Over the last week, we’ve been kickstarting stalled blog content. We’ve worked through the process of planning, writing and editing a post, and I hope that by now some of you might have published that post.
At this point, I hope you’re thinking that kickstarting the content on your neglected or burdensome blog hasn’t been such a challenge after all. We’ve taken a pretty pragmatic approach to the challenge‚ and if you’re feeling inspired, you could certainly go ahead and refocus your content strategy now, for example.
But I’m going to assume that, while you’re feeling positive, you haven’t miraculously found more time to dedicate to your blog, nor have you rediscovered a hidden passion for it that makes you want to take the breaks off and hurl yourself into creating content for it.
Instead, I’m assuming that you want to keep the blog going, to see where it leads, and that after some time publishing quality content, you might reassess your priorities and see if it’s something you want to keep going with.
So what we need here is a process for keeping your blog content rolling in that time.
Our first post described a process for sparking ideas, and of course you can certainly repeat that now. But today I wanted to show you another way to build directly on the success of your most recent post—something you can do whether you’ve only ever published one post, or you’ve only published one recently.
Check the stats
As a first step, check the stats on that post.
Maybe you have barely any stats—maybe only a handful of people visited it. Okay. If you haven’t already, share it with your social networks and promote it any other way you have. This might give you a few more pageviews or shares to work with.
The aim here is to have some figures for the post, so you can compare it with past publications—however old—on your blog. Ideally, you’ll be able to see if it attracted many readers, and be able to gauge if the visits it attracted were engaged—so bounce rates for the post would be helpful.
This information leads directly into our next assessment: comments.
Review the comments
Did anyone leave a comment on your most recent post? I like to balance comment counts against visitor stats and shares, and also look at the quality of comments that are left, since that’s a good gauge of reader engagement.
If your post only received three visitors, and each of them left a comment or shared the post, that’s good news. If, on the other hand, your post attracted 100 pageviewss, but no comments or shares, you may have some work to do to reengage your readers.
So consider your post’s visitors and actions, and see how you feel about this information as a measure of the post’s “success.”
Consider the niche
Finally, look around in your niche. If you followed this series to the letter, you probably published this post because it filled a gap in the information available in the niche.
So now’s a good time to check the main sources of content in your niche and see if any of them have either followed your lead and responded to your post, or published something that covers the same topic in the same timeframe.
You might also do a few keyword searches for the topic of your post, and related topics, to get an idea of what’s been published on the topic beyond your niche. This, too, might spark ideas for posts that you hadn’t considered before.
Your next post
Whatever the answer to these questions, this quick analysis should present you with somewhere to go with your next post.
You either know that readers did or didn’t find your last post engaging. You know others in your niche either have or haven’t taken the topic up.
Perhaps that other coverage (or lack of coverage!) suggests that you should (or shouldn’t) write a follow-up piece. Perhaps the feedback or lack of interaction indicates that there is—or isn’t—more demand for content on this topic, or a related one. In that case, start researching, using the advice from the first post in this series to plan the post, if you like.
If the answers are all negative—no comments, few views, no coverage by others in your niche—then you might feel a bit lost for where to go next. In that case, you could also repeat the exercise from our first post in this series. Or you could instead look at past posts that did well with your readers, and have a think about why that was—was it the topic? Format? Timing?
If you can identify some elements that may have had a hand in making past posts popular, you can try to tap into a parallel concept or approach now, and see how that resonates with readers.
And if you’re really stuck, take a look at our posts on bloggers’ block.
From this point forward, it’s up to you. But the first post in this series should give you a good template for planning, writing, and editing you posts, and making the time to get those tasks done.
And the second post provided some tips for fitting those tasks into a busy life.
So hopefully you’re in a good position to follow this process and keep your blog going a bit longer—long enough for you to see if you’ve still got the passion and push to revamp or reinvigorate the blog properly.
If you have any questions, or tips or ideas you can share, we’d love to hear them. Tell us in the comments.