Sunday, October 03, 2004

Blogging 302: Webstats

Welcome back class. Now that you know how to market your blog, it's time to find out if it's actually working! And the only real way to find out if anyone is coming (and how many) is to look at the webstats.

However, many (most? all?) blogs won't tell you much about who's coming to your blog, at what pages they are reading, who's sending them there, and how long they stay. All really fun, interesting stuff. So what's a curious blogger to do? Install a webstat meter.

There are plenty of webstat meters out there, but my favorite (because I'm using it and many others are also) is SiteMeter. It doesn't tell me everything that I'd like to get, but it gives me enough of the stuff I want. It's also very simple to install into your blogger website. Just go to the SiteMeter website, sign up, and work through their tutorial. They will add it to your site automatically.

What is really fun is not just seeing how many people are coming to your site, but you can also find out how they get there, and what time zones they are from.

Now it's one thing to know how many people are coming, but it's another to find out how many people (and who) are linking to your blog. Turns out, that's not that hard to find out either. And believe it or not, Google isn't necessarily the best way to find out. Google will give you some, but not all. Just do a search for "link:your blog URL". For example for mine, you'd search:

However, for some reason, Google isn't the best blog indexer. In steps Technorati. They are currently indexing over 4.1 million blogs. There, you'll find out much more. And because it's a blog search engine searching the "World Live Web", you can search for topics also.

So now that you know who's coming and who's linking to you, how do you link to others? Well, you'll have to wait until next time where we explore Template Tweaking.

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