Are you feeling like your blog is stuck? Have you reached a plateau and are you unsure how to take your blog to the next level?
Well, you’re not alone! This is how I felt before I took control of my blog through a simple gap analysis. Today, I’ll share with you what a gap analysis is, what goes into it and how I used it to set up my blog for success.
What is a Gap Analysis?
It’s best to look at a good blog gap analysis as part wish list, part list of missing pieces and part analysis of what's working and what's not. Ultimately, it's designed to identify the gaps – the places between what you already have on your blog and what you need to have to achieve your goals.
When developing your gap analysis, it’s ok to ask for everything your heart desires! This is all about exploring the possibilities and brainstorming new ideas.
So, what are your goals? Do you want to start making money from your blog? Do you want to blog about more topics? Do you want to be seen as an expert and possibly have your posts help thousands of people?
What goes into a Gap Analysis?
No matter how you get your analysis down – Excel, Word or pen and paper -there are some key aspects that you must include for this exercise to be effective:
1. Topic and title
2. Brief description
3. Goal and objective
4. Ideal format
5. Current state
Analyze each piece of content and ask yourself what is the objective of this piece of content or how does this piece of content serve my objectives? You can even analyze the format of the content.
Write down your objectives such as, “I need a way to collect emails.” Then, if you know you’ll need MailChimp or Aweber to set that up, write it down. If a new post series is perfect as videos, it’s ok to include this as a specific objective. Remember, you're not just looking for things that are missing – you may also be looking at things that you already have on your blog that need to be updated or may not have been done very well from the start.
So remembering the Gap Analysis format, here's an example of what you could write down:
Topic: Email Subscribers
Brief Description: I need a way to have access to my readers
Goal/Objective: Start collecting email list & build loyal readership
Ideal Format: MailChimp
Current State: Missing
How I used this for my blog
So how did I know what was missing from my blog? How did I know what should be added?
I started with my primary goal: turn my blog into a business.
I identified what was in front of me and strategically identified what I had to change, add or remove so my blog could get to where I want it to be – a business.
The previous version of Stylishlyme I’m referring to was poorly organized, not well-designed, and it wasn’t clear about who I was and why the blog even existed.
My big question: How was I going to take my blog to the next level and reach my goals? This is where the analysis comes in. I brainstormed. I thought about my blog goal, new ideas I wanted to integrate and looked at many fashion blogs that I felt were doing what I wanted to do. Then, I created my wish list.
Stylishlyme Wish List
- represent me.
- find those who like what I have to share.
- be shared.
- start making some money.
This was my wish list. The next step was to see what was missing from my blog, what wasn’t working and what needed to improve.
- Subscription Options
- Areas for Ads, Affiliates, Sponsors
- Optimized for Mobile
- Archive of Looks/Outfits
Not Working/Needs Improvement
- Design – It wasn’t pretty
- Social Sharing
- Posting photos but there wasn’t an emphasis on Photos
- Content Organization
Ok, I had laid out where I wanted the blog to be and what I felt was going wrong. Doing this gap analysis led me to make the following changes: a blog redesign, easy navigation, larger photos, specific area for my looks, mobile compatibility, easy way to share and subscribe, use of categories and tags, and adding a sidebar to my homepage.
Now it’s your turn!
Remember, it's never too early to start thinking about new ideas and working on your gap analysis. Also, keep in mind that whether you spend a little or a lot of time creating it, you can always come back and add to it as you think of additional types of content you want to add to your blog or items that might need improvement or change.
No more gaps, no more wandering and wondering… now action is required!
What are some of the gaps in your blog? Let me know in the comments below.
About the author:
Vanessa Rodriguez writes for Stylishlyme.com