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Last Updated on October 1, 2020 by Early retired mom
If you are a new blogger, then getting started, and set up your blogging goals, especially if you are not familiar with the blogging world, can be very overwhelming.
When I first started, I needed to make so many decisions, and learn at the same time.
That’s why it’s so important to be very clear and true with yourself and understand what do you really want to achieve.
This is the ultimate step of setting your blog goals which is one critical part of your business plan and what you are planning to do, what kind of blog, who is your audience, what are you planning to achieve and by when.
When I first started blogging, I have gone thought a roller coaster of emotions due to many reasons:
- Raising 3 small kids (A 3-year-old girl and 1.5-year-old twins) while going through a big home renovation
- My position at work got downgraded
- Getting the kids into a new kindergarten mid-year
- And while all this is happening, Covid-19 has spread across the globe and job security was a term fading from this world and having all of us in a locked down which really decreased my productivity
I am sure some of you reading this, can feel the same.
Your life is busy as it’s with raising kids, keeping your day job and trying to start a blog from scratch can sometimes be a bit too much. However, what’s going to help is to start setting goals, short and long term, that can work with your hectic lifestyle.
Setting up your blog goals, will keep you on track and make sure you make small but sure steps toward turning your new blog into a business that can replace your job income and can free you to spend your time on things that matter to you.
A Harvard Business study found that there is a direct correlation between goal setting and success. It said that 14% of the people who have goals are 10 times more successful than those who do not have goals.
You Should Treat Your Blog as a Business
But I am not here to talk about how to set up a WordPress website and all the technical details. There are plenty of great guides out there that will teach you to do just that. Here is a great one by Neil Patel that really explains in a simple and easy way what to do.
In this article, I am going to focus on setting up your blogging goals. What goals should you set as a new blogger and in what timeline should you aim to achieve them. Then, you will learn how to talk those new goals and break them down into a real plan of action.
If you search, you will find that there are many goals a new blog can have.
I believe those goals can and should change depending on the website you have. However, every new blogger should set his own first year blog goals.
How to Define Your Blog Goals
Your blog, just like a business, needs to have targets to reach within a specific time frame. There are different types of blog goals depending on what you want to reach and where you are in your blogging journey.
Now let’s be practical and understand how to set those up.
However, rather than just drafting a few goals (here are some examples of blog goals: how many unique visitors I want, how many shares in social media, how many page views, how much money should the blog generate or whatever may be the goal) I suggest taking a step back and first identify what do you want to achieve with this blog.
But before that, if I were to ask you on what basis do you think the average person sets goals or chooses his goals?
Generally, the average person will choose goals according to what he thinks he can achieve. Maybe a little beyond that. It happens simply because he is used to being told “be realistic” or “set lower targets so you won’t get disappointed”.
Most people will choose their goals according to what they think they can achieve. However, if you do not choose goals that excites you, that ignite the entrepreneurial spark in you, you simply will not have the strength to get up in the morning and do what needs to be done to achieve what you want to achieve.
So, how do you know if a goal is good for you or should you pick another goal?”
Let me give you a simple example not related to blogging.
Let’s say you want to have a new Mercedes car. This is your goal.
What car do you have today?
If it’s a Mercedes that you bought 5 years ago, and it was brand new when you bought it. It’s probably not a worthy goal and something worth spending your time on.
Why? Because you already achieve this goal before, you know how to make it happen. It’s not a goal that’s going to take you to the next level in life. Right?
Our goals start with a fantasy. Unfortunately, a lot of people live their lives as if they were background actors in someone else’s movie.
For me, the movie was something like, go and get an academic education, find a high tech job, get higher in the hierarchy, ask your boss for a promotion or a raise and hope he’ll say yes. Take vacations when there is an approval from work. Basically, I am just a background actor in someone else’s movie, doing what I am told.
I hope you get my point with this illustration.
I am sure any of us would like to be able to choose what we want to be. Is it the director, the lead actor, the screenwriter or all of them together?
In this blog post, you will see how to take that fantasy and turn into an action plan. We’ll see how this thing works. What process do you have to go through to set myself the goal that will later become something physical in my world.
What are your long term and short term blogging goals?
