Today I want to share with you a little story of why I do a website audit every three months in my own blogging business and why I think it’s important for you to do one too.
I know that carrying out a website audit isn’t the most sexiest or exciting part of running an Online business, but it’s certainly very important if you want your blog + biz to grow in the right direction to help reach your lovely goals.
If you don’t do any kind of review on your business, how do you really know if you’re on track? How do you really know if you’re not on track? And if you’re not on track, how do you know which areas you need to improve on?
I mean, you could be blogging and working along to your best ability thinking you’re doing everything right, but you just can’t seem to inch nearer to your first milestones, never mind getting a sniff at your actual goals. Does this sound familiar to you?
My Wake-Up Call With My First Blog Audit
I’ve never really been accountable to anyone with my own Online business. And because I had no accountability, I was losing my way in blogging – big style!
I was totally overwhelmed, I had a huge list of tasks everyday but yet never seemed to make any progress or reach any of my goals, no matter how small those goals were.
When I had my light bulb moment a few years back on setting up blogging ‘areas’ and systems, I also decided to start reviewing all the areas in my blogging business as they stood at that time.
When I say ‘areas’, I’m referring to:
Business > Planning > Marketing > Finance
So I quickly drew up some simple tables in Word with all the main tasks I could think of which related to each blogging area. I printed them off and took about thirty minutes to go through all of the worksheets.
I was really surprised at the findings of my first blog audit, not in a good way though! As it quickly became apparent why I wasn’t reaching any of my goals and why I felt that I was the captain of a sinking ship.
In short, I wasn’t really running a business like I thought I was.
But it was amazing to see, there in black and white, all the reasons why I wasn’t reaching any of my goals.
My Things To Correct
Because I did my first website audit whilst also discovering that I wasn’t making use of systems and strategies in any of the blogging areas, I soon discovered that I had absolutely no structure to my blogging business at all.
No systems for planning, no strategies for marketing and no procedure for logging any of my finances (more outgoing costs than any income at this point!)
In a nutshell, this is what I found out about the sorry state of my blog at this time:
Business Foundations: I didn’t have a mission statement, a blog business plan or even a detailed customer avatar. I had a good idea of who my target market were, it just wasn’t detailed enough.
Blog Planning: I didn’t have a vision of the ‘big picture’. Yes I was making daily and weekly tasks, but I didn’t have a clear end-vision in mind of what I wanted to achieve with my blogging business as a whole.
Now I realise that this alone caused massive destruction because I didn’t have a full action plan (blog business plan) which in turn, gave me no clarity or focus. This also led to low moods and no momentum, i.e. “Why am I doing this?”, “Will this work?”. “How can little me make a go of this!”. These type of destructive thoughts.
Goals: I didn’t have any serious, set-in-stone goals. Again, I had an idea of what I wanted (to make money, which is not the best of goals to start with of which I explain in the Goals Setting worksheet), but with no goals it’s hard to find momentum in your business.
No Goals: No clarity + no focus + no momentum = no successful business!
Marketing: I didn’t have a customized marketing strategy put firmly in place. This was due to the fact that I didn’t have a detailed customer avatar or a business plan of action – duh!
I had Aweber (which I used at the time, I now use ConvertKit) for automated email marketing to build a subscriber base but I wasn’t doing any consistent, proactive marketing to actually get any subscribers – another duh!
Finances: I did have an income and expenditure spreadsheet on my desktop, I just never used it!
So as you can see, I was failing in all areas of my blogging business. There were a few other little things, but these are the main ones.
Don’t get me wrong, I did get quite a lot of things right like the design and navigation of my site (blog audit critique worksheet) and I knew what I should be doing, I just didn’t have any strategies or systems in place to move my business forward and reach any of my goals.
There you have it, a very definite wake-up call after doing my first blog audit.
So just in case you’re still not 100% clear on exactly what a blog audit is, how it can help you and why you really should do one, I’ve outlined the whole process below and introduce you to my Blog Audit Worksheet Printables to help you carry out your own blog audit…
What’s A Website Audit?
Here’s my definition of one:
A website audit is to conduct a complete analysis of a websites’ functions, systems & visibility. This will likely include SEO, social media, content, branding & design audits.
The whole purpose of a blog + biz audit is to find out where you’re weaknesses lie; what areas you’re not performing effectively in. Once you’ve identified these weaknesses, you simply adjust and adapt your business strategies and get back on track to reach your goals.
This is something which I have only recently started doing in my own blog + business, and it’s a great ‘checklist’ to help me know if I’m on track for success to reach my goals or not.
So today, I’m going to show you how to conduct your own website/blog audit and give you my personal worksheet printables which I use for my own audit.
Don’t worry, there’s nothing technical or complicated about doing this, it’s just a matter of going through a list of questions and ticking off items which you have or haven’t done, or could be improved upon.
Who Is This Website Audit For?
This website audit (of which I also refer to as a blog audit) is for anyone who runs a business Online.
This could be bloggers (in any niche), coaches, freelance writers, virtual assistants, ecommerce shop owners and any other entrepreneur who wants an Online presence for their business.
Why Is A Blog Audit Important?
I believe that website audits are essential as they keep you on the right path to keep you always within touching distance of your goals and dream lifestyle.
I actually learned this from an (offline) business point of view when I ran my own Management Domestic Cleaning Company, which was part of a franchise.
As part of the training, the owners of the franchise taught us franchisees that we should always track our progress month-by-month and then review our businesses every 6 months or so – with spreadsheets and the like.
This procedure was to help us keep on track of our own businesses to ensure that we were 100% of track for growth at year-on-year. Makes sense after all, no growth equals no success, right?
So once I realized that I had to get serious about running a blog just as much as I should as I had ran my own offline business, I decided to start putting systems and procedures in place, and a blog website audit is one of those systems of which I have included into my own Online business.
So what I’m trying to say and get across to you, is that you should treat a blog audit as a necessity business procedure to help keep you on track for growth and the overall success of your wonderful Online business.
How Often Should You Do Your Website Audit?
I would say that you should do your blog website audit every three months to really keep on track of your growth and success milestones.
What’s Included In Claire’s Free Blog Audit Toolkit?
I’ve kept this website audit toolkit as simple as possible. Don’t forget, I drew these worksheets up purely for myself at first before I decided to share them.
There are 9 printable worksheets which I believe help cover the three main ‘areas’ of running and growing a blog.
The three main ‘areas’ of a blogging business are:
Business > Planning > Marketing
I’ve therefore organized the worksheets into the areas as follows:
- Business Set-Up
- Blog Critique
- End of Year Goals
- Goals Mapping Worksheet
- Blog Post / Website Content Audit
- SEO Audit
- Social Media Audit
Over To You My Friend…
Alrighty! Now it’s your turn.
I hope that you can now see how powerful a very simple website audit can be in helping identify your weak areas, then improving upon them which in turn will get you closer to your goals.
So I strongly suggest that you carry out your own blog audit and see what areas you can improve upon.
Enter your email address in the form below and you’ll receive my very own 9 worksheet printables (or you can type directly onto the PDFs so you don’t have to print them off!) plus a free 6-part mini audit email course guiding you through each of the worksheets.
Once you’ve done your audit, either leave a message below or email me and let me know how you got on!
… and yes, the 9 printable worksheets + 6 part mini email course are all 100% totally free!