I rediscovered my enthusiasm for the SWOT Analysis this past year. It’s four simple squares that can really make different in the way you look at your blog (or business, project, etc).
Why? Because it helps you focus your efforts! Instead of constantly chasing down the next big thing, you are strongly focused on the goals and strategic initiatives that come out of a proper SWOT Analysis.
A SWOT Analysis is a structured planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture.
Your strengths are the positive internal aspects of your business. To determine the strengths of your blog, you might ask yourself the following questions:
- What compliments do I receive?
- What do I do better than anyone else?
- What am I awesome at?
- What is my niche?
- Which of my Merchants convert the best?
When asking yourself these questions, be sure to consider items such as the design of your blog, the images you create, the content you write, the resources your provide and any technology that you use.
Your weaknesses are negative internal aspects of your blog. To determine the weaknesses of your blog, you might ask yourself the following questions:
- What problems have I faced?
- What knowledge am I lacking?
- What can I improve on my blog?
- Is there an area I’m not monetizing?
In this particular square, a few of the most common weaknesses I hear relate to technology, SEO or marketing efforts.
Your opportunities are positive external aspects of your blog. To determine opportunities for your blog, you might ask yourself the following questions:
- What is trending in my niche?
- Is there an aspect of my niche I could expand into?
- What new tools or resources am I not utilizing?
- What upcoming events or seasons can I take advantage of?
- Are there any new Merchants/Retailers I could partner with to further monetize my blog?
Opportunities are, in my opinion, the most exciting part of a SWOT Analysis. Could you attend any upcoming conferences to delve deeper into your niche, or is there a class you could take to expand your technical knowledge?
Threats are negative external aspects of your blog. To determine threats, consider asking yourself the followings questions:
- Who is my competition?
- What are they doing that I’m not?
- Is my topic/niche still relevant?
- Is there too much competition in my niche?
Threats are an important part of this analysis, although they can be a little more difficult to determine. Think carefully about your competition and take a hard look at what their strengths are and how you could step it up a notch.
Next Steps? Once you have completed your SWOT Analysis, use that information to set clear goals, initiatives and tasks for the upcoming year. Remember to stay focused and appropriately address the findings in your analysis.