Many people wait until the beginning of the year to set goals … weight loss goals, house-cleaning goals, fitness goals, on and on … and I have seen bloggers do the same thing and wait until January to set their blog goals even though they start their blog months before.
I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but if you are I admire you and the people that actually make them happen!
I have always been more the type of person who believes if there is something that needs to be done, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started and get it done!
There are statistics all over the web about the low percentage of people that achieve their New Year’s resolution goals, and how likely they are to fail. Unfortunately, the numbers are not in their favor!
However, I do believe it is important to set goals at the beginning of the year!
I just don’t believe you should put them off and wait until then. You should start today!
When you start your blog the excitement keeps you going for a while … then life happens.
Things get hectic.
The next thing you know a few weeks have passed, then a month, then a couple months, and you have not achieved anywhere close to what you *thought* you would achieve by this time when you started your blog. Sound familiar?
We’ve all been there! This is the reason it is important to set SMART goals now!
I know, I hear what you are probably thinking …. another SMART goal post!
But don’t stop here – this may not be exciting information but it is IMPORTANT for the success of your blog!
I wish the SMART goal acronymn meanings weren’t so dang effective because I would love to get away from them! When I was a teacher, the administrator’s drilled SMART goals into us until we were completely worn out! And it wasn’t just one year, but year after year!
The truth is, SMART goals work.
[bctt tweet=”SMART Goals work! Have You Set Your Blog Goals Today?” username=”drtawnaschmidt”]
Writing down your goals increases your chance of reaching them. (source)
I call it ‘blogging with a purpose.’ Simply writing down a list of goals is not enough. Not if you have BIG plans for your blog.
Goals are the reason behind what makes a blog more than ‘just a blog.’
Without specific goals, it will be difficult for you to replace your income if that is your blogging goal. It takes time. And dedication.
And the hard truth?
Time is what causes us to lose our focus and dedication.
Having your goals in front of you at all times keeps your focus on the prize, when it is otherwise super easy to forget why we are doing all this work and not getting a reward.
We have a lot to cover, so let’s dive in!
1 | MAKE A PLAN – The SMART Goal Business Plan
Understanding what SMART goals are is the first step.
S – Specific – Is the goal well-defined and focused?
M – Measurable – Can you determine the outcome with numbers?
A – Attainable – Is the goal going to stretch you, but it is reachable?
R – Relevant – Is it going to move your closer to your ‘big picture’ goals?
T – Timely – Did you set a deadline to achieve the goal?
Once you have set your SMART goal, there is a super important question to ask youself: “AM I COMMITTED TO THIS GOAL?”
Review your SMART goal and be sure you can answer all the questions for each acronymn.
Do they make sense? Have you stretched yourself but not so far you already feel overwhelmed before ever getting started? Is this goal going to move your closer to your next goal or big-picture goal?
2 | PUT YOUR GOALS IN WRITING – How To Write SMART Goals As A Blogger
The reason the SMART goal method works well for bloggers is that they need goals that are specific and action-oriented.
Have you ever been setting up pins on Pinterest and you see a title that screams at you, “OPEN ME!”
Or you are just going to hop into Facebook for a second to tell your friend ‘happy birthday’ and a video pops up from one of your favorite pet subscriptions. Before you know it your are listening to fun music and watching kittens dance with one another!
You look at the clock and it’s time for bed so you can get up tomorrow and do it all over again.
It is so easy to get distracted when you work online! There is so much information to read and study we could spend hour after hour ‘working’ and never accomplish a task! (Ask me how I know this! ?)
When bloggers are first starting out, they are often working another job or have small children at home that have to go to bed before blog work starts. When you get these few minutes to focus on your blog, your goals will help you focus on the right tasks to move forward.
Close all the tabs on your computer when you are working on your blog, including social media and email. This will increase your focus and productivity ten-fold!
Also, turn off all your cell phone notifications so nothing is dinging on your phone unless it is an emergency.
I have my family’s text messages on in case there is an emergency. However, if your family tends to message you for no reason let them know when you are working and to only message or call if it is an emergency.
When you take your blog serious, they will take it serious as well!
3 | DON’T TRY TO DO TO MUCH TO FAST – Breaking Your SMART Goals Into Bite-Size Pieces
When setting your goals, it is important that you do not set trivial goals.
It is also important that your goals scaffold one to another, or build on one another.
Imagine climbing a ladder.
You start at the bottom rung, and one step at a time you get to the top, where you were headed when you started.
Effective goal-setting is done in a similar manner.
Goals should be set in stages: Long-Term (5 years), Mid-Term (3 years), Short-Term (1 year), and Immediate (Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly, and Daily.)
This is the method I used to build every successful business. Without proper goal-setting, I might still be working on the first one.
4 | CREATE A GOAL STRATEGY – The Importance Of Strategy Behind SMART Goals
When setting goals, start with the end in mind. This is why it is important to start with your long-term goals first.
When you know where you want to get to, you have a solid vision. Then you are ready to start working your way backward step-by-step to the beginning.
If you set too many goals, it will feel overwhelming and turn into frustration. Fast.
I recommend setting goals in 3’s. This means you will have 3 ‘BIG’ goals you want to achieve by your 5th year of blogging, which is your long-term goal.
You will have 3 ‘BIG’ goals you want to achieve by your 3rd year of blogging, your mid-term goals, and so on.
This works its way clear down to your daily goals, which are the first step on the ladder.
Have you ever had a to-do list so long you didn’t even want to look at when it was time to start working on it?
If you are like me when you feel this way it is often easier to just do none of it because you know you aren’t going to get it done anyways.
