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At the end of each year, it is important to do an assessment of the progress of your business. I’m sharing how to do an end of year review on your blog.
And why it is important to take the time to do this each year.
Sometimes we get busy in our business and miss the progress that we make each year.
What should you track? How to check the progress? Why is this important?
I know that sometimes it is easy to get caught up in trying to do all of the things with the blog business. And then we forget to check in on how much we’ve grown over the course of the year.
How to do an end of year review on your blog
If you’ve ever written a self review before, you should be familiar with this concept. If not, no worries! I’m sharing how I learned to do this in my past life as an HR Manager.
In addition to tracking the numbers and goals achieved in the blog business, I think it is important to track self growth too.
I feel that it is important to track progress, future growth, and assess where opportunities for improvement are.
It’s important to remember that all of us are different, have different talents, and are motivated differently. Doing a self review is something that is highly motivating to me.
When you’re self employed, this self review looks a bit different than if you had a manager to report to.
I look at how I grew personally and professionally through the year. Did I challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone? How did I grow in my previous areas of opportunities? What can I do to improve in the new year?
Then I’ll set goals for the next year.
This self review doesn’t have to be done just once a year. I think it’s great to do regular self check ins to track progress throughout the year.
Creating a simple spreadsheet or form in Airtable or Trello are great options for keeping track of these notes.
Another super important aspect of tracking during this end of the year review, is the budget.
I make a list of income and expenses with my blog and look at increases in income each month.
This is a great time to check on expenses that can be cut for the new year. Are you paying for something like a service or plugin that you no longer need?
This assessment will help with knowing the financial aspects of your business and help with planning your new year goals too.
Related: Basic Tax Deductions for Bloggers
Here is a great opportunity for tracking how your content is performing overall. Using Google Analytics, you can track your top posts and those which aren’t getting clicks.
To do this, log into Google Analytics and go to behavior > site content > all pages.
From there, select the date range beginning in January until the end of the current year.
You can also view where you’re getting this traffic from. And then compare old posts vs new posts, something that went viral and then fizzled out, and so on.
Reviewing this information will help with creating a content plan for the new year.
Related: Why Blogs Need an Editorial Calendar
Business related tasks
Are you tracking all of your tasks that are needed to keep your business running? If not, this is a great place to start.
It is super insightful to find out how long certain tasks are taking you each day/week/month…etc.
Are there ways to streamline these tasks better? What about using tools or services to make your business run more smoothly.
When I take the time to track all of these tasks, I learn the areas where I’m spending a bit too much time. And I find this helpful for learning what is needed or what I can outsource in the future.
Do you currently have a team or outsource any tasks related to your blog business?
This would be a great time to evaluate their performance? Are they the best talent for you and your business?
Maybe this is the time to consider outsourcing to a virtual assistant or a project manager.
Find the gaps in your business and fill them with someone or a service to help your business grow.
Each year I review this to look for which position I need to hire for next. And then I make a plan for making that work.
Create a plan
After taking time to evaluate each area of your business and determining your goals achieved, areas for improvement, etc, it is time to create a plan.
I like to set goals in a variety of areas of my business. And then I re-evaluate them periodically throughout the year.
Once you set your goals, break each goal down into actionable steps.
For example, if you want to reach a specific ad network, how can you increase your page views?
Or maybe you want to reach a certain income bracket for the year. How can you diversify your income? Think about creating more products or courses. Or maybe physical products to help generate more income.
Keep track of the steps and progress throughout the year. And keep notes for the following year’s review.