Subscribers and Sales

Many people track the success of their blog by how much traffic they generate.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. My traffic stats are not the most important stats I keep track of. Of course I’m tracking traffic around here, but the two numbers I look at first are subscribers and sales. Is the subscriber list growing? Are sales growing?

And here’s one that people forget when they get to their traffic stats…
Are the visitors from each source buying and subscribing?

Are those visitors responsive?

Here’s a great article that came up in my feed reader yesterday…

How to Get a Bunch of Useless Traffic to Your Site

Patrick Coffey even shares his definition of HITS. Most people refer to HITS as website traffic. He defines HITS as “How Idiots Track Success.”

My results have been very similar to his. Yes, the social media world can produce a lot of visitors…but the conversion rates from them are MUCH lower than the conversion rates of other types of traffic. PPC, newsletters, search engine visitors, other blogs, articles, and even forums produce much more qualified traffic.

Now of course if you’re selling advertising on your blog and you don’t care what kind of response your advertisers receive, I could see why focusing on high traffic would bring in the numbers. The majority of advertisers judge how successful your site is by how much traffic you’re receiving…not whether they’re responsive or not (at least until they start tracking their advertising).

Does this mean I don’t want social media traffic? No of course not. I want their traffic also. By being in these media, you pick up some additional incoming links for the search engines and other bloggers can find you to link to as well.

Please submit my articles when you appreciate them. But what I’m not doing is focusing really heavy attention on these sites. That’s why you see some social media articles around here, but they’re not the primary focus.

Remember to track the two biggies:

– Sales
– Subscribers

Sales are the money I’m putting in the bank today. Subscribers are the money I’m putting in the bank next month.

I suggest you start putting some heavy priorities on these as well. Traffic is important of course, but conversion of that traffic is our goal.

By the way, thank you for everyone who participated in the survey. I’ve now shut down the survey, will examine the results, and will post some results about it next week.

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