Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat, or SWOT, analysis is a powerful tool to analyse and understand your blog's current position in a competitive environment.
This simple tool allows you to take stock of your blog and see what's working well and what isn't. By asking yourself reflective questions, you can develop a strategy to maximise your blog's potential.
Read on to discover how to perform a SWOT analysis of your blog.
What is SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis is comprised of four key areas that are pivotal in any venture, be that a blog, a new business or just a personal reflection. These are:
- Strengths - The things your blog is doing well.
- Weaknesses - The things your blog is not doing well.
- Opportunities - The things your blog is yet to explore.
- Threats - The things that might endanger your blog's success.
By having a detailed understanding of each area, you can highlight problems that need to be addressed and areas that can be improved. This is great if you're lacking a marketing strategy or purely find yourself in a rut.
How to identify your strengths
Strengths are the things you're doing well and should be continued. While some may be obvious, you can ask yourself these questions to find your blog's strengths.
What are the areas your blog is performing well in?
Have a think about everything you try to achieve with your blog and ask yourself where you are meeting or exceeding your goals.
Perhaps you're smashing your social media efforts with a strong following on your platforms? Or maybe you're doing great at engagement because your posts generate substantial comments and shares.
What skills do you already have that your blog is utilising?
Think about the skills you already have and identify those that your blog uses well. These are areas you are already adept in and don't need to necessarily improve further.
For example, if you're a graphic designer you may already find that your blog is nicely presented with great imagery.
What do others say about your blog?
If you've been blogging for a while it's quite likely that others have given you positive feedback in the past. Think about what it was.
Was your use of language entertaining? Were your opinions inspiring? Find out what keeps your readers coming back for more.
What are you just intrinsically good at?
Everyone has their own natural talents, what are yours?
If you're good at discipline, you're likely to have a good posting schedule. Or if you're good at technical things your site is likely to be well maintained.
How to identify your weaknesses
Conversely, weaknesses are generally easier to identify since we are more openly critical than we are complimentary towards ourselves. But because of that, what you may think of as a weakness might actually be something you're pretty good at so make sure you discuss these with someone who knows you or your blog well.
Ask yourself these questions to find out your weaknesses.
What things do you shy away from or completely avoid?
If you're not good at something, you're more likely to not enjoy it either.
If you're constantly keeping clear of certain things then these are probably a good place to start. For example, how do you feel when someone starts talking about SEO? Are you comfortable that you know what it is or is it something that gets your heart racing? If it's the latter, then it may be one of your weaknesses.
What pages bounce the most?
While every page is going to have a bounce rate, some might be unproportionately high compared to others. Check your analytics and see which pages have the highest bounce rates. It could be that this content isn't aligning with your readers.
If these pages are all from a related theme or category, then it could be a weakness of your blog.
Which funnels are underperforming?
Unless you're a social media superstar, you're probably performing better on one platform compared to others.
Compare your stats across each to find which ones you're not so hot on. If your pinterest traffic is far superior to that of your Twitter for example, then it might be worth ditching it to concentrate on the ones that are bringing the desired results.
What's stopping your blog from growing?
Think about the things that you think might be stopping your blog from growing as these are quite likely to be skills based.
For example, if your blog is lacking organic growth due to poor search engine results page (SERP) rankings, then it could be you need to work on your SEO.
How to identify your opportunities
Opportunities are areas of growth your blog is yet to experiment with. They could be anything from new topics for your content writing to new marketing techniques.
Ask yourself these questions to help identify your opportunities.
What's something everyone else is doing in your niche that you're not?
Competitor analysis can be a great way to get ahead of the competition, but it's also equally as effective for catching up when you're lacking behind.
An example could be if everyone in your niche is on a certain social media platform and you're not, as this could suggest that it's the place to be for your community. By being the odd one out, you could be missing out on growth opportunities.
Which of your skills does your blog not utilise?
As we've already seen in the strengths section, everyone has their own skillset and when we align our skills with our blog we are more likely to succeed.
Therefore, one great opportunity for growth is to utilise as many existing skills as possible as this will increase the overall quality of the content you offer.
If you're a web developer and you've not made your own theme, you might be able to do it better yourself. Or if you're a confident communicator and you might do great in front on the camera on platforms like YouTube.
Are there any topics you could be covering that you're currently not?
Similar to the above, if you're versed in more than one domain then you could be better off covering it on your blog.
However, make sure the topics are relatable in some way. If you're an expert at two completely contradictory topics it might be best to create a separate blog for each.
Are you making best use of the people you know?
Go back through your weaknesses and ask yourself if you know anyone that is better than you in one or more of those areas. It could be you have access to expertise to help your blog grow.
For example, if you're struggling on Instagram because your photos don't look professional but you happen to know a photographer, ask them for advice! Maybe they can give you a couple of tips to improve your photos.
How to identify your threats
The final and probably hardest section to think about are your threats. These are the things that are likely to negatively impact your blog.
Ask yourself these questions to help identify your threats.
If disaster struck your blog, what would it be?
What's that one niggling feeling you fear the most when it comes to your blog.
Is it a Google penatly notice? Demoneitzation of your content? Or not being able to afford your server costs?
By knowing what that fear is, you're in a better position to tackle it.
Is your blog wholly dependent on one thing?
While having all your eggs in basket is great in the short term, it's pretty dangerous in the long run.
Sure a blog on fidget spinners might have been a good idea in 2017, but is it getting much traffic now? Probably not.
The same can also be said in regards to traffic source. Bebo and MySpace used to be hugely popular in the early days of social media, but now they've all put died out. Make sure you stay ahead of the curve.
What new skills does blogging require?
If every blogger did the same thing day-in day-out, there would be no competition. However, some are better suited to blogging than others.
What happens if suddenly every blogger was great at content writing and graphic design and you weren't? You'd fall to the back of the pack.
If blogging becomes more image dependent, then you're going to need to make sure you can make great images for your blog.
Hopefully by performing this quick reflective analysis of your blog, you can better understand the position you're currently in.
If you've got a big grin on your face, then you've probably not got much to worry about. However, if these questions have raised one or two concerns, like it will have done for most of you, then now is the time to take action and start putting them straight.
If you're struggling with SEO then start reading up about it or if you're lacking trending skills start practicing! A little effort could go a long way when it comes to growing your blog.
Are you going to do a SWOT analysis of your blog? Reach out to us on Twitter and let us know!