‘Tis the season for setting resolutions that you won’t keep. We do it every year. However, statistics show that only 9.2% of resolutions are kept. Resolutions simply aren’t effective. On the other hand, setting SMART goals for your blog is very effective.
Setting SMART goals for your blog, writing down your goals, and creating a plan-of-action are extremely successful methods of goal setting. Thinking through and planning your blogging goals greatly contributes to your blog’s success. It also helps hold yourself accountable for your goals.
If you want to make $10,000 extra next year or increase your engagement, this post will help you understand how to set effective goals that work. You will learn how to set SMART goals and create a plan-of-action that guides you to greater success in the new year.
Not All Goals Are Equal
It’s true that not all goals are equal. In 1953 and 1979 Harvard University performed a study on graduating students. They sought out to determine the type of goals new graduates set and how effective their goals were. Both studies yielded the exact same results; 84% of students didn’t set any goals. 13% set goals but didn’t write them down and the remaining 3% set written goals with a plan-of-action of how to attain them.
Ten years later, Harvard followed up with the students in the study and discovered that the 13% who set goals made double the income of what the 84% who set no goals made. If you think that’s interesting, prepare to be stunned. The other 3% who had written down their goals and created a plan-of-action made ten times what the other 97% made.
Think about those statistics. The simple act of writing down your goals and creating a plan-of-action directly affects your individual success. If you make $50,000 per year without a goal, you could make $500,000 by writing your goal down and giving yourself direction. No matter which way you look at it, writing goals down and creating a plan-of-action directly contributes to greater success.
What Are SMART Goals?
You may have seen the term “SMART” goals in the past. What makes a goal SMART is the fact that it not only specifies the goal, it gives your goal direction.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. It was first used in 1981 by George T. Doran as a business management and goal setting objective for business leaders. However, when we refer to SMART goals today, we generally refer to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objective (MBO) concept.
Each letter in SMART represents a step toward setting attainable goals that challenge you and creating a plan-of-action for their success. In this post, I will use the goal: Make enough money from my blog to quit my 9-to-5 for the following examples.
When you know your basic goal, you need to be more specific about your goal and how you plan to achieve it. This step in setting SMART goals for your blog helps target your goal’s focus. You should break down your goal until it is specific enough that you have a direction of how to achieve it.
For example, if you want to make enough money from your blog to quit your day job, ask how much money that is. Do you need to make $30,000 or $100,000 per year from your blog? You need to know exactly what your monetary goal is in order to achieve it. In this case, we’ll say you earn $50,000 per year, so this is your specific goal.
Now ask yourself what you need to do to achieve this specific goal? Do you need to increase your traffic, build your email list, create products, or write an ebook? In this example, we will say that you need to build your email list.
Finally, how will you do that? How do you build your email list? In this case, you may need to offer a phenomenal opt-in freebie or lead magnet to build your list. It is important to identify the plan-of-action you need in order to reach your goals.
So, at this point, your goal has gone from Make enough money from my blog to quit my 9-to-5 to Create a great opt-in freebie to build my email list so that I can generate more income to hit my income goal of $50,000 and quit my 9-to-5.
Can your goal be measured? How do you determine whether you are succeeding or failing at your goal? In our example, we have an income goal of $50,000. We now need a goal for our email list. How many subscribers do you need to achieve this goal?
Let’s assume that you have 100 email subscribers and have made $5,000 from your email list in the past year. This means that for every email subscriber you have, you have earned $50. Now, find out how many subscribers you need to reach $50,000. In this case, you will need to increase your email list to 1,000 subscribers.
Your new goal is now Create a great opt-in freebie to build my email list to 1,000 subscribers so that I can hit my income goal of $50,000 and quit my 9-to-5.
Now, ask yourself if your goal is reasonable and doable. It’s very unlikely that a new blog would break $1,000,000 in its first year, for example. In this case, ask if it is it possible for you to grow your email list to 1,000 subscribers. Of course, the answer to this question in our example is: Absolutely! Your goal should be possible, but also challenging enough to drive you. If you find it too easy, set your goal higher.
Is your goal realistic? Are there any factors that will prevent you, in your current situation, from achieving your goal? If you need to contribute another 10 hours per week to achieve your goal, but you only have 5 hours to spare and can’t cut any more time from your schedule, you need to scale back on your goal.
If you set unrealistic goals, it will discourage you and you won’t succeed. It will also discourage you from setting goals in the future, which will affect your long-term success.
What is your timeline or due date for completing your goal? Do you want to complete this goal by the end of the new year or in 6 months? Include a specific timeline or due date with your goal so that you hold yourself accountable for your actions.
Let’s say your goal date is December 31st. Now imagine that you only have 300 subscribers and $15,000 by July 1st. Knowing that you are falling short of your goal will give you the incentive to push harder to achieve your goal within the specified time frame.
If you don’t set a due date, you won’t push as hard. If you want 1,000 subscribers, it can take you several years to reach this goal if you don’t set a goal to challenge yourself. If you want to succeed, you must set a timeframe.
Your SMART Goal
Let’s take a look at your goal now. If you remember, you started with the following goal:
Make enough money from my blog to quit my 9-to-5.
We have worked on this very basic goal and turned it into a SMART goal. It now reads:
Create a great opt-in freebie to build my email list to 1,000 subscribers so that I can generate more income to hit my income goal of $50,000 and quit my 9-to-5 by December 31st.
Doesn’t that look and sound better? Not only do you know exactly what your goal is, you have a plan-of-action and a date to achieve it. Knowing these details will give you direction so that you don’t get lost or distracted while working on your goal.
Setting SMART Goals for Your Blog
Setting goals for your blog may seem insignificant at the moment. However, setting SMART goals for your blog will help your blog and business grow and succeed. Can you imagine if you are one of the 3% in the Harvard study? Wouldn’t it be great to make ten times more than your rivals? Setting SMART goals for your blog is the key to achieving this type of blogging success.
What are your blogging goals for the new year? Share below in the comments. If you would like to join the mailing list and receive updates about new posts, sign up using the link in the navigation tab or the link below!
Thank you so much for your support and Happy New Year!