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3 Ways to Evaluate the Real Activity of the Blog

3 Ways to Evaluate the Real Activity of the Blog

So you are going to apply as guest poster or want to ask the blogger for a review or just want to know how strong your competitor is. If you do, this post is right for you.

People may use various methods to learn how strong a blog really is. Despite being an SEO at heart, I usually advise against blog evaluation relying on usual SEO metrics like Google PR, Yahoo! backlinks and Alexa rank because they have nothing to do with what really matters: how large and active the blog audience is. The readership of the blog is what really matters. That’s the heart of the blog. The readers are who you are going to expose your product or brand or expertise to. A site may have PR 5 but no “real” (loyal) readers behind it. So what’s the use of writing for it then?

So here are my 3 proven ways to quickly evaluate a blog and understand how active the blog readership is (and possibly estimate the possible feedback on my guest post, for example):

Blog Evaluation guide for Bloggers and Marketers:

1. Use Your Own Judgment

Just a few minutes of browsing the blog gives you an initial (and most often correct) idea of how popular the blog is. I instantly look for the following footprints:

Random post comment count and quality:

  • How many comments are there for two or three posts I randomly landed at?
  • Are there any spam comments? (if there are, this may mean the blog is not moderated which is never a good sign);
  • How detailed the comments are? (I love it when readers tend to leave long comments detailing their opinion).

Random post social media buttons:

  • Twitter count buttons;
  • Facebook likes and shares.
  • I also have Shareaholic FireFox addon installed that gives me an idea of the post Diggs and shares:

evaluate blog 01

Sidebar widgets:

I make it a good habit to notice and click through such widgets as “Recent comments” and “Most popular posts” to get an idea of how long ago the latest comment was posted and what is well received with the blog readers.

2. Evaluate Twitter Popularity

Twitter has made it easier to quickly evaluate any blog popularity. While other social media service (like StumbleUpon and Digg) largely depend on the site niche and topic, Twitter is universal in this respect: everything and anything under the sun gets Tweeted.

This is why how actively the blog is Tweeted usually reflects the overall resource popularity and relevance.

Topsy is my preferred tool for social media monitoring of the type. Just run a quick search for [site:blogdomain.com] – mind there are no spaces – and you will be able to see:

  • Most Tweeted posts from the domain all the time;
  • Most Tweeted posts from the domain over the past month, week, day or hour;
  • The number of found tweets for each post;
  • How long ago (and by who) each post was first Tweeted:

3. Check the Feed Count

Still not convinced? One last thing I base my judgment on is the Feed count. While this data is actually subjective and can’t be taken in isolation, it does give you some idea on how actively the feed is checked and how many subscribers the blog might have:

Here’s a cool feedburner hack by the way that will let you learn the subscriber’s count even if it isn’t displayed on the site:

  • Copy the blog feedburner link (look for the linked feed button). It is going to be something like that: feeds.feedburner.com/username
  • Prefix the “username” in the feed with ~fc/ : feeds.feedburner.com/~fc/username
  • Now just go to the link you have come up with. The browser should take you right to the button with the count.

{This trick should also be used to check the “real” subscriber count (many blogs fake it with images). }

Examples:

 Techcrunch

 Shoutmeloud

Now what other blog evaluation tip you would like to add here. If you find this post useful, don’t forget to share it with others.

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Article by Ann Smarty

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • John Soares

    I have the Webrank tool bar for Firefox. It gives Page Rank, Alexa Rank, Compete Rank, and other data. This is important information for evaluating what’s happening with a blog.

    Reply
  • Jay Philips

    Nice post. I have noticed that some blogs moderate comments and it takes awhile for the author to go through them. I’ve commented on some blogs and a week later I can go back to the same post my post isn’t there and neither is anyone elses. I think that if an author wants to moderate comments before they are published than they need to stay up on them.

    Reply
  • Aditya

    I usually do the first method. Check the comments but some blogs don’t follow this trend. They are popular but with not many comments

    Reply
  • Alamin

    Thanks really nice tips . I am also not so much serious on page rank. Google also removed page rank option from google webmaster tools.

    Reply
  • Dev | Technshare

    Hey Ann,

    Awesome Post. Using your own judgment is something i like.. !! Though i haven’t tried FF addon.. !!
    Thanks for sharing this great Post.

    Reply
  • Arafat Hossain Piyada

    Nice tips Ann and good to see you here. I never get serious with PR as it don’t give me extra traffic unless I’m a dofollow (some blogger love to add comment then) blog also Alexa Rank actually a special toy when a blogger willing to sell ad space. To me traffic is important, that’s why backlink is real worthy matter for me. Though comment make me happy but my earning depend on search engine traffic that’s why instead of focusing comment count or RSS count I prefer to find ways to maximize traffic. Comment count and RSS subscription matter most when you willing to build a big community around you and in my view blogger usually create this to sell some short of services or product.

    In my opinion there are two type of blog – one is community oriented and other is search engine oriented and both blog success should be judged differently.

    Reply
  • Hami

    All of the tips you have mentioned are worth checking. These ways can be quite usefull in manyways. Not only analyzing your own website at times, as well when your are in need to buy websites.

    Reply

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