Metrics For Food Blogger Pirates | Hurry The Food Up

Metrics For Food Blogger Pirates

Let me ask you a question: what are the key metrics for making your food blog successful? If you were not able to answer this within 10 seconds then this post might be for you.

The Metric Overload

We all have Google Analytics and we have AWeber or Mailchimp Analytics, as well as Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, YouTube Analytics and so on and so forth. We could analyse stuff all day, isn’t that great?

Unfortunately many people don’t know which metrics are important to make their blog successful. Therefore they don’t know where the blog is doing very badly. Hence their priorities are most likely for the bin.

So, which metrics are important and why are they important?

Metrics For Food Blogger Pirates

Customer Life Cycle - Metrics for Pirates for Food Bloggers | hurrythefoodup.com

Users can do various things on your blog which can be divided into five areas:

The Customer Lifecycle:

  1. Acquisition – Users come to the blog from various channels
  2. Activation – Users have a great first experience
  3. Retention – Users come back for more
  4. Revenue – Users give you some kind of monetization
  5. Referral – Users like your blog so much, they refer it to others

In short “AARRR”, like a pirate. Check out this YouTube video for a deeper understanding.

To build a successful blog it’s a good idea to have a dashboard in place that covers all these areas. You will then not only have a very good overview over your blog, but also you will be able to improve it punctually and effeciently.

This is actually what the Metrics For Pirates are all about: knowing what to focus on for growing your blog.

Metrics for Pirates Applied to a Food Blog

Alright, you know what areas are important now, but how do you connect this to your Food Blog? Let’s create our ”AARRR Dashboard.” Don’t worry, it’s very simple.

Acquisition

acquisition-food-blog-image

You want to know how many people come to your site and if you are growing. Total Visitors and Visitors Growth Rate will tell you this.

You can easily get the Total Visitors metric from your Google Analytics (“sessions”)  and then calculate your Visitors Growth Rate.

  • Total Visitors: A summary of all traffic that comes to our blog (Facebook, Pinterest, Foodgawker, etc.)
  • Visitors Growth Rate: How much our blog is growing over a period of time.

Why do we need these metrics?

Let’s say you focused on engaging your audience on Pinterest and Facebook for the last couple of months. Did this effort result in a growth of your blog?

This is what the Visitors Growth Rate is for. It helps you to see how your efforts were able to improve your visitor count.

Also, compare your Visitors Growth Rate to other food bloggers. This gives you better idea of where you stand. If they grow faster than you, ask them very nicely what they do to grow. And if they grow slower than you, give them a few tips! Share the love.

Activation

activation-food-blog-image

You want to know how much your visitors like your blog. Pageviews and Email Subscriptions can help you to find out about your popularity.

You can easily find the pageviews metric in your Google Analytics and the email subscriptions in your email marketing client (eg. mailchimp). The rates can then be calculated without difficulty.

  • Blog Pageviews Total:  The total amount of pages that have been viewed on your blog.
  • Pageviews Per Visitor: How many pages a visitor looks at.
  • Email Subscription Total: The total number of email subscriptions.
  • Email Subscription Rate: The frequency visitors are subscribing to your email list.

Why do we need these metrics?

The really important metrics are the rates once more: Pageviews Per Visitor and Email Subscription Rate, because they show your performance.

The higher the pageviews per visitor the more he/she likes your blog. If this number is very low you might have some issues with the article quality or it might be a little difficult to find your way around the blog.

Same with the emails: The higher your email subscription rate the better. If it is very low, it’s a clear sign that people are not interested or haven’t been asked enough to register to your newsletter.

This is another time that you could ask a fellow blogger how she is doing in convincing visitors to subscribe to her email newsletter and compare your stats.

Retention

retention-food-blog-image

You want to know how many people are actually coming back to your blog. The “Returning Users” metric from Google Analytics gives you the information you need.

  • Blog Returning Users Total: Total amount of visitors that have been on our blog before.
  • Returning Users Rate: What percentage of all visitors are “familiar faces.”

Why do we need these metrics?

Again, the really sexy metric is the Returning Users Rate. It answers the question on how well you are doing in becoming a point of reference for your visitors. The more users come back the better. If your Returning Users Rate is low it might be connected to a poor email newsletter or an unclear positioning of your blog.

Check out how well others do in getting visitors back on their website. Maybe you can exchange a few tips and tricks.

Revenue

revenue-food-blog-image

We obviously want to know how good we are in making money from our traffic. For this, RPM (Revenue Per 1000 Pageviews) is the best metric to look at. To do this you just need the Pageviews metric from Google Analytics and your total blog income.

  • Total Blog Income: Grand total of every piece of money you make from your blog. Ads, Affiliates, Product, etc.
  • RPM (Revenue Per 1000 Pageviews): How much money you make on average from 1000 page views.

Why do we need these metrics?

RPM is where it’s at. By knowing the RPM you know how well you monetize your blog. Let’s say you’ve added affiliate links to your blog in the last couple of months. This metric will tell you how well your efforts paid off.

Of course this is also a great metric to compare. Ask how other food bloggers are performing and see if you can learn from them. Or the other way round: help out with a few tips.

Referral

referral-food-blog-image

You want to know how shareable you are.  Are you good in getting your visitors to share your content with their friends? Google Analytics can track the clicks on share buttons of your blog, but it would require a programmer to set this up.

  • Total Content Shares: How many times visitors shared your content.
  • Share Rate: The frequency visitors are sharing your content.

Why do we need these metrics?

By knowing how many people share your content you can dig deeper and find out what content is popular and create more of it. Also it tells you about the overall quality of the content.

