Spring Cleaning: Blog Edition

March 24th, 2015 Content, General, SEO No Comments

Being a successful blogger means committing to a lot of work behind the scenes to make each and every post look beautiful and seamless. It may seem easy from the outside to put a post together and call it a day, pharmacy but you all know that there’s a lot more time that gets invested on the backend: Researching topics and brainstorming new ideas for content that will excite your readers; planning a content calendar and coordinating social media posts in conjunction with your blog posts.

It’s a cycle, this site and it can be really easy to get into a habit of producing more, physician more, more without stopping to check-in on your progress. Is what you’re working so hard to create actually working? What’s your definition of success? How can you better promote the pieces that do work and give some more love to the pieces that maybe didn’t do so well?

In the spirit of spring, which I am certain is just around the corner, I thought it’d be a good time to turn our attention towards our blogs – but instead of looking forward, let’s take a step back and assess what we’ve already created. There’s a simple process you can use to clear up your existing content so that you’re blogging more effectively without all of the clutter to distract from your success!

  1. Identify your success metrics
    How do you determine whether a piece of content is successful or not? This will be different for every blogger, but it’s probably some combination of traffic and social shares. If you don’t have metrics for success defined already, now is the perfect time to start – how will you know whether or not something is working if you don’t have a clear understanding of what “working” means?

  2. Sort recent blog posts by success metrics
    Easy-peasy. Whether you’re tracking these metrics in GA or through a social analytics tool, export the data you need so that you can sort blog posts from the past 6 months or so by your success metrics. Go back as far as you’d like – generally 6 months to a year will be a good timeframe, depending on how large of an archive you maintain!

  3. Determine top 5 and bottom 5 performers
    Moment of truth. Which 5 posts have performed best in the timeframe you determined? Which posts performed worst? Are you surprised at these findings or is it pretty much in line with what you were expecting?
    Note: if you’re working with a large amount of content, it may make more sense to use 10 or 15 posts at the top and bottom instead of 5. Go with your gut and do what makes sense for your blog.

  4. Analyze the findings
    Now that you know what performs well and what doesn’t on average, what information can you glean from the data? Were all of the posts in the bottom 5 published without images? Maybe adding more visuals to your content will boost engagement levels. Do collaboration posts with other bloggers tend to bring in more traffic? Try focusing on relationship building over the next few months to replicate that same success. This step is the most personal and customizable – no two blogger’s results will be the same (although there are definite trends that ring true throughout the industry). Take the time to really reflect on what the data is telling you.

  5. Promote the top 5
    You already know that the top 5 batch of posts were big crowd pleasers. How can you repurpose the content to share it with a wider audience? Some bloggers tweet out older posts so that newer followers can still be exposed to content that is likely to engage them. Check out how Ashley from Our Little Apartment executes this idea:from-the-archives

  6. Revive the bottom 5
    What takeaways did you come up with in step 4? Apply some of your learnings here to boost the success of your worst performing pieces. Maybe it’s adding in some imagery or updating some broken links. Maybe it’s removing the posts completely from your archive – no need to waste people’s time with posts that don’t reflect your best work.
  7. Schedule a time to repeat this process again
    Spring cleaning is complete! But as you may have guessed by now, this is a process that works best when it is repeated regularly. Taking the time to frequently review your work will ensure that your archives remain relevant and interesting to new and future readers. Set a reminder for yourself to come back to this process in 6 months or so to see what else you can improve on at that point! For now, you can bask in the joy of having a squeaky clean archive and focus on the truly important spring activity of shopping for some new shoes that are not made of rubber and are not snow boots!
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