I run a personal blog at adrielmichaud.com in my spare time and much like other writers/publishers out there, I’m still in the middle of figuring out what I want to write about. There were a few personal insights I wanted to share, but other than that, I wanted to be sure that what I was writing was useful to people. I didn’t want to just write in a vacuum.
Something that’s really helped me out is using Google Analytics to determine the “stickiness” and demand of each general topic I write about. The metric I use is the amount of search traffic going to my website on any of the topics. I then choose several keywords around those topics to tip me off their popularity. This removes any weird traffic that I’m getting off one-time campaigns and just shows how many people find my blog via the different topics. It has been amazingly eye opening for me, because some of the topics I thought would be popular turned out to not stick, whereas other topics (like golf) took off with a few crumbs of useful content.
If you’re struggling to understand how the popularity of topics is shaping up across your website, you’ll definitely want to create a dashboard like this. The below sample dashboard is in the new version of Google Analytics in the Dashboard section. On the left of the dashboard, you can see how many visitors I get from Google in a month on the various topics I write about.
To create each of the widgets on the left of the above image, follow the example configuration below. Using the regular expression selection and the pipe character to add more than 1 keyphrase to your filter (pipe character = |)