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How do you measure your blog’s progress?

Trail Sherpa WallI spend my days managing the efforts of our web design team and conferring with our social media guidance clients on the progress of their online activities.  It makes sense that I would drink my own Kool Aid don’t you think.

My team is very accustomed to building very detailed analytics reports but often it’s the basic numbers that tell you to keep moving forward.

We bench marked June 1st as the day we starting building Trail Sherpa into a viable outdoor blog and hiking community.  We were preparing to introduce the Trail Sherpa community and wanted to look back and see how the first few months went.  Based on the numbers below, and the growth they represent, I’m pretty happy with our progress.

  • Facebook likes increased from 159 to 247
  • Twitter followers increased from 318 to 687
  • Flickr Contacts increased from 14 to 36
  • YouTube subscribers increased from 6 to 25
  • YouTube upload views increased from 164 to 938

These are all hikers and backpackers with a few outdoor industry people sprinkled in.  That’s who we want to connect with.  Who is the audience you want to reach with your blog?

Perhaps more noteworthy is that we launched the Trail Sherpa Community and have gone from our very first member to more than 100 active members in the first few months which included a lot of testing, breaking things on the site, fixing them, and now actually telling people about it.  We’re not setting any growth records but sheer numbers aren’t our goal.

The goal with the Trail Sherpa Community, and the social outposts like Facebook and Twitter that support it, is to build an engaged group of hikers and backpackers that have a genuine interest in exchanging ideas and experience.  And we’ve done a good job at that so far.

The first social network we built was geared at the real estate industry and we grew it quickly to more than 20,000 members in the first 18 months.  But we learned a few lessons there.  The most important was the difference between quantity and quality of members and their engagement with the group.

The Trail Sherpa Community is different.  I’m getting to know many of the new members and they are all eager to share what they know.  That feels really good and holds promise for being able to do something better than it has been done in the past.

What are you trying to do with your website?  Do you have a goal?  Ours is to give hikers and backpackers a place to connect with each other and tell their stories.

We’ll keep tracking and measuring our progress.  We’ll keep asking questions and looking for answers.  We’ll keep searching for new members to pull into our conversations.  If you haven’t created your profile yet you can click here to get started.

But for now, thank you to all of you that have embraced the idea we are trying to foster here at Trail Sherpa and for sharing so much of yourselves in the beginning of this journey.  It’s appreciated and we look forward to where this might go next.

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I'm the founder of Vestor Logic, the digital strategy and web design firm that created Trail Sherpa, ParksFolio, and Modern Steader. I'm a day hiker, top chef in camp, doting husband, and father to two headlamp wearing boys. My work in digital media brings those experiences to life.