Many bloggers start blogs these days with the dream of millions of readers and making large amounts of money.
However, sorry to break it to you my fellow bloggers, but new bloggers would do well to spend more time thinking about their ‘first steps’ than just the big picture dreams and free peanut butter – even if I would NEVER say no to peanut butter.
Realistic goals for the short term are as effective as more complex, articulated goals. I have a few for you that you can implement straight away.
I always work on a SMART goal basis: how can my goals be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound?
Specific, realistic and achievable are much more about the size of the goal, whilst measurable helps you tracking your goals effectively, and time bound gives you a deadline.
I am giving you a few examples, giving a whole timeframe of 3 months for these very simple, effective and incremental goals.
- Publish your first 12 blogposts (which means you’d have posted for at least 12 weeks, if you were to write once a week)
- Bring your readership to more than 50 readers per day – it sounds easy, but it is surely not.
- Getting your first comment / retweet from someone you don’t know – yes, your mum does not count (even if my mumma is always very proud)
- Get your first interview / guest article from another blog or first guest post on another blog – remember, starting small and then going out to the masses is your goal
Just because I love for people to action what I preach, these are the tools you can use to support you reaching each of the goals
- When it comes to having inspiration, I surely have no shortage of ideas. However, I know some people struggle more than others when it comes with this, and that’s why this little tool is a winner: [HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator]
- Co-Schedule is a pretty snazzy tool that allows you to seamlessly schedule content and promote your blog efficiently and automatically. We use it for the HBC Mag and it definitely helps promoting our daily articles and it grew our readership by 70% over the past 3 months.
- When it comes to comment, most websites have really clunky and honestly confusing comment sections. Sometimes you have to leave email and a whole load of details, and it can quickly demotivate people. Try using Disqus (it’s free!) to make it more seamless for people to comment on your blog.
- This is where being in community like the HBC really helps. Having like-minded people with complementary skills can truly help when looking for people to feature of guests on one’s blog.
There are more “task related” goals such as ‘setting up analytics’ or ‘updating my about page’.
However, these goals are much more about specific things you’ll have to do, and objectively give a completely different sort of sense of achievement.
I would argue that smaller bloggers would not feel like these tiny goals can have a big impact on their growth, however, by simply upping the numbers to these goals you’ll be able to challenge yourselves considerably. Is there anything that is somehow stopping you from setting goals? Let me know by dropping me a line on Twitter (which you can find in my author box) and I would love to help you further.