As December draws to a close and we count down the last days of 2014, you may want to take stock of your business blog. Now is a great time to run some numbers and look at the data to find out which strategies worked well and which need to be improved or dropped. Do this now and you’ll be well on your way to having your best and most engaged year ever!
Consistency Is Key
Look at how often and how consistently you posted in 2014. Garrett Moon, founder of todaymade.com, makes a strong case for the importance posting consistently. According to Moon, consistency not only creates a stronger flow of traffic and boosts your discoverability on Google and other search engines, but it also builds trust with your readers. That trust leads to loyalty for your blog and your brand!
Often, you’ll find spikes and valleys in your posting frequency. In other words, you neglect your blog for a month or so and then make up for it by posting every day for a week. You quickly become burned out, and the cycle continues. Instead, plan blog topics and posting days in advance. If you’re not sure when you should post, Mondays and Thursdays are the safest choice. This editorial calendar will be your road map for the rest of the year, and as long as you stick to it, your audience will grow.
Next, take a look at the traffic metrics collected by your blogging platform or Google Analytics. How many visitors did you get each month? Are there particular times that result in greater page views, comments, and shares? Compare your statistics with this handy infographic from KISSmetrics.
KISSmetrics discovered that most people read blogs in the morning, with the highest traffic day and time being Monday at around 11:00 am Eastern. If you’ve been posting just before you head home for the day, you may be missing a huge segment of readers. While you don’t have to post at 11:00 am on the dot every Monday, you should compare your traffic patterns to the averages and to see where you might improve.
Now that you’ve looked at the overall patterns on your blog, it’s time to zoom in from the big picture. Which of your posts earned the most page views, comments, and links? Make a “greatest hits” list from 2014 and see if you can notice any similarities between the posts. Perhaps your “how-to” posts get the most attention, or maybe a humorous article you wrote was shared most often by your readers.
When you notice these commonalities, plan to do more of what worked. Your editorial calendar is the place to add notes about tone and topics. Trust me, you won’t remember your insights by June if you don’t write them down.
Grammar is a subject we feel passionately about (we’re called Grammarly, after all), but it turns out that a lot of people online feel the same way. Writing mistakes reflect badly on your brand, undermining all the good work you’ve done by blogging.
Start by mastering these fifteen shockingly common grammar mistakes to ensure that you don’t keep making the same errors. Next, build time into your editorial calendar to proofread each article before you post it. Leave at least an hour between writing and posting; ideally, write the post the day before and proofread it right before posting.
What are your New Year’s blogging resolutions? Share your plans in the comments!