As a blogger have you set your goals for the year 2014? I'm definite you've done that!
Now, what did you title your goals, is it “My blogging goals for 2014” or “My business goals for 2014”?
Hmm, I can hear you already saying, is there any difference?
Probably not. But if you look carefully you'll definitely realize that there's so much difference!
Now, goal setting is a common business practice. It's simply your desired achievement for the year. Most of the goals that businesses set may be focused on maximizing sales and revenue, maximizing profits, taking the biggest market share, minimizing costs, etc.
Unfortunately, over the years I have watched bloggers set yearly goals which cannot be termed as goals! Frankly, I consider most as “to-do-lists” and not goals. The reason is because most of them actually came out of what I have come to regard as the “bloggers mindset” – a preponderance for activities but never expecting financial returns!
If you examine carefully the focus of business goals as mentioned above, you’ll discover that they result in some financial benefit for the business. But this is usually missing when you read the goals of many bloggers.
But does this really matter?
Of course, it matters. For example, do you realize that by simply omitting your financial expectation you impress it on your subconscious mind that making money from your blogging activities is not your concern? And,if you understand the role your subconscious mind plays in your business success, you’d realize that this simple omission is actually hindering your success.
This is one of the reasons why many bloggers run around practically doing everything they know to do but making nothing from their efforts!
Let me quickly say that I’m a witness to this. A few years back, my blogging goals were to increase traffic to the blog and also to increase the volume of comments. I thought then that a long list of comments was what make a successful blog. To achieve this, I installed the commentluv plugin, started a monthly “Top Commenters Reward Package” and not too long after the traffic and comments started growing. Here's a post I did on my strategy back in 2010!
The sad reality is, all the time that I focused on driving traffic and “gathering” comments, I hardly made a cent from my efforts!
Then listen to my advice…
… Stop following that path and do this instead!
How to Use Goal Setting to Build Your Online Business
1. Decide On How Much You Want To Earn From Your Blog This Year!
This is really the starting point. Remember, businesses exist to create customers – people who are willing to give you their money in exchange for your products or services.
Please get this right, I'm not advocating that you focus only on the money. No. Rather, doing this will help you create an experience that will enable your customers to be willing to give you more money for your offers!
So, put a figure to it! Say, I intend to make $10,000 from my blog this year instead of just saying I'll increase the blog's traffic this year; I'll …, I'll… and then remaining silent on the financial income! See a practical example here (I love learning from those who making it!)
2. Set Your Business Objectives (Plan of Action)
Beyond saying I want to make $10, 000 from my blog this year you'll need to design a strategy to achieve that goal. The best way I have found to do this is to break your goal into monthly chunks.
For our example this will be about $833.33 every month which of course, makes your goal more realistic!
Now ask yourself question like:
(a) How do I make $840 from my blogging activities each month?
(b) Do I need my own products or should I promote affiliate products? How many products (affiliate or my own) do I need to sell each month to achieve this target?
(c) How about selling adverts on the blog? How many ad blocks will help me achieve this goal? How do I get the advertisers and blog sponsors?
(d) How about traffic? How do I increase the blog traffic to achieve my target? Where will this traffic come from – blog commenting, forum postings or search engine optimization?
(e) How about email marketing? How do I build a list or grow my email list to achieve this target? Is my list responsive enough? What must I do to make it truly responsive?
(f) How will my content help to achieve this target? What type of content will me to effectively engage my audience so they can trust me and do more business with me?
(g) Who really is my target audience? Where will I found them? What pains are they looking to heal and how can I help? How does this affect the type of content I MUST create on my blog this year?
Questions like these will help you have a clear picture of what you need to do and how to go about doing it. You can even set a time frame for your daily and weekly activities in order to meet your monthly target.
3. Stay Organized and Focused
Once you have set out your plan of action, you must ensure that everything you do on your blog every day is geared towards achieving your target. One sure thing is that situations will arise to distract you, but you must resist them. If you can stay focused you will definitely make an appreciable mark on your goals for the year.
4. Be Consistent
This is very important. Most times, in the first few months you may not hit your target of $840 monthly. But don’t let that discourage you. Continue working your plan. As you read other blogs you may be tempted to start doing what others are doing. While it is not wrong to copy from other bloggers but you must only copy that which align with your goals.
Be consistent, test and evaluate your plan. Improve on that which is producing results and ditch that which is not.
5. Stay Inspired
Staying inspired is also very essential if you want to turn your goals from abstracts into reality. Without this you may not go far. One way to stay inspired is to learn to pat yourself on the back for every success you achieve! If you discover that you are always falling short of your target, don't despair. Instead look for some who can help or go read more about what you are doing and learn some new tactic to apply. Always find some way to be positive.
A goal is simply your general statement of what you want to achieve within the year. Of course, no goal is set on stone but setting a goal for your blogging business this year will help you to clarify the purpose of the business and also to identify the necessary actions you need to take. So set goals but more importantly design a plan to achieve your goals.
Hope this post has helped you in some way. If so, I'll love for us to continue the discussion in the comment section below. Share your thoughts with us!