Lately I have been enjoying spending a bit more time on social media and reading a wider range of blogs. It’s been good, I have stumbled across some fabulous posts and bloggers. The blog community is ever-growing so it’s fun to dip in and experience it anew from time to time, old blogger that I am! But the one thing that I have noticed, and I’m not too sure about, is a focus on blog goals and numbers. I totally agree with challenging yourself and working towards your goals, but are they blog goals worth setting?
Many of the threads and posts that I read are around the various social media platforms. There are several that can be key to bloggers, so many people are looking to conquer them all. As such, goals are along the lines of ‘this month, I want to double my Twitter following’, or ‘this month, I want to hit 1000 followers on Instagram’, or ‘this quarter I want to reach 5000 page views’, and so on. We’ve all been there, I have done this myself, but not any more, it’s a trap that I like to avoid for my sanity.
What’s the problem with these blog goals?
The problem with goal setting in this way, is that you cannot control all outcomes. Which I appreciate is often the case with goals, but you really need to give yourself a fighting chance. Blogging can be a tough industry, and its very nature means you are often working alone, so you need all the motivation and boosts that you can get. Chasing numbers and stats all the time can be all-consuming and can really bring you down if you are not getting the numbers that you want. It can also mean your focus is shifting away from why you really started blogging in the first place, to create content that you enjoy creating.
We’ve all heard of SMART goals so it is worth revisiting this idea before setting your blog goals, and then thinking about how to aim for targets that will make a real difference and are more within your control.
Blog goals worth setting
A better approach to goal-setting would be to focus your targets around your actions.
For example, you might want to improve your Twitter reach and followings. That can make sense as a blogger, though do always work out where your time will be better spent before setting any goal. Taking this example, your goals for the month could be to spend x amount of time interacting on Twitter, to tweet x amount of times per day or to find x number of new hash tags to join in with and so on. All of these activities should improve your engagement there and are all within your control to do them. You are not setting a number goal which relies on other people’s actions.
Why set goals at all?
I think as bloggers, goals are certainly worth setting. We often work alone and goals can keep us motivated, they can keep us improving ourselves and pushing forward each month. I just think we might need to reassess how we actually set and measure those goals.
Goals you might like to set
It’s worth setting up a blog planner, either on paper or digitally, and ensuring that you have an at a glance monthly grid. In this, you can plan a month’s worth of posts. Your goal here can be the number/type of posts that you are looking to create this month, and then pencil them in ready to write them.
If you are looking to grow a certain social media platform, set goals around interactions there and the content that you plan to share. By all means add in a number to make it more measurable for you, but make your main focus here the activity that you will be undertaking, rather than solely a number.
Add in new learns for the month. Blogging is always evolving, there is always more to learn or a new way to do things. Set yourself a goal to learn something new each month, and again, make this specific and choose what this might be according to your priorities.
Build in time to enjoy and connect with other bloggers. The blogging community is a wonderful place, so it’s good to take some time to look around and comment on and share some posts that you are enjoying. Spread that blog love! Reading other blogs can also provide inspiration for your own work, along with being an enjoyable thing to take time out for in your schedule. Here you might want to find x amount of new blogs to read each week or join in with certain blog chats and threads.
Should I throw out the stats then?
Oh, if only! I am sure most bloggers would like to do this from time to time. But no, absolutely not as they can be really useful to you. I am assuming that if you are setting blog goals at all it’s because you want to grow your blog and be read by more and more people.
The key to stats is using them effectively, and not being solely led by them so that your days revolve all around the numbers. They can give you an insight into when your audience is online, what they are interested in seeing you post about, which posts do well on which social media platforms, where keywords have made a real difference and so on. This analysis can be very useful, so use it, but don’t live it. Numbers should be the end game, the by-product of all of your actions, but it is what you do each day with your content and creations that will make that difference.
What do you think about this? How do you set your blog goals?