Whether you write for one blog, or manage many, you need a measurable, goal-oriented plan. Shooting from the hip isn’t a strategy. I like to take time during these last few weeks of the year to see what worked, what didn’t and how I want to proceed into the new year.
Have you ever performed a blogging audit?
Guest blogger Nicole Avery gives some great tips for completing this essential task over on ProBlogger. Or, head over to Spears Marketing‘s website. Seth shares an incredibly detailed blog post about how to do an audit. (Yes, it is A LOT of work!)
So, why should you evaluate your blog, or those that you manage for your clients? You want to be productive into the new year. We all work with the same 24-hours in a day, but how you spend those hours, and how you prioritize, is critical.
Completing a blog audit helps you…
Identify the most searched topics on the website.
Cultivate the top ten evergreen search terms and focus on those in the first quarter of 2017. In April, take note. Did visitor numbers and sales increase? They should since you’re giving your readers exactly what they’re searching for most often.
I took this approach on my personal health blog last year, and watched the my subscribers increase and, in turn, now receive more interaction on the blog’s Facebook Page than ever before. Nice!
Learn where you waste time.
Beyond the random social media time-sucks, we all spend time on tasks we think will pan out, but ultimately don’t. Doing an audit can help you realize where your efforts should be concentrated, and what tasks need to come off your to do list.
I recently realized the time I spend coordinating and posting guest blog posts is longer than if I just write each post myself. Plus, penning each post creates additional online writing samples for my potential clients to peruse. So, no more guest posts moving forward. Instead, I’ll continue to focus on networking with like-minded individuals over on Twitter, where I’m seeing results daily!
Spot trends from your visitors.
Pay close attention to how visitors enter and exit your site. Do they always come in on a free offer page, then leave immediately? It’s time to integrate some helpful content (with links to other areas of the site) onto that page.
Do visitors land on your home page and bounce away after a few seconds. Ouch! Something is not enticing about your online presence. It might be time to hire a pro web designer to give your site an overhaul. What is scaring everyone away? Slow image loading? A spammy appearance? Lack of information? Confusing branding?
Determine your best time investment.
Track your every move for a week or a month. How much time do you spend brainstorming, assigning, writing, editing, posting, formatting, sharing, analyzing and updating your blog? Are some of these tasks able to be delegated to a freelancer or handed to an assistant? Which tasks bring in the most ROI? You should focus on those!
Focus on your core audience.
Who you want to view your blog, and who actually shows up, can be two totally different groups of people. You might initially write to one audience, but find that it’s time to pivot and market to the people who really are engaged.
This past fall, I’ve gently shifted the focus of Web Writing Advice slightly. Instead of reaching out to anyone who writes for the web, I’m narrowing in on people who do this for a living either as a full time freelancer or who work with an advertising or marketing agency, and does the writing for the company.
A brief audit of my blog made me realize that I should be specifically targeting people who could become colleagues, or have the ability to hire me to write for them.
Rejuvenate direction for the blog.
We often run on autopilot when something is working well. This is when complacency sets in and it becomes critical to look at the whole picture. As you work thorough the data and statistics on your blog, make sure it’s moving in the direction that you or your clients envisioned. If not, is that OK?
Are you slowly moving away from the core values and reasons for starting the blog in the first place? It’s easier to get back on course when you’ve only veered a little off the road than to do a U-turn when the site hits rock bottom.
Are you working through an audit of your blog? Tell me how it’s going in the comments below. I’d love to learn what information you found surprising by doing this type of evaluation. Why was a blog audit beneficial for you?
Do you need a reliable writer on your team? I collaborate with marketing and advertising agencies to create content for blog posts, web pages, social media and newsletters. Learn how I can help your clients HERE.