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You’ve got a brand new blog and you want to rock your first month of blogging. But where do you start?
One of the first things you should do when you start a blog, especially if you want to make money blogging, is to set blog goals. This will be your road map for success.
This post will look at how to set blog goals for beginners. I’ll also share my goals for my first month of blogging (December 2017).
I’m sure you’ve heard of SMART goals. They are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. So how is this relevant to blogging?
- Specific. Vague goals are no good to you. You need to know exactly what you are working towards.
- Measurable. It’s pretty easy to set goals that are measurable because there are lots of things you can measure when blogging (pageviews, social media stats, income). It just depends what’s important to you.
- Achievable. It’s no good setting a goal of 50,000 page views in your first month of blogging, because there’s no way you can achieve that. (Unless you are some sort of blogging deity, in which case, go for it!)
- Relevant. It needs to be relevant to your vision for your blog, otherwise, what’s the point?
- Timely. Set a time frame for your goals so you know when to review them. It’s a good idea to have yearly goals, broken down into smaller monthly steps.
Setting Blog Goals for Beginners
Before you set blog goals you need to know what your overall vision for your blog is. Why are you blogging? What is your raison d’etre?
The overall vision for this blog is:
- To grow it using Pinterest
- To share what I learn with my readers
- To use what I have learnt to provide Pinterest virtual assistant services
I’m also hoping to make a little pocket money from blogging (well cover my costs at least!)
Once you’ve decided on your overall vision, you can set short- and long- term SMART goals to help you achieve your overall vision.
An important consideration when setting blog goals as a beginner blogger is that you should only focus on one social media channel. It’s easy to think that you need to be everywhere, but in reality you’ll find it completely overwhelming.Beginner #blogging tip: focus on 1 social media channel or you'll feel overwhelmed Click To Tweet
Think about where your target audience hangs out. This should be the focus of your efforts. Everything else can be automated for now.
Each month I’ll share my goals and blog stats as a way to track the blog’s growth and also keep myself accountable. I’m hoping it will also be useful for newbie bloggers to see what someone else is doing!
Goals for December
Can you believe it’s December already?! I’ve been waiting for this day since October when I finally decided to start a blog. The date circled in my diary for the launch of my blog was 1st December and, well, here we are. Except I was too excited to wait and my blog has been live for about 4 days now, oops!
When I went live, I had four posts already written:
- Pinterest Business Account Set Up: A Beginner’s Guide
- Can Pinterest Drive Epic Traffic to Your Parenting Blog?
- Have You Got These 8 Essential Pages on Your Blog?
- How to Easily Create Pins that Stand Out on Pinterest
My first few days since launching I feel like I’ve been an excited little puppy, running from one thing to another. Seeing people actually visiting my blog has been such a thrill that I’ve been doing all that I can to promote it.
But focusing on one thing at a time is so much better for productivity than multi-tasking. And that trying to be everything to everyone is a pretty direct route to blogger burnout!
So, I’m not joining any more Facebook groups, Tailwind tribes or Pinterest group boards. Instead I’m going to build on what I have and really hone my blog promotion and Pinterest pinning strategy. With that in mind, my goals are:
- Write 2 blog posts
- Create another opt-in freebie (my current one is my Pinterest keyword planning spreadsheet)
- 1000 page views to my blog
- 5 email subscribers (currently 1- thank you!)
I’m going to achieve #2 and #3 is by focusing mainly on Pinterest marketing and Facebook groups. I also want to start scheduling content to my Facebook page and Twitter account.
I’m currently on a one month free trial of Tailwind. For those not familiar with it, Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling tool. The pay monthly plan allows you to schedule up to 400 pins per month. This month I would like to fill up my Tailwind queue with all 400 scheduled pins.
2. Tailwind Tribes
A great feature of Tailwind is the tribes. They are groups of pinners who share each other’s pins. You add your pins and then are expected to share pins from the tribe to your boards. It’s a brilliant way of getting your pins in front of a large audience. I’m currently in 4 tribes (you get up to 5 included in the basic plan) and I will be seeing how my pins perform in each of them.
3. Pinterest Group Boards
I’m in 4 Pinterest group boards at the moment. I’m working on the best strategy for them. I’m currently manually pinning my content there, but I’m going to start scheduling it on Tailwind so it doesn’t take up so much of my time.
4. Manual pinning
As great as all this automation is, I think it is important to be manually pinning as well. If Pinterest sees you as an active pinner instead of just scheduling everything, it will go in your favour as they want people to be active on their website. So, I will spend some time each day going through my Pinterest feed, group boards and trending topics, pinning anything relevant.
I’m in 6 Facebook groups that have social media or blog promotion posts each week. I plan to join in as many of those as possible to share my posts and social media. What I won’t be doing, though, is follow for follow threads or threads where you have to share every other person’s posts.
Yes it will make your numbers look better. But I think this is purely vanity (sorry, not sorry). While I’m sure some brands will only want to work with bloggers with x number of followers, any decent brand will realise it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it that counts. Follow for follow is not a good way of gaining good quality followers for your niche- that takes a bit more patience.When it comes to followers it's not the size that matters, it's what you do with it that counts! Click To Tweet
Facebook and Twitter Scheduling
I’ve signed up for a trial of SmarterQueue for scheduling to my Facebook page and Twitter profile. I’ll let you know how I get on with it.
Although I will be scheduling content (2-3 x per day on Facebook and 5 x per day on Twitter), I’ll also be checking in and actively tweeting and commenting once a day, I find Twitter profiles that are just a wall of scheduled Tweets so boring (although I do understand that people are busy!).
Social Media Stats
I don’t think that the number of social media followers matters all that much. Yes, it’s nice to have a decent following, but what’s important is how relevant and engaged they are. So I will be trying to grow my following but it’s not the be-all and end-all.
Current social media following
(The only way is up, ha!)
Search Engine Optimisation
A couple of measures of SEO are DA and Alexa rank. One is better if it’s lower, one if it’s higher. If I let you know mine, maybe you can guess which is which?
Alexa global rank: 9,677,302
SEO is a long-term strategy, so those numbers are not likely to change any time soon.
This is the Marmite of blogging. Some people love income reports while others hate them. I must admit I do love a good old nosy at income reports! It’s not something I’ve seen many British bloggers do (I can see why, it’s not very British!).
I find them so inspiring. And the ones where people have only just started making any money from blogging are so useful for newbies to see exactly how people have made their first few pounds.
My plan is to share how (and if!) I make any money from this blog. So far I’ve obviously not made a single penny. But my expenses in setting up have been:
- TSOHost (Hosting): £2.99 ($4.03)
- Namecheap* (Domain name): £6.87 ($9.06)
- ConvertKit: £21.75 ($29.00) [Because I’m a wally and didn’t use the free trial!!]
- Tailwind*: £0 [Because I’m not that much of a wally!]
- SmarterQueue: £0 [Another free trial]
Total set-up cost: £31.61 ($42.09)
Are you a new blogger? What are your blog goals as a beginner? Let me know in the comments!