Are you a new blogger in your first year, or even an experienced blogger looking for more tips and tricks on setting blogging goals for the new year?
If so, then this post is just for you.
Every blogger needs to set blogging goals, and there’s no time better than the new year. Although these may change yearly, quarterly, monthly, or even daily, smart blogging goals will help you reach your blogging dreams.
A new year brings a fresh start, so it’s an optimal time for starting over.
Blogging Goals Every Blogger Needs to Have
Let’s look at nine blogging goals you can start with to upgrade your blog from hobby to business and make sure it’s your best year ever.
Blogging Goal 1: Learn SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important things you need to learn to turn your blog into a business. You obviously need blog traffic to grow your blog.
SEO is how Google decides if your blog is credible and worthy of showing off. (It’s how you land on the first page of Google searches.) Many factors go into the Google Search Algorithm, which are kept secret.
The key is you want people linking to your articles and resources, and those are called backlinks. Google looks at blogs with more backlinks as high-quality content because other websites are linking to it.
There are many ways to gain backlinks, like writing guest posts and blogger outreach. And if all of this sounds like mumbo jumbo, don’t worry; help is on the way.
Many people don’t worry about SEO initially, but those that do, well… their blogs skyrocket. I was of those in the first group because I found SEO optimization overwhelming. And I behind newer bloggers because of it.
Don’t make the same mistake as me. Focus on SEO now.
Since it takes about 6-9 months for Google to crawl your site, determine its credibility, and trust you, SEO isn’t a quick solution to traffic. (We’ll talk about quick fixes later.)
But Google isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So, if you prioritize learning and applying SEO as a blogging goal at the beginning of your career, it will definitely pay off in the long run.
If you’re interested in learning more about search engine optimization, I have a few courses and eBooks that can help you learn how to optimize your blog posts and website. They can also teach you backlinking strategies and structure your website.
Easy On-Page SEO by Debbie Gartner – Learn how to optimize your blog posts and the things you should be doing to make Google happy (since that is the ultimate goal).
Easy Backlinks for SEO by Debbie Gartner – Debbie teaches you how to get backlinks without doing blogger outreach, which seems icky to many people.
Easy SEO Revamp by Debbie Gartner – This is more for intermediate bloggers where you can uncover new blog posts and focus your SEO efforts for faster results.
Debbie also has bundles for anyone looking to save money on these eBooks. I promise that I waited for too long to buy these books. They are well worth the price.
Something else I wish I had access to sooner is her eBook Google Analytics East as 1, 2, 3. If you want to make the most money out of affiliate marketing with Amazon, her newest course, Journey to the Center of Amazon, was amazing.
But any list of SEO resources would not be complete without Stupid Simple SEO! This course was truly a game-changer and is quite complementary to Debbie’s courses and eBooks.
Mike Pearson teaches you so much, like guest posting, backlinking, keyword research, and much more. Stupid Simple SEO or Debbie’s SEO courses should be some of the first courses you invest in because your blog is nothing without traffic.
If you don’t quite have the money to invest in courses or eBooks (I’ve totally been there), check out my blog post on the best free SEO tools and Debbie’s free SEO course. Also, the link to Stupid Simple SEO sends you to Mike’s free SEO training, which is quite helpful.
Now that I’ve showered you with a gazillion SEO resources, let’s talk about finding your true audience.
Blogging Goal 2: Determine and Attract Your Ideal Audience
Every successful blogger will tell you that you have to target the right audience to make any income. And they’re absolutely right.
But how do you find you’re your audience? Well, it all depends on who you want to write to.
Although your blogging niche (which needs to be very specific) will play a factor in this, you need to narrow your audience down to one ideal avatar or reader.
You can check out my avatar worksheet that helps you flesh out who your ideal reader is. To find your loyal raving fans, you’ll need to get real specific and identify just one person to start with. You can have more than one avatar later on, but start with only one, so you can find your voice and draw in your fans.
By real specific, I mean their name, age, job, gender, favorite magazines, hobbies, and more. Is your ideal married? Do they have kids? You get the gist, and my avatar worksheet outlines the questions you need to answer.
By doing so, it will be easier to cater your posts to this audience, rather than writing broad and hoping the right people will find you. (This can work, of course, but not as quickly.)
Here are some examples of specific niches and their audiences:
- Horseback riding for middle-aged women who have a family with very little free time
- Affordably traveling around the world for young couples (23-38) without (or with) children.
- Working nomadically as a young freelance writer without experience
Since all 3 of those examples greatly vary, you can see there is no set audience for everyone. But each of those bloggers would only have their preferred audience (most likely) reading their posts since they are so specific.
