Many bloggers start blogs these days with the dream of millions of readers and making large amounts of money.
While it is possible to build blogs that are widely read and profitable and there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big – the reality is that it takes time and a lot of work to build these kinds of blogs.
New bloggers would do well to spend more time ‘setting goals’ than just the big picture dreams that they have..
I always encourage new bloggers who had some very lofty dreams for blogging that in addition to the big dreams they will mostly benefit from having some realistic goals for the short term. I’m a stickler for setting goals in every aspect of my life. They’re essential for growth and development. My blog is no exception to my passion for goal setting. But how do you set goals for your blog, especially in the beginning?
I have so many goals for my blog that it can become a little overwhelming. I just want to achieve everything right now… but I know it’s not that simple.
Goals can fall into several categories. Here are some ideas if you’re trying to find some.
- Grow monthly readership
- Grow social media following
- Improve photography
- Establish a posting routine
- Start an email newsletter
- Get featured on other, larger blogs/publications
And the list can go on. But no matter which kind of goal, or goals, you set it is key to break each one down into three phases –Short Term , Medium Term and Long Term.
To demonstrate, we’ll use the “Grow Monthly Readership” goal. For our Readership goal, you can pick a number of monthly unique, you can pick a percentage or you can just say that your readership will increase if numbers stress you out. Either way write it down then we’ll break out the actions you need to take to get to that goal!
Short Term Goals
Immediate or short term goals for me are ones that fall within an immediate three-month period. These are basic daily goals we need to achieve to keep our business going.
As a blogger, some of my immediate goals include:
- Posting at least once per week
- Publish 10 Posts
- Getting your first comment from someone you don’t know
- Get your first link from another blog
- Build your readership up to more than 20 readers a day
- Hit a level of 20 RSS subscribers
- Getting your blog indexed in Google
- Get your blog earning $1 a week (update: only if making money from your blog is one of your goals – it’s not for everyone
- Scheduling Facebook posts a week at a time and spending time on Instagram and Pinterest daily.
- Having someone (not you or your mum) tweet about your blog
- Start a spreadsheet to record monthly stats
- Participating in weekly Twitter Chats to meet new bloggers
- Maintain posting schedule
- Ensure each post is shared to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
- Incorporate blog content into Instagram posts
- Make plans for a new series on the blog
I also set one day per week for any blog maintenance and keep a to-do list for this that I add to during the week. Short-term goals keep us on track for our long-term goals and allow us to tick off achievements on a regular basis.
Medium Term Goals
My medium term goals are any goals that fall within a 6 month period, excluding the current week ahead. These are your grounding goals, they form the foundation of your business. These are the goals that you need to achieve and tick off in order to achieve your long-term goals.
For example, I set monthly goals for my blog in terms of :
- Page views,
- Unique visitors and
- Social media stats.
- Creating relationships with brands I’d like to work with,
- Even changes to blog design.
- Invest in Facebook Ads to expand your audience
- Introduce new series on the blog
- Continue to track monthly stats
- Engage on social media with other bloggers
- Engage on social media with readers
These goals are easily measured and easily set. When it comes to stats I set myself a two-tier goal… one that is an acceptable and steady level of growth, and one that is a bit more reaching… Some months I only achieve my steady goal, other’s I achieve my reaching goal and some months I fall short altogether.
Long Term Goals
My long term goals are any goals that fall outside of a 6 month period. It may be that I want to
- First guest post on another blog
- Start a second blog in 3 years time, or that I want to be
- Earning enough money from this blog that I can reduce my hours at my day job within 2 years.
- Perhaps you’d want to have enough growth that in 4 years time you have 2 staff members.
- Make Connections With 12 Influencers And Feature Them On Your Blog
- Increase Your Email Opt-In Rate By 50%
- Increase Your Traffic 100% (Or 6% Monthly)
Long-term goals are important because they give us direction. They remind us that anything is possible and they encourage us to dream big.
In addition to long-term goals, I always throw in at least one big, over the top goal. Something that is extraordinary… your big ‘shoot for the moon’ goal. It may be that you want your blog to reach 1 million total views per month… for some, this is a realistic goal but for me that’s a shoot for the moon right now.
Conclusion on How To Set Goals For Your Blog
Setting goals is a part of being organised and productive when blogging. It allows me to see just how much my blog has grown and how much I’ve grown as a blogger, business owner and as a person.
Once you’ve achieved these first goals start to increase them. You might want to double the numbers for the next step (although for different bloggers the numbers will no doubt be different) – then double them again and so forth.
What other ‘first step’ goals would you suggest to a new blogger just starting out? If you’re a new blogger what are your first goals?
How do you set goals for your blog? I’d love to hear your strategies and how you implement them.Bottom of Form