Time for another Monday Marketing post. Today’s topic is about SWOT analysis. You may have heard this term as it’s something connected with businesses.
So why am I talking about it on a writing blog?
Well, if you want to be a professional writer you have to accept that writing (in parts) is a business and should be treated as such.
What is SWOT?
For those of you who don’t know, SWOT stands for:
So a SWOT analysis is…?
An analysis of these four components in regards to your business objectives. Pretty simple, right?
Why perform a SWOT Analysis?
By doing a SWOT analysis, you can find and develop Strengths, work around Weaknesses, pinpoint and minimise any Threats and take full advantage of Opportunities.
The whole point of a SWOT analysis is to help you get a clear picture of things that can affect and impact the success of your work.
By identifying these, you can move forward and make better, more focused decisions.
Do writers really need these?
Yes. Writing is a business and it’s time you started to think of it as one. Writing is an art, a craft of skill but that only describes part of it. There is a business aspect that needs your attention.
Maybe you want to use SWOT to do a blog audit to see what works and what doesn’t. Maybe you want to use it to help define your marketing goals and pitfalls.
Maybe you want to use it to consider your position in the market place and make better decisions to improve your standing/sales.
SWOT can give you some interesting insights and maybe help you come to terms with aspects such as weaknesses you may have been avoiding.
How to do a SWOT analysis
A good method is to use a SWOT chart to list your details and wouldn’t you know, I’ve got you covered. 🙂
Here’s a FREE printable Swot Chart I have made that you can use.
Before you write anything down, think about what your objectives are for this analysis.
- Do you want to do a blog audit and find out how to improve your blogging?
- Do you want to look at your writing?
- Or at your marketing path?
It’s better to use a separate SWOT chart for each objective. So if you want to focus on building your marketing strategy, use a single chart for that and don’t try to crowd in other aspects.
Consider your Strengths
Take some time to consider what your strengths really are. This is no time to think negatively about yourself. We all have strengths and you need to write those down.
Examples of possible questions that can divulge your strengths
- Are you good with people?
- Do you write strong, engaging content?
- Do you have a lot to say?
- Do you have good contacts and networks?
- Do you have a growing presence online?
- Do you like working with others?
- Are you very visually artistic?
- Do you like engaging with people online?
Consider your Weaknesses
Now it’s time to think about some of those weaknesses. This is not a place for self-doubt, but critical thinking.
This section isn’t about putting yourself down, it’s about honestly identifying areas that need work.
Examples of possible questions that can identify your weaknesses
- Do you struggle with public speaking?
- Do you struggle to come up with new content?
- Are your SEO skills lacking?
- Do you find it hard to design eye-catching graphics?
- Do you struggle to write short, snappy pitches?
- Are you unsure about how to find your target audience?
List your opportunities
This can usually take a lot more time. So don’t feel you need to rush this. Consider all the potential opportunities.
- Do you want to do guest postings?
- Do you want to visit a writing conference?
- Do you want to do a book reading?
- Do you want to try a collaboration?
- Do you want to participate in PitchWars etc?
Think about all the different opportunities in connection with your objectives, even if they are long-term opportunities or ones that you won’t need to do right away, get them down.
List your threats
These are usually the hardest ones. Threats in a SWOT analysis are things that can have a negative impact on your business.
- Is the genre you write very niche, with a limited target audience?
- Are fewer publishing houses taking manuscripts from authors without agents?
- Are prices being driven down?
- Are you limited by a lack of capital? (if you want to go self-publishing)
- Are people buying fewer books?
- Are algorithms changing on social media platforms?
Once you have all your details down in the chart, you can start analysing the information.
What you want to do is look at your strengths to see how you can use them to help you take advantage of the opportunities.
Are you good at public speaking? Then maybe use this to participate in audio or video interviews.
When you look at your weaknesses, see where you can improve these to allow you to go after more opportunities and minimise threats.
Are you struggling to gain a better ranking for your blog? Then maybe take courses on how to improve SEO.
Go through all of your strengths and weaknesses one by one and see how they can help you with each of the potential opportunities and reduce each of the threats.
The SWOT analysis can help you really zero in on what to focus on, create a plan to improve yourself, go after any opportunities you may have not considered as well as minimise threats (risks).
Share one of your strengths or weaknesses with us