many GP solicitations is nothing to sneeze at and by no means small potatoes. Actually, it’s awesome and shows that you’re really making an impression on people.

You talked about this place being like ‘Cheers’. Ha, that was really funny. In fact, I liked it a lot….as long as no one accuses me of looking like Woody Harrelson ;-)

Have a great weekend Tisha and I’m so excited to have you visit here in the future and see where your blogging adventure takes you.

Regards,

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer May 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm

LIKE.

I look forward to some ‘blown away’ emails and DMs, sure it’ll happen someday. I’ve had some older posts connect with people and be retweeted, it’s nice. I turned one post into a speaker proposal so that was quite sweet. Guest post solicitations are very nice, make me so nervous; I struggle with writing something so good, to make it super funny or whatever (why they asked in the first place) it’s a challenge. I have to remind myself to just write, maybe write a couple things and see what they like best. Taking a wee break from that, gotta put more time in elsewhere right now.

I can deal with this place being like Cheers, that works Tisha. But we need to come up with a cooler name for Club Marcus, some sort of Sales & Ales Pub or something. Hmm..

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Tony Hastings May 14, 2011 at 4:51 am

Hi Marcus,
What an interesting analysis from Adam about the length of the comments on your post. (Note to self – add my own paragraph of contribution before Griddy adds her chapter next time!)

I agree with your analysis on the important factors we should be considering. I know that I do focus too much on the stats rather than the sometimes more intangible factors. You have a great commenting community that is the envy of us mere mortals but the foundation of that has to be compelling content, if you don’t have that you won’t generate anything to measure an articles success.

So how about a new challenge for you. Try to write a bland, uninteresting non controversial article to see what reaction you get. It would be a bit like having a control experiment in scientific research to enable you to measure changes thereafter. I suspect that you would still get a great reaction as your community would respond to you in the usual way if only to tell you that yours standards are slipping! It would be good fun to try though :-)

Thanks for another entertaining article that makes us bloggers think about what we are doing and how we should find different ways, other than the raw visitor numbers, to gauge our success.

Tony

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Wow Tony, it appears to me that although Ingrid may be world class, you’re surely bringing your a-game with thoughtful comments like this one bud.

You mentioned writing a bland article and seeing the results. You know, that’s exactly why I don’t write a ton– like 4 or 5 times a week. I’m not into bland, and I want to give all my readers a chance to catch what I’m doing. That being said, an average of 2 articles a week is just enough for me to push the thought envelope, and have maximum engagement as well.

Your support is greatly appreciated Tony. Thanks so very much again.

Marcus

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Stuart May 14, 2011 at 5:34 am

Marcus, what Adam has done is pretty much confirm what I’ve said before. That you have one of the greatest communities in the blogosphere in this world.

I’ve mentioned a couple of times on other blogs about the two great treasures of blogging, and I’ll say them here. The two great treasures of blogging are:

- Community

- Conversation

If you don’t have these, why not? And if you do have these, do you think they are worth keeping? My answer to the second question is an undoubted “yes!”.

It was a pleasure chatting with you on Skype yesterday Marcus, and I hope we can continue this conversation for a long long time. And just so you know, your hairstyle is not dorky ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Haha Stu! You’re one awesome Englishman :-) Yeah, it was really good chatting on Skype. Sometime when I’m at my office and my internet speed doesn’t stink, we should do it via video. Skype really is an amazing tool for building relationships, that’s for sure.

But regarding your points about ‘Community and Conversation’, well said mate. That’s why we write, or at least it should be. And for those persons who can’t seem to ‘make their living online’ like they’d wish to do, maybe if those two words were a priority the results would be different.

You rock Stu. Looking forward to a long friendship my friend.

Marcus

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sapir May 14, 2011 at 6:43 am

the most important indicator of success to me is the “Continued Comments” cause i think when people are interested in the article they write comments and lots of them. actually writing an article is for sharing another people with your thoughts\ideas\feelings\wisdom\etc.. so when they comment even after a long time it published – it means it success!

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I agree Sapir, when I see people leave their thoughts on an older article, it certainly does feel great, and it’s nice to see the articles that may have been buried in the past brought back to life by those that care to look back.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for your comment,

Marcus

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sapir May 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

it’s my pleasure :) wonderful weekend!

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Sheila Atwood May 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Marcus,

My favorite is when the commenters come out of the woodwork. All of the sudden I get an email or someone who has subscribed for a long time will make a comment. Those are the times when I know that some really is following along, especially since I focus on Newbies and they have a tendency to stay back and watch. I do like to know they are watching and have learned something.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm

That is really interesting Sheila, being that you truly are a ‘Newbie’ blog, it’s going to be harder to bring out the lurkers. But when you do, that’s a big deal– and a serious potential client as well.

Really appreciate you sharing this Sheila and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Marcus

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Erica Allison May 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Boy, am I tired…reading, absorbing and processing all of these great comments! Funny way that I arrived here? I was reviewing my PostRank Analytics (ha!) and found your trackback! Not remembering any mention of it or reading anything on your blog that had mentioned, moi, I headed over and low and behold…it’s about measuring blog articles’ success in new and different ways! The irony and serendipitous nature here is amazing. I mean really, I was first reviewing google analytics, bored with the surface data and then headed over to PostRank to see what content got the ‘high marks’… and bam, here I am. I am of course, honored to be included amongst the mini-post writers in the group! :0

I love your list of 7, Marcus. I am just evolving into some of those…I would number them, but they’re waaaayyyy back up there. For starters, the dm and the emails and the requests for GP – those have gone hand in hand lately. The second day phenom struck me this week with my GP at Gini’s blog – WOW. What an awesome spot. I’ve also recently noticed late comments on my blog, like weeks later and that’s always a pleasant surprise. For me, that means someone just found me or my blog and started cruising through it to find something that interested them. Love that. I’m also thrilled when I’m asked to GP and noticed after certain posts when that started to happen: My Triberr Break UP; Listen for the NO; and now the Rockin Mom Entrepreneur post for Gini. Those posts tell me something and you can believe I’ll be listening. I’ll also, true to my style, ignore them as well and write what I want because, well, I like to. :)

Thanks for listing out what was just becoming an intuitive thing for me, Marcus.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 6:02 pm

This was soooo cool Erica. And after reading this, I really need to get my little tail on over to Gini’s gp you did. I got so behind this week I missed that one completely—but isn’t amazing how one article will cause people to turn their head and say, ‘Wow, this person is really talented!’…..

You’re clearly moving in the right direction Erica, and I’m thrilled for you, really. You’re not afraid to speak up, push the envelope, and say what you’re thinking. This will get you a long, long ways.

Continued success and I’m so grateful you took the time to leave this. :-)

Marcus

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Deb Augur May 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Hi Marcus,

While my blog isn’t doing as well as yours (yet) I have to agree with your 7 indicators of success. My personal favorite is when I get emails about something I’ve written. Having someone take the time to express their appreciation is very rewarding.

Perhaps another indicator of success is when your readers ask questions. My blog is mostly a “geek” blog for online entrepreneurs. I let my readers know that they can submit questions about any topic that fits the web dev niche (via my contact form or in the comments). When they do that it makes me feel like I’m doing well.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I really like your answer here Deb. Receiving questions from readers is the greatest sign of respect and trust on their part— plus it’s great for spawning future articles as well (as I’m sure you’ve done many times).

Thanks so much for adding this Deb and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Marcus

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Sharel Omer May 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Hi Marcus,

a gr8 post! loved the postion of DM via twitter and in general the approach you take towards direct marketing in a more personalized way…

After all, marketing is all about the customers not the stats..

Thanks,
Sharel

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Hey Sharel! As a ‘twitter master’, I’m not at all surprised to hear your thoughts on DMs. So glad you stopped by bud and hope you’re having a GREAT weekend.

Cheers!!

Marcus

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Sharel Omer May 15, 2011 at 1:11 am

Hi Pal,

10x for the mention and quick reply, I often talk to Rob Dempsey who speaks highly of you, and I totally understand why :) You make online relationship building so easy and fun.. i learn a lot :)

And 10x for the ‘Twitter master’ reference… this totally made my day..(& if we talk of masters we just rolled a feature for sales lions like you.. check this post below)

look forward to be in touch! help each other grow :)
10x,
Sharel

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Brankica | How to blog May 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm

After reading all these comments I have nothing smart to add, except that I love the post. By the way, I bet your Google Analytics (if you are using it) is all weird looking. Like “normal” blogs have average time on blog, I don’t know, 5 minutes…yours probably has at least 30 :)

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Haha Bran! I’m not sure if I’m that good, I will tell you the bounce rate is pretty good in these parts, usually in the 6% range. Glad you stopped by gal, and hope you’re having a great weekend. :-)

Marcus

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Howie the Chief Alien May 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm

The reason I like this Marcus is while I am a cold blooded numerical analyst when it comes to judging success, I believe certain activities have intrinsic vs direct monetary value and you hit a bunch of them. BTW look for my DM and I will comment again tomorrow.

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ayo May 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

hello marcus
how are you?
once again, i am presented with a lot of things to ponder on from simply reading this article.

your statement ‘high numbers are all fine and dandy, especially in the beginning, but depth and breadth of action are …..’ is so true and i can relate to it.
i published a post and 10 hours later it received 800 views via stumbleupon, twitter, facebook….. but there was little or no interaction and i kept wondering why? it appeared the post was engaging on the surface but the level of impact wasnt proportional to the number of visits.

so i totally agree that there’s more to blog success than just a huge spike in traffic and your breakdown provides more flesh to justify that position.
for me:

1) getting emails from people who had second thoughts on their approach to the struggles of life, after reading posts on being betrayed, giving up on life blah blah…….. is a true pointer to how much impact the articles made.
some visitors may not become clients but their words sure serve as testimonials that a recognised counselling approach is worth looking into.
2) taking a leaf from marlee on ‘open rates’ , there are certain editions of my monthly magazine that are still been opened or shared on different social media platforms.

in general:

3)with reference to the 2nd day phenomena, if i may expand on it please, i think longevity with reference to the article constantly receiving a healthy amount of visits each also contributes to the success of the article.
4) i am also going to agree with joe on having an established authority i.e. blogger, author, psychotherapist… leaving comments on the blog or sending direct emails simply validates the article.
5) continued comments is another good indicator because it creates the impression of an endless conversation

a quick observation marcus;
this is my 3rd visit to your blog and i must state:
you generate so much conversation with your articles
you promote a homegrown community here
and finally one leaves your blog with something tangible which cant be quantified at times.

thanks for sharing this
take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the day

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Jessica Guiver May 16, 2011 at 4:52 am

Somewhat on topic – I noticed as I read through these comments that many people have Commentluv. Not knowing what it was about, I’ve visited the site and signed up for it. Now I would be interested in finding out from people who’ve been using it if it’s helpful?
I have to admit – it’s made me click on a few people’s blogs at the end of their comments, because I’ve been curious based on the blog title – which is the point of it, after all.
Jessica

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Marcus Sheridan May 16, 2011 at 8:49 am

Good question Jessican. I’ve never known any not to like commentluv. It’s a great way to help others promote their blogs, but for me, I use it to see what my audience is writing about and will often times use it to find other interesting articles to read. Also, if you don’t already have the ‘replyme’ plugin, it’s a must, and it’s the reason you’re getting this direct email with my response, without having to subscribe to comments.

Good luck!

Marcus

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Carolyn@The Wonder of Tech May 16, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Marcus, This is a great post. I learned this lesson as a new blogger (well, I’m still a new blogger) when StumbleUpon sent 50 people to my blog. All of a sudden my hits soared, but no one commented, Tweeted, Liked, etc. Somehow it felt very shallow.

What meant a lot to me was yesterday when I saw a link to my blog from a message board. Someone had asked a question about tech and the responder linked to my blog saying how helpful it was and mentioning that I answer readers’ tech questions. Since my goal is to help people with my blog, that link in was very fulfilling.

You have scared me off of my blog becoming too successful, with loads of comments, ;-), but there are other ways of finding success.

Thanks for yet another great post!

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Marcus Sheridan May 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm

This was a great example Carolyn of quality vs quantity. And although they each serve their purpose, I’d take quality any day of the week myself.

Your goals seem very grounded, and I think if you continue to help, and network and interact with community as you should, you’ll be very, very successful.

Thanks again for supporting this blog and commenting Carolyn!!

Marcus

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Carolyn@The Wonder of Tech May 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Uh oh. Very, very successful? Sounds like a curse. ;-) http://www.thesaleslion.com/massive-blog-growth-havetime-takes/

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Meryle Corbett May 16, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Marcus, thanks for stimulating a great discussion. enjoyed the comments as well as the blog. Success as a blogger: I guess that depends on each person’s definition.

As a new blogger I’m still figuring out what “success” is: more than just Klout and more than hits and volume, it’s how one can influence those who read the blog. I think the range of commentary that is generated is also a great indication. hence, I really enjoyed the range of comments on this blog, you are successful in my book! will keep following your stuff!

@merylecorbett
http://mentorsonline.wordpress.com

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Andrew Walker May 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm

It’s a cool topic, Marcus. I am a rookie in this online marketing world. You are such a great analyst. I think as long as I can serve the customers I can ignore the statistics. Thank you very much for sharing. It means a lot to me.

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Marcus Sheridan May 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Sounds like you’ve got a good plan Andrew. Good luck! :-)

Marcus

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