Hands up if you’re more than aware of the impending 2019 bell ringing? Yep, me too! And because I’m starting to become increasingly aware of it, I thought it was a good time to sit down and look at what I wanted to do with my blog to set me up for a great 2019.
At the end of 2017 I didn’t do this and it led to me not having a clue about what I wanted for my blog. I was taking the scatter gun approach, you know, the idea of doing anything and everything with no real plan. And because of that, I’m not overly happy with what I haven’t managed to accomplish in 2018.
When I sat down to organise my goals, I asked myself one question;
- How will my blog ‘look’ by December 2019?
By ‘look’ I also meant ‘where will my blog be’? This is a long-game type of thinking but one that I think will pay dividends. It will also give me a good reference point that I can measure up against.
When deciding on my blogging goals for the remainder of 2018 I utilised the SMART method;
What I didn’t want to put down was something like “grow my blog” because what the hell does that even mean? So instead, I came back to how my blog would look, and that allowed me to actually write some numbers down. Why numbers, you ask? Well…
If you’re goals aren’t measurable then how do you know if you’re actually on track? By ensuring my goals are measurable I’ll actually be able to track them and refer back to them. This will allow me to look at what I need to do differently in the future and it will show me what is working and the things I don’t need to change.
There’s no use in setting goals if they’re so far out of reach. My current timeline is 5 months and so I need to set goals that are achievable within that time frame (and based on my current progress). Am I going to get a million page views between now and December 31st? Probably not. Maybe that’s a goal to set for 2020.
This kinda ties into whether or not they’re achievable. I don’t want to set myself up to fail. A million page views? Not quite yet…
I have my timeline loaded and ready to go; 5 months/162 days/3,888 minutes. I had to be really honest with myself when I was analysing what I want to achieve, just to ensure that I was giving myself the best possible chance to achieve my goals.
So, with a little more forethought and a damn sight more organisation, I’m going to lay out what my blogging goals are for 2019. We all know she’ll be here soon…
Give myself more freedom
I’m at the point in my blog’s life now where I feel I need more freedom. The freedom to monetise my site is something I’d like to explore and put into action. Blogging started as a hobby for me but it’s growing into something more, I’d love to do it full-time. In order to do that, I need to actually make some money from it.
I’ve been doing my research and listening to some of the greatest blog minds out there and I feel I’m ready for the next step. I have bought my domain and I have bought a host space, now all I need is to wait for the transfer to happen, somewhere around mid-August and I’ll be good to go.
This freedom comes with its own set of fears. I have been looking at my traffic and, more specifically, where it comes from. It turns out that the WordPress reader accounts for 40% of my overall views. When I move to a self-hosted site, I’ll no longer have access to the reader. Therefore I need to rely on other sources; things like email subscribers…
Get more email subscribers
Email may feel like it’s “old news” but in fact, it really isn’t. Did you know that the average person checks their emails 15 times per day?(source) That’s a lot! And that’s why I’m aiming to build my email list.
By reaching out to people by email, I can tailor it more to what they like reading and I can speak to them on a more personal level.
I’m hoping that by expanding my email list, I’ll be able to provide my readers with regular updates that they can no longer get via the WordPress reader. I would like to have 50 total email subscribers by 31.12.2018. Want to sign up? Just click here.
Spark more conversations
I have recently started asking for people to comment on my posts as I would like to chat to the readers of my blog more often. I don’t want to just look at my traffic and see numbers, I’d like to know more about the people that enjoy my posts.
By doing this, I can start to build real relationships with people, this was one of the real motivating factors behind starting my blog in the first place. By asking questions and getting answers from the readers of my blog, I can ensure that my future posts are actually something they’d like to read.
Like with this post, opening up and sharing with people is a good way to build relationships; something I want to do more of. I would like to have 15 comments per post by 31.12.2018.
Create a physical bookish and blogger-themed product
I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately. I’ve been planning my posts and trying to perfect my editorial calendar (the pesky bloody thing!) and it got me thinking about what could make it easier?
As I’ve stated in previous posts, I struggle to take notes. It’s just hard for me. So I want to create something that others will be able to use to help them plan their blog posts and write down their thoughts. At the moment I’m designing a journal with post prompts, motivational quotes, and some inspirational images. I plan to sell the journals on Amazon once I’m really happy with them.
