The key to success in blogging, whether you want to make money, gain more subscribers, or increase visitor engagement is to constantly test new strategies. With A/B or Multivariate testing and using web analytics to measure its performance anyone can move closer to their ideal formula of success.  The results from the multivariate testing will allow you to test various alterations before they are 100% live as well as allow you to capitalize on the best performing combinations.

Here are a few suggestions you can try testing within your blog:
  • Internal Search - Ideally it should be near the top of the page because you want to enhance visitor engagement with your blog by making it easy to find more information. Try placing internal search in different locations near the top, as well with a variety of text-box/submit button colors. Test the results by measuring the number of searches and the overall quality of the keywords.
  • Feed Subscription - Test different combinations of feed chicklets, I personally use 6 different chicklets plus an optional email subscription option (all above the fold). Top Rank Blog offers a simple way to create feed button variations. FeedBurner's stats are an excellent method for getting a better understanding of your subscribers.
  • Header - I mention this because it can dictate the layout of the rest of the page. For instance if your blog's header is massive graphic, it can potentially push much of the important items below the fold. However if your header is lost within the entire page it becomes difficult to promote your brand to visitors. My header is now 50% of it's original height and next I plan on reducing its width to be able to test key link placements such as my most popular posts.
  • Archives - by category, by date, and placement with the page are all variations worth testing.  Archives can help engage visitors to read more content on your blog, however they can also take up valuable real estate for subscription options or advertisement.  Through testing you can determine the most suitable layout for your blog.
  • About - The 'About us' page allows visitors to get to know the blogger, but how much emphasis is too much? Is a LinkedIn button good enough?  To measure the performance of an "about us" page you will need to measure metrics such as time spent, abandonment rates, new contacts on LinkedIn and the number of emails.
  • Widgets - One of the hottest topics on the Internet right now. Trying to find a balance between placing widgets that compliment your blog versus widgets that take over your blog is important to keep on top of. Widgets can also potentially cause you to lose visitors by navigating them off your blog. The cool thing about this process is that it is applicable to all bloggers (at all levels of authority) not to mention it's fun seeing your blog flourish.
  • Advertising - There are numerous options for bloggers to make money through advertising.  Popular ones include affiliate advertising (for sites like Text Link Ads), Google Ad Sense, Feedvertising (through FeedBurner services) or banner ads.  Whichever service or combinations of services you should remember never to let advertising harm a visitor's experience on the site.  All of the above advertising models provide excellent revenue reporting therefore it becomes quite simple to select the best performing option.

There you have it, 7 tips to better blogging, the formula is relatively simple but it requires perseverance: Define, Test, Measure, and Repeat.

July 5, 2007

Manoj has been in the Digital marketing industry for over 10 years with experience at some of Canada's largest companies: WestJet and Shaw Communications. Manoj first started in the search marketing industry with Enquiro Search Solutions, where he spearheaded web analytics, SEO Training and the development of cutting edge search marketing solutions for clients. Manoj is also an entrepreneur in the Mobile and Local Deals space.

Manoj is a Professional Speaker having participated at events such as Web Analytics Congress (Amsterdam), Emetrics, Web Analytics Xchange, WebTrends Engage, Internet Marketing Conference, Social Media Innovation Summit and Search Engine Strategies. He has also contributed to several leading online publications such as: Search Engine Land, Marketing Pilgrim, WebProNews, Search Engine Guide and the Web Analytics Assocation.

He founded and successfully sold Web Analytics World (a top 100 Digital Marketing Blog – and was voted #39th Most Influential Digital Marketer in North America – 2009 (see:

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