The New Year always compels people to look at what they’re doing with a critical eye, find things that can be improved, and set higher goals. This year, one of my editorial goals is to use what I’ve already done to better plan for what I will do, and to have a consistent process for evaluating blog strategy.
To meet that goal, I came up with a monthly checklist to stay on top of blog posting, topic development, and engagement. It serves as a small reminder of the blog management tasks that sometimes fall by the wayside, and a way to use the blogging you’ve already done to produce better, more relevant content in the future.
By taking time to evaluate your blog on a monthly basis, you can track improvement more regularly throughout the year and find ways to more effectively engage your audience.
2017 Monthly Blog Checklist
- Interpret Data
The importance of tracking, understanding, and interpreting data from your blog traffic cannot be understated. Through Google analytics, you can gain a better understanding of what you’re audience is looking for and, perhaps more importantly, what you’re doing that isn’t working.
By building data review into a monthly schedule or routine, you can continually grow your blog and focus on producing the high performing content that’s engaging users. For content marketers, digging into the data behind the content is a step that has to be done in order to understand whats your audience responds to.
- Rank Headlines
Also in keeping with interpreting data behind your blog, it helps to rank your headlines by how successful they were. Say you write anywhere from 10-15 blog posts every month, and have looked into the analytics for all of them (number of clicks, time spent on each, number of shares, etc.). Organize those headlines in such a way that ranks them from most successful to least successful.
By creating a linear list like that, you can start to draw out common themes or elements that may have played a role in making that content successful. While it may sound like a no-brainer, it’s a step that many bloggers skip.
- Itemize Content
An itemized list of the kind of content you create really has potential to reveal where you could be expanding your content marketing strategy. It’s so easy to get into the groove of writing the same kinds of blog posts over and over again (guilty) without giving much consideration to other content forms.
Developing a monthly itemized content list in categories such as listicles, white papers, visuals, tutorials, and so on, and compare it against your analytics. Is your audience responding better to visuals than they are to long form articles? Have your blog posts lost engagement altogether? Having all your resources in front of you will help make answering such questions easier.
- Strategize for Next Month
So, you’ve looked at the data and now understand what’s driving your blog. You’ve ranked your headlines to get an idea of what your audience is clicking on and most engaged in. And you’ve itemized your content to expose holes in resources you may or may not be providing your user base. What’s next?
Putting all of this together to strategize for a high-performing month of content marketing is the takeaway. Working your strategy around the insights you gain from evaluating your content performance on a consistent, monthly basis will ultimately set you up for a brilliant year of blogging and solid habits to set you apart from other producers.