With so many new bloggers just starting out in the community, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about goal setting and how it can affect the ‘blogging failure’ rate. For more advice, check out our Blog Superhero course.
Business mentors, coaches, marketing gurus and experts really like to wave a very threatening statistic around our faces. Apparently, 90% of startup businesses fail within the first year. If, as a blogger, you thought you’d be exempt from being part of the failure complex, you may be wrong. There is also a very special statistic for bloggers, which is even more anxiety-inducing: ‘most blogs fail in three months’.
If we do the maths correctly, setting up a blog can take as little as 15 minutes, or as long as a month (this is also what we talk about in our Blogging Superhero course). More than the feeling of failure in itself, what really packs a punch is the amount of time we spend setting up something that we do not see following through.
However, at the HBC we do not believe in failure. We are a stubborn bunch. That’s why we believe that goal setting is a key aspect of creating a great strategy, and a glorious blog. This leads me to another key point of this discussion.
If you are not seeing the results you expected, chances are you’re not going to achieve your goals by accident: it takes purposeful planning. If you don’t define those goals and create a plan to work toward them, you’ll never reach them. This is why, today, I am introducing one easy way of setting meaningful goals for your blog. Before you ask, Fab is not re-inventing the wheel here. S.M.A.R.T. goals are not a new thing. They have been used by many very successful professionals and individuals for many years. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that helps you set the right type of goals.
This is quite straight forward. The more specific you make your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Instead of saying “I want to make money from my blog” make sure you set a specific goal to make enough money from your blog to pay, for example, for a week-long holiday.
Setting targets can be scary, hence why we are more likely to shy away from them! Just like how people struggle to lose weight when their goal is effectively ‘to lose all extra weight’, they are more motivated if they have a set number of pounds or kilos they are trying to lose. Similarly, having numeric goals will help your blogging. You want to know how many new followers you are expecting, how many blog posts you want to write in a month, how many new emails you want to collect in a specific amount of time – this makes your achievements measurable and more manageable.
Less is more, especially when it comes to goal setting. Choose one big goal, and work toward it. Then move on to the next one. Remember, you can only achieve so much before your willpower dwindles and you jump straight into burnout. If you create many blog writing goals to accomplish at the same time, you’ll burn through your willpower very quickly.
Your goals should be consistent with what you want to achieve with your blogging, hence you need to know WHY you are blogging. Once again, we talk very clearly about this in our Goal Setting Workshop happening in June. There’s no point in wasting time on a goal that won’t help you achieve your overall purpose. Think carefully about how your goal is helping you to achieve your purpose in blogging. Is doubling your Facebook likes really going to help you make the money you want for that holiday?
A time-bound goal gives you focus and allows an end date for achieving your goal. Let’s use the weight-loss analogy just one more time. You don’t want to just set a goal, such as “I want to lose 10 pounds”. Instead, you want your goal to be time-bound, such as “I want to lose 10 pounds by the 25th July.”
By adding a deadline for achieving the goal, you will be able to see how close you are and keep yourself on the right track. Remember, you are always encouraged to adjust your deadlines accordingly to the goal, and how achievable it is.