SWOT-Test Your Blog
At the start of a new calendar year, you probably feel compelled to refocus and realign your goals for the upcoming months – both personally and professionally. If you are like many lifestyle bloggers, the lines of your personal and professional lives are interconnected which makes it more important to take advantage of this clean slate. Whether you work individually or as part of a team, a SWOT analysis is a great starting point to forge a successful 2016. Answer the following questions or modify them to suit your particular industry or needs.
But first… what is a SWOT Analysis?
Often developed as part of a marketing plan, the SWOT matrix is designed to help you assess the current state of your business, strategize and plan for the future. The strengths and weaknesses sections are often internal factors, while opportunities and threats are generally external factors.
Here are some example questions to use in your own SWOT Analysis:
- What unique resources do I have available to me? (environment, location, weather, tools, expertise, connections)
- Which posts are most liked, shared or commented on?
- Which posts caused the most traffic referrals from organic search or social media?
- Which Merchants are consistently converting?
- What do they have in common? Are they all part of the same vertical, or is it a similar link type?
- What do I do better than anyone else?
- When people are talking about me online or referencing my blog, what are they saying?
- What is unique to only my blog or my persona?
- What part of my blog caused the most stress or took up the most time this year?
- In regard to topics and themes, how am I positioning myself for continued growth and sustainability?
- What prevented me from being consistent in my posting schedule, content or messaging?
- What type of post gets the least amount of traction or traffic? What time of year saw a dip in traffic/page views?
- Have I been using the same tactics for too long? What has not changed over the past year?
- Considering how my opinions and interests have changed, has my blog evolved along with them?
- W/ whom can I partner or collaborate? Are there other bloggers or sites that send me traffic?
- What do I love about the blogs/content that I consistently read? Are there new tools or resources available that I’m not using?
- What drives my target reader? How am I helping or serving them?
- Are there new Merchant programs that I can join?
- Have I tried out all marketing channels – email, social, content, guest posting, etc.?
- Who is my competition and what advantage do they have over me?
- How has my audience evolved in regard to how they consume content?
- How am I constantly making an effort to grow and stay up-to-date on my knowledge of content marketing?
- What is competing with the time needed for my blog?
- What is holding me back or what am I afraid of?
- Am I showing up in Google content or image searches? How often am I hearing updates about search algorithm changes?
- Are my new viewer referral sources diversified?
After you complete this outline, it’s time to put a plan into action. Acknowledge your areas of strength and make sure your future business objectives will support these differentiators. Improve the areas that you have designated as “weaknesses” making sure to prioritize them by what is most potentially devastating to your business. Take your list of “opportunities” and capitalize on them. Create a development plan for as many items as you are able to realistically tackle in the upcoming year. Set up a method to monitor the items listed under “threats” so nothing is able to sideswipe your business. Use this as a guide and check in often so you can stay on a steady path to success. Good luck in the new year!
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