Smarter goal setting for bloggers means using the SMART acronym to help you set business goals. If you need examples of typical business goals, please go to my post 5 Business Goals Examples for Bloggers for great ideas that you can use for your blog or website.
Remember, what works for one business may not necessarily work for another. So, you may need to try out a few different methods before you find the one which works for you. I know that I did. I tried multiple ways to set blog goals: I watched videos, read books and blog posts and followed threads in different blogging groups.
Many beginning goal setters find that SMART goals are easy to get started with because you can check off each letter of the acronym while deciding which goal to work on. That worked for me, as well as planning out my week using a planner.
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What is SMARTer goal setting?
There are a lot of different goal setting methods out there, but one which has proven the most successful is the SMART method. This stands for:
- Time Bound
Every business goal you target should follow the above rules. All goals should be specific and measurable. They also need to be attainable, relevant and have a specific time frame for completion. If you follow this method, you’re likely to see excellent results.
Review the current state of your online business
The purpose of business goals is to help improve the business. Whether that means drawing in new profits, attracting new customers or improving its efficiency – every goal you set is designed to enhance your success.
So, if you want to really give your business a boost, you’re going to need to know which areas need the most improvement. Start by analyzing the current state of the business and think of all of the things you’d like to change or achieve.
Once you know which areas need the most improvement, pick three goals to focus on at one time. Choose 3 areas that you want to improve (i.e traffic, seo, income) and keep a running list of goals to work on for each area. This way when you finish a goal, say for improving traffic, you can move on to the next goal in that area.
Try not to work on more than 3 goals so that you do not get overwhelmed and then start procrastinating. Like I used to do. You want to achieve steady progress forward, with each successful goal leading you toward the next step. You can also make one of your goals something that is for your self improvement, like taking regular breaks away from the computer.
Related Post: The Importance of Setting Goals
Breaking down your business objectives
An easy way to figure out which goals to focus on in business, is to break them down. If you’re struggling to come up with specific goals, then this is definitely the method you’ll want to try.
Start by writing down your main goals. These don’t need to be specific and will in fact more than likely be pretty vague. Examples might be:
- Gain more organic traffic
- Start a newsletter
- Make your first $100
I always got hung up on this part because I had no idea that my broad goals were too broad to work with. They needed to be broken down into manageable steps.
Think about what you’ll need to do in order to achieve your overall goals. Try working backward by seeing your blog as successful in this area and sorting through what got you there. This may take research on your part, so be ready.
Write down the smaller steps required in order to meet your overall goals.
The more you break them down, the easier they will be to achieve. An example for gaining more traffic might be:
- Research the different ways to get traffic. Write them down so you can check them off or adjust the requirements to suit your website.
- Eliminate any ways that do not line up with your personal ideals (i.e.black hat or paying for traffic)
- Research more about the ways that are acceptable (is using free Pinterest a better way than paying for Facebook ads?)
- Do you need to take a course to learn how to create quality Facebook ads? Or a course to learn to use Pinterest for Business?
- How long will it take to finish the course? Can you implement steps before you finish the course completely?
Each of the above steps has its own sub-steps, and this is what makes goal setting successful. When you hit a roadblock (“what do you mean I have to pay for traffic???), go to your list of goals and see if you can implement something else. Don’t want to pay for traffic? Research how to get free traffic. Adjust your goal and keep moving forward.
Keep in mind that you only have to do some of your research once. After you have figured out ways to get more traffic, you will only have to worry about using what you know to scale your business up. So not all goal setting requires a ton of research.
Brainstorm as many ideas as you can to reach your goals.
Usually the brainstorming process yields some great ideas, so do not overlook this process. You may already have some great ideas, so write them all down. Look at your list and prioritize which smaller goal you want to tackle first.
Make sure to write down any crazy ideas that you get; sometimes they contain a gem of an idea that can really help you. Creative problem solving is an amazing skill to have.
Keep in mind that your goals should help you to move (at least) one step forward toward your main goal. If your goals are too ambitious, you may procrastinate. If they are too simple, you may lose interest in goal setting because it is “too easy”.