You want to attract your loyal audience because then you can fulfill their specific needs and answer their burning questions.
Blogging Goal 3: Determine realistic traffic expectations
We talked about SEO earlier, but traffic is a huge element that will make or break your business. If no one sees your blog posts, then no one can buy your products.
But, you need to be very realistic and specific when you set traffic expectations as a blogging goal.
If your blog is very new, don’t expect 100,000 page views within six-months. This can happen, but it is more rare than common.
A good way to measure the number of page views your blog gets is by installing Google Analytics. This tool allows you to see the number of page views, sessions, average time on a page, and so much more data on your blog. Google Analytics can provide a lot of helpful information you can use to get better traffic.
By using this, you’ll be able to set realistic traffic expectations each month, in six months, or a year. You’ll see how your traffic fluctuates and the amount of traffic you are currently getting.
Blogging Goal 4: Build an Email List
Even though you want your blog itself to bring in consistent income, your email list is what keeps all of your preferred audience together.
Think about it, do you usually give out your email if you aren’t already interested in the freebie, product, or blog? Most likely not.
Therefore, the people signing up for your email will already want more information about your niche. Many people wait to start their email list until later, but you want to be collecting emails and gathering peeps on your list from the beginning.
You can send your list extra information and certain affiliate links, so you get good feedback on what is (or isn’t) working for your business. Your email list is truly the only thing you own as far as your customers.
Pinterest or Facebook may come and go, or worse yet, suspend you, and then you’ll lose everything overnight. But your list is always there.
So save yourself the hassle now and start collecting email subscribers the right way from the beginning.
Blogging Goal 5: Write at Least One Blog Post Per Week
Obviously, you want a ton of great content for your blog. But let’s be real. Writing a post a day is completely unrealistic. (Unless it is realistic for you. Then, by all means, do so!)
Most people can write at least one good blog post each week. If you can, you’d have 52 articles of great content at the end of the year! That will do wonders for your blog.
Try to outline a post one day and then fill in a small amount each day after. That way, you have one blog post regularly going out every seven days. Writing blog posts this way is probably one of the best solutions if you have another job and need to cram in writing time where you can.
One of my favorite blogging peeps, Cate Rosales, says that if she can, she sits (or stands) and bangs one blog post out in a setting, and she has small kids. So, if she can do it, so can you.
Unless it’s an epic blog post (like this one is becoming), I try to write one blog post in a setting. But batching is a great way to get more blogging tasks done faster.
If you can do keyword research for a bunch of posts and then write five outlines in one day, that’s batching at it’s finest. It keeps you focused on similar tasks, so there are fewer interruptions, and you can get more done.
If that is too easy for you, try to create more content each week. (Or, at least on the weeks you can.)
Even big companies use strategic content marketing to attract and retain their ideal clients.
Having great content on your site is how readers (and Google) will trust you. Once they trust you, they’ll be more likely to purchase your products and keep your business thriving.
Blogging Goal 6: Pick One Social Media Platform and Master It
As I’m sure you already know, you can choose to promote your blog on many social media platforms. A good rule of thumb is to use one and master it before moving on to another platform. And it’s a good rule to follow.
So, you don’t need to have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube for your business.
Instead, choose one or two places where your audience hangs and learn how to amplify your presence there. Then, once it becomes easy to grow and sustain, maybe try adding another platform.
No one can maintain consistent posting on multiple platforms without help, usually in the form of outsourcing. Hiring a Pinterest Manager was one of the best things I ever did. It gave me time back in my day and has allowed me to focus on other aspects of my business.
If you already have a good following on any platform, I recommend staying with it to draw readers and customers to your blog IF that’s where your readers hang out. It will be easier since you already know how to use the platform.
But the most popular social media platform in the blogging industry is Pinterest. If you want to learn more about using Pinterest to draw traffic to your site, here is one of my favorite courses, Pinterest Popular by Nadalie Bardo.
This course is perfect for new bloggers just starting with Pinterest, and even more experienced bloggers already using Pinterest can learn something.
Another great Pinterest course is Pinterest Ninja by Megan Johnson. Like Nadalie, Megan walks you through setting up a business account and enabling rich pins and gives you tips on optimizing your profile, and much more.
Blogging Goal 7: Monetize Your Blog
Since you’re on this post, I’m assuming you want to earn income from your blog. But this won’t naturally happen on its own; you have to decide how you want to monetize your blog.
Two of the most popular ways to monetize your blog would be through ad networks and affiliate links.
