The new year is a time for setting actionable goals, both personally and professionally.
So let’s make some of those apply to your blog.
What should your blogging goals be?
Firstly, before we dive into the specific goals themselves, let’s talk about how they should be structured. I recommend you create S.M.A.R.T. goals. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is defined as one that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.
Here’s what I mean:
Not S.M.A.R.T. Goal: I’m going to get fit this year.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal: I’m going to work out at least 3 times a week for 45 minutes for the rest of the year.
Notice how the first one leaves a lot up to interpretation whereas the second one is very clear. There is no doubting whether or not you completed it.
Now let’s apply that to blogging with 5 S.M.A.R.T. goals everyone should be setting (not, the percentage points can vary based on your own assessment of what is achievable).
Increase Your Traffic 100% (Or 6% Monthly)
Yes, I said it – arguably the most important thing when it comes to blogging: traffic.
Traffic is the lifeline of a blog – it’s like blood flowing into the body.
And why not increase it 100%? Is it really that impossible?
Believe it or not, simply increasing your blog traffic 6% each month will get you to 100% by the end of the year (1.06^12 > 2).
And when you put it like that, 6% doesn’t seem like that big of a deal over the course of the month. In fact, it may even be a better goal than the original one because it is more measurable over shorter time periods, so you know you’re on track.
I’m going to change the headline now, and you can start working on your traffic generation tactics!
Write At Least 1 Blog Post A Week
Now let’s drill down a bit into where that traffic is going to come from: writing.
Writing is relatively correlated with traffic, as we all know, people that fail to write much on their blogs rarely garner much traffic.
And although writing is certainly no guarantee of traffic, it’s a necessity to have some content that is available to rank and drive traffic.
If you’re not sure how often you should be writing, I say aim for once a week, just to keep the habit up.
If you’re already at that level, see if you can double it to twice a week or more.
Publish One Ultimate Guide Greater Than 3000 Words
Now you’ve got a traffic goal in mind and a schedule to write often, so what should you be writing?
Well, if you haven’t at least attempted long form content, try to dedicate some time this year to really focusing on making one piece of epic content, greater than 3000 words.
If you feel a bit intimidated by this one, remember, it doesn’t have to be accomplished tomorrow. Work your way up to it. Set smaller goals monthly to increase the length of your content gradually, and in no time you will be able to produce content of 3000 words or more!
Increase Your Email Opt-In Rate By 50%
There are many ways to increase your traffic, and not all of them are simply about writing a lot of posts and ranking in Google.
Another is increasing the size of your email list so as to benefit from the direct traffic later on.
And that can be accomplished without changing your traffic at all, as long as you work on some of your standard conversion rate optimization techniques.
At a minimum, make sure:
- You have a place to opt in on every blog post
- You are using teasers to increase open rates
- You are testing different opt-in places such as the sidebar, author box, help bar, scroll pop up and others to see what produces the best result.
Undoubtedly, a day spent reading articles about email conversion rate optimization and implementing some new opt-in boxes will be a day well spent!
Make Connections With 12 Influencers And Feature Them On Your Blog
Influencers are an important part of your content marketing strategy.
Pick one person every month and engage with them. Use these 12 tactics to build a relationship with them.
Then, when the time is right, feature them. You can link to their post, or get a quote from them, for example.
Let them know about it when it’s published, and see if they will share.
One year from now you’ll have 12 valuable relationships you don’t have now – how does that sound?
So, am I missing any S.M.A.R.T. goals?