With a growing number of sports cards bloggers out there--trust me, there are hundreds, if not thousands--I often wonder how many keep track of their readers. Sports and non-sports cards still sell at Targets and Wal-Marts around the country, but it's not clear how many folks also read about the hobby in their spare time.
I included visitors and readership in the title, since blogs have both occasional visitors (often via search results) and older-school, read-it-all subscribers.
On Blogger.com-hosted sites like this one, Google provides the easiest-to-find tracking tools. I took a quick screenshot of each and linked to more info.
1. Google Analytics (the "hard numbers")
This dashboard tracks my last month of "hits," which I think are visits by unique visitors. Note the significant drop between July 5 and 17, during my summer posting vacation. It jumped back to normal levels upon my return, showing that consistent work makes a difference!
Google Analytics includes a ton of info and reports. This single graph only scratches the surface.
2. Google Friend Connect (kindred spirits)
These 44 folks all created a Blogger account and chose to Follow my (or your) site. They might not read each post, but are adding their stamp of approval to what we do.
It's up to each blog author to include this or not, using the layout designer. The icons do occupy screen real estate and look a little primitive, so I can understand folks omitting it.
3. Google Reader subscriptions (RSS feeders)
Google Reader is a pretty slick way to read anything with an RSS feed, from the latest card news to crowd-sourced stories of hellacious clients. It also provides another take on "subscribers," but from the visitor's point of view. (I.e., "did I read everything posted this week?")
Find this graph by selecting the feed name from Reader's sidebar and then clicking Show Details in its upper-right corner. The blue and orange bars compare how often this site publishes something to how much I read. 61 folks total get The #5 Type Collection via Google Reader; 60, if you don't count me.
These are just what they sound like--folks who took the time to read your post, endure Google's "prove you're human" shenanigans, and add a thought of their own.
Social psychologists say active engagement comes from less than 5% of your total readership. That means each real comment is actually worth 20 or 30 "Beckett value" comments. :-)
The first 4 methods keep a finger on the pulse of blog readers and how often they visit. Got any more readership trackers you use or want to know more about? Let me know below!