As you grow your digital empire (aka blogging biz) it’s important to keep on task and maintain focus.
While some things need to be monitored monthly – see my End of Month Checklist here – there are some activities that can be checked quarterly.
What is Quarterly?
There are a couple ways to determine ‘a quarter’ when it comes to your business.
If you use a 12 month calendar, a quarter is every 3 months.
If you use a 52 week calendar, a quarter is every 13 weeks.
My quarters are 12 weeks long with week 13 spent planning the next 12 weeks.
When Should My Quarter Begin?
When your quarter begins is entirely dependent on you. If you’ve never done something like this begin your quarter at the beginning of the next month.
I begin counting my quarters from the first week of the year. I use a wall calendar from NeuYear that has no space between the months. It is viewed in the way we work- by 52 weeks, rather than 12 months.
When I decide which week I will begin (usually the first longest week of the year) I count forward 12 weeks and place a heavy bar at the end of week 12. Then I note ‘plan next quarter’ on week 13. From the next week I count out 12 weeks, and repeat.
End Of Quarter Blogging Checklist
With any business comes necessary processes to keep things running smoothly.
I actually have after post publish, end of week, end of month, end of quarter, and end of year checklists.
What follows is my blogging biz end of quarter checklist. I keep this in a simple spreadsheet on my computer.
I put all known pay days on my wall calendar so I can plan when do work on our budget. As 1/3 of our income is freelance knowing when payments are coming in is incredibly important!
Check & Review Annual Goals
It’s important to keep goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.
While I check on these monthly I take more time during my quarterly planning to really review them, see if I am on target, if they are still important, or if they need altered in any way.
Plan Editorial Calendar
My annual goals include a loose editorial calendar. At the end of each quarter I firm up the articles to be published, making sure I am including any partnership work or articles that follow sponsored travel.
Note: When I accept sponsored travel I am up front as to when I can publish articles. If I try to ‘fit things in’ to a calendar I already have set it is rarely my best work. I request a contract and have a publishing range included in our agreement.
Deep Dive Into Stats
My quarterly ‘deep dive’ includes reviewing best posting time for my websites as well as social accounts.
I also dig deeply into my reader statistics. For this I use Quantcast.
Note: before adding Quantcast to your website be sure all your privacy policies are in place and up to date.
Update Media Kits
I believe quarterly updates provide enough ‘up to date’ information in a media kit. I keep my media kits available on my website, but you could also set up an automated sign up if you want to keep track of who is looking at your info and reach out to them for follow-up.
Not sure what to put in a media kit? Mine are all right here– have a look!
I use Canva to make my media kits look great.
Clear Out Your Mailing List
Every person on your email list costs money. I cull mine every 3 months.
If a subscriber hasn’t opened an email from me in 6 months they get set for contact.
I have an automated series of emails that begins with a polite request to confirm their decision to remain or cancel, follow that with a ‘second notice’, and if that goes unopened they are removed from my list and archived.
While I shoot for a mostly empty inbox at the end of each week I make sure to really purge at the end of each quarter. If something has remained in my email for 3 months I probably will not ever get to it!
Quarterly Planning Week
Be sure to plan ahead for your quarterly planning week so you can fully focus on the next 12 weeks/ 3 months.
Do not try to write articles, schedule blocks of social media, or add more work to this week. Having a good plan in place is the foundation of your digital business.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below- I always respond!