The group I manage was audited yesterday.
If you’ve never had the pleasure, audits can be painless or they can be akin to dental surgery performed by Steve Martin’s character in Little Shop of Horrors. It all depends on who is performing them.
“What procedures do you follow? Where’s your documentation? Who authorized that work order? Is that your signature?”
Easy, excruciating, or somewhere in between; at its core an audit is about answering one simple question: Are you doing the things you’re supposed to be doing?
As bloggers, we don’t have to explain ourselves to auditors.
Jon Morrow and Glen Long don’t knock on our doors once a year to critique our headlines.
Darren Rowse and Stacey Roberts don’t email us every six months with a list of questions needing immediate answers.
Pamela Wilson and Brian Clark don’t ask us to explain our SEO procedures for randomly-selected blog posts.
No, we’re not accountable to anyone – except ourselves. And this is both a good and bad thing.
Audits are stressful, but they ensure we follow the processes we’ve outlined. They make sure we’re staying on track.
Without that accountability, it’s easy to lose our way.
Smart Bloggers Embrace Blog Audits
Getting into the habit of self-auditing every month or two is one of the best habits a blogger can form. Take a step back and review what you’re doing. Are you following the game plan you outlined? Where are you out of sync? What areas need to be addressed?
Of course, even the best self-auditor shouldn’t go at it alone.
Every so often, you need someone knowledgeable and trustworthy to take a good, long, unbiased look at your blog. This could be friend with years of experience, a mentor, or a blogging coach. Take what they say to heart – especially if they have a track record of results.
Finally, remember: An audit is useless without a plan of corrective action. If you find yourself off course, do what it takes to correct it.
The sooner you remedy your blog’s afflictions, the sooner you’ll be able to hire someone whose sole job is to worry about audits.
Creative Commons Image via Got Credit.