This is our mind talking us into not doing something, not our logical self speaking up to say, “Even if you get just one thing done you will be closer to the end of your to-do list!”
Keeping your goals in 3’s keeps them doable not only in your mind but also achievable from an action-oriented strategy.
5 | WRITE YOUR LONG-TERM AND SHORT-TERM GOALS – What A Blogger’s SMART Goals Might Look Like At Each Stage
Five-Year, Three-Year, And One-Year Goals
Writing down your five-year, three-year, and one-year goals are where you start so you know exactly where you are headed as you plan your quarterly, monthly and daily goals.
These goals need to be specific, but not as specific and focused as the shorter-term goals.
For example, if you set a goal to retire in 5 years, include a number so you can break down how much income you must make to reach that goal.
In this blogger’s sample goal-setting form, one of the five-year goals is to have 200,000 subscribers on their email list.
Is this goal realistic?
Every goal should be broken down to see if it is realistic before it is actually set. How do you do that?
Let’s break it down:
200,000 subscribers in 5 years = 40,000 subscribers per year = 3,333 subscribers per month = 111 subscribers per day
Is this possible?
It absolutely is!
However, this blogger will be hustling like crazy nonstop.
The goal will not be reached on a monthly basis, meaning early in the life of the blog 111 subscribers per month will likely not happen.
However, as the blog grows and the blogger implements additional traffic strategies, the subscribers could grow to many more than 100+ per day so the five-year goal of 200,000 subscribers can be reached.
Annual Blog Goals
Your ‘big 3’ annual goals are the goals you will work toward over the next 12 months.
You break them down the same as your five-year and three-year goals. The main difference is your annual, or one-year goals, are going to control your focus and activities for your quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
Once you have set your ‘big 3’ annual goals, what actions are required to reach these goals?
These actions turn into your ‘big 3’ monthly goals. You can see the example of how each month is broken down in the image.
Quarterly Blog Goals
Quarterly goals are super important!
If you need to alter your path to reach your annual goals, it is your quarterly goals that you will change to get back on track.
I recommend you ‘pencil in’ your quarterly goals for the year.
Just before each quarter ends evaluate your success in that quarter, make any necessary changes, and set your goals for the next quarter.
Monthly Blog Goals
As you work your way down to your monthly goals, you need to stay ultra-focused and create goals that are ultra-action-oriented.
If your goal is to increase your page views to a certain number in a month, break this down so you know how many page views you need to increase each week to reach your goal.
Next, what activities are you going to do, specifically, to reach your goal?
For example, are you going to write 3 guest posts? Are you going to answer 6 questions a day on Quora, etc?
Weekly Blog Goals
Your weekly goals are going to propel you forward. You are getting down to the importance of stepping on each rung of the ladder as you climb it.
If you try to skip a rung when you are really climbing a ladder, you will likely fall. Treat your blog goals the same way!
There is no way to get around the work and action that must be taken. If you try, it will only set you behind.
Remember to stay on track with choosing ‘3 BIG Goals’ for each week and no more.
This will keep you focused, keep your goals attainable, and move you forward much more quickly than having a list of goals that are not action-oriented or the list is so long that it freezes you in your tracks.
Daily Blog Goals
Your daily goals should consist of ‘3 Big Goals’ and then be broken down into 3 action-oriented tasks to reach those goals.
It can feel like we aren’t accomplishing much over the course of a day, but when you complete these 3 main tasks day after day, the big picture is pretty amazing!
I don’t recommend including your daily blog activities in your ‘3 Big Goals’.
For example, if you manually schedule 10 pins a day in Pinterest, that should not be a goal. There is a difference between a goal and a routine blog activity.
Be sure your goals fall outside the daily or routine activities in your blog schedule.
6 | MAKE A PLAN TO TRACK YOUR GOALS – Additional Blog Goals To Track
In addition to the action-oriented goals, metrics to track blog growth provide a motivating visual to show your efforts are actually working.
I like to compare it to a before and after photo of someone that has lost a lot of weight. To see the before makes the after seem so much more meaningful!
The visual for your blog will be the same! It is often hard to see the growth day to day, but when compared month to month and year to year the motivation is much easier to sustain.
Examples of additional metrics can include social media likes or follows, page views, etc.
Keeping track of your accomplishments is also a motivator. For example, how many freebies or content upgrades did you create in one month?
Work the next month to beat yourself and earn a personal best!
Bringing It All Together
If you feel overwhelmed going through this entire process, set your three-year and one-year goals.
From there, jump down to your weekly and daily goals until you get comfortable.
Once you get the hang of creating 3 Big Goals that are action-oriented for each week and day, add in your monthly and quarterly goals.
Too many times I have watched clients, friends, and colleagues try to build a business without taking the time to set goals.
It is easy to convince ourselves we don’t have time, and they ‘don’t really matter anyway because I know what I want out of my blog.’
I hope you won’t fall into this category!
I have given you the exact plan that I have used to grow multiple businesses to six figures!
I have never seen a coach step on the field without a game plan in place. That game plan took hours of preparation watching films of their opponents, drawing out plays, and then revamping the plays.
During the game, adjustments are made to the game plan or game strategy if what they are doing is not working.
Your business will thrive with a plan in place!
Would You Like Your Own Blog Goal-Setting Planner?
Are You Ready To CRUSH Your Goals?
I’m super excited to share my goal-setting plan forms with you (yes, for FREE)!
Includes forms for long-term, mid-term, short-term, and immediate goals! Also included are metric goal-setting forms!
Sample cheat sheets are also included so you can refer to them as you set your own goals!