Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Best Widget for your Blog

I frequently praise the benefits of keeping a blog – to students, teachers, even my wife. Their initial fear and skepticism is the same as my own when I first started blogging more than two years ago. Simply stated, no one wants to put time and energy into a blog that no one is going to read. I even lamented about this in my first blog’s profile:
“If no one else ever stumbles across the blog, at least I’ll have it to fall back on when I’m too senile to remember even my own name. So have a look around. I hope you find my blog as profitable as I do. And leave your mark – there’s nothing worse than a lonely post without comments!”
It’s easy to peer into the crowd at a conference presentation, and see how many people are listening. It’s not so easy to do so with a blog. This fact almost discouraged me from starting a blog, until, that is, I discovered an incredibly useful tracking widget, FEEDJIT.

Feedjit is a free widget that displays a live report of all traffic arriving or departing from a blog. It tells where the visitor is located, how long he/she has stayed on your blog, and how they got there in the first place. It even gives the search terms used in the event a person arrived using a Google search!

While knowing this information may seem a bit narcissistic at first, it’s actually very helpful. I am continually amazed by my world-wide visitors (admittedly some viewing from countries I have never even heard of!), and it has helped me learn to write from more of a global perspective – or at least with a global audience in mind. Also, it’s nice to know when one of my posts gets picked up by social bookmarking sites such as Delicious or Stumpleupon. Paying attention to what type of posts become popular has helped me refine my blog, and hopefully improve its quality.

When I first started writing, nearly all of my posts were reflective in nature. This style of writing is personally important, however, other than the initial influx of visitors after it is posted, few ever favorite or revisit that post again. When I began posting how-to and tutorial pieces, traffic increased dramatically. Knowing this, I now try to keep an even number of reflective versus informative posts so that both myself and my readers can receive maximum reward from my blog.

That being said, here is a quick how-to for setting up FEEDJIT on your own blog.

1. Go to the Join page on
2. Customize the color scheme and layout so the Feedjit widget will fit seamlessly with your blog.
3. Choose your blogging platform.
4. Log in to your blog.

In four easy steps, you can have up-to-second data about your blog!
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1 Responses:

Jim George said...

Agree - Feedjit great tool & interests readers too. Like the way it can show FB i/d for the unwary :)