Greets! When creating a blog, it's important to set goals. This isn't just true for blogging – it's true everywhere in life. Setting clearly defined goals with specific measurements can help you reach your dreams quicker.
In this post, I'm going to discuss what my goals were over the past six months and how I did, then I'll go over what my goals are for the next six months, and how I intend to do them. This post aims to give direction to those who are also in their first year of blogging.
Let's get started with my first six months of goals.
The First Six Months
I spent a fair amount of time creating goals back in January of 2020 when I began creating The Dollar Blogger. The site launched on February 3rd, and I consider February as Month 1. I had many goals to keep me focused, some of which were short-term and others that were long term.
Here they are, and here's how I did:
- Write two or more blog posts per week, every week: SUCCESS! I didn't miss a single blog post, and some weeks, I posted three times per week.
- Make $100 in a month from blogging: SUCCESS! Just barely. I made over $100 in a single month in June. This was an exciting and specific goal to achieve.
- Make $1000 in my first six months: FAIL! Not even close. This was a bit unrealistic for an early blogging goal.
- Grow a total social media audience over 1000: SUCCESS! My current total following across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram as of July 28th, 2020, is 3,540.
- Stay three weeks ahead of myself on blog posts: FAIL! I was five weeks ahead of myself and gradually fell behind down to two weeks ahead. This is a tough one to keep up.
- Write one guest post per month: FAIL! I've only written one guest post to date. I plan on doing more of these in the coming months. I have one going Live in September, which I'll link to when the time comes.
The rest of my goals will be covered in the next section, as they pertained to the entire first year of blogging. Here goes!
The Next Six Months
Over the next six months, my goals are a continuation of the previous goals, some long-term goals that I created in January, and some recently created goals based on my performance so far.
Creating SMART goals clearly defines what you want to do and how you will get there. In case you aren't familiar with SMART goals, SMART stands for “specific”, “measurable”, “attainable”, “relevant”, “time-bound”.
Grow Mailing List To 1000
My mailing list is smaller than I care to share. My goal is to grow it to 1000 people by February of 2021 (12-month mark). I will be using Facebook advertising as the primary method to do this.
As of posting this, my Facebook ad is doing quite well, and my list continues to get subscribers daily.
I offer a free guide to save up to $10,000 every year with an 11-step guide. Interested? Sign up and grab a copy!
I used to use MailChimp as my mailing list provider but I switched over to ConvertKit. ConvertKit is more organized and allows for better market segmenting, which, when you have a larger mailing list, allows you to market specific products to specific audiences.
Publish and Sell Products
My wife and I have ten personal finance-related printables coming down the line that should be published soon. My goal is to sell $600 worth of printables by the 12-month mark. That's $100 per month, which I feel is attainable.
I also sell a killer guide on how to earn consistent passive income on Lending Club. As of this writing, I earn over 12% annualized return on investment through my Lending Club strategy. You can check out the book where I explain how to use Lending Club and share my exact strategy.
Increase Search Traffic and CTR
Increasing search traffic is already happening with my site-wide SEO audit that I started in late July. I mention this audit in my May, June, July combined income report (coming soon). Ideally, I'd like my Search CTR to be a minimum of 1.5%.
If you're a blogger, I completely recommend SEMrush for all of your SEO needs. It's a bit costly, but I increased my organic search traffic by over 180% in mere weeks after completing my site-wide SEO audit, with the help of SEMrush's toolset. You can use this link to get a 7-day free trial and see if it's right for you.
Engage More on Social Media, Gain Following
Here's exactly what I want to do on social media – the trick is actually doing it:
- Twitter: Tweet 10-15 times per day (inclusive on retweets, replies, link shares, and regular tweets) – Reach 2000 followers (help me out 🙂 )
- Facebook: Share one link and/or one general post on The Dollar Blogger's Facebook page. Reach 1000 followers
- Pinterest; Pin consistently 15-20 pins per day and reach 1500 followers
- Instagram: Post five times per week and reach 1000 followers
These are tough goals for me because staying consistent on social media can be exhausting. That said, I'll see how it goes and kick ass as best as possible.
Make $4,000 after 12 months total (and why)
I specifically want to make $4,000 after 12 months because this is approximately how much money I will have spent on everything on both of my online businesses after 12 months. Outside of The Dollar Blogger, I run a print-on-demand store, Pebblebrook Apparel, and when creating the two businesses, my wife and I signed up for courses and services to excel us forward.
If I can make a total of $4,000 over 12 months, then I can say I broke even in year 1. That would be fantastic.
Post 3/times per week every other week
I currently post twice per week (Mondays/Thursdays). I'd like to add Saturdays every other week. Ideally, I'd really like to add three posts every week, but that goal might not be attainable realistically. We'll see how it goes.
I always say quality over quantity when it comes to great content.
I want to reach 2500 unique monthly visitors in any month in the first 12 months. This can be organic or via paid advertising (without breaking the bank). Blogging traffic is my lifeblood, right? I'm hoping to make this goal work for me by the end of January 2021.
Learn More About Marketing
My marketing skills are crap. There, I said it lol. In the coming months, I want to improve my marketing skills, perhaps with a course, so that I can effectively sell products and direct more traffic to my blog and other online platforms.
Are You New to Blogging? Set Realistic Expectations
If you're a new or aspiring blogger, it's important to set realistic expectations. In your first six months, your goals should be to be consistent and set up your business to succeed. There isn't much money to be made in the first six months for the average blogger. Things may feel slow, and the novelty of having your own online platform might wear off when you aren't making cash after half a year.
I'll discuss my income in my income report coming at the beginning of August.
Wrapping It Up
When I started blogging, I didn't really know what to expect. I signed up for Elite Blog Academy and dove deep into it. I'm starting to feel some momentum build, but it's too early to say, “the money is on its way.”
My next post coming on August 3rd will review my income for May, June, and July, a continuation of my blogging 90-days later report where I talked about traffic and income for February, March, and April.