Why set goals? If you are a new blogger, then it is imperative that you learn how to reach for the success that you want. This is a good habit to get in to, and will serve your online business for many years to come.
Welcome to Fearless Affiliate. My name is Irma and I help new bloggers to learn the ropes. There is a lot to take in that first year of blogging, from choosing a niche to changing your mindset from worker bee mentality to that of successful entrepreneur.
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There are several reasons why small business owners fail to set goals. It’s a common problem and can adversely affect their businesses. The following are some of the more common reasons.
Are You Afraid of Failure?
By setting goals, if the business owner doesn’t meet them, others may see this as failing. This can be a fear for the owner and could be a big reason why they don’t set goals.
While this is a legitimate concern, it does not have to be. If you start off with small goals, you get faster success and are motivated to set larger goals. At some point you will then start to set the really big goals that will bring bigger success. But you need to start somewhere.
Conversely, effective goal setting, even if you do not meet the exact target, gives you valuable feedback. You can use this feedback to tweak and adjust your goals to move towards success.
Related Post: Step Into Success: Break Free From Fear
You Are Not Sure How To Set Goals
This is one of the biggest reasons why small business owners avoid setting goals; they don’t know how. It’s one thing to list a bunch of desires and another entirely to create a plan that may actually move a website forward.
In the following related post, I will show you 5 types of business goals that you can set. An example is income goals. How much do you want to earn? What is the timeline for that goal? You cannot realistically expect to make $5000 a month as a new blogger with a brand new blog. You can realistically expect to make that much in a year or two, if you set effective goals.
Related Post: 5 Business Goals Examples for Bloggers
You have to look at your goal for what you want in the future. If you want to earn $5K a month, then you need:
- compelling content,
- a product to promote that can earn you $5k a month.
Will you earn that much with one affiliate product? Unlikely, unless you are selling a $10K product with a 50% commission and you have a lot of people entering your sales funnel that trust you and your judgment about this high ticket product.
So you will have to work on bringing in a lot of traffic and you need something for them to do when they arrive. This can be entering your newsletter funnel (where you promote your affiliate products) or reading a review post with affiliate links, which is another funnel.
Related Post: Create A Sales Funnel With Free Resources
You Are Secretly Afraid of Success
Just as strong as failing is what happens when a business owner sees success. Are their companies big enough to handle that success? If they set goals, they may have to take on more activities such as hiring and expansion of facilities, etc.
There are also general fears about success, mostly related to creating sales funnels that promote higher and higher ticket items. There may be a fear of being too “salesy” or being “pushy”.
This type of thinking seems to impact women more than men; many women just wish they did not have to deal with the financial aspect of blogging and would rather just help people. This is not a failure on the part of women, but it is a money block that needs to be addressed.
If you want to succeed with your online business, you must defeat this fear!
Related Post: 5 Easy Ways To Eliminate Fear of Success
Expansion can seem scary and many bloggers fear it. They start thinking about hiring a VA (virtual assistant) and they get bogged down in an advanced step. If you are at the point where you need to expand into hiring help, then you probably already know other bloggers who can assist you. Ask blogger friends how they first hired people and what to look out for. Read blog posts and get an idea of what different types of tasks most VA’s do or don’t do.
Like our other blog tasks, it is all about research.
You Will Be Held Accountable…By You!
When you make your goals official, you now have a road map that holds you accountable. You should look at this as a good thing! Using a road map is a great way to get to where you are going in the least amount of time. Which is why they are popular for drivers.
The brilliant thing about effective goal setting is that you learn to project yourself into the future that you want. This is not the same as day-dreaming. An easy way to visualize your success is to decide where you want to be in 5 years.
If you want to be earning $50,000 a month in 5 years, this gives you a timeline. Work backwards to create income goals that fit this timeline. For example,
- 5th year: $50k a month, which is double from year 4 (are you noticing a pattern here?)
- 4th year: $25K a month, which is more than double what you earned in year 3
- 3rd year: $10K a month, which is double from last year
- 2nd year: $5k a month
- 1st year: Random income based on experiments
Experiment with different ways of earning money with your blog: sales funnels, affiliate products, ad income (AdSense or Media.net for new bloggers), or creating and selling e-product(s) or physical product(s). The bottom line for earning with your website is to get as much traffic coming to your website as possible; more visitors = more potential buyers going into your funnels.
