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Run a SWOT Analysis on Your Blog

Swot-AnalysisToday is the last day in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog project and as a result I want to make your last task a little reflective and forward looking.

Your task today is to run a SWOT Analysis on your blog.

A SWOT analysis is a strategic tool that has been used for many years in business (and many other fields) to look at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that that business might have or be facing.

Much has been written about SWOT analysis and how to carry it out (I’ll let you do some searches on Google for it if you’re not familiar with it) however let me write a brief description of how to apply it to a blog.

1. Define Your Mission and Goals

Before you carry out your SWOT it’s important that you know what your blog’s goals are (otherwise the exercise is a little pointless as you’ve got nothing to review your site based upon). As a result you’ll want to have done Day 28′s task – Define Your Blogs Mission Statement.

2. List Your Blog’s Strengths

What attributes does your blog have that will help you to achieve your blog’s goals? What does your blog have going for it? What are you good at as a blogger? What resources and assets do you have at your disposal? What do you do better than anyone else?

3. List Your Blog’s Weaknesses

What attributes does your blog that are holding you back from achieving it’s goals? What skills do you not have as a blogger? What is ‘broken’ on your blog or in your workflow? What could or should you improve about your blog? What should you probably avoid in your blogging? What is distracting you from your goals?

4. List Your Blog’s Opportunities

What external things could/are helping you achieve your blog’s goals? What trends are their in your blog’s niche that you could explore on your blog? What tools and technologies could you use to improve your blog?

5. List Your Blog’s Threats

What external things could or area hindering you achieving your blog’s goals? What are other blogs in your niche doing that could be hindrance to your own blog’s growth?

note – Think of Strengths and Weaknesses as internal factors while Opportunities and Threats are external factors.

6. Analyze Your Reflections and Generate Strategies

Take some time out to work out what you can do with your findings. How can you utilize your Strengths? How can you bring your Weaknesses to an end? How can you make the most of your Opportunities? how can you fend off the Threats?

As my old Marketing lecturer used to say – ‘doing the analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats is only half the job. Working out how to turn Weaknesses into Strengths and Threats into Opportunities is the key part of a SWOT analysis’.

7. Plan to Do Something and Do It

Translate your findings into an Action Plan and begin to implement it.

Doing a SWOT analysis is something that I do periodically on my individual blogs and on my overarching business also. Have you ever done one on your blog? What tips would you give to others wanting to do one?

If you want to do more strategic analysis and planning on your blogs you might also like to check out my series of posts – Strategic Blogging.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. If I were to give advise about this kind of an exercise I’d say have a neutral party do it along side you as they won’t have any vested interest and no emotional attachment in the process.

  2. SWOT is a daily thing for my blog. I’m constantly watching to see what happens based on what I write or don’t write.

  3. Brad V. says:

    Wow! That’s some pretty good advice. But like “A Blog about Nothing” commented above, it’s good to have a neutral party help you out with this process. Our emotions often prevent us from seeing problems with our own work.

    In fact, I’d go as far to say have a neutral party do the entire analysis, and maybe have more than one person do this. That way you can get some true objective feedback. If three people say that your blog needs more frequent updates, then they’re probably right.

    For me personally, I’d be ineffective doing this myself with my own blog. It’s my “baby” and I have too much work and emotion invested in it.

    But other than that it’s a great way to really dig deep into your blog to find ways to make it better!

    Great post!!!

  4. Starfeeder says:

    starting to write this all down now… thx!

  5. That’s a great idea, which I’ll definitely try out. Aside from that, it’s a shame to see the end of this series. It was fantastic, and I enjoyed every post. Great work!

    I’ll definitely be flicking back to the 31-day sneeze page every now and again when my blog needs a little pick-me-up. :)

  6. Starfeeder says:

    I honestly need to go back and re-read all of the 31 days :/

    Hey Darren…

    I wrote down my SWOT, grabbed a screenshot so that it will NOT be search engine compliant. Hopefully get some feedback from friends and others on it:

    http://www.starfeeder.com/assets/blog/swot.html

  7. jhay says:

    This is neat! I’ll definitely do this one before the week ends.

  8. Molli Fire says:

    Excellent post! This is my favorite one of the bunch! I have seen articles that urge writers and online businesses to figure out one or another of these items, but all of it seems more useful and cohesive when pulled together like this. Anyone who follows these steps will have a strong online presence.

    Thanks for putting this month-long project together Darren! It will take me a whole year to complete, but I will finish every step at some point…

  9. foodette says:

    I remember SWOT from business school! Funny how I never thought to apply that to my blog. Good advice – thanks for reminding us all that basic marketing skills are some of the most useful skills to utilize.

  10. Bill says:

    Some very good advice here. I’m going to follow these tactics on my own blog and see if I can strengthen some of it’s weaknesses, as well as pump up some of it’s strengths.

  11. Good post! I tend to do this at least once a week.

    I can’t believe 31 days is up already! Looking forward to more helpful info!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Stuart says:

    While the SWOT is written as S.W.O.T. some may find it easier to use it as T.O.W.S.

