When I finally got serious about treating my blog like a business, I started setting blogging goals.
Do you guys do this? I can’t even tell you how much it has helped me.
By actually sitting down, having brainstorming sessions, getting laser clear about my focus, and then setting those goals and planning out all the steps I need to do to get there, my productivity has gone through the roof. No more spending time on things that don’t get me closer to where I want to be. It makes everything SO. MUCH. CLEARER.
And as a mama who only gets work-time during naps and sometimes evenings, I needed that clarity. I couldn’t waste time on fluffy stuff, you know?
I thought I’d share the method that is really working for me. I’m no official biz coach, but I have landed on a system that I really like.
What I Don’t Count As Blog Goals
Before we really get into it, let me be clear on what I consider goals to be.
Something like “publish 10 posts” doesn’t count.
I don’t actually consider blog posts and newsletters “goals”. I have a certain schedule that I stick to (blog posts on mondays, newsletters on tuesdays, and a second blog post every other wednesday). That content is just my regular, every week kind of stuff that doesn’t change. I plan out my content on an editorial calendar, which is separate from my goal setting.
So what DO I count as goals?
My goals tend to be things that are growing my biz outside of content and newsletters. It’s like working ON my business instead of just “in it”. Things like creating new products, working on site improvements, creating an email sequence, pitching sponsored posts, doing webinars or collaborations, etc. See how those are different from regular content production?
Alright, let’s dive into the method.
1 // Set 90 Day Goals
I like working in 90-day chunks. For me, this feels WAY more attainable than setting annual goals and also seems to work better than 30 day goals, which can be too short. Since these are bigger blog biz goals, you need to give yourself enough time to actually accomplish them.
The 90 day chunks means that your year is broken up into 4 quarters:
- Quarter 1: January – March (deadline: April 1)
- Quarter 2: April – June (deadline: July 1)
- Quarter 3: July – September (deadline: Oct 1)
- Quarter 4: October – December (deadline: Jan 1)
Here are a few examples of some 90 day goals:
- 90 Day Goal: Launch new line of art prints
- 90 Day Goal: Go live with new blog design
- 90 Day Goal: Start blog newsletter and have 5 opt in spots across blog
- 90 Day Goal: Audit and update old blog posts with better SEO, affiliate links, and pinterest image
- 90 Day Goal: Launch a new webinar series of DIY project tutorials on blog
See how those are pretty big goals? You don’t want to set more than 2-5 goals for the 90 day period. Keep them attainable and realistic. If you always set too many goals or goals that are too big, it’ll just get overwhelming.
On the other hand, if you don’t set any goals, then you’ll probably spend your 90 days producing blog content, floating around on social media, but not actually moving your business forward.
Have a brainstorming session once per quarter to flush out these big ideas. I make a morning of it. I grab my coffee, notebook, and carve out a few quiet hours to dedicate JUST to brainstorming. I get so much more done this way and I can plan out months of work, tasks, content, in advance.
2 // Break Goals Down into Tasks
Once you’ve written out your 90-day goals, it’s time to break those down into task lists. The task list might be long and that’s OK. I want you to literally break it down as much as you can so that these become very specific items that you can cross off your to-do list as you work through it.
So let’s take the 90-day goal of “Start a blog newsletter and have 5 opt-in spots across blog”. The task list for this might look like:
- Research and decide on email system to use
- Sign up for email system
- Design overall template to use for newsletters
- Find your top 3 most popular blog posts on Google Analytics and brainstorm opt-in freebie for each post (opt-in might be a worksheet, design guide, printable, etc)
- Create opt-in freebie #1
- Create opt-in freebie #2
- Create opt-in freebie #3
- Develop opt-in sign up boxes and embed them into the 3 blog posts
- Embed those opt-in boxes in any additional blog posts where the freebie might be relevant
- Add general opt-in box to blog homepage
- Add general pop-up opt-in box to blog
- Create newsletter schedule
See how that’s a big list? It’s a lot. That’s why you want to focus on just a handful (or less) of goals over a 90 day period so that you can actually see them through.
It’s the worst when you only get things half finished before moving on to the next, and then you never go back and call it done.
Grab my free printable goal setting worksheet below to help you with your brainstorming sessions!
Grab the Goal Setting Worksheet!
3 // Allocate Tasks into Calendar
Once you have those big lists written out for each goal, then it’s time to take those lists and plan them into your calendar.
You may not know exactly which day you are going to work on each thing, but you might plan it out by week. So for instance, week 1 you would want X, Y, and Z done. Then week 2 you’d move onto the next 3 things. That way each week you know *exactly* what smaller tasks you need to accomplish in order to be able to cross that big goal off the list after 90 days.
Having this sort of to do list for each week, along with my overall blog editorial calendar for content, means that I always know exactly what I’m meant to be working on. There is never a morning where I get to my computer and say “Hmm, what do I feel like doing today?” It’s already planned out for me. This saves me so much time and has put my productivity into overdrive.
4 // Keep tabs on Progress
At the end of every month I’ll check in to see how I’m doing against the bigger list. Sometimes things have gone off the rails (hello, life!) and that’s cool. I’ll just try to course-correct and see what I can do to try to still accomplish the 90 day goal. By checking in at the end of each month, it means that I can see pretty clearly if I’m getting done what I need to.
5 // Re-visit and Move to Next Quarter
When you get to the end of that quarter? Daaaamn it feels good to check those big goals off the list. You actually feel like you accomplished something BIG instead of just keeping up with the status quo.
If you don’t get all of them crossed off, then evaluate why that was. Maybe life just got crazy and it wasn’t feasible. Maybe you bit off more than you could chew and planned too many big goals. Maybe you under-estimated the task list associated with each goal. Whatever it was, try to understand it so that you don’t make the same mistake again.
Like I said earlier, I tend to only have say 2 big 90-day goals at a time. There is still lots of other work going on from writing blog content, writing newsletters, managing etsy shop, scheduling social media, etc. I want to stay realistic about what I can accomplish.
Grab The (FREE!) Goal Setting Worksheet
If you’re ready to get started, I thought I’d share my own goal setting worksheet with you to help you on your way.
I designed this printable for myself to use earlier this year and I have LOVED using it. I write out my 90-day goals and brainstorm the tasks on the worksheet, and then allocate the tasks to my calendar/to-do list for that week.
Plus, it’s so pretty (and pink!) and filling it out is always kinda fun. Grab it by filling out the form below.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!