In this post we are going to look at goal setting for business blogging. It’s similar to goal setting in a business environment, so for many of my lovely readers this post is a refresher rather than a tutorial
“She who doesn’t plan, plans to fail”, yeah the old adage is true in many respects. For any business blog to succeed, you need to have very specific plans and goals that you want to achieve and to measure your successes against. They can (and will) be revised over time as things change – any plan should be treated as a living thing, but you will need to start somewhere.
Your blogging goals need to contain a few different elements to be effective and you need several types of goals that are SMART.
What’s a SMART blogging goal?
A truly effective blogging goal meets the SMART criteria which I’ve outlined below:
Make sure you are very specific about what you want to achieve in your goal. Saying you want to create more infoproducts is vague. Instead, you might set the goal of writing 3 new products, including 1 ebook and 2 ecourses with video.
How will you know whether you have achieved your goal? You want to grow your email list. One way of measuring it is to look at the number of subscribers you have and specify that you want to grow that number by 50%. If you want to increase your conversion rate of prospects to customers, make sure you can track each part of your sales process so you know exactly when and where the prospect becomes a customer.
Your goals need to be something you can attach specific actions to.
- Can you create a step-by-step plan for achieving the goals?
- Is it something under your control?
For example, setting a goal of moving up to the first page of search results in Google is highly desirable. However, there are no actions involved and it’s not under your direct control. Instead, you should say that you will implement 3 new SEO tactics over the course of the next 3 months to move up in the search engines. Then list out the detailed goals for each tactic – submitting 1 article per day to 5 article directories, social bookmarking your own and comparable posts on a daily basis, building 5 links per week . You’ll be able to measure the results and then determine your next set of actions.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are unrealistic or impossible to achieve. For example, if you are a complete newcomer to business blogging, it’s unrealistic to think that you can write 100 good quality blog posts in the space of 3 months. Not impossible, just unrealistic. If you market online it’s easy to get sucked into the thinking you can achieve a promised $10,000 in 3 days. That’s just not realistic. Also, you need to make sure you have access to all the resources you need to achieve your blogging goals in the first place. Don’t set yourself up to fail, you’ll become disillusioned very quickly.
As with any of your plans, put a timeframe around your goals. You could set a goal of doubling your traffic in the next six months, or writing one infoproduct per month for the next year (I did that one last year and it’s tough). You will then be able to set up specific tasks to make sure this happens, and you’ll be able to measure the results.
So that’s SMART goal setting for your business blogging. We now need to look at the type of business blogging goals to set.
Types of business blogging goals
Long term goals: It’s easiest to start with your biggest goals and work backwards to figure out what you will need to achieve these goals. Long-term could mean a 10 year goal and you should definitely dream big. Maybe you want to dominate your marketplace, or live and work in a new area or country. Now is the time to put that dream down on paper as a real goal, so it’s no longer just a vague dream. You can also break this down into 5 year goals and yearly goals.
Short term goals: Create goals that are one year out, six months out, and monthly.
Your one year goals will be based on your ultimate 5 and 10 year ones, they pave the way to achieving the long term goal. The monthly ones will then be based on what it will take to achieve your one year goal. Lets go with the expand business into a new country example; you might know you want to be able to live and work from anywhere in the world in 5 years, when your kids are out of college or before your kids start school. What does that mean you need to be able to do by the end of three years, one year, six months? How much will you need to earn and what will you need to have learned to achieve each goal? Break it down as much as possible and in as much detail as possible. As we talk about visualising your ideal reader / customer, we visualise the same with our goals.
Immediate goals: These are the goals that you set for yourself every week and every day.
You can have a goal that is the same each week, such as posting to your blog 3 times per week. Then you will also need to sit down once per week to set goals for every day of that week to come. These will likely change from week to week based on what else is going on, but it will ensure that you make progress towards your long term success.
Your goals are your roadmap to your business blogging success. Every successful business person, online or offline, sits down and goes through the process of defining their goals not only yearly, but monthly and weekly as well. Setting and meeting goals will show you just how much you are achieving and will keep you motivated along your path to success. Remember, unlike the ten commandments, your business blogging goals are not set in stone and can be changed and adapted to your circumstances. Never beat yourself up for not achieving a goal, go back to the SMART formula and revise the goals but take a good look at why you didn’t achieve the goal – this will help you overcome this hurdle should you come across it again in the future.