It’s been a very long year and, like most people, you probably can’t wait for it to end. And with the new year coming up, now is a good time to set some blogging goals for 2021.
Setting goals is important if you want to improve your blog. This will help you focus your time and energy on what is most important. And knowing what you will achieve will give you some extra incentive to continue.
Getting SMART about setting goals
There is a lot of information about goals and how to set them. One of the most popular methods is to base them on the acronym SMART, which means smart, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timeout. And that is what I will refer to in this post.
But I’m going to attach a few more words to some of these letters to make them more specific to blogs.
S is for …
To begin with, your goals should be as specific as possible. Don’t set dark goals like “I want more traffic to my blog” or “I want more money from my blog” or “I want to post more often”.
How Much of You Want More Traffic? How much do you want more money? How often do you want to post?
As I said before, setting goals is important if you want to grow your blog. But don’t start doing them just by doing it. You should be setting meaningful goals that will bring you closer to your long-term goals.
Want to earn a million dollars from blogs? You probably won’t get there in a year, but you can certainly set a goal (“I want to earn $ 50,000.”) That brings you closer to that profitable value.
Want to close a deal for a book? You may not get one this year, but you can surely set a goal (“I want to publish a new post every week.”) That will bring you closer.
You must also set goals that are meaningful to you. You may want to earn $ 50,000 to buy a new car or your first home. Now, that goal is much more meaningful and you’ll be more motivated to achieve it.
M is for …
Then, your goals need to be measurable. As Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure, you can’t improve.”
The specific objectives that I mentioned in the previous section are also measurable because it is easy to find out whether you have achieved them or not. At the end of the year, you’ll know if your traffic doubled, earned $ 50,000, or posted something new every week.
In addition, you can assess how well you are tracking and, if necessary, make some adjustments. Let’s say your goal is to earn $ 50,000 in one year.
This results in $ 4,166 per month or $ 137 per day. And so, at any time during the year, you can compare how much you have earned with how much you should have done to see how you are achieving your goal.
And when planning your goals, keep another word with M in mind – meaningful. You are much more likely to reach your goal if it means something to you.
I once talked to a blogger whose goal was to raise $ 10,000 for a school for orphans in Africa. It had nothing to do with the growth of her blog, but she had visited the orphanage a few years earlier, so it was a significant goal for her.
A is for …
Your goals should increase you and make you work hard. But they should also be achievable based on the situation in which you find yourself.
If you can only blog at night because of work and family commitments, you probably shouldn’t set a goal to publish a new post every day.
Even publishing once a week can take things too far. To start, it may be better to set a goal to publish a post once every fifteen days, and then see how your follow-up is after a few months.
Setting goals that you can’t really achieve can hurt your blog. You may be much less motivated to continue, and even if you do continue, the quality of your content may drop, which can damage your brand.
Undoubtedly, stretch, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. When creating your goals, take into account your time and resources. What you would like to be a year-long goal may need to become one of your long-term goals – at least to begin with.
And if you are part of a team, then your goals must also be combined. This means not only letting everyone know about the goals you would like to achieve, but also making them take them into account so that everyone can work together to achieve them.
You will probably be setting several goals for the year. But after creating all of them, make sure they are still relevant. You may find that some of them conflict with others or have already been addressed for other purposes. And some may be just ahead of time.
In 2015, one of my goals was to hold an event in the USA. We have many readers in the United States, so I thought it would be a worthwhile goal. But when I looked at all the goals I wanted to achieve that year,
I could see that the work involved in running an event in the United States would affect some of my other goals. And so I decided to put that specific goal on hold.
Two years later, I took another look at my list of goals and could see how we could hold that event in the United States. In the years that have passed, I have met some people who could help us make this a reality. So, I freed up some time on my plan to work on it, and the result was our Success Incubator event.
Just because a goal is not relevant at the moment does not mean that you should drop it completely. You may simply need more resources, contacts, or preparation work to make it a success.
T is for …
Finally, your goals should be time out. In other words, they need deadlines.
This not only makes your goals specific and measurable, but it also helps you figure out how to achieve them.
For example, if your goal is to publish a blog post every Friday, you can work backward to find out when you need to finish your research, when you need to finish your first draft, and so on.
A tip with deadlines: try to space them out, instead of putting them all at the end of the year. That way, you won’t face a stack of deadlines at a time when you should slow down rather than speed up.
Distancing them also means that you will achieve goals regularly, which can do wonders for your motivation.
What are your goals for 2021? And what long-term goals will they help you achieve? Let us know in the comments.