Understanding the Metrics

One thing you have to be able to do in business of any size or shape is to understand the metrics. Or put another way “the numbers.” There are different ways to interpret the meanings of any measurement. Is it a temporary correlation? Is it coincidental or a causality? Sometimes you just have to go with your gut, and sometimes you need to disregard your gut and go with the numbers. Knowing where and when is more art than science, and the reason why people who are good at it make more money or impact. Trust me the numbers back it up. (yes pun intended.)

So in that vein I was asked the other day about my writings and a few other things. As I was explaining a few things the discussion started to get very “metric” based in the questions asked of me. So as I answered I thought it would be interesting to share some of the conversation and my thoughts about what we were discussing.

One question was: “I see you’re not writing any articles for a certain magazine any longer. Why?
I answered: “Because they moved from the platform where the people I wanted to support were to a private enterprise. Business is business. If I don’t know who’s checking account any money from ads or anything else goes, then I’m not interested. Regardless of traffic flow, exposure, or anything else so I stopped. Anything less and you’re not acting like a businessperson – you’re an amateur.”

Follow up question followed along these lines: “That was a big platform. One of the top 100 in the U.S. you said. Did you bite your nose to spite your face?”
I replied: “Actually no. Since I stopped I’ve concentrated in a few different areas and my traffic has actually increased. In the last 2 months since I stopped my site has gone from being read in 27 countries to I’m now routinely visited by over 38. The funny thing is there are days I can have twice as many readers from around the world than I did in the U.S. That’s been a fun thing to watch and a real metric to measure my depth of reach.”

Of course the most obvious question to follow was: “Well don’t you think it would be even more if you continued with the magazine also?” (What I said here has nothing to do with the magazine or the people there. I wish them all the success in the world and may contribute at another time. So please – no reading into something that is not there. This is only to share my insights with you from a business point of view.)

I replied: “When I first started writing it was from a chartered position. i.e., I was one of the first on board. It started from square one and with no “Likes.” As much as you know how much I dislike that metric, for many right now its the accepted metric du jour for marketing purposes in business.

So using that metric the mag went from 0 to 3265 in about 25 weeks. It’s the 1% metric and that’s the accepted multiplier within the industry, so the math works out to imply they had a little over 325K readers. That works out to an average it added about 13K new readers a week to get there. Or 130 new “Likes” per week. I stopped contributing the week after they moved. It’s been nearly 6 weeks. They should have added another 780 new additional “Likes” or to say another 78K new readers as that metric breaks out. As of today they’ve added 18. Not 18K – but 18 total. Previously that was a day – it been now over 6 weeks. I found that amazing. All the while I’m increasing both domestically and globally.”

I’m getting ready to launch a few projects that I’ve been working on for a while i.e., workshops, book, audio, and a few more. Announcements for those will be coming shortly.

One of the funniest metrics I found of late is something I never contemplated. Yet it’s now showing itself rather blatantly. Although I don’t do comments on my site needless too say I’m getting an increase in spammers trying to post regardless. This happens when your site is seen as getting enough views or mentions or re-posts, and a myriad of others that triggers the algorithms and they try to post regardless. Who are these spammers?

None other than the “porn” industry.

Is this the metric where I use my gut or the numbers?

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr