When you first start blogging you are naive which likely works to your advantage because you really are doing things to please yourself. It doesn't really matter to you if someone doesn't like your blog or something you said. It doesn't matter if they like your content or overall theme. At some point though all that changes. You suddenly realize if you do something a bit different it gets you more traffic and bloggers love traffic. However, it is very important to get the attention of search engines as well.
So you do all the recommended SEO which is never really enough. You are consistently adding new but not duplicate content to your blog. You are not using any black hat SEO. You are advertising your blog through blog advertising such as CMFads and Adgitize remembering to stay away from blog advertising you can't control content on the widget (eg. 125exchange, Spottt, Entrecard) and you are not using any form of pure traffic exchange. How do you gauge your effectiveness?
- your stats - Every blog should have some type of stats tracker. I personally like StatsCounter but there are others available. This involves registering on their site then adding a piece of code designed specifically for your blog. From there you can check your stats daily to get a better picture of not only the traffic but the bounce rate and keywords used to find your site.
- Technorati - Technorati rating is a must if you are blogging. Sign up then claim your blog following their directions. Once you have claimed your blog you can check the Technorati rating, any increases or decreases in rating as well as keywords and site load time. You can also become involved in the community which may help your rating a bit. At any rate do not overlook the importance of the Technorati rating. At one time it was advisable to ping Technorati every time you updated your blog but a couple of weeks ago they announced they were no longer accepting ping but instead would be crawling blogs. That means you must have your meta tag fpr ROBOTS set to content="All" otherwise they will not crawl your blog.
- Alexa - Alexa rating is almost a given but what you need to do is check your blog's Alexa rating from time to time. They analyse your blog traffic giving you key information and and automatic visualization of how well your blog is doing in comparison to other websites. There is a lot of valuable information there on your blog so use it to improve your blog's performance.
- Google Analytics - Google Analytics is an extremely valuable resource that shows you your blog's performance. This is a must use tool especially if you have any advertising on your blog.
- subscribers - Blogger allows you to track your blog followers (subscribers) as does Feedburner. A higher number of subscribers means you have an interesting blog that the subscriber will more than likel visit again and often become a regular reader.
- comments - Quality comments received on your blog posts means someone has stopped to read what you wrote. Spam comment on the other hand means the spammer was just interested in his or her own agenda and more than likely didn't even see your blog if it was a spam bot. Always encourage the quality comments and never let the spam comments through. The more quality comments you have is a good indication of the effectiveness of your blog.