    Starting with the Threats first you can then see what Opportunities lay ahead to overcome them. Then, honestly, find which of your Weaknesses could hold you back from achieving them before building on the Strengths needed to make it all happen.

  13. Sean says:

    I am thinking of going over your 31 days to Better Blogging.

    I usually don’t like analysis, so I never ask myself question about my blog.

  14. analogstuff says:

    I think it is tough to implement. I really liked lot of your other suggestions on this 31 day series but not this one.

  15. cdm says:

    Hi,

    This is really a great advise to all.

    Because, without one’s own SWOT analysis, he can not make a progressive improvement in one’s life.

    I think this site is also useful to know about the common Indian SWOT : http://oh-indian.com.

    Hope this information helps.

  16. Shine says:

    Thanks so much for this reminder towards the end of this 31-day series. We do need to check our alignment from time to time to make sure we are staying on course. And this comes timely for I’ve been considering how to streamline my blog.

    Great post.

  17. Syokkahwin says:

    You have become Michael Porter of the blog world..nice..thanks for the pointers..one of the key for blog’s competitiveness is its ability to continue to innovate, to create something new that’s not available anywhere else!

  18. Brian Auer says:

    This is great stuff — I was aware of some of these tactics, but I didn’t know that the group of them had an acronym. This kind of thing might be good to do every six months or so to keep us bloggers on the right track.

  19. Sue Waters says:

    Hi Darren

    Just wanted to thank you for the 31 Day Project. As a result of the sweet twist of chocolate reward – we ended up forming a community of bloggers who undertook this challenge and we discovered that knowledge gain from the 31 Day Project was greater working as a team than working as individuals, because each individual sees a different perspective of the task – giving participants greater “food for thought!”

    While the chocolate was the reason for the team forming chocolate became immaterial, as we discovered how much more important connections and community becomes. We hope to keep our community going – and thank you for making it happen – by creating the 31 Day Project.

    Perhaps should also apologise if at some stages, we might have thought mean thoughts towards you (boy some of the daily tasks were hard!). The truth is that leaders, like you, need to sometimes set hard task! and inspire us to keep going when it all feels just TOO hard.

    WE would also like to tell you that the winners of the chocolate for both the “blogger who gained the most” and “reader who was the best commenter” was Al Upton and the Minliegends. Why – because these kids are 8-9 years old – we hope by awarding them the prizes we will encourage them and other school kids to become involved in blogging.

    The full explanation of why the Minilegends won, and more about the blogging team is here:
    http://aquaculturepda.edublogs.org/2007/09/02/and-the-winners-arethe-minilegends/

    Sue

  20. J David says:

    This is kinda funny, because in my strategic management course the other day, we were learning to forget SWOT, because it is outdated and far too broad. Then again, when applied to a blog, I can see it as an excellent starting point for analysis.

    Thanks for the great series!

  21. David H says:

    Hi
    great posting – I have also found wikipedia and http://www.rapidbi.com/created/SWOTanalysis.html to be of value.
    keep up the good work
    D

  22. Harvey says:

    Thanks for these tips, they have been very helpful

  23. uwak says:

    like our body…..important to know detail about our blog…stregths….weakness….next strategy ….miss and goal….all is good strategy to be success……….very good posting

  24. Lilly says:

    This is exactly what I need although my question is this and I am looking for answers from anyone here. How do you really assess your weaknesses. Its hard to do yourself and I find if you can ask you readers they are all polite and find it hard to tell you what they really think.

  25. I do a mini SWOT every day in my head . . . gets to be pretty exhausting.

  26. Anamika says:

    I have never tried a SWOT analysis for blog. I would do it now.

  27. I am a marketeer but have not thought of doing a SWOT analysis for my blog. Just did, kind of fun. It’s more motivating by joining the #31BBB. Glad I have made a start and hope to keep up.

  28. Sandy says:

    Useful exercise indeed! I just need to find ways of turning threats into opportunities…

  29. Conrad says:

    Awesome! I’ve just signed up for your latest 31 Day Blog Challenge and I’m going threw your welcoming email now. Going to implement SWOT tonight still.

    Thanks for this great information!

  30. Dodka says:

    I just did SWOT on my blog + asked my spouse and one reader to do it too.

    Result – Well, we all wrote approx. same things in S. and W. section. But boy, writing and reading their “opportunity” box gave me some great ideas on how to develop my blogging.

    I really really suggest to use others’ eyes to do swot analysis, not only yours!

  31. AC says:

    That’s a great idea, Darren.

    A bit of a self-promo here, but if people want to use a free tool to create a SWOT analysis and share it with their community – and by share I mean not only show them, but allow them to collaborate in the creation of the SWOT analysis – please check our site @ wikiswot.com

    Keep up the great work Darren. Hope this tool is useful to you too!

  32. Ian Pratt says:

    Hey, great topic, it is good to see folk sharing information and wisdom for free on the net. SWOT is often mis understood. The best approach is to get a good template and then use it to define each SWOT section.

    I use SWOT to summarise my strategic analysis, rather than using a SWOT to do the analysis.

    However in saying that I do think the analysis can be fast tracked using a good template.

    Have fun and good luck with your blogging. (I’m not ready to start a blog but I am learning a lot)

    Ian