HAVE you ever set blogging goals that have the staying power of a New Year’s dieting resolution? You’re not alone. Many of us fall into the trap of setting lofty objectives at the height of inspiration, only to be derailed later by unforeseen pitfalls.
This is why so many promising blogs fail: the goals are not realistic enough. Most of this stems from lack of preparation and flimsy understanding of one’s capabilities and limitations. However, with careful planning and a more grounded view of what one can achieve, these drawbacks can be avoided.
Remember that seemingly impossible goals can always be revamped and reached with a change of perspective and a solid action plan.
After listing down what you want to attain for your blog, consider asking yourself the following questions:
What do I specifically want to achieve?
Having a clear and straightforward vision of what you want to attain makes it easier to formulate and execute your strategy. Instead of saying ‘I want more subscribers,’ you can try going for ‘I will get at least 5 new subscribers every month.’ This way, you can take concrete steps towards gaining and monitoring that desired number of subscribers.
Are my goals realistic?
Setting high standards for your blog is ideal, but if you do not have the means or the ability to reach them, then you will only be disappointed. Likewise, if your objectives are far too easy to achieve, then you will only sell yourself short and your blog could stagnate in the long run.
Keep your goals achievable within your level of difficulty, then strive to surpass that level.
Can I expect measurable results?
Whether it’s increasing your subscribers by a certain percentage or gaining a higher PR ranking, tracking your progress is much easier and better with quantifiable results. Simply pushing yourself to be more creative with your content doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a solid yardstick to measure it by.
Make sure that at least one of the listed goals yields results that you can monitor and analyze over time.
What is my action plan?
This is where preparation and strategic thinking comes in. If you want to increase your blog traffic, you need to know how to attract it. If you wish to increase your output, you need to set up a consistent working schedule. Whatever your goal is, it requires a plan with a detailed and workable strategy backed up with sufficient research.
Reaching difficult goals becomes more satisfying if you’re well-prepared for it. Aim high with your feet on the ground.
Are my goals attainable within a reasonable time frame?
As mentioned earlier, aspiring to achieve too much too soon may result in wasted effort. Not setting clear deadlines, on the other hand, stems from and results in lack of commitment.
Try to set a clear time period for meeting each objective. Breaking your schedule down into a series of smaller tasks may help you manage your time better, and will make the overall project easier for you to complete.
Should you run into unexpected difficulties, make room to rework your schedule so you can still meet your original deadlines — or at least adjust them accordingly.
How will my goals affect my entire routine?
There are other matters outside of blogging that need to be taken into consideration. Will the whole blogging process take up most of your daily routine? If so, what areas of your life will be affected and how?
If meeting your blogging objectives will cost you more than you initially hoped, then you may need to reevaluate your plans. Blogging should enrich your life, not consume it.
Can I expect rewards from meeting my objectives?
Meeting your goals in the form of more readers or revenue may be rewarding in itself, but sometimes you need to provide yourself with a little extra incentive to keep plugging away. One good way to keep yourself motivated is to evaluate and analyze your daily and weekly progress, focusing on the highlights. Another way to inspire yourself is to read on other bloggers’ success stories.
Meeting and maintaining your blogging goals require plenty of self-motivation, so keeping track of your achievements, failures, and areas of improvement is highly critical to your blog’s growth. When things get difficult, sometimes seeing your flubs from a humorous point of view can put matters into perspective – and could serve as great material for your upcoming posts as well.
Photo credits: eecs.harvard.edu, www.careerbuilder.com