Sunday, January 31, 2016

Analyzing your past content for future writing success

Taking a look at your old content can reveal much.
Do you check up on your content once you've written it? Doing so can help you decide what topics to write about. About once a month, I go through my content to see which articles have been the most successful. This tells me a lot about what I should be writing and which topics to leave behind. It's not just about topics, though. By checking the page views, highest view dates and more, you can actually formulate a plan for greater success. Here's why.

Analyzing your content can help reveal many rules of writing that you've missed.

Say that you're a bit lax in getting educated. You're not one to seek advice and tips on writing. That's OK. Experience and a good look at content performance can teach you a lot of rules you have missed along the way. For instance, I've noticed that the more familiar I am with a subject, the more popular any articles I've written on that subject are. Thus, proving the rule of “Write what you know.”

The rules are not the same for everyone.

By analyzing your content, you see, first hand exactly how the rules apply to you, personally. My writing, vegan, gardening and natural health articles do best because I'm passionate about those subjects. It shows in my writing. Injecting my sense of humor and quirky, snarky personality also works well for me. My page views increase greatly when I'm in a happy mood. Of course, those subjects and methods may not work for everyone. That's why it's important for writers to assess their own articles.

Look deeper.

I've noticed that when I answer questions commonly asked, my page views sky-rocket. In these cases, the subject matter doesn't seem to be as important as providing a quick answer. My all time best performer is an article about recognizing spider bites. It's not one of my pet subjects. It is, however, something a lot of people look up on the internet when they've been bitten. That tells me that while it's important to be passionate about your subject, it's even more important to fill a need. Therefore....

Surprise! Selling articles is the same as selling products.

The most successful products provide something that fills a need. Why should articles be any different? If you study your most successful content, you will find that it most likely filled a need people had at the time you wrote it. That's true, whether you're talking celebrity gossip or how to get rid of stink-bugs. Anything that people needed to know when you wrote the article will generate a ton of page views.

Checking the archives.

Sometimes when an event happens, you might recall that you've already written an article on that very subject. By pouring through your content on a regular basis, you're more likely to remember that article. Now, you can find and promote it more quickly. Don't wait for fate to drag it out of the depths. Pay attention to trends and promote those old “loser” articles. You might turn them into winners.

Reinforcing familiarity with your own content.

There is so much you can learn by regularly analyzing article performance. I could never put it all into one article. Plus, there are likely factors about your content that differ from mine. Taking the time to look back on your old work will help you decide what approaches, subjects and techniques to use in the future. Don't skip this important step that can not only help you correct old mistakes, but prevent you from making new ones.

1 comment: