This month, August 2019, marks my 15th year of blogging.
Let that sink in… 15 years.
In that time there have been a lot of changes in blogging.
Social media has probably been the biggest disruptor, taking the conversation from blog comments to outside hosts.
Another huge change was the rise of blogging as a business. Something that we all dreamed of in the early days but I don’t think we ever imagined what it could and would become.
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End of Month Blogging Checklist
With any business comes necessary processes to keep things running smoothly.
I actually have end of week, end of month, end of quarter, and end of year checklists.
What follows in my blogging biz end of month checklist. I keep this in a simple spreadsheet on my computer.
Bullet Journaling for Guidance
On the first day of a new month I sit down and record in my Bullet Journal an overview of the past month- personal, business, and financial.
I’ll flip to the first pages of my BuJo and see how I am progressing with my yearly goals.
And then I will write my main objectives for the coming month, as well as due dates for articles and projects, travel dates, and anything else that needs to be noted.
What follows next gets off paper and into a spreadsheet.
Each month I follow this process to see where I’ve been and to decide where I’m going. (Should I note that I have three active websites? So some of this is x3.)
Record Crazy Egg Stats
I use Crazy Egg to track visitor movement through my website. I track my highest ranking posts to watch for unusual dips in traffic and to see how links are performing.
I can also test how my free downloads perform and see if moving them to a new spot on the page increases clicks.
I record information on a simple spreadsheet to track changes by month.
Columns included are:
- Tracking dates
- Page tracked
- Page visits
- gain/ loss since last month
- gain/ loss since last month
- Note about clicks – what was clicked most
- Worth noting- this can be a note to myself to move something to see if it performs better, or to add a related internal link that I think will perform well. Large jumps or drops in readers to that page, or if I am going to stop tracking that page and why.
Record Blog Stats
For each of my sites I check everything from page views and bounce rates to domain authority and followers. I color code (red and green) for increases and drops. Top posts and tops pins are also recorded.
Get my blog stats spreadsheet here.
Note that it has 2 tabs!
Please copy and create your own- don’t alter it in any way.
Check for Broken Links
This is necessary for the health of your site.
I use SEMrush tools to check this, but there are free tools as well.
If you have a WordPress blog the Broken Link Checker plugin works well- just don’t leave it on. Turn it on, use it, then turn it off.
BrokenLinkCheck.com is a free online link checker that you can use if your site isn’t on WordPress, or you don’t want to add a plugin.
Note: I have my VA handle this task.
Download Photos from Phone
I take hundreds of photos on my phone each month- and all are duplicated in RAW. Those are downloaded into their respective folders.
- Main yearly folder
- Internal folders by month/date + notes of subject
- RAW images in their own folder inside the topic folder
All images are backed up to the cloud and an external hard drive.
Just to make sure things are running smoothly and to see if there are any unexpected drops or spikes.
Check Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools
If there’s a problem on my site Google Search Console lets me know right away by email. But I like to check in monthly to see if I missed anything.
This is also how I check keywords and topics that bring readers to my site. These are noted and articles are updated or new are scheduled to be written.
Plan Articles for the Following Month
While I have a loose editorial calendar I usually don’t fully plan article publishing until 4-6 weeks prior.
Check & Schedule Evergreen Links
I keep a spreadsheet of links that are seasonal, or do well at a specific time. I’ll have my VA check the articles for broken links and create new pins, if the old ones aren’t performing well.
I use Tailwind to schedule Pinterest pins.
And Later for Instagram.
Tax Information to Our Accountant
My husband and I are both self employed so we have an accountant who handles all our business finances. I send everything to him monthly. This includes bank and PayPal statements, credit card statements that include business expenses, and any cash receipts.
I make sure he has notes for any unusual spending, as well.
In addition to that I track the monthly income and expenses of my websites on a simple spreadsheet.
That is a lot, isn’t it? If I have a full day to do this, I can usually hammer it out in 3-4 hours.
But, honestly, I rarely have that much time at once, so I will work through this in 2-3 days, a bit at a time.
Questions? Comments? I’m happy to discuss the business of blogging!