Many bloggers will post a year end wrap up type of post. It's not just an attempt at creating easy content during the holidays. By going back through your year of blogging can reveal many things that will help you in the new year.
In my yearly wrap up post, I always highlight the top 10 most popular posts for the the year. By going through your stats you will see what worked and what didn't. In my first year, I quickly realized guest posts were more popular than my reviews (a trend that continues). But even more than that, I could see which days consistently garnered the most views.
I also include a list of books I reviewed. Though overall reviews don't do as well as guest posts, some reviews did better than others. By looking closer I could determine which genres and authors were of more interest to my readers.
This year, I will include a list of most popular tips. This year I've been more regular with my tips and had a wider range of topics. I know they often garner a number of comments so it will interesting to see which topics rise to the top.
Another thing I include in my year end post is all the writers who contributed to by blog during the year. It is a way to thank them, but it also gives me an opportunity to remember what authors have written about and what appealed to my readers.
After I put the post together, I put together my plan for the new year from what I've learned about my readership. If you are wanting to plan your blog for 2014, here's are 3 aspects to think about.
1. Start or end a feature. Do your top viewed posts have a common thread? For me, I saw that guest posts were most popular. Now I offer guest post features. This year, I will evaluate the three weekly features to see how well they are performing. Perhaps one isn't doing as well as the others. I will then consider discontinuing it.
2. Books to read and authors to feature. Did a review get great response? If so, I'll see if I can get the author to do a guest post. Authors who are popular on my blog, I will ask back or try to review a book or two of theirs if I haven't already.
3. Scheduling. Is a certain day consistently more popular? As I'm looking at year end numbers I don't know if the day is popular because more readers are coming to the blog that day or if due to continual shares throughout the week/month contributed to it being highly viewed. With the shareaholic share buttons, I can see how often the post was shared. It will help me to determine which days it's best to post on. Conversely, are there days that are regularly low performing? I may decide not to schedule posts that day, and instead reserve them for overflow content.
By making a plan, even a rough plan, will make your blogging smoother and easier to contend with in the new year. Knowing what will get you the best results will make you more successful and less stressed.
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.