Related Post: Internet Marketing Goals: Tips for Success
And be sure to set time limits on your goals.
Leaving them open-ended can also result in procrastination. If you want to finish up a course on a subject that will help your goals, give yourself a specific amount of time to finish the course. This can help motivate you to focus on blog-related tasks.
Be sure to write your goals for the week in your planner or Google calendar or whatever planning software that you use. You want a system that lets you see your goals for the day and week. And you want the ability to check off each days work to give you a win for the day and keep you motivated.
And you want to be able to easily look back at what you have done so that you do not repeat steps or waste time on little things that will not help your return on investment (ROI).
Review your previous goals
When it comes time to set new goals, it’s a good idea to review your old ones. What worked and what didn’t work? Did you complete the goals you set? If not, work out why not.
By reviewing your old goals, you can learn from anything that cropped up to prevent you achieving them. This will enhance your chance of success with the new goals you set yourself.
Watch for stumbling blocks in your goal setting, which can be “unknowns”. Things like setting a huge traffic goal when you are first starting out and do not know how long it takes to get traffic from various methods. Or setting a goal with a tight timeline, and then a family issue crops up that throws off the timeline.
One step at a time until you get the hang of it.
It might be better for you to set a few smaller (not small, just smaller) goals while you are learning the process and then apply what you have learned on progressively more challenging goals. You want goals that will push you out of your comfort zone, but not be so scary that you procrastinate.
Goals that stretch you out of your comfort zone are the most rewarding goals. Once you complete your goal, you will know that you are capable or more than you thought. This will help motivate you to keep setting more and more challenging goals to push your success into the stratosphere. And this will also help you in the rest of your life.
Don’t forget too – the goals you set now should also be easily reviewable. All goals are a work in progress and they often need to be tweaked in order to prove effective.
Physically write your intentions down
With so much technology available at our fingertips, it’s easy to set business goals digitally. It may seem more convenient to type your goals out on the computer, but did you know you’ll have more chance of success by physically writing the goals down?
It’s a good idea to invest in a physical goal planner. If you look at the most successful business leaders in the world, you’ll find the majority use a physical goal planner to help them stay organized and connected to their goals.
This is because there is something almost magical about seeing yourself write words that will push you into success. It is intoxicating how writing your goals out on paper helps to structure your thinking. And that is probably why Richard Branson and Warren Buffet use paper planners.
Make sure you feel positively about the target you shoot for
When you’re setting your goals, you’re going to need to make sure you have a positive outlook about them. That means, you feel they are achievable, and they will help your business to succeed.
The more passionate you are about the goals you set, the more likely you’ll be to achieve them. Don’t make the mistake of setting a goal which involves something you hate doing. If you do, you’ll find it easy to put it off and ultimately fail to achieve the goal.
There are a lot of methods you can use when setting goals for your business. However, using the SMART way is a proven method for success, especially when you’re just getting started. However, it’s always a good idea to try out a few different methods in order to see which one works better for you. Whatever works to help you succeed!
Be 100% clear about the goal
You already know that the business goals you set should be specific and measurable. However, it can’t be stressed enough that the goal needs to be 100% clear. Anybody who is associated with helping you to achieve the goal- like a virtual assistant – should have a good understanding of what they’re working towards.
If a goal isn’t clear, you’re going to find it pretty tough to achieve it.
Understand what resources you will need
Sometimes, in order to achieve the goals you set, you’re going to need a few resources to help. It could be finances, software, training or additional staff. Figure out exactly what it is you will need to achieve each goal on your list.
The more prepared you are, the more likely you’ll be to achieve your goals.
Related Post: Set Goals in 5 Easy Steps
So, there you have it – SMARTer goal setting for bloggers. By taking the time to plan ahead and ensure you have everything you need to achieve your business goals, it’s going to significantly increase your chances of success.
For even more success, grab my SMART goal setting worksheet and weekly goal planner page when you sign up for my weekly newsletter. You will find them and all of my FREE printables in my resource library. And you will get my weekly newsletter of tips and free stuff for bloggers.
