By Srininvas Rao, Contributing {grow} Columnist

A while back I said that metrics and measurements have a tendency to limit our potential. What I failed to realize was that this is only the case when we measure the wrong things.  As bloggers it’s really easy to get caught up in comparison and competition. As a result we end up measuring the things that don’t have a strong impact on our business.

3 Metrics That Don’t Really Matter Much

1. Traffic 

A few weeks back I had a post that went viral on Stumbleupon. It sent  over 160,000 visits to my blog in a week. If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that all traffic is not equal and traffic doesn’t necessarily equate to revenue.  Do you need traffic? Absolutely.  But if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that quality trumps quantity . You don’t need 100,000 visitors, just a tribe who actually cares.

2. Tweets, Likes, Fans and Followers

Marcus Sheridan wrote an interesting post the other day, which I thought was really reflective of this.  The posts that have made him the most money from his pool business are not necessarily the most popular.  Just because a post is popular on social media it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s valuable for your customers or your business.

3. Comments

Talk to Dan Andrews and you’ll realize that the people who comment on your blog are not an accurate representation of your readers. The people who comment on your blog are usually other bloggers, and there is a “silent majority” who read everything you write, but don’t comment.  While it’s nice to have  comments on your posts, it’s not as important  as you might think.

Metrics that Matter

1. Email Subscribers

There’s not one person who is successful that won’t tell you that your email list is what generates your money. A few months back I made a very conscious decision to focus on this group of readers, and interestingly enough I have a much deeper connection with my readers. My traffic is higher than ever before, and my blog is growing faster than ever before.  This is your “silent majority” and this is who you need to cater to.

2. Conversion Rates

Many people get caught up in writing guests posts at the most popular blogs. Other than bragging rights  a post on a really popular blog might not do much for you. On the flip side a popular personal development blog that I write for sends me anywhere between 50-60 new subscribers per guest post. The key is of course to write great content and use a well written custom landing page.

3. Open Rates 

It’s nice to have a list, but if nobody is opening your emails than it doesn’t matter. A list of 50 people who talk to you is better than a list of 5000 who ignore you. I recently decided to clean house on my email list and deleted almost 350 people from the list because they hadn’t opened any of my emails in the last 4 months. Don’t be afraid to let some of your subscribers go.

4. Revenue

If you’re in this to make money, then this is the only metric that ultimately matters.  When I recently spoke to a business coach she told me something really interesting. There are people who make plenty of money online that you’ve never heard of.  Do you actually measure the revenue you generate? Even if it’s $100  make a point to measure it.

Measuring all the wrong metrics can make it really difficult to turn social media attention into income.  Unfortunately many early stage bloggers get caught up in the trap of all these metrics. What’s been your experience with this?

Srinivas Rao is the author of the The Skool of Life and, the host-co-founder of BlogcastFM

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