How to Goal Set Effectively as a Blogger

Happy hump! It’s been due time for a meaty blogging resource around these rosy parts, so consider today deliverance day. HA. For my bloggers in the house, I’m sure ya feel me when I say that to-do lists can get completely, totally, ridiculously overwhelming. The ability to effectively goal set is *clutch* whether you’re a blogger or not. It’s just all the more important when there are no set metrics for how to set goals, let alone how to find “success” – no universal benchmarks of accomplishment for all to strive for accordingly.

Here’s the thing, tho.

Especially since there are no set metrics for “success,” it can be really freakin’ hard to figure out how to set goals as a blogger.

But, it’s also really freakin’ important to goal set as a blogger.

I once heard the quote “In order to reach a destination, you have to know where you’re going.”

Dude…how profound amiright??? The whole purpose of goal setting is to set a series of “destinations” to guide your journey. If you *don’t* set goals – and/or, I would add, if you don’t know how to set goals *effectively* – you’re basically just aimlessly wandering through life. And you have ZERO excuse if/when things don’t add up to going your way, because you never actually set the way and actively stepped out to make it happen!

 

Can all of my Type A, overly ambitious, perfectionist blogger babes raise their hand? *raises hand*

We are racehorses. For racehorses, a few things are important.

1.) That we have on blinders. Spending time focusing on “the competition” is time spent NOT furthering your own work. Keep yo’ eyes on yo’ own paper, peeps.

2.) That there’s a set track. Granted, not all bloggers have the same trajectory, path, and/or “track” to follow. Hence the ever-increasing importance to create yo’ own track via effective goal-setting.

Goals can be hella motivating when they’re set right. Here’s how to set goals effectively as a blogger for 2017 + beyond:

How to Effectively Set Goals as a Blogger in 2017 and beyond! - On Coming Up Roses

If you’ve failed at setting goals in the past, it might’ve been because:

  • You claimed to be “too busy.” 
  • You have no process or system for goal-setting
  • You don’t know what you actually want out of blogging.

First thing’s first…

1.) Figure out why the heck you’re blogging in the first place. And before you write this one off as a “No duh, Erica!” hear me out. Sit down and force yourself to write out why you blog. Come clean + clear with yourself on why you’re in this biz. Do you just love to write? Is photography and taking pictures your main jam? Have you got a real knack for styling outfits, or a knack for whipping up gluten free recipes? Do you aspire to make a difference? I talked about creating a place of success in this post and my own personal struggle with it – it can eat you alive if you’re not super careful + intentional with the entire process. In a digital world of infinite growth possibility, it’s far too easy to let the uphill journey towards a bigger and bigger “following” or readership base just become the focal point of any and all goals.

At the end of the day, though…why do you blog?

If you blog to make money – especially if that’s your whole reason behind blogging – you will likely fail in the long run. Why? Because that’s going to become hella obvious, if it’s not already. You cannot blog to make money. You blog to create value. When you are creating value, you can make money. Simple as that.

When your genuine passion becomes profitable, you’ve won the jackpot. But until then – especially if making money from your blog isn’t even a goal, because it does not have to be! – get crystal clear on your WHY. What’s your blogging purpose? Every subsequent goal needs to be aligned with that.

 

2.) Acknowledge that you are not “too busy.” You are just not managing time effectively. OUCH, E. But really tho. At the end of the day, we’ve all got the same # of hours. Saying you were/are “too busy” to blog isn’t actually saying you’re too busy – it’s saying you prioritized differently. It’s not inherently a bad thing, so long as you’re not using “I’m just too busy!” as an excuse as to why you’re not reaching the goals you set forth from the get go. If you want it badly enough, you need to manage your time, figure out what you want, outline what needs to happen to get there, and make it happen – pointblankperiod.

3.) Make it happen via a process for smart, effective goal setting. If it’s not processed and systemized, it’s a helluvah lot harder to get done time and time again. SO. Maybe you know bits and pieces of the below already…maybe you know the whole shebang! Whatever the case might be, think of it as an all-inclusive, step-by-step system to effectively set goals that you can reach and knock outta the park.

  • Analyze what has worked before. Analytics are a *beautiful* thing, y’all. When in doubt, data it out. See what your own audience best responds to, get their direct feedback, and track the progress you’ve already made. Once you’ve got a good feel for that, it’s easier to feel confident in your goal-setting, since you *know* it’s based on something proven instead of just wishy-washy desires.

