First things first: let’s set some goals and plan for success.
Welcome to Blogging 201: Branding and Traffic! We’re pumped about what we’re going to cover over the next two weeks, and we’re excited you’re joining us for the ride.
Today we want you to do a bit of thinking about your blog. With apologies to Marty Hart of True Detective, we’re going to ask you to make your blog the focal point of silent reflection:
Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog. Write down three concrete goals you want to achieve.
Why are we doing this?
- Because writing down goals forces you to think carefully about what success means to you — “success” is different for everyone.
- Because having goals helps you focus your blogging energy. If the thing you’re doing isn’t helping you achieve your goals, ditch it.
- Because achieving a goal is a great feeling that motivates you to set and meet new goals, creating a continuous cycle of awesome.
Here are some questions to mull over to help you uncover/refine what’s most important to you about your blog:
- Why do you blog? To gain notoriety? To secure a book contract? To self-publish your work? To establish yourself as a leader in your field? To gain followers? Traffic? To connect with others? To work through and clarify your own thoughts?
- If your blog exceeded your wildest dreams, what would that look like? Would you have a different design? How many followers would you have? How much traffic? What sort of community would participate? What discussions would take place? How often would you post?
Answering these questions helps you create a vision for your blog. Next, translate that vision into three specific goals. You can articulate your goals however you’re most comfortable, but we recommend making them simple, concrete, and time-based to create laser-like focus, like:
- Gain 20% more followers by October 15th.
- Increase my average daily hits 30% by December 31st.
- Publish three times each week during April, May, and June.
- Spend one hour each week visiting my followers’ blogs, reading their posts, and commenting on their work, from now until June 30th.
- Establish a new weekly feature on my blog by April 30th (Throwback Thursdays, Wordless Wednesdays, Soup Sundays), and publish that feature each week through June 30th.
- Create an editorial calendar for the next three months by April 30th.
- Gain 100 new Twitter followers for my blog by July 1st.
- Publish posts from three respected guests over the next three months.
For bonus points, write a post detailing your blog’s goals and publish it. Making your goals public ups your accountability. Your readers will cheer you on, and might even find ways to help you achieve your goals.
Stuck on what to pick for your goals? Not sure what’s actually reasonable? Ask your questions here, or head over to The Commons to bounce ideas around fellow challenge participants. You know the old saying: 1000 heads are better than one.
Notes from the Editors:
The two-factor authentication requirement for The Commons has been removed, so no smartphone or additional security is necessary to access the site once you’ve been added to it.
Using The Commons is completely optional. It is intended simply to be a private place where challenge participants can connect. You can use it to ask questions you’d prefer to ask privately — or you can not use it at all, and still have a great challenge experience.