For that fantasy to turn from something just something abstract into some kind of goal that you can really work with, you need to ask yourself 2 very important questions:
- Can I do it? The answer is unequivocally yes, you have infinite potential, you have enormous abilities
- And the question that really matters is are you ready? Are you willing to pay the price?
And I’m not just talking about money, I’m talking about time, I’m talking learning new things and getting outside your comfort zone.
It this sounds intimidating to you, they try to look at the price you pay, every day for not following your dreams.
Now, let’s go back to your blog.
If you think of your blog as a business, they you can start defining what do you want to achieve with it? What are you running this blog in the first place?
Everyone who runs a blog, or operate a business has its own goals and vision. Find yours.
So now, take a few minutes and write your goals, write 3-5 things that you want to accomplish with your blog. They can be long term or short term.
- Choose goals that excite you and that you dream about – don’t stick to what you think you can achieve
- Be specific and use numbers where you can. If it’s money that you would like to generate, write how much money you’re going to make.
- Order them by importance, so the first goal in the list is the most important one to you.
Here are some blogging goals examples:
- Quitting my 9-5 job by xx/xx/xxxx
- Growing your blog traffic to 10,000 unique visitors a month by xx/xx/xxxx
- Generating $5,000/month from your blog by xx/xx/xxxx
- Get 1,000 email subscribers by xx/xx/xxxx
- Build your blog funnel by xx/xx/xxxx
- Design and launch your blog by xx/xx/xxxx
Those long-term goals may change in the future as you go along and build your blog but this framework provides me clarity on what you intend to achieve so you stay focused.
You see, writing your goals as part of setting up your business plan, is just the first steps of many. The important thing to realize is that you need to invest in it every day until it’s successful.
I always like to think of this quote when thinking about goals and why it’s important to go through the process to set goals. Even if sometimes it may seem tedious:
“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”Fitzhugh Dodson
Let’s break it down into an action plan
So now that you know where you are heading, you need to break it down to an annually, quarterly and weekly goals / tasks. Right now, you should focus on planning the next 12 months and don’t waste too much time on longer goals. You will eventually plan them as well but more in terms of milestones rather than details action plan.
Here are some blogging goals examples
If we take one of the goals from the examples above like: Get 1,000 email subscribers by xx/xx/xxxx
Now what you need is to explore how to build an email list if you do not have that knowledge already. That means going and doing some reading on the subject.
Then you’re going to write your action plan, list of tasks to complete to reach that goal. Here are some steps for example:
- Create one freebie to provide your audience
- Set up two sign up forms, one on the main page and another one to place in every blog post to subscribe for your newsletter like ConvertKit of OptinMonster
- Set up an email marketing account like OptinMonster where you can capture your subscriber’s email address and send a series of emails to help them solve their problem
- And so on…
Each one of those steps should have a deadline, a quantity (how many sign up forms do you want to create?) and it should be very clear what do.
If we take one of the goals from the examples above like: Design and launch your blog by xx/xx/xxxx
Then now your list of tasks are obviously different.
Before I can start make any money. I need traffic into this new blog. So the focus here should be on creating high quality content and work on different channels to get blog traffic.
- Decide on your frequency of your content marketing, once a week, twice a week, once every two weeks? Whatever works for you
- Explore the possibility of hiring a ghostwriter for writing your posts if you have the budget for it so scale your growth
- Designate time each week to learn SEO if you do not possess that knowledge already. Learning is a long term investment so make sure to clear time for it
- Find the best blogging platform. I use WordPress.
- Buy a URL and a hosting plan. I recommend Bluehost as their support is really great and the monthly payment is really nothing.
- Find a WordPress theme that you like
- Write your first 5 blog posts. These needs to be your best blog posts. I optimize my content for SEO using SEOSurfer, which now, after I use them for sometime, I cannot do without them. They tell me how many words I need to write, how many synonyms, other words that are relevant to place in the blog posts, how many images and so on… just an amazing tool that I cannot recommend enough.
- And so on….
As you can see, I am not putting here any personal goals like health, fitness and other personal things as I want to remain focus on my blogging goals.
As you can see, I am not putting here any personal goals like health, fitness and other personal things as I want to remain focus on my blogging goals.
