I just read a great post over at ProBlogger: How to Use Big Business Finance Principles to Grow Your Email List. The author, Josh Turner of gatewaycfo.com, suggests using a dashboard to measure the progress of your strategy:
I love this!
Think about the strategy behind this dashboard:
Weekly guest posts drive traffic. Traffic and weekly posts on site drive weekly new email subscribers. And weekly new email subscribers drive weekly sales/revenue. That’s how we make money!
On a regular basis, track each measure to monitor not only how well you meet your goal (weekly sales/revenue) but how well you are following your strategy. You can track your weekly progress in Excel or Google Docs Spreadsheets.
This is a lot like dieting. Suppose that your strategy is to eat fewer calories in order to lose weight. You can monitor your weight. But it would be more effective to monitor your calorie intake as you eat, and other factors that cause weight loss.
I plan to try this dashboard for my own blog and I think that a similar plan could be developed for any online business.