Furthermore it’s easier for you to realize if something is wrong. Maybe people share your content much less than that of a fellow food blogger. This could indicate that your share buttons are not displayed well enough.

Example Dashboard – Metrics for Food Blogger

Alright, we have the theory behind us, now let me show you how to apply all that to your Blog. I suggest to create an excel sheet or a google spreadsheet for this and update it monthly.

It would look like this:

AARRR-food-blog-Dashboard

This is the Pirate Dashboard of my blog HurryTheFoodup.com. Dave and I started the blog in July, so there are not too many numbers to look at and everything varies quite a lot, since the numbers are still small.

But we can see a few interesting things:

Acquisition

acquisition-food-blog-table

The amount of monthly visitors still vary a lot, so I don’t think it makes sense to analyze them yet.

We have those variations because we just started out and were featured on FindingVegan.com in July and September. We’ll have to wait a couple of months more in order to get more meaningful numbers.

We can always look at the Google Analytics Acquisition tab if we want to see how different traffic channels are doing, especially if we think something is wrong.

Activation

activation-food-blog-table

Pageviews Per Visitor: Drop from 1.69 to 1.33

We see the Blog Pageviews Total are increasing. That’s great. Though the Pageviews Per Visitor dropped quite a bit. Not cool.

This is a good example for why this board is useful. Since we have a comparison to the previous month we can see that something might be wrong and look a little deeper into google analytics to find out why.

Turns out that visitors from FindingVegan.com (the majority of our visitors in September) are leaving the site very quickly again. This pulled down the average to 1.33. So everything is fine.

Email Subscription Rate: Around 0.20%

The Email Subscription Rate is between 0.59% (August) and 0.19% (September). That’s horrible, nobody wants to subscribe. Is your rate that low as well?

Of course we knew before that we rarely get new subscribers, but only by actually calculating the Email Subscription Rate we could see how bad it really is. I have already taken some steps to improve this rate. Let’s check in November again and see if we improved.

Retention

retention-food-blog-table

Returning Users Rate: 19 – 28%

Without any relation this number doesn’t tell us anything. But luckily there are other food bloggers around that can give us an idea how well we do. This is how I found out that many food blogs are have a Returning Users Rate above 30%.

The reason can be that they already have much more content worth coming back for. But maybe they are also a little better in sending newsletters and creating a clear message of why their blog is so great for their visitors (we are definitely still weak in both areas).

Revenue

revenue-food-blog-table

RPM (Revenue Per 1000 Pageviews): Around 1.20€

Also here it would be great to have an RPM from another food blogger for comparison. Fortunately PinchOfYum could help me out there.  From when they started out to where they are now Lindsay and Bjork were able to increase their RPM from around 0.50€ to more than 10€!

Having our RPM written down monthly on the dashboard shows us if we are going in the right direction. It helps us to think more about how can we get closer to an RPM of 10€. Just like Bjork, I will try affiliate links next.

Referral

referral-food-blog-table

No metrics yet

Nothing is something too. You now probably think – ah funny, this dude talks about how awesome the Metrics For Pirates Dashboard is but then he doesn’t even have it completed himself.

This is exactly what Metrics For Pirates is about! Getting an overview over your blog. Only after I finished the Dashboard I realized “ouch, you didn’t have any clue about how much people share your stuff. And, even worse, you didn’t have a clue that you didn’t have a clue.”

My next step will be to somehow track our content shares. I’ll probably ask a friend with programming skills to help me out.

Get the template of the Metrics For Pirates. It’s free.

You’ll be redirected to a google sheets. There you can download or copy the file.

What do you think?

There are many more metrics that can help to cover those five “AARRR” areas and it surely makes sense to look at them once you dig deeper into one area.

Metrics For Pirates tries to boil down the huge amount of metrics into one dashboard that summarizes everything what’s happening on your blog in a few numbers.

I’m curious about your opinion. Do you have a different system and does it work for you? What are your key metrics that you use to improve your food blog? Let us know in the comments!

Also, please feel free to contact me directly (hauke@hurrythefoodup.com), if you want to have a chat about your stats or if you have questions. 🙂

PS: Sorry, if this was a little too much strategy. Sometimes I like to apply my start-up knowledge to blogging. That being said, a good friend of mine, Levan, just started his new project called Games Like Zone. Often times you are in love with a game and you need to know if there are similar games around so you can recreate this amazing feeling that you experienced in the first place. That’s what Levan’s website is about! Check it out, if you need some inspiration for a  cool computer game for when you’re not hustling on your blog 🙂

 

About Hauke Fox

I'm always on the lookout for these damn smart recipes. You know, those that only take a few minutes to put together and taste delicious. Vegetarian Cooking at home is a way to take back control over what I eat. I don't like what many companies do to animals and the environment with their products.

2 comments

  1. Wow, thank you for this post! I’ve been blogging for about a year now and frequently check Google analytics yet never could pin point exactly what I should be focusing on. There is so much detailed information it can be intimidating and time consuming. This is a really great start and I will definitely take this advice! Good luck on the blog, check out masonjarsalads.com when you have a minute.

    Nicole @masonjarsalads

    • Hi Nicole,

      thanks for reading! I’m glad the post was helpful. It’s definitely a tricky thing to keep an overview over whats going on on your blog. I started to pick out just one area I like to focus on per month, for example Acquisition. By doing that it was much easier to focus on the important tasks. Everything that didn’t have to do with this area was put on the wait list.

      Sure, I’ll check out your blog! Thanks and have a great New Years Party!! 🙂

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