- Take your list of goals and break each one of them into a written list of tasks.
- Each task should have a deadline, quantity and the description of the task.
- It’s a clear tasks with and the result you should be achieving is understood.
Now it’s time for planning
So, now for each goal you have a plan of action and list of step you need to accomplish.
You know by when.
Put everything into a planner, you can get an actual planner or a task management software. Whatever suits you.
When you can visualize your tasks of a calendar, everything looks more organize. Of course, if certain weeks looks too busy, you can always adjust deadlines to make a more realistic schedule that works with your current day job. After all, your time if limited so you want to be as efficient as possible.
Do you see the though process here?
Just break down the plan into smaller and smaller steps and place it on a calendar. This way, it will be easier to achieve your long-term goals.
So, now I know what I need to achieve in the next quarter and also on a weekly basis.
However, please remember that goals are subject to amendments. They need to be tweaked and changed depending on how you progress. For example, let’s say that you achieved this week’s goals, it means you can start working on next week’s goals. And that probably means you can look into some of your other tasks and reschedule them.
- Plan your tasks and schedule them on a calendar.
- And just to make sure you are starting to work on your blogging goals right now, try to identify the 5 tasks you can do TODAY that will direct you toward your goals
So now, you have an action plan. You know where you’re going and what you need to achieve towards your blog goals.
But before we finish, there’s more to set goals than just writing them. You also need to set up a review phase.
The Review processes
Don’t miss out on this step!
Now you need to set up time to review your progress. I suggest on doing it every weekend when you have time to reflect and plan your coming weeks. Look into your defined goals and see if you have achieved your weekly tasks.
If you did not complete, write down why.
Not for the purpose of criticizing yourself but to really understand what was the problem and how can you solve it.
Sometime procrastination (which originate from a fear you may have) may get in the way. Sometimes it may be scheduling problem and you didn’t have as much time to devote to work of your blogging goals as you originally though.
Whatever may be the reason, try to improve for the next time.
Figure out what worked for you and what didn’t and how you plan to adapt and explore new ways of thinking or of doing to accomplish tasks.
And of course track your results. Use Google Analytics to measure your traffic and the behavior of your audience in your blog and Search Console to measure your SEO performance.
So, review your actions and take an hour or so at the beginning of each planning period (weekly, quarterly and annually) to actively think about your own performance and progress and look for better ways of working, to produce content to do SEO and more.
Through the review process you need to make sure to analyze your online performance.
Check your progress but more importantly document it.
What’s stopping you?
I once heard that we are born with a very few fears – for example, the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All the other fears, we learn over the years. Like the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, and even the fear of success. I believe the biggest enemy in our lives is fear, because fear prevents us from doing the same things we want to do that will make our lives more complete and more enjoyable.
Doubt is the first cousin of fear and precedes it. We were not born with a doubt. Our habit of skepticism has evolved over the course of our lives. If we give in to doubt, it grows into fear.
If you are dealing with fear that paralyzes you in some way to take action that write down all the consequences that can happen as a result of taking the same action that you are afraid of, despite the fear.
For example, what are all the things that can happen if you were to stand up and speak in front of an audience? One of the results can be, you can see the audience clapping their hand. Another result can be could be that the audience will not be fond of what you say and will protest with contempt. Be thorough and write down any possible outcome that may be.
Now, go back to each result and ask yourself two questions:
- What is the worst thing that could happen to me if I were to get this result?
- Can I go on with my life if the worst happens?
If you are honest with yourself, it will be very rare for the result to be something you will not be able to bear and will not be able to move on from.
Now that you have changed your perception of the future, act when you assure yourself that no matter what the outcome, you are going to do it.
So, as you can see it’s a simple way to set blogging goals.
When you set goals as new blogger or for any business owner it should not be a though process to complete. All you need is a few hours of quiet time, and then to let your mind wonder and dream.
See and imagine yourself in one year, 5 years, 10 years from now. You may not know it all from the start, and sometimes you may get stuck, reach out for help, learn online, take a course, do whatever it takes to reach your blogging goals if this is your dream and this is what excites you but keep moving. That’s what I plan to do.
Hope you enjoyed,
Early retired mom