“Measure twice, cut once” doesn’t just apply to home improvement projects. It also applies to your online presence.
Take another look at your measurements before you rush to join the ranks of those who quit blogging, social networking, or otherwise adding fresh online content because these activities weren’t making money. Be sure to measure where you are now, make some cuts or improvements in your content creation strategy–perhaps by concentrating on a single format like blogging that appeals to you and your target market–then measure again. Don’t simply equate online success with money in your bank account or you will miss out on building goodwill and relationships that can lead to future sales and satisfied customers.
At the very least, start with Google alerts for your brand, the analytics for your Web site, and relevant (not self-promoting) comments on your blog. Look for answers to questions like
• How often am I mentioned or retweeted?
• Is my brand mentioned in a positive way? How often?
• How have negative comments led to opportunities to improve brand perception?
• What exactly are people searching for when they land on my Web pages?
• Are they finding what they need? If not, what can I add or change?
• How often am I engaging people in conversations and the exchange of ideas?
• Is my community of fans and followers making a real difference? How?
• How frequently are people sharing my ideas and content?
• How many people in my target market are taking action? Are they doing what I want them to do?
• Do I need a stronger call to action? Can I give more explicit directions so they know what to do next–respond to a blog post, attend a teleseminar, or try my tips and share their success?
How much money you make because of your online presence is only one measure of success. Create a solid foundation for future sales by paying attention to these other measurements of engagement and relationship-building now.