Ad networks place ads onto your pages. They then pay you depending on the number of people that see each ad. As a new blog, one of the ad networks you could apply to would be Google Adsense.
But I would wait until you have a good amount of regular traffic and apply to a network like Monumetric. Then you can apply to Mediavine later down the road.
Ads can slow down your site. So personally, I think you should start the monetization process through affiliate links if you don’t already have a substantial amount of traffic each month.
Affiliate links are links people can purchase through where you earn a commission from the sale. Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money if you don’t have your own products to sell yet
Here are some of the networks you can use to become an affiliate:
Blogging Goal 8: Create a Product
Another way to bring in revenue from your blog is by creating your own product to sell.
The best way to earn residual income is by creating a product that your audience needs. This way, you make nearly 100% of the revenue because it’s your own product.
Although the product(s) you create will be solely based on your niche and audience, here are a couple of examples you can try:
The biggest thing about creating a product is there is a lot of market research to make sure you have a product that your audience actually wants to buy.
One of the best ways to find the right product to make is by polling the audience you already have. If you have a small list, you want to focus on list building before you get to the next point.
Not every blogger thinks this way, so if you feel strongly that you have an idea that your customers will love, just make sure to research your idea before you create it. There’s nothing worse than spending a long time on a product, and then when you launch it, all you hear is crickets.
If you have a product you want to sell, you can do so easily on ConvertKit, which just rolled out this new option a little earlier in 2020. You can also sell courses and eBooks on Teachable, Podia, Course Craft, or other similar platforms.
Blogging Goal 9: Commit to Your Blogging Business
The last blogging goal you need is to really commit to your blog as an actual business.
Blogging is not (usually) a get-rich-quick job. But, with dedication, you can become wildly successful and have a ton of fun while doing so.
However, you can only be truly successful if you commit to your blog and treat it like a business. When you finally see your blog as a business, that’s when the magic happens.
How to Achieve Your Blogging Goals in 3 Steps
Now that we have nine blogging goals that we can set, we need to figure out how we can achieve them. Here are three steps you can use to turn your blogging goal into a reality.
Step 1: Use SMART Goals
Of course, you always want to be smart about your goals, but this acronym helps you create realistic goals and achieve them.
If you are too broad with your goals, you won’t actually know what you are trying to achieve. By setting a specific goal, you can step out the exact steps you need to get there.
(Get a lot of traffic vs. 1,000 page views each month.)
Make sure that the blogging goals you set can be measured. To meet your goal, you need to be able to measure it.
(Create a lot of content vs. publishing one post each week.)
You set yourself up for failure if you set goals that really can’t be achieved. At the beginning of your blogging career, you need to focus on what you can actually achieve rather than your hopes and dreams.
(100,000 page views in your first month vs. 1,000 page views in your first month.)
You want to create goals relevant to the success you want to make. Meaning, don’t choose a goal just because other people are doing it. Only create ones that actively help you get where you want to be.
(Create an email list vs. getting a 10% higher click-through rate on affiliate links)
Whether it’s a daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly goal, put a time constraint on your goal. If you don’t have a specific date you want to reach your goal, you’re more likely to push it off.
(I want to get 100,000 page views vs. I want to double my amount of page views next month)
Step 2: Regularly Evaluate What is (and isn’t) Working
If you set yearly goals, make sure you regularly evaluate what is (or isn’t) working for each of your goals.
This evaluation will allow you to change your goals or methods based on what you know will help you achieve success.
Step 3: Treat Your Blog as If It Were Already a Successful Business
Just like blogging goal #9, make sure you treat your blog as if it is already the successful business you’ve always dreamed of.
If you treat it like a business from the very beginning, you’re more likely to weather through the hard times.
Also, since it can take time to get a substantial amount of payoff, you must continuously have a business owner’s mindset. (It takes dedication, investments, and many years to build any successful business.)
Why You Need Goals for Your Blog
Some hobby bloggers aren’t worried about where their blog will take them, so goals aren’t as much of a priority.
Many bloggers want to turn their blog into a business and make money, which can definitely be done.
If you want to take your blog from hobby to business, you need to have set blogging goals every step of the way. (And then, you need to see them through.)
Having goals for your blog, along with how to achieve them, automatically sets you up for success.
By setting blogging goals, working towards them, and reaching them, your successful blog is right around the corner.
Final Thoughts on Blogging Goals
I encourage you to set your own blogging goals. Whether you choose some (or all) from this post or make your own, setting goals is essential to your business.
When you decide what your blogging goals are, make sure they include:
- finding your ideal audience
- the amount of content you need
- and most definitely learning SEO.
Have you set any blogging goals? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear them!
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