Today on episode 33, we’ll be talking about goal setting for your blog. I’ll share the key points of setting goals and how to track them.
There are a few things you need to think about when setting goals. Particularly at the beginning of the year. You might have already set goals for your blog in the past or perhaps started a new blog and aren’t sure how to start goals. I’d like to share with you the process we use at TOTS for setting yearly and mini goals.
Goal Setting For Your Blog
These can be based on numbers (reach X amount of followers by January 31) or by percentages. They are smaller goals you can look at and evaluate on a regular basis.
These are usually larger goals. Ours generally revolve around monetization. In 2015, I had a projection by the first 3 months of the year of how much we would make by the end of the year. I’ve done the same in 2016. I usually do stretch goals (goals that take me outside my comfort zone a bit). I recommend these because they push you to do better and shoot for growth throughout the year. Even if you don’t quite make it, you’ll still be better off than if you set an attainable and conservative goal. The exception is if you are happy with your current goals and would like to keep them the same.
Track Your Goals
You need to have a system in place where you’ll know whether or not you hit your goal. For example, if your goal is to grow your social media, you’ll want to write them down. I’m sure you know that I love stats. I normally use the excel type spreadsheet in Google Docs. Google Docs is easy for Cat and I to use since we aren’t in the same location. If you are blogging alone and don’t have a VA or anything, an excel spreadsheet would be just fine. Open office is also an awesome Microsoft Office alternative.
When you create your tracking sheet, be clear in our goal (ex. 5% growth per month). You’ll then have a list of social media accounts and a column for your numbers. You can track as often as you’d like (weekly, monthly, etc). We recommend on a bi-weekly basis since the numbers are easy to see and give you more wiggle room to make adjustments. You can then put in a formula to compare the two weeks and calculate your percentages. I’m not the best with Excel, so I had someone create it for me and put in the formula. You can just Google the equation or do it in your calculator. I like negative growth to be in red. The good thing about tracking is that you can get a good snapshot of what’s been going on. If you do growth over 5% in green and negative growth in red, you’ll be able to get a very nice visual snapshot of your results. This should be easy to integrate. It isn’t about making more work or being difficult. It’s about getting to know and grow your blog.
What To Do If You Don’t Hit Your Goal
With tracking and goals, you’ll able to identify what changes need to be made. That’s why I recommend you track social media numbers biweekly. This will allow you to have a more instantaneous reaction. However, you don’t want to change everything after one bad week. For instance, if you increase the number of your Facebook post per day, give it a few months. This may seem like a long time, but it’s needed in order to see if it’s working or not. If it isn’t showing as beneficial after that many months then it isn’t working. Check your analytics for each of your social media accounts and see which posts are working. We’re using Edgar, for instance. After a few months, we’ll see what our likes and engagement looks like and how many people we are reaching. For example, a strategy on Facebook is to post more often. It used to be taboo to post too much; for fear that you’d annoy your followers. Nowadays Facebook’s algorithm has done most of the work for us. You can post several times a day, without having to worry about too many people seeing it.
Make A Plan
Instead of just having numbers of what you want to hit, you need a plan of how to get there. You know your blog best. Know your readers, what they respond to and what you want to create. If the content you like to create isn’t the content your audience responds to then you aren’t marketing to the right audience. You have to be able to package your goals and present them in a way your audience will respond to. It’s important to realize that your audience is people, not just a number. You want to keep them there if they’re the right fit for you and serve them in the best way possible. Giving them more of the content they want is a great way to serve them. We’re nothing without our readers, and our readers like the content.
That’s all for today. Before we go, I’d like to thank our sponsor SubmitOwl.com. I manage different blogs and don’t always have the time to submit them to all of the different search engines. I can just pay $25 to Submit Owl and hey will make sure my blog gets submitted to the entire search engine out there. If you’re starting a new blog, you can save yourself lots of time and energy by doing the same.
Until next time, thanks for listening to the Sandbox to Success podcast, with your host: Katrina M. Thom. If you like what you just heard, leave us a message at iTunes or Stitcher. We would also love to hear what you have to say. Use the hashtag #totspodcast to connect with us on twitter. I’d love to see some new Sticher reviews as well! All of our show notes are available at www.totsbusiness.com. Join us next time for another edition of the Sandbox to Success podcast. Have an AWESOME day!