Doing a SWOT for your blog is, in my honest opinion, the single most effective way to keep your blog relevant. By going through a SWOT Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – and honestly assessing the idea or content in your blog, you are essentially auditing your work.
This is different from a Technology Audit in that you’re not focusing on the tools but rather the content or thought behind your blog. Ultimately, it’s directly related to what you are offering your audience and what keeps them coming back.
Why Do I Need a SWOT?
To be honest, I do a SWOT analysis anytime I need to make a decision. It’s more than a Pros & Cons list because it makes you think about opportunities as well, often which are derived from weighing the other categories.
Some advantages of this analysis include:
- Helps you create a solid list of your differentiating factors… What sets you apart from others. Don’t look at this as being boastful or giving yourself a pat on the back (although, feel free to do that too!). Consider it an opportunity to highlight the things that really work for you.
- Gives you an honest view of the holes in your content strategy. Maybe you’re doing too much or too little of something? In almost every case, you’ll find that identifying your holes actually translates to creating opportunities for your blog.
- Makes a list of all the cool or interesting things you could or should be doing with your blog. Ever feel like you’re losing interest in your blog? You’ll find a sense of direction that perhaps you lost or renew and reinvigorate your strategy.
- Provides you with a crystal ball into the future, which will help you spot issues or risk before it happens.
What’s in a SWOT?
Simply put, a SWOT is a listing of all your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The following questions are intended to help spark your review. This is not an exhaustive list so feel free to add as you need.
- What is your advantage?
- Can you offer something that no one else can?
- Is your brand proposition obvious?
- Is there a quality that makes you the best at what you do?
- What strengths do you bring to your blog?
- Are there qualities that separate you from others?
- What might you be lacking?
- How popular is your theme/topic?
- Is someone else already doing a good job at the same thing?
- Are people talking about your topic? What are they saying?
- Can you add value to the conversation?
- Do you have the resources you need?
- Do you have a unique idea?
- Are few people writing about your topic?
- Are people talking about your topic?
- Is there a market for what you have to say?
- Do you see a hole you can fill? How?
- Do you have a distinct value proposition?
- What might hinder your success?
- Are there emerging blogs you’ll be competing with?
- Is your topic over-written?
- Do people care about what you have to say?
- Is there negative conversation around your topic?
- Can your content create a reputation risk?
What Format Should I Use?
You’ll often see a SWOT analysis completed in one of three ways: List, Quadrants or Columns. The key is to pick a format that best allows you to look at what you’ve added. Some people work great with bullet points on paper while others need a visual representation.
If you are presenting your SWOT to someone else, typically a more visual graphic helps them better understand what you’ve created because it puts each section in relation to the other.
Following are some templated examples that come already-built within Canva.
What Do I DO with A SWOT Once It’s Done?
Don’t be shy, ask for feedback!! You’ve gone through all the effort to create a SWOT for your blog, take some time to ask for input from family, friends or peers.
Sometimes, someone who is not as close to the content as you are may be able to see a connection that you didn’t see. For example, maybe you view your age as a weakness because you don’t have as much experience as someone else writing about the same topic… but someone else may point out that that’s an opportunity because you’re reaching an audience that few people are talking to.
The process of creating a SWOT really does start with an honest assessment of your blog idea or content but the result is a full view into what works, what doesn’t, what needs to change and what new doors may be open for you.
Over the years, I’ve heard so many people say they abandoned their blogs because they either became bored or they ran out of things to say… a SWOT analysis will help keep your blog fresh and give you a renewed sense of purpose!
Give it a try and let us know how it worked for you! Looking for more planning advice? Check out 5 Things You Need to Know for Social Media Success.