The better blogger is continually seeking to improve her blog, and this is the time of year when we are formulating new year’s resolutions. Why not extend that process to include blogging improvement goals for the new year?
The most common reason to set goals for ongoing blog improvement is the desire to make content more valuable and appealing to an increasing readership. Consequently, the most common goals set tend to be focused on:
- improving the design of the blog;
- posting more frequently;
- posting more authoritative ‘pillar posts’ as branding evolves;
- interacting with more bloggers within your niche;
- increasing participation in social media and social networks;
- increasing the number of comments;
- increasing the number of regular readers and subscribers.
RESEARCH, GOAL SETTING, ACTION PLAN, FEEDBACK
Researching where your blog is at and setting goals for the new year isn’t enough. What’s also needed is an action plan to achieve them and a feedback loop.
- Quantify: How will you know when you have achieved each goal?
- Time: When do you want to achieve it? Develop a time-line for each goal.
- Why: Why do you want to achieve the goal? What will it give you?
- How: How will you achieve the goal? Break each goal into steps.
- Flexibility: Remain flexible in your approach to achieving your goals and by remaining open to new means of achieving them.
- Feedback: Failure is excellent feedback on your success. Every failure contains within it all the elements required to achieve the goal in the future.
A useful approach to goal setting is to use the SMART mnemonic. SMART stands for:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-bound
Write your goals down: Be clear about what you are out to achieve. Writing your goals down helps to crystallizes them and also gives them more force.
State each goal as a positive statement: There is more strength and power when you express your goals positively, rather than negatively.
Be precise: Set a specific goal and be precise when it comes to dates, times and amounts to enable you to measure achievement. Being precise and detailed means you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can celebrate having achieved it.
Set priorities: Assign a priority to each goal so you direct your attention to the most important ones, and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Keep operational goals small: Make sure your low-level goals are small and incremental because if they are too large and disparate, it can seem you aren’t making progress by working on them.
Set performance goals, not outcome goals: Focus on ensuring you set goals over which you have as much control as possible, as nothing more dispiriting than failing to achieve a goal for reasons beyond your control. If you base your goals on your own performance, you can maintain control and draw satisfaction from achieving them.
Set realistic goals: It is important to set goals that you can achieve. Setting goals that are too high, means you may not appreciate obstacles, or understand how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.