You can probably call me a man of numbers and documentation! I have the habit of tracking every single (known) data point of my life documented and kept as several Microsoft Excel workbooks, Word documents, scanned images and other type of digital files. Sometimes this information goes to the granularity of daily transactions – you wouldn’t probably believe that till about four years back I even had the habit of tracking daily individual transactions and purchases (grocery, bills, payments, fees) via a software tool called ‘Budget’.
Even before I started blogging, I have been tracking information regarding websites and domains that I owned. For each of my live sites, I always had a dedicated folder with source code, backup, draft content, images/screenshots etc maintained in sub folders. But what I am going to talk about now is the other type of information and statistics that I document and track about my blogs.
Blog Statistics that I track
The Excel workbook (screenshot below) that I use to track information about my blogs has the following format. While I do not believe that it’s the most optimized and technically feasible solution, I still continue using it and I must say that it still helps.
This Excel workbook has 6 main sheets as explained below:
- Milestones: Tracks all important events in the lifecycle of the blog. Events and data logged as and when it happens
- Site stats: Used to track the blog stats that matter Monthly traffic stats, Bounce rate, PageRank, Alexa rank, # of Backlinks, RSS subscribers, Monthly income stats etc and updated on a monthly basis. This is one sheet that gives an overall view of the progress
- Ad Action Plan: This sheet contains the changes in ad plans, currently running methods of monetization, different ad – affiliate networks used etc
- Keywords: Basically the keywords, title and meta description used for domains and sub-domains is tracked here
- Income Expense: Well, this is one important sheet where every single penny earned and spent for blogging purpose is tracked. This sheet is pretty huge as well not because of the income numbers but because there are large number of networks, offline and online money making instruments used over the years
- PPC Advertising: All PPC advertising, Social campaign related expenses are tracked via this sheet
In addition, I have outlook reminders for all important dates such as domain renewal, hosting account renewal etc. The other important file (separate) that I have is a password protected document that stores login credentials/passwords for domain management, hosting account, WordPress, domain email addresses etc.
Advantages of tracking your blog statistics
Well, probably I am one of those who tend to overdo it a bit but I must say that these documents are quite useful for me in multiple ways.
First it helps me to track all expenses that’re going in so I know how much am I spending on blogging related stuff. Secondly, when I want to start a new project, I already have a checklist on the number of things to do. Another advantage is that you can actually plot all these numbers on charts and make sure that you are actually making progress.
And finally, it may be a pleasure to revisit the stuff that you once did and how the state of affairs were – i.e. if you were to take a look at all these twenty years from now. By the way, recently I got to read a Software specification document that I wrote myself 17 years back on my first job – it felt so good!