I’ll be the first to admit it- I’m no expert when it comes to blogging and I highly doubt I ever will be. I think that we all have a lot to learn where blogging is concerned, though I’d like to think that I’m confident with what I know. Like many bloggers, I know that success in blogging rarely happens overnight and that blogging takes a lot of time and hard work. But with that time and hard work, you’ll also start to see payoffs. I know I have when I put in the work and I’ve also seen the consequences when I don’t. That’s why I’m setting goals for the next year and offering some helpful tips and printables to aid in goal planning for bloggers.
Goal Planning: Yearly Goals
First things first, think about what you’d like to accomplish over the course of the next year. Don’t think of how just yet, just think of what you’d like to get done. Maybe you’d like to grow your blog subscribers or your social media following. Maybe you’d like to join a big blog network or start writing more sponsored posts. Maybe you’d like to increase your AdSense earnings or earnings through an affiliate network. Whatever the case may be, start writing down a list of goals for the year. I try to keep my list to ten because I think that’s a little bit more realistic for me, but you can have as few as one or two and as many as you’d like.
After you’ve thought of what your goals are going to be, go back to each individual goal and think about how you’re going to accomplish them. For example, maybe you need to increase your page views to get into a blog network. But how do you do it? Start looking up ways to do so, comment on other blogs in your niche, join linky parties, join relevant Facebook Sharing groups, etc. Start doing this for each of your individual yearly goals. You may find that some goals overlap or that some goals may tie into each other.
With me, personally, I’d like to apply to a few larger blogger networks. But in order to do that, I need to increase my monthly and unique page views first. So instead of having joining a larger blogger network as a goal, I have increasing my blog page views as a goal.
I also have increase my income as a goal, but I’m not just limiting this to my blog. I’m also including my social media accounts because there are networks that offer campaigns that utilize your social media in addition to or instead of your blog.
Goal Planning: Monthly Goals
Another way to set your sights on your yearly goals are to break them down into monthly goals. For instance, to increase my blog stats, I want to grow them monthly. I’ll take a look at the beginning of the month, come up with an number to increase that by (say 50) and then write that down. I don’t think of a how to do this, because I already set that up in my yearly goals. I know the process, it’s just a matter of getting to it and staying consistent. If I meet my goal or exceed my goal, I call that a win and might increase my goal for the next month. If I don’t meet my goal, I think about what I could do differently but I also try not to get discouraged. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through blogging- don’t get discouraged. There will always be other opportunities and there will always be more chances.
Another of the biggest lessons I’ve learned? Don’t compare yourself to another blogger. We’re all individuals and we’re all unique. Yes, we might share a niche or two, or maybe we’ve just written about the same subject or reviewed the same item recently. But we’re still different. My opinion isn’t going to be the same as yours and honestly, I’d hope it wouldn’t be. Otherwise the blogosphere would be pretty dull, don’t you think?
Goal Planning: General
One of the main things to keep in mind when planning yearly or monthly goals is to be realistic. Yes, increasing my page views or Facebook Fans by the thousands in a month would be wonderful. But I also know that it isn’t very likely to happen. By setting up a goal that isn’t realistic, I’m also setting myself up for disappointment. But, by breaking down a larger goal into a more realistic goal, I also have a higher chance of achieving that goal.
Another thing that helps me with goals, is to write them down. I find that if I physically write down my goals, I’m more likely to keep working towards them.
free printable Goal Planning Worksheets
To help myself, I’ve created some simple goal planning worksheets for yearly and monthly goals. I’ve also included a social media worksheet that includes: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+. If other networks are needed, please let me know and I’ll add those in as well. On the social media sheets, I’ll fill in the first two parts (goal and current) at the beginning of the month. At the end of the month, I’ll fill in the other two (actual and goal met). This allows me to really see my goal differential and figure out possible strategies to increase the following or continue working on whatever it was that I was doing to achieve that goal.
Do you set yearly or monthly goals for your blog? Do you tend to stick with them or just plan as you go?