Creating Your Blog: Installing Analytics

Once you’ve got your blog set up, you can choose from all sorts of fancy and not-so-fancy “widgets” and “plugins.” They add tools and features to your blog, like search boxes, archives, search engine optimization features, and ways to “ping” your posts to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, and such. You can pick and choose which ones you like and use.

Widgets are easy to add and remove. I learned how to do it. You can, too. Plugins area pretty easy as well if you know what to download.

However, the main thing you want to add to your site, especially if it is a hosted blog, is an analytics program. This allows you to track your readers–or to find out if you have any! The free WordPress.com sites have basic analytics. This allows you to see how much traffic comes to your blog, what type of search terms are being used, and what pages people are visiting.

For hosted blogs, can choose from any number of free analytics out there, such as Sitemeter, Google Analytics, or Counterize II. Your hosting company may also have analytics. Sometimes I use more than one.

Once you have analytics on your blog you can tell how many people are visiting your site. It won’t be as many as you think at first. Educate yourself on the difference between a “hit,” “visitor,” “page view” and a “unique visitor.” Try out programs like Wassup, another free plugin, which will get rid of “bots,” “crawlers,” and the like, so you can tell how many actual visitors showed up to read what you wrote.

Then watch the readers arrive. Keep writing, and watch the numbers grow. If you write it, they will come.

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