I’ve been blogging in this space — first Organizing Your Way and then Life Your Way — for over three years now, and there are some great posts in the archives that don’t get much attention anymore. This week, I’ll be sharing some of my favorites. Whether you’ve been around since the beginning or are a new reader, I think you’ll enjoy them!
Why do you blog?
Defining your goals and identifying strategies to achieve them is just as important for your blog as for any other area of life. Today, as part of the Maximize Your Blogging series, we’re going to look at the importance of setting goals and making a plan to take your blog to the next level.
1. Identify the purpose of your blog.
There are dozens of reasons people blog, and identifying which ones motivate and drive you to keep writing and publishing your words is an important part of goal setting.
Do you blog as to keep a record of your family memories? Because you hope to one day secure a book deal? As a creative outlet? To earn money? To share a message? As a ministry? To connect with other people and build community? For another reason?
You may have answered yes to more than one of these, but keep in mind that if you try to claim all of them as your purpose, your efforts to work toward achieving each of them will be diluted. It’s better to choose just a couple core purposes and focus on those rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
2. Define your vision.
Once you’ve identified the reason you blog, think through your vision for your site. Do you want it to become an accepted authority in its niche, like Simple Mom? Do you want to build a community where your readers interact with each other on a personal level and develop real friendships? Do you want to earn a full-time income?
Sit down and dream about what you’d ultimately like to achieve with your blog. This vision will help you stay passionate about blogging and meeting your goals even when you’re tired and don’t feel like writing. It may change over time, but it gives you something to work toward and helps you decide between various activities, posts and opportunities that come along.
3. Set short- and long-term goals.
Now that you’ve defined your vision for your blog, it’s time to set some goals to help you move toward that vision. What would you like to achieve by the end of this month? In three months? In six months? By the end of the year?
Set goals for traffic, content, networking, comments, advertising, other revenue and more. Although I haven’t read this book, I love the title, and I think it’s true for blogging as well: If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’ll Probably End Up Somewhere Else.
Setting goals doesn’t mean there’s no room for changing your mind or going in a different direction; it means you have something to work toward. We all adjust our goals as we grow, learn more and react to a changing industry, but it’s important to always have goals that you’re aiming for.
4. Think through strategies to achieve your goals.
Setting goals for your blog is not enough. Next, identify strategies and activities to help you achieve them. If you want to increase your readership, how will you attract readers? How will you keep them? If you want to be featured on a local or national news program, what steps will you take to get their attention?
There are thousands of different things you could be doing today to take your blog to the next level, but obviously it’s not feasible to do all of them. Instead, identify your most important tasks — plugins you want to install, series/posts you want to write, other bloggers you want to connect with, etc. — and keep a running list that you can work from as you have time. 5.
5. Make time for your blog.
How you spend your time should reflect your priorities in life. Maybe your blog is just a hobby, and the time you spend on it when life gets busy reflects that. But if you’re blogging as a business — or even as a ministry — you may need to prioritize the time you spend blogging. I don’t mean neglecting your children or husband to pour hours and hours into your blog, but you should set aside scheduled time each day to write content and work on the tasks you outlined above.
In most cases, you can easily see the difference between a hobby blogger and a “professional” blogger. While there’s nothing wrong with blogging just as a hobby, if your vision and goals are to be a problogger, you will need to make a commitment to your blog and invest more time in it.
Why do you blog? What other tips do you have for setting goals for your blog?
|Mandi Ehman is the founder and publisher behind Life Your Way and the co-author of All in Good Time, as well as a wife and the homeschooling mom to four beautiful girls. She lives with her family on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia and loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.|