January 14th, 2008 - by Golgotha

The article “How to Promote Your Blog” was so well received that I’ve decided to make a series out of it. So each month, in 2008, I will give you a new lesson on promoting your blog. At the end of the year we will have 12 lessons with which we can then create a “Season 1 – How To Promote Your Blog” DVD that you can pick up at your local Best Buy store and give to that special someone for Christmas…Yeah right!

Since it’s the beginning of a new year and many will be either starting their first blog or looking for ways to further their current blog, I thought it fitting to start this series by talking about the significance of setting goals for your blog.

Know Where You’re Going

Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn’t there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.

The conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.”

Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

The conductor rushed back and said, “Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.”

Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”

Where are you going with your blog? What goals have you set for your blog for the year? You do have some goals and aspirations for your blog for this year, don’t you?

When I asked the question, “What goals do you have for your blog in 2008?” in a forum dedicated to bloggers there were mixed results. Some bloggers had clearly defined goals for the coming year, while others hadn’t even given thought to what they wanted for their blog. Here are some of the replies:

“2008? I barely know what my goals are for next week at the moment”

“My goal is to earn $25,000 from my finance blog in 2008.”

“I hope to achieve in 2008: 100% increase in visitors every 3 months to my existing blog, launch 2 more blogs and post more frequently. May be ambitious, but it gives me a target to aim for!”

“I wanna have at least 250 unique visitors per day since now I’m having 150 in average…”

“My goal is to enhance more of my writing abilities to provide information for my blog visitors, money isn’t my concern, I’m more into what I can contribute through my small effort…”

“To get New Ground (my blog) up and running. Monetize all three of my blogs. Put my poetry into an e-book for sale on my site…”

“Blogging goals for 2008 – don’t abandon [my] blog…”

“I’d like my site to pop up as the first Google search result when searching for my full name by the end of 2008…”

I think it’s safe to say that those that have set clearly defined goals for their blogs will have a better chance of succeeding than those that don’t. Goals that are well defined, like: to earn $25,000 from my blog, or to have 100% increase in visitors every 3 months, or I wanna have at least 250 unique visitors per day, or to put my poetry into an e-book all provide the blogger with something to work towards.

Soni Pitts, in her free e-book, “50 Ways To Reach Your Goals” has this to say:

“Creating that vision before starting out on your journey creates a real destination in your mind, which is infinitely preferable to just wandering off in the general direction of whatever it is you want and hoping you end up somewhere acceptable. The stronger and more realistically detailed you make your visualizations, the better chance you have of succeeding. Why leave anything to chance – picture your goal right down to the stitching, as it were, to ensure that your energy is being focused in the right direction and is concentrated on creating the most effective and appropriate result.”

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know if you get there?

Let’s conclude by looking at some more examples of clearly defined goals:

- I want n unique visitors a day by April
- I want to have at least n subscribers to my blog by the end of 2008
- I want a Technorati Rank of n by the end of 2008
- I want to be in Google’s top 5 search results for the keyword x
- I want a monthly Adsense revenue of n by May
- I want my e-book finished by March
- I want n post to make it to the front of digg in 2008
- I want to transfer my blog to a new theme by March
- I want to post n number of times a week
- I want to be a better writer by the end of 2008

If you haven’t set goals for your blog yet, then do so. Give your blog a chance to succeed, plan things out and know where you are going.

14 Responses to “How to Promote Your Blog – Know Where You’re Going”

1 readywpthemes

Nice article. I liked it. Thanks for it!!!

2 TOMAS

Ditto on the previous comment, nice post to start your series off with! So what are the goals for Search-This in 2008?

:)

3 Court

I would add making sure that your goals are a stretch for your current level. Making a goal to get 100 people per day isn’t much of a stretch if you already get 70. A goal of 300 would push such a person harder towards success.

4 John

Give your blog a chance to succeed, plan things out and know where you are going.

This of course assumes that your definition of success in this instance is defined from a business perspective, that success is measured by the increase of quantifiable variables like visitors, revenue, quantity of output etc.

While it’s probably true that a lot of blogs do have business goals as their main priority, I’m sure there’s probably also a lot whose goals may be different like giving someone something to pass the time, practising their writing skills, using it as an online diary etc.

Quantifiable goals probably aren’t as important for blogs that are more personal in nature.

5 Golgotha

@readywpthemes – thanks.

@TOMAS – goals for Search-This in 2008:
- 3,000 uniques/day by year end
- 5,000 subscribers by year end
- finish my e-book by March
- Be in Google’s top 5 for “internet marketing”
- and number 1, get more people to comment

@Court – no point in setting the bar low.

@John – right, these articles will be geared toward the professional.

6 rick

Good stuff..lets hope it works

7 Mike Minneman

I found this all pretty useful. I mean, it’s mostly common sense but it’s always good to have a reminder about having goals and working towards them.

Since I’m helping a friend generate and promote his blog, we’re sitting down and working through what our goals are.

Not sure how much of a stretch it is, but our goal is $4.00 / day within 6 months.

8 Otto

Nice article! I’m going to start a blog under my domain (almost ready to go!) and have been looking for some tips. Thanks for your article. I’ll set a goal and try to meet it.

9 How to Promote Your Blog - Give A Little Bit

[...] first lesson of our How to promote your blog series was titled “Know where you’re going”. In it we talked about the importance of planning and setting goals for your blog. Creating that [...]

10 Alvin Nyau

I made a goal for myself after reading this post. I have to improve my english by the end of 2008 so that I can write better articles like everyone else did.

Thanks for the info.

11 Marco

This helped me a lot, I can’t wait for more entries :D

12 bryan

I have now made myself several goals, mostly to give back to my community. My blog is used to help others, so I am going to strive to help the community as much as i can.

13 Lance

Sorry, but the vast number of those goals are quite poor – at least at a high level, planning stage.

These are operational goals that rarely inspire or direct action because fail to answer “why?” It would be the same for financial goals – a statement like “I want a million dollars” has far less focus and motivation then “I want to be able to take care of my family’s education and medical needs without hesitation or financial stress. This will take a million dollars.” The money is a means to a end, not the other way around.

I would advise people focus on what they want to achieve philosophically first then use goals like these to drive quarterly growth. For your blog, perhaps you want a certain type of community to form and flourish. Or perhaps you want to provide clarity and access to regional or organizational data. Both of these would require a certain number of people, certain types of posts and a certain amount of revenue.

First, get a ‘why’ goal, then set ‘how’ goals.

14 Steve Almond

@John, @Lance:

Goals are supposed to be “operational” level – they set real targets and real deadlines that lead to real budgets and real plans. If you don’t know how many people you want to help, you don’t know how many staff to hire, how big a hospital to build, etc, etc, etc. Goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).

The ‘non-quantitative’ or ‘why goal’ comes before that, at a higher level. It’s your strategy, and it comes from your purpose. If your purpose in life is to support your family financially – very commendable – then your strategy may be to raise, manage, and provide money by blogging. Your goals would then be for how much money, and how much blogging…

Personally, I have a hard time defining my ‘purpose’, so my strategy and goals tend to be patchy and sometimes appear incompatible. Start/build my business(es)? Or spend more time with my family? Save more? Or give more generously?

I suspect most people’s lives are full of these contradictions. Maybe the fun is in balancing them. :-)

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