Related Post: Create A Sales Funnel With Free Resources
Your big goal is to actively work on bringing in the traffic you need so that you can work on goals for increasing it.
Goal Setting is Too Time Consuming
It takes time to brainstorm ideas and to create tasks that are associated with the goals. This is time taken away from core business functions.
And that is exactly why online business owners need to learn how to set effective goals early in their blogging career. Learning this skill makes the rest of your blog life easier. After you set goals, you have something concrete to do that works towards your ROI (return on investment).
In the example of working backward on income goals, year one is the year to figure out what to promote, who to promote it to, and whether those promotions are effective. It takes time to gather data on what is working and what is not. This is why so many new bloggers do not earn much in the first year. Your time is taken up with experiments.
Why Set Goals? You Are the Only Employee
When you are the only employee in your business, why do you have to come up with goals? Many small business owners think they know what needs to get done.
However, if you are new to being a business owner, and thinking like a business owner, you may think you know what needs doing, but it is still easy to go down rabbit holes (Facebook anyone?). Having a concrete plan on what to do and how much time you have to do it in gives you direction.
You may have heard that Facebook groups are a great way to get website traffic, so you join a few. It may be months before you realize that these groups are not helping your blog. If experimenting with Facebook groups is part of your overall traffic plan, then give the groups a couple of months to perform or ditch them.
Just Go with the Flow – Who Needs Goals?
While “just go with the flow” is handy advice for social events, it does not work well for bloggers. There are business owners who have been successful without setting goals, but most struggle with their business.
That was me. I followed the advice that was given to me to just keep writing posts and working on SEO. Yes, this is good advice, but it is not the only advice for new blogger success.
Better advice is: Write content and promote it; start a newsletter to bring in subscribers who will eventually be customers and promote it; update posts with new SEO ideas and promote them. Yes, there is a pattern! Promote your blog/website whenever you can and in as many ways as possible. Only you can promote your stuff, your way.
You may think you have done enough promotion but guess what? A successful blog requires constant promotion. Traffic is the bottom line for success.
Do You Know What Your Success Looks Like?
What is the main goal for your success? Is it six figures a month? Or maybe it is getting invited to write blog posts for prestigious publications? Perhaps you want to get your name everywhere in the blogging community? If you cannot define what your success looks like, how will know when you have achieved it?
Once again we come back to traffic. The more people you have coming to your website and entering your sales funnels, the more opportunity you have to earn money. Your success is a numbers game.
How do you get the numbers that you want? Blog posts and SEO do not do much good when your audience has nothing to do after. If you have very little traffic coming to your website, that is the first place to start. Start setting goals to bring more traffic to your website and get those numbers up.
Put several opt in boxes on every blog post that you publish.
Create freebies that entice people to subscribe. Build an email list of potential customers and people that will happily share your content with the world. Promote your blog posts on Pinterest and put a call to action on every pin you send out.
Bring tons of people into your sales funnels, so that they get to know and trust you. Then they will buy. That is how you make money online…the know/like/trust factor.
You want to always be encouraging website visitors to complete a call to action of some kind. This may be clicking a link or signing up to your newsletter, but you must give readers a task to do when on site.
In fact, this could be the single reason why a majority of small businesses won’t last past a couple of years. No plan.
I hope that I have impressed upon you how important it is to start setting goals as soon as possible. Why set goals? Set goals to reach them. And then surpass them.
Your goals may not be perfect in the beginning, but they do not have to be. Your goals are for your website. Set the goals and learn from your mistakes how to set better and bigger goals. As you get a rhythm for what works and what doesn’t you can now scale up! And up, and yes, even further up.
Please share this post with anyone that you think can benefit from it. And please sign up for my weekly newsletter of tips and freebies for bloggers. You will get the password to my resource library of printable PDF’s for bloggers like my SMART Goal Setting Worksheet and my Weekly Goal Planner page. #win
Until next time, happy blogging! And follow me on Pinterest.