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Until next time, happy blogging!
11 thoughts on “SMARTer Goal Setting for Bloggers”
I could not agree more on your point about procrastinating. When I have too much on my plate I tend to get nothing done. It’s so frustrating. I really need to prioritize and just focus on a few things each day instead of trying to build Rome all at once.
I have to write everything down, or I will either lay awake at night trying to remember everything I want to do the next day, or I get overwhelmed. I love the idea of writing down smaller goals to accomplish the larger goal. Oftentimes I am probably thinking too big and need to break it down to bite-sized, achievable parts.
I do have a question for you, I have been kicking around starting a YouTube channel and it seems really daunting. Do you have any advice on how to get started?
Hi Steve and welcome back!
YouTube eh? As someone who is video shy, I applaud you! I think most people just jump in with both feet because you have a learning curve to learn. If you already have a blog then you are familiar with SEO and how to promote yourself, which I think is the biggest hurdle. If you understand your avatar/audience and your goals to help them, then you are halfway there.
The biggest challenge that I have heard of is getting used to being on camera, which takes practice. I suggest you write out about 10 topics and make a plan for which order you want to talk about the subjects. Do a practice run of just talking about the subject and get comfy with how you want to present information. Take notes as you do practice runs and always keep improving. YouTube is the future of blogging 🙂 Always keep your viewers needs forefront, and you will be fine.
I wish you the best Steve!
As a blogger I found this very informative and I will be using your tips and advice. Thanks so much for sharing this.
Awesome Habib and thank you for visiting us today!
Cheers and best of luck,
This post is exactly what I needed to read right now! I have my own blog and I have never actually done any goal setting and I believe that is not helping it grow at all. On the contrary. The SMART model seems the best way to set goals and held accountably. Especially the fact that it is time bound is exactly what I need with my procrastinating nature. 😛 Keep up the good work, can’t wait to read more from you!
I hear that Kate and thank you for visiting us today,
I was the same and it took some trial and error to figure out, but now I am a goal setting ninja! And I get so much more blog work done now, so I wish you much success with SMART and your goals!
Great post here and as an affiliate marker I need to use this SMART abbreviation you gave as this will hopefully make me move up.
However, can you tell me how writing a goal physically will help me. I have heard this so many times and tried it but nothing change. Can you help me understand this.
Hello Thabo and thank you for visiting us today,
I hear that, and I wondered about it myself. How I think of it is that when I look at my goals on a piece of paper, it sends a signal to my brain to focus on that area. When I go to my desk and look in my planner and see “write the weekly newsletter”, I just do it. I am bossing myself around! And now that it is a habit, I do everything in my planner before I consider goofing off (ie. checking facebook or email).
I also find it very rewarding to have these goals, instead of – at least for me – sitting down and trying to decide what I think I should do. Setting goals gives you clear directions – no guesswork. I just know that it works for my brain 🙂
Hope that helps?
Hello Thabo and thank you for visiting us today,
I will tell you what I think, which is not based on science or anything reality based lol. I think that when you look at your written goals, your brain sees the words and gets to work on adjusting your thinking to help you achieve them. That seems to be how it works for me. It is like everything else goes away and my brain prioritizes working on the goal.
I can only suggest that you try it for a few weeks and see if it helps you. I know that I am setting goals for all areas of my life and things happen (for the better) when I do.
Hope that helps a bit,
Great post! I know I get overwhelmed setting goals for my blog and this helped! Breaking down a huge task into smaller tasks makes me feel accomplished and gives me the positive surge of energy I need to tackle things I’m not sure how to do. I also remind myself that other bloggers have had to figure things out and if they can, I can.
I get so caught up in achieving the next goal, sometimes I don’t review past goals, thanks for the reminder!
Hi Lisa and thank you for visiting us today,
Recently, I went back through my planner to look at my previous goals for the year. Not only did I achieve them, but they show me how far I have come and that is an amazing feeling. I wish I had learned about goal setting when I first started my blog.