  • Do yo’ research. Before you set goals, it’s important to get a sense for what’s realistic within your industry. Granted, this does NOT mean just track your “competition” and do whatever they’re doing. It means research industry standards, find “norms,” and use this to determine some *realistic yet aspirational* marks you want to hit within a set period of time.
  • Write it down. If you didn’t write it down, did you even set the goal?
  • Keep it realistic. After doing your research, if you learn that an average exists, understand that blowing an average out of the water right outta the gate miiiiiight not be realistic.
  • Be willing to review, re-evaluate, and revamp as necessary. It’s all part of the growth process. It’s flat out stupid to set a goal and then just blindly pursue it without doing some smart check-in’s from time to time to see what’s working, what’s not, and what needs some shifting to better course for the future.

  • Set short and long term goals. Start with long term goals and work backwards, breaking the long term down into bite-size bits that need to happen every year, month, week, and everysingleday to make it happen.
    • The tried-and-true method: S.M.A.R.T. I’ve seen + learned PLENTY of versions of SMART goals before, but I love how expansive this iteration of the acronym is. Your goals need to be…
      • S – Specific, significant, stretching. “Grow my blog” isn’t specific. What aspect of your blog? Your pageviews? Your unique visitor count? A social media profile?
      • M – Measurable, meaningful, motivational. “Drink more water” isn’t measurable. What does “more” mean? One cup more, or 64 ounces more? Huge difference!
      • A – Achievable/attainable, action-oriented. “Gain 50,000 followers on Instagram in a month” when you’re sitting steady at 10,000 for the past two years…it’s not achievable. Unless you cheat your way there, it’s just not possible.
      • R – Realistic, relevant, rewarding, results-oriented. …the above example is also not realistic. When it comes to being relevant and rewarding, this means setting goals that you actually care enough about to ACT upon!
      • T – Time-bound, tangible, trackable. Always, always, always have a time component. Take any goal and add a deadline to it – bingo. Instantly time-bound, AND trackable. Diamonds only become diamonds when faced with a whole lotta pressure. A little bit of stress can go a long way when it means you’re actively doing the work it takes to reach these goals you so badly want to hit.

  • Break the goals down categorically: Creation, Performance, and Optimization. This is one of my favorite methods, because it lets me color code without losing my mind in the laundry list of goals I set. 😉
    • Creation goals: What content will you create? For what platforms?
    • Performance goals: By how much will you increase your readership? An email open rate? Social media post click through numbers?
    • Optimization goals: How can you more effectively manage your blogging processes? What tools can you implement to save you time, money, energy, etc?
  • Have your goals right smackdab in front of yo’ face. Write ’em down, print ’em out, and tack them to the wall right in front of where you work. Anytime you’re tempted to look up and get distracted…you’ve got the goal right there. Added bonus: Jot down WHY you want to hit that, and/or how you’ll feel when it’s done! Sometimes that added emotional motivation goes a long way in helping motivate you to do the work when a hundred other things (Netflix, pizza, sleep, etc) sound so much better in the moment.
  • Inspire yo’self via little rewards and a vision board. Know what motivates you to work harder. Is it the thrill of reaching the goals in the first place? Little gifts to yourself along the way? If a venti Starbucks latte is what it takes to get you to buckle down and work for an hour more, #WorthIt. Consider creating a vision board, too, to have up as constant inspiration. Cut out pictures and words from magazines and print your fave online images to curate all together as one whopping piece of Inspo to get your booty werkin’.
  • Get an accountability buddy. No one can do it alone! Stay on track by entrusting someone with the task of being your accountability partner. This means they have to be willing to set you straight when you fall short and/or get distracted, so make sure they can handle that! Regularly check in with each other on goal progress, and TELL each other your goals so that you have that added pressure of knowing that someone else knows. 😉

PHEW.

Y’all. Goal setting is no joke.

If you need some help getting started, here are a few goals that basically every blogger under the sun should adopt for 2017.

1.) Connect with at least other 5 influencers per month. Whether it’s through their blog, through Instagram, Snapchat…whatever the case might be, reach out, throw kindness + compliments like confetti, and strive to build genuine, fruitful relationships from the internet. It’s a beautiful thing.

2.) Grow your readership by a certain percentage. I’ll let you set the %. 😉 Set a % increase for your readership and unique visitors, and set a % increase for your overall social media following. Make it trackable, and have your long term time goal be within the YEAR!

3.) Get clear on industry trends for 2017, and start rockin’ them ASAP. More on this to come. But. Do yo’ research, peeps. Know what’s happening. Don’t just blindly hit publish day in and day out without knowing if what you’re doing is on track with the direction of the future. Stay AHEAD of the curve – ain’t nobody got time for playing catch up.

What are your goals as a blogger?

I wanna hear ’em all – short term, long term, and everything in between! Do you have a process in place to make sure you make it happen?

P.S. I’ll be jetting off somewhere v. nice this week. For anyone interested in following along with what’s going to be a CRAZY adventure…make sure you’re following along on Snapchat. That’s where a *lot* of magic will be happening. 😉 Username: erica_lig (Add me manually or just scan my Snapcode in my right sidebar!)

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