Do you ever get the feeling that social media - including blogging - is just one big shouting match where everyone is trying to one-up each other?
I've heard a lot of business owners talk about this. It can feel reallllllly frustrating when you feel as though you're putting out content and content and content and you're not seeing the "massive returns" that social media supposedly will reap.
So, let's get really realistic about how to identify whether your blogging and social media efforts are actually making a difference. There are a few key ways to pinpoint if you're meeting your goals, and sometimes they may be more subtle than you would expect.
Check Your Blog Stats
The most obvious way to peek into the world of blog impact is through your blog stats. Depending on your blog provider (WordPress, Blogger, Square Space, etc.) this will look slightly different, but the general gist is the same. You can see how many people visited your page over time and compare which of your posts are doing the best.
Simple, right? If you consistently blog, your numbers will go up over time. If you're inconsistent or simply not sharing good content, your numbers may plateau.
Look for Shares, Comments and "Likes"
This is another obvious way to see if you're making an impact. Has anyone tweeted (or re-tweeted) your content? Have they commented? Have they shared it on Facebook?
Even if a single person gives you online acknowledgement, you're making an impact. Because, heck, that person might just become your client in the next 6 months, and your business is better off for it!
Talk to Your Audience
I'm often surprised when someone I know will mention to me, "Hey, I really liked your blog post about guest posting..." Because, yeah, sometimes I feel like I'm writing in a vacuum, too!
But if someone mentions your blog or comments to you in person, pay attention. We're generally so overwhelmed with prompts to comment, like and share that we shut it off after a while. How many times have you trolled through your Facebook feed without liking, sharing or commenting? You might even see something you like that gets you thinking and not participate - but it doesn't mean it hasn't made an impact on you.
The bottom line is that we all have an impact on our world. We do influence the people around us, and people are listening, especially if we're truly sharing something authentic. Sometimes it's difficult to see instant results - and that's when you have to reconnect with your purpose for writing/sharing and trust that you're on the right track.
What's your experience with making an impact? Have you ever been surprised to find out that you impacted someone more deeply than you realized? I'd love to hear about it - leave a comment below to join the conversation.
Allison Volk specializes in creating authority and visibility for businesses and entrepreneurs through effective content marketing. Her clients have appeared in The Huffington Post, Forbes.com, Mind Body Green, LifeHack, Bitter Lemons and DentalTown.com, to name a few. Find out more at www.TheBlogBabe.com.