While the intent of setting goals is always a good one, often it can be easier said than done. Things get in the way, like life, work and more, and even the most intent blogger can soon let their goal slide.
Yet it doesn’t need to be this way. Just like any commitment, it just takes willpower and stamina. The good news for bloggers is that stamina can be replaced by a blog schedule or maintenance calendar.
With that in mind, here are 10 steps you can take to help you grow your blog .
1. Evaluate Your Blog
Every blogger has goals when they first start out. These vary depending on the blogger. It can be traffic and readers/subscribers; making money; raising awareness of your expertise; or many other reasons.
So check how you’re doing on your goals, and make a list of what you haven’t (yet) achieved.
2. Prioritize Your List
Once you have a list drawn up, start to prioritize from top to bottom in order of the things you want to achieve first.
If there are some that you feel have equal priority, think which one you could leave for another day versus one that’s really bothering you with its absence. Make that one your very top priority, or Want.
3. Build a Reverse Schedule
Now that you have your most important Want as a priority, you need to build a schedule that defines how you’re going to meet this goal. The easiest way to do this is to make it a reverse schedule.
This involves starting as if you’ve succeeded, and then work your way backwards from there to see what pain points you might meet along the way.
These could include vacations, work schedules, family events, etc – anything that takes time away from your blogging and therefore your goal. Then, adjust your goal’s finish date accordingly and make it more realistic based on the pain points.
By making something realistic, you’ll have a far better chance of achieving it.
4. Gather the Tools
Now that you know what goal you’re going to work on first, and the time it’s going to take you, you’ll have a better idea of the tools you need to make it happen. So, for example, if it’s monetizing your blog, you may want to look at affiliate products.
If it’s gaining readers, consider an email list tool. If it’s a redesign of your blog, start looking at themes and frameworks to help you in this.
My preferred choice is the Genesis framework (affiliate link) purely because they make it easy to get going, and provide a rock-solid basis to start your blogging journey. Tools maketh the artist; choose yours wisely.
5. Set Your Success Metrics
Now that you have your Wants and Goals in mind, and the tools needed to get there, you need to set some success metrics. The reason for this is simple – if you’re not measuring your progress, you don’t know how successful you’re being. This will stop you from making necessary adjustments.
So, if your goal is to monetize, aim for X amount by month 1, then month 2, then month 3, and so on. Same for readers, subscribers, email list members, percentage of visitors from search results and more.
Keep monthly comparisons as these will help you plan an Exit Strategy.
6. Plan an Exit Strategy for Your Blogging Goals
In business, there’s an option called an Exit Strategy. This can be knowing when it’s time to sell a business, or leave a failing one. But you can also use this for your blog.
If your goals aren’t being met, sit down and ask yourself why.
- Is your subscription box not prominent enough?
- Have you picked the wrong affiliates?
- Are you passionate about your topic?
Knowing where you’re failing – and why – will help you either switch paths on the fly, or cull altogether and start afresh.
7. Leave Your Blog Alone
While this might sound crazy – after all, how can you grow your blog if you leave it alone? – it’s not. When I say “Leave your blog”, I mean spend around 70-80% away from it. You should only be there when writing content and replying to comments.
The rest of the time? Promote, promote, promote.
Simply put, the more you get out and about and get to know other people, the more you’ll find those people come to your blog and begin to share it.
8. Have a Locked Down Hard Stop
The biggest mistake many bloggers make when trying to achieve their goals is letting them drag on for too long when they’re not working. Don’t make this mistake too.
When you have the date you want to achieve something by – the realistic one we spoke about earlier – stick to it. If it doesn’t work, it probably wasn’t meant to be, so try something new.
There’s nothing wrong with failing – failure is just another path to success. Remember this, and you’ll understand what it means to be successful.
9. Re-Evaluate and Redefine
Depending on how you prioritized your goals, you should have a good idea of how many are realistic throughout the timescale you set out to measure your success. Don’t take on too much – remember, grow your blog in one area and solidify that success, then move onto the next area.
At the end of 12 months, look back at what worked, what didn’t, and then start the process again. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint – true success comes from longevity, not a fast burn.
10. Read For Bloggers By Bloggers
Okay, hands up, this is kind of a cheeky one. Kind of. Yes, I’m biased, but I really feel we have a great collection of some of the best tips around when it comes to growing your blog, and both our core authors and contributors offer something different in how they present their tips.
We know the pain points you’re experiencing, because we’ve been through them and overcome them.
Yet we’re still learning too – and that shared experience will help you grow your blog the way you want it to. So keep on dropping by and subscribe to get the latest posts – you know it makes sense.