A recent MarketingSherpa report studied how marketers measure the influence of a blog (login required). While unique visitors and page views remain important in terms of determining popularity, the changing ways in which readers interact with blogs has given rise to other metrics that can be looked at:
- The number of inbound links (including from whom (industry leaders?), and how many of those links were added within the last 30 days, which can demonstrate growing influence in a vertical)
- The number of comments (including how many were left within the last 30 days). For this metric, it's also important to check: the number of unique commenters (are the same people leaving comments all the time?); the length and sophistication of comments (i.e., is it just "thanks for the tip" kind of comments, or more sophisticated responses?); and who is commenting (industry leaders?)
- Citations on social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Digg
- Average time spent on the blog (the longer the time spent, the better).
Services like compete.com, which monitor the Internet browsing habits of millions of web users, offer to provide information on these metrics.