I want to create and sell 2 journals by 31.12.2018.
When the time comes, I’ll be reaching out to other bloggers to test and review the journals so keep an eye out for that and sign up to my email list for further updates.
Do 2 more guest posts
I recently wrote a guest post for Just Publishing Advice looking at the do’s and don’ts of pitching a book blogger for a review. It was awesome being able to use some of my experiences and tailor them to help people. I really enjoyed the process of writing the article as I knew I had to excel, it was a real source of motivation for me.
Because I enjoyed it so much, I’m looking to do 2 more guest posts this year for another blog or website. This will allow me to build relationships with other bloggers as well as writing for a new audience, two things I’m always striving to do more of.
Grow my Twitter and Pinterest accounts
I’ve been using Twitter for around 2 years now and I’m only starting to realise the benefits of it. Before I properly started using Twitter I thought it was baffling. I mean, why would I want to read a micro sentence? But then I found the Twitter blogging community and all of a sudden it just clicked.
I found loads of bloggers and readers on Twitter and I’ve found myself gravitating more and more towards the limited-characters-app. It also helps that I’m getting the hang of it and you can actually interact with others on there, unlike Instagram (I’ll be posting about my dislike of Instagram at a later date).
I’ve found that Twitter relies not just on images (although they certainly do help) but on what’s being written. I am aiming for 3,000 Twitter followers before 31.12.2018. And it’s super easy to access links that people post to their blogs. Follow me on Twitter here.
I have only recently found Pinterest but I’m in love with it! I’m starting to to figure it out a little bit and put some cool graphics together. I would like 100 followers and 500 unique monthly views by 31.12.2018. Want to follow me? I’m at pinterest.com/dancrossbookblog (I can’t figure out how to change my URL).
Be interviewed by a fellow blogger
I’ve never been interviewed by another blogger and I think it’d be really fun to do it. I’m hoping for some quirky questions that will introduce me to a new audience and help them to understand me a little better.
Perfect my editorial calendar
Oh wow do I struggle with this. The biggest struggle I have doesn’t have anything to do with sitting down and organising, it’s actually having the time to write something, anything! My job takes up a boat load of my time and I have a relationship to contribute to as well. This leaves me with around 1 hour per day to put words onto a page.
I manage this by writing fast and planning on a weekend. No jokes, the most time consuming part of writing a blog post is having to right click on every wrongly-spelled word haha! I’m trying to type too fast and I’m no good, like, at all!
By 31.12.2018, my posts will be consistent and planned.
Expand my blog’s subject
This is a big one for me and it’s difficult to actually share it. This isn’t because I’m unsure about it, because I know that I want to do it. I’m just scared that by doing this I’ll be alienating people that have been reading my blog for over 2 years.
Recently I’ve found myself wanting to write tips for bloggers who are either just getting into it, or those who just need some blogging advice.
Hopefully those who have followed my blog from the beginning will stick with me as I expand into other topics.
My goal is to publish 15 posts about blogging tips and 15 posts on my travels by 31.12.2018.
My goals: a summary
- Transfer to self-hosted
- 50 total email subscribers
- 15 comments per post
- Create and sell 2 journals
- Do 2 more guest posts
- 3000 Twitter followers
- 100 Pinterest followers and 500 monthly views
- Be interviewed by a fellow blogger
- Consistent and planned posts
- 15 posts about blogging tips
- 15 posts detailing my travels
What if I don’t meet my goals?
What will I do if I don’t meet my goals? Will I sit and cry about it? Hell no. I’ll look at why I didn’t meet them and do better in the future.
The way I see it is somthing like this: nothing good comes easy. And so I’ll work hard, improve my writing, which will help my blog, and I’ll continue to motivate myself to continue to get better.
That’s the only way I’ll meet my goals.
Thanks for reading my goals for the remainder of 2018 and I hope you took something away from it.
I’m really keen to hear about your blogging goals and how/if I can help you reach them. Sharing your goals can be a scary thing to do, so if you don’t feel comfortable commenting, why not shoot me an email? I check it more than 15 times a day and I always reply. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.