Hey guys!! Happy Workers’ Day!! I’m so happy because it’s a public holiday so, no going to the office.
Today, I’ll be talking about goals, blogging goals to be precise. So many people (like me) didn’t have goals when we first started out. I saw blogging as an avenue for me to talk about topical issues that affect our lives. I thought it would be a fun and stress-free activity.
Well, I thought wrong. Believe me, blogging is fun, but it takes a lot of hard work. There are days when I wake up and ask myself “who sent me?” I have, however, come to realise that when you set goals, it helps to streamline your efforts and make life a lot easier.
By goals, I don’t mean the unrealistic ones such as getting 100,000 visitors every month (from your first month), have a thousand comments on each blog post, post everyday (although it works for some people), start earning money from the blog immediately e.t.c.
You can actually set some pretty achievable goals for yourself. One small step at a time.
I read Emily’s Blogging and Social Media Goals for April and I loved it. Simple and straightforward. So, I decided to set out some easy blogging goals for newbie (and even some experienced) bloggers.
When I first started blogging, I was posting everyday. The whole concept of blogging was exciting to me, so I was churning out content everyday. Then I didn’t know anything about SEO or Pinterest or conversions or bounce rate etc. I just paid for my domain name and web hosting and started writing. I kept writing till it became burdensome for me to keep up with posting once a day. So, I stopped posting once a day, and started with twice weekly. And I’ve been consistent with this.
Some people post everyday. It may work for them and not for you. I personally think that once or twice a week is ideal so you don’t run out of ideas.
One thing I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers take for granted is email list. We tend to forget that people on our mailing list are the most responsive readers. Think about it. Anybody who finds time to subscribe to your mailing list likes what he/she read on your blog and would love to read more. So, collecting emails should be one of your goals.
It is not easy to get email subscribers in your first year, that is why I’m suggesting 3 emails per month. Nothing says you cannot surpass this target.
I didn’t even know about this until I read an article by Neil Patel on How Content Length Affects Rankings and Conversions. Basically, Google and all other search engines prefer long form content; and long form content tends to do better than short form content.
I know it may be difficult for some people to write up to 1000 words, that is why we are making it a quarterly goal. That way, you can take your time to put it together.
I’m sure you have heard, probably thousands of times, that CONTENT IS KING. This is so true and cannot be over-emphasised. Search engines and social media platforms love original content (preferably long form). Good content will usually guarantee tweets, links, shares, conversions and higher rankings.
By social media, I mean Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, to mention a few. Now, the goal is to pick two or three social media platforms and establish a strong presence. Some people join all the platforms, which may work for them and not for you.
The key is to find the platforms that you are most familiar and comfortable with and try to grow a following. I use Facebook, Twitter (which I love so very much), Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn. These platforms work for me, and with Buffer, I can schedule my post across these platforms (except LinkedIn).
1. Follow 4 Blogger Retweet Accounts: These are accounts that will retweet your posts once you tag them in your tweet. I follow quite a lot of them but my favourites are BloggersTribe, Beechat, Bloggersoc, theBloggersHub.
2. Join 3 twitter chats every month. These retweet accounts, mentioned above, host twitter chats every week, sometimes twice a week. At every chat, a topic is discussed and you get to meet other bloggers as well. This helps you get exposure.
3. Join a comment thread once a month. A comment thread is twitter thread where every blogger who participates in the thread puts up a blog post, and the others read the post and comment. The goal is to get people to read each others blogs and post a comment. This helps increase your blog traffic.
1. Join at least 2 blogging groups on Facebook. There are so many groups on Facebook with thousands of members. Joining a group will allow you share your posts to that group. This will help draw visitors to your blog as well.
2. Participate in 2 comment threads once a month. Just like Twitter, these Facebook groups also run a comment thread. You get to share your latest blog posts with members on that thread and then go on a comment spree.
3. Boost one blog post. Some people don’t do this because you have to pay for it, but I’ve realised that to reach a larger audience, a boost helps as well. Since this is capital intensive, you may not have to do it all the time.
Frankly, I only boost my post once a month and that is when I interview a guest on my Be Inspired Series, and this is because my guests are usually self-employed business men/women. So I need to reach a larger audience that will help draw clients to them.
Now this is a bit difficult because I personally do not like Instagram. I feel it puts a lot of pressure on people to be perfect, or to be seen as perfect. Then there is also the anxiety of how many people will like your post and all that other nonsense. Despite my misgivings for Instagram, I’m very much aware of the fact that over 500 million people have Instagram accounts. So I’d be a fool to ignore that audience.
1. Post blog related content twice a day on Instagram. To get the best engagement, you have to post at peak periods. I have tried to understand when is a peak period for someone in Nigeria all to no avail. So, I post as the spirit leads.
2. Always use popular hashtags when posting. There are thousands of hashtags that can garner you more viewers. Google can help with this as well.
3. Get 4 followers per month. This may sound as a very low number, but believe me, some months you may not even get a follower. Getting followers is further made difficult with the Instagram algorithm and bot accounts. Read all about bot accounts and cheating on Instagram here.
I’m still new to Pinterest, so maybe we can aim to achieve these goals together.
1. Create more pin-worthy images for blog posts. All the articles I’ve read on Pinterest have stressed the importance of pin-worthy images. By this I mean images that meet the specs for Pinterest (approx. 736 x 1102). Apparently, images go a long way in driving traffic to your blog, and the more pin-worthy they are, the more traffic you get.
2. Pin 8 images from other blogs every month. Not only does this create more visibility for you, it gains you more following and thus, more traffic. So, not only do you have to pin your images, you have to do for other blogs you read.
3. Follow more boards.
Guest posting is another great way to create awareness for yourself and, by extension, your blog. This you can only do by putting yourself and your blog out there mostly through social media. You can also send out articles to popular websites relevant to your niche and request that it (article) be featured on their site.
Commenting on other blogs also helps you with visibility. Chances are that the blogger or someone else reading that post may decide to check out your blog.
When I say commenting, I don’t mean leaving one-word comments like, “nice”, or “lovely”, or “informative post” e.t.c. These types of comments are quite annoying. It shows that you didn’t read the post but just wanted to leave a comment for the sake of it.
Like I said before, one small step at a time. After the first year, you can take stock and see what goals you achieved and then go further by increasing your goals.
So, let’s talk. What blogging goals have you set for yourself? Do you think you can achieve them? What difficulties are you having?