Table of contents for Blogging success
What is blogging success? Is it subscribers? Comments? Writing honestly? No matter what you define as blog success, it’s important to set out at least one specific goal for your blog so that you have something to work for and can see how far you’ve come.
So, what should your goals be? It depends on what you want to work on and where you want to grow. There are lots of areas that you can set goals in, for example:
- Writing: more personal, more on-topic, more frequent, etc.
- Organization: posting on a schedule, better using categories
- Comments, visitors & subscribers: more.
- External blog rankings: Technorati, Alexa, Google PageRank
- Search engine visibility: ranking for your blog name (if it’s fairly unique), ranking for your name, ranking well for keywords that you’re targeting
Realize when you set goals that you can’t completely control all of these factors: you can’t make people subscribe to your feed or comment on your posts. So if you set more than one goal, be sure to include at least one goal that you have control over. On the other hand, don’t set more goals than you can handle or remember.
Your blogging goals should be:
I’m sure you’ve heard the platitude that a goal that’s not written down is just a dream. So write them down. Put them in a place where you can find them, see them often, and hopefully be reminded of them often.
“More subscribers” is too vague—if one person more person subscribes tomorrow, is your blog a success forever? Use numbers where they make sense: the number of posts per week, the number of minutes your visitors spend on your site.
Whether the measurement is quantitative (like pageviews) or qualitative (like more personal writing), make sure you can appreciate a difference. “Increase my blog’s stickiness” isn’t measurable; “Increase the average number of minutes my visitors spend on my site” is. On that note, if you’re measuring something like daily unique visitors, make sure you’re equipped: use a web analytics program, like Google Analytics. (See my Guide to Google Analytics for Bloggers to learn more!)
You and your blog are unique. Set goals that are suited to you—things you want to achieve; things you know you need to work on.
By that, I mean they need to have deadlines attached: in 30 days, in 3 months, in 1 year, etc. This is not as crucial, but really increases how hard you’ll work to achieve your goals.
Set your goals high, but not so high that it’s nearly impossible to achieve. Going from 100 to 1000 readers in a month would be hard (depending on your blog, of course). Look at what you’ve achieved in the past: if it took you 30 days to go from 50 unique visitors a day to 75 unique visitors a day, it would be probably pretty easy to get to 100 unique visitors a day, but much harder to jump to 150 unique visitors a day. Set your goal somewhere between there, based on how much you want to challenge yourself.
Not the end of the world
Last year, ProBlogger wrote a lot about blogging goals (they even had a group writing project about it!). As he set New Year’s Resolutions for his blog goals, he said:
The goals are not things we whip ourselves over in the coming months when we fail – but they help us to focus on the year ahead and move into it with a positive outlook.
So set goals to help your blog grow. Work toward them. But, as in motherhood, work toward balance, too—don’t work so hard on them that you don’t enjoy blogging anymore!
For more tips from experienced moms, visit Works-for-me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer