The Blog Blueprint: How To Set And Achieve S.M.A.R.T. Content Goals

The Blog Blueprint: How To Set And Achieve S.M.A.R.T. Content Goals |
NOTE: This content may be out of date. There are plenty of solid takeaways that stand the test of time, but some strategies and ideas may not be relevant any longer. This blog is no longer actively maintained nor supported. The author has moved onto different things present [ here ]. Thank you.

It happened again, didn't it?

Your blog had some decent numbers prior, but didn't actually achieve anything, did it?

I can tell you why...

You should create a S.M.A.R.T. goal for your blog.

Yeah, yeah. 

I know what you're thinking.

Goals, schmoals.

But, seriously. 

Your goals can ignite the results you're aiming for.

Whether or not you have an idea of what you want from your blog, that's what this post is for. To help you decide on what you want, how to make it feasible, and how to set it.

Read on to get your S.M.A.R.T. goal on a roll.

STEP 1. Decide What You Want Your Blog To Achieve Overall

It doesn't have to be THE goal, however, you should have an idea of a purpose for your blog before you start it.

  • It could be to promote your products or services.

  • It could be to provide a resource to your community.

  • It could be to educate and coach potential customers in your product or service.

So, what do you actually want to achieve with your blog? What do you want it to be able to do for you?

RELATED: How To Build A Purpose-Filled Website [And Blog]

STEP 2. What Should It Do For Your Reader?

Are you trying to sell to the wrong people? |

Regardless of what your desired outcome might be, your blog should benefit your readers.

Your own benefits will come with an audience of loyal email subscribers awaiting your next release or launch.

But, it takes work.

Don't let any "6-figure, 'overnight success' blogger" tell you any different. 

It takes a lot of work.

But the rewards are incomparable. (At least they are to me.)

With that said, these rewards didn't just start rolling in as soon as I started a blog.

It started only a few months ago after almost a year and a half of blogging, and 12 months of consistent blogging.

I'd had the second surgery of 2015 and my mortality became very apparent to me.

One more surgery later in 2016, and it all came into focus.

With that, I hunkered down and made it my mission to create the most valuable blog with the highest-quality content I could possible wring out of myself.

And that's when my blog really started to take off.

Without a whopper of expensive courses and products, either—my focus has been to bring the best of quality content to those who need it most.

Not just those able to drop hundreds-to-thousands of dollars on a course they may never apply to their businesses.

(But, with more comes more responsibility... I'll share on that soon, promise.)

Anyhow, the point I'm trying to make here is:

Your blog should be 80% about your reader, and only 20% about you.

As nice as it'd be for people to care about you from the start, that part is earned.

Remember that as you're pecking away at your keyboard, or filming your latest video, or recording your podcast.

Now, what do your readers really need your help with? What problem can you solve for them?

You can find that info from your existing audience through:

...and so on.

If you don't have a decent sized audience right now, check out my Content Planning Workshop.

It covers step-by-step walkthroughs on how and where to find all the info you need on your current or potential audience, plus how to form a plan from your findings.

RELATED: Are you trying to sell to the wrong people?

STEP 3. Take Your Purpose And Your Reader And Set A 1 Year Goal

What, exactly, do you want to achieve in one year's time?

  • Double your audience size?

  • Double your income?

  • Help 20 people enhance their businesses?

Write your goal down.

That 1 year goal will become the foundation for the next 12 months of goals and action steps.

RELATED: Douse Professional Disillusion In 4 Days With #4DayGoals

STEP 4. It's So Much Easier To Eat A Sliced Pie

Here's the deal.

To stay motivated throughout your bumpy journey ahead, that goal you just wrote down (or will...) should be broken down into bitesized pieces—micro goals.

Then put the pieces in a straight line (over the 12-month, 12-goal span) so that they all work together to achieve the "big goal", or macro goal.

That macro goal can be achieved—possibly faster—when you use this method for goal planning.

I've found that you can achieve almost anything with this method of breaking down any problem into steps.

For example, let's say your big goal at the 12-month mark is to go from zero email subscribers to 500 active email subscribers.

(Active meaning 500 individuals who regularly open your emails, and at least half of those openers engage with you either on social media, via email, or on your blog comments.)

Example of scheduled, incremental goal setting

You can have an email list of 10,000 subscribers, but if only 10% are engaged, then the other 90% is just costing you a boat-load of money with little to no return.

(You'll figure all that out as you grow, though.)

So, 500 active email subscribers in 12 months shouldn't be a problem for someone who's focused, determined, and truly devotes themselves to their audiences desires.

Trust me, I rode the "but I wanna talk about what I wanna talk about! It's my blog!" *Insert immature whiny voice*

Always remember:

To create a truly successful blog, make 'it' 80% about your reader and only 20% about yourself.

So, on a sheet of paper, write down "500 active email subscribers" in the center and circle it.

Set a timer for 25 minutes and begin to brainstorm what all you'd need to do to make that 500 email subscribers happen.

Screenshot from the Content Planning Workshop

Screenshot from the Content Planning Workshop

Now, the first round is just brainstorming.

What do you think it takes to acquire 500 active emails subscribers?

It won't be your only session for that one goal, though.

The next round will be to research how you can achieve the goal.

Then, take your naturally derived—your brainstormed—ideas and add in or replace where necessary with doable, proven formulas to "how to earn more email subscribers".

When I say "doable", I mean for your situation.

Say, you're a mom with a couple of young children at home.

Following Suzie-unmarried-with-zero-kids' advice "to a T" could land you with a neglected family and a killer feeling of failure and disappointment. (I didn't go through this... Nooo... Okay, I totally did. *Sniffles*)

Set the tone for your goal according to your unique personal and professional situation.

Oh you could just ask my wonderful accountability partners how much of a work-load I used to dump on myself week after week. Yeah, it was bad...

Anyhow, to wrap this up, here are the steps:

Another screenshot from the Content Planning Workshop

Another screenshot from the Content Planning Workshop

  1. Take your full year goal and write it down on a clean sheet of paper.

  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes.

  3. Brainstorm as many potential ways you can think of to achieve that goal and write them down haphazardly around your main goal.

  4. When the timer goes off, stop and review.

  5. After, research your goal.

  6. Add in anything that is doable for your unique situation.

  7. After that, review your findings again. Remove anything that doesn't fit or work.

  8. If you wind up with less than 11 ideas to achieving your goal, then review your list again. Set a timer for another 25 minutes and work on pulling more ideas from your existing list.

  9. To finalize, make sure you have at least 11 situationally feasible ideas and start scheduling them.

SUGGESTED: Build A Better Content Plan With This 90-Minute, 2-Module Workshop + PDFs


Learn everything you need to know to create better, smarter, more audience-driven content in 90 minutes.


STEP 5. Set Your Halfway Check Point Goal

As easy as it would be to say, "just take your broken down goals and assign them to months within the year and you'll achieve the goal!", I'd be lying to you.

Committing a whole year to achieving ONE goal isn't going to be a cake walk.

So, yes, set your plan up in a systemic way.

But, make sure your "halfway point" is a rewarding reminder of why you're working so hard.

Image of a goal "halfway point".

This is where you'll want to really dig deep to find what makes you happiest.

Is it when you fly through your task list and can sit back and relax after? If so, reward yourself with an "easier for you" micro goal at the 6-month mark.

Does it make you happy to dig in your heels and fight harder to finish faster? If so, simply line up your micro goals in a way that makes sense and barrel through.

You know you better than anyone else.

Make sure you're getting plenty of "little wins" along the way to keep you motivated to the finish line.

With that, schedule your months using a Content Map (grab a copy within the Content Planner here), a dry erase calendar in your office, or your Content Strategy Planner.

And before I slap you with too much more planning and goal development, I'm going to break here.

Setting goals for your blog content isn't too far from the goals for your business. But do you REALLY know how to plan them S.M.A.R.T.? Click the image to get the full strategy to setting and achieving your blog goals, or Pin this for later!

The next post marks the final chapter of this 6-part "Blog Blueprint" Series.

It's the roadmap to your blog's destination.

So, if you're not yet subscribed, be sure to get it delivered to your inbox right here »

Missed the others? No worries. Here's a round up you can tackle before swallowing that pill of a conclusion. *Winks*

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