Do you have a vision for your blog in the next year, five years or even ten years? For a lot of online business owners, we can get so caught up in the day to day work that we can forget to look towards the future and where we are going. In today’s episode, we’ll talk about how to create a vision for your blog so that you can be more intentional with the tasks you are doing today to grow your blog.
Can’t listen to the episode? Read on for the transcript!
Reflecting at the end of the year leads to creating a plan at the beginning of the new year.
In year’s past, I would spend a little bit of time reflecting on my business, the numbers from the previous year and how I felt about it. But rarely did I take the time to put a plan into action to change those results. Sometimes I would set a goal for the year like double my income or double my pageviews, but without a plan for that goal, I forgot about it a month later.
Creating a vision for your blog is a multifaceted process. But it is so essential to making sure you have direction. This will help you to not get caught up or overwhelmed with every new tactic to grow your blog or new social media platform that comes out. Knowing where you are going is essential for staying focused!
This episode is going to give you a lot of questions to ponder. I would highly recommend carving out a bit of your CEO time soon to really sit and think about these questions. Head back to episode 59 to learn more about setting aside CEO time to work on your business.
Step one: know where you are and where you are going
Start with where your blog is currently. If you haven’t done a review of your blog in a while, check out episode 60 for how to do an end of year review. You can do this any time, but it will really help you to see where things are now so you can figure out where you are going!
Think about what you want your blog to do for you.
Is this a hobby? (That is 100% okay if it is – but this very much affects the decisions you make)
Is this a business? Specifically what do you want your blog to do for you? Is your goal to help your readers, is it to help your family financially? It may be both, but writing it down will be really helpful.
What kind of opportunities do you want your blog to create for you? Do you want to be on TV, write a cookbook, have a product line? Maybe you want to have as many #1 search results on Google as you can. Maybe you just want your blog to allow you the flexibility to set your own schedule for your family.
Knowing what you want your blog to do for you will help you make more intentional decisions along the way.
Do you need your blog to contribute financially to your family?
If so, how much do you need it to contribute? If you are using your blog income for something that isn’t “necessary” but is still something you want for your lifestyle, figure out what amount you need your blog to generate.
This should be the amount you want to come into your bank account, not just the amount that your blog makes.
What is your end goal for your blog?
Whether your blog is the final destination or a step along the way to something bigger, spend some time really thinking about this.
I didn’t think of it this way until a few months ago, but I realize now that my blog was a stepping stone for THIS business. Without my blog, I wouldn’t have started designing websites. I certainly wouldn’t have this podcast if it weren’t for my blog.
You may not always know what the end goal is… but you can really sit and think about whether your blog is it. It’s totally okay if it is! But think about it and reflect on whether running your blog (i.e. creating content and likely making money through traditional senses like ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsorships) is the ultimate goal for your website, or if you’re wanting it to lead to other things down the road.
If you’ve ever followed my time tracking advice this is a great time to pull out those time trackers. Think about what you LOVE about blogging… what are your favorite parts? Is there a way that you can turn THOSE favorites into income?
So often people think about qualifying for ad networks as THE way to monetize their blogs. It is a great way, but it is certainly not the only way!
It’s likely that whatever number you wrote down as what you need or want to contribute to your household income is higher than what you are likely bringing in right now.
What would be the EASIEST way to bring in money? What skills do you have that would easily be profitable as a service? What would feel more authentic to yourself?
In 5 years, do you want to be spending your time on your blog in this same way? What would you want to change?
How to set realistic goals for your blog
Now that you done some reflecting you might be full of ideas, things you want to change, or feeling a little bit uncertain of your next steps.
This is the thing I’ve always missed doing in the past! But it is the thing that will actually get you some results.
You need to set realistic goals. What do I mean by realistic?
- Can be checked off
- Measurable goals
- Realistic number of goals
- Can have a deadline
- Within