Most bloggers publish content week after week, post a lot on social media, maybe send a few emails, and then wonder at the end of the year. . . “Am I getting anywhere?”
You don’t have to be like most bloggers.
The year is coming to an end. Do you know how well your platform performed this year?
Be Honest with Yourself
Before you set goals for the future of your platform, you should first figure out where you are currently.
Thinking back to my first two years of blogging online, I was clueless about how my blog was really doing (though ironically I had no idea that was true).
I was having fun blogging, but treating it like a hobby. I explored a ton of different ways to promote content, create content, and build an audience. But to be honest—most of the time I was flying blind.
What Do All These Numbers Mean?
Someone told me I should install Google Analytics on my website, so I did—but I didn’t have a clue what any of that data meant, or which numbers mattered.
Eventually, I bit the bullet and went straight to the source—taking courses from Google to understand what was going on with my website.
Now, I realize that 90% of the information in Google Analytics is too much detail when you’re just starting out (after all, the platform is built for everything from a mobile app, local business website, to a popular blog).
Focus on What Matters
If you’re ready to understand your own blogging data, follow these three steps:
**Analyze–**Look at your data by month, quarter, or year. Where did your traffic come from? What content was popular on your website? What types of content led to conversions (if you’ve got conversion-tracking set up).
- **Hypothesize–**Once you’ve got that data, review it. Are you satisfied with your results? How are you doing compared to the year before? What type of success would you like to see next year? What changes could you make to your website or marketing strategy to help you achieve those results?
- **Optimize–**Once you’ve clarified a strategy (in the hypothesize stage) it’s time to execute. Set benchmarks for what success looks like with each of these hypotheses, and then measure your progress throughout the year.
Before you set goals for next year, take some time to figure out how well you’ve been doing so far.