How (and Why) to Set Goals for Your Blog
The question I hear more than any other from creative business owners is "What should I blog about?" The answer? Whatever will help you achieve your blog goals. Your blog goals are the foundation for your content strategy. Without them, you're basically writing an online diary the world happens to read. There's nothing wrong with having a personal blog that's just for fun . . . but if you want to have a blog that turns readers into clients or customers of your creative business, you need to have a plan for your blog.
I see so many creatives struggle with this. Does this sound familiar? You want to write about your life and the things that interest you. You want to show readers that you're a real person, not just another "guru" making noise on the Internet. You care about your writing, and you want it to make a difference.
But you're also a business owner. Time is precious, and if you're going to spend time on your blog, you need it to drive sales.
It doesn't mean you're selling out or being inauthentic. It just means you need to find the blog goals that will help your business and offer value to your readers.
If you're serious about being an intentional creative, it means you're committed to streamlining your business and using your time wisely. Blog goals will help you do that. Here's how to choose goals that will further your business without selling out.
How to Set Goals for Your Blog
Start with the big picture.
Let's think big for a minute. What do you want your blog to do for your creative business?
Drive sales? Introduce new readers to your products and services? Show off your expertise? Educate your readers about how your product can help them?
Your blog goal is probably a combination of several of these things, plus others I didn't even list here. These blog goals might sound self-serving, but that's a good thing. You're in business because you offer a product or service you truly believe in. If you're showing off your expertise or getting readers to buy you're product, you're bringing them value. It might sound salesy at first, but you need to come to terms with the idea that your blog is basically another employee for your business.
Choose a big blog goal that takes your business in the right direction, whether that's increasing profits or growing your audience so that you're in a good position down the road to launch a new product or service.
Turn that big goal into a monthly goal.
We've all heard that SMART goals are the ones that can be broken down into smaller, more actionable steps. That's what setting a monthly goal is all about.
Let's say your big blog goal is to grow your audience because you have big plans for a product launch early next year. Think about all the ways you can grow your audience using your blog. Write them all down, and choose the best ones to be your monthly blog goals for the next several months.
Many creatives default to a monthly goal of increased pageviews, but I'd challenge you to think beyond that. Those pageviews aren't doing you any good if they're only on your site for 30 seconds before leaving and never coming back! A more specific goal would be growing your email list or engaging with new followers regularly on social media (because engaged readers who fee like they know you will always be more likely to purchase than a random visitor).
Set a goal for each individual post.
Now that you have a monthly blog goal, you can break it down even further by planning posts for the month that will help you work toward that goal. The key here is to hone in on different types of posts that will engage your readers and help you work toward your goal in different ways.
For example, a highly actionable tutorial with an awesome content upgrade will probably help grow your list---but you don't necessarily want to post tutorials all month. Instead, mix it up with an entertaining list post or a more personal behind-the-scenes post that encourages readers to strike up a conversation with you in the comments or on social media.
Finally, make sure to end each post with a solid call-to-action. This step is super important, so don't skip it! Check out this post if you need help writing CTAs that get results.
Want more tips for blogging as an intentional creativepreneur?
It's hard enough running a creative business, so when you throw in blogging on top of all the other things you do, things get overwhelming pretty fast. Having a content strategy can help you bring real value to your readers and take less time (so you can do things like chase your kids barefoot through the grass, or settle in with a book and a glass of wine).
The Blogging for Business workbook can help you get there. It's just $15!
This PDF workbook comes with 7 actionable worksheets to help you plan your business blogging strategy---including exercises to help you plan your big-picture, monthly, and individual blogging goals. Plus you'll get real-life examples from my own business to show you what these strategies look like in action!
>>If you're stumped about how to bring value to your readers and sales to your business, check out the Blogging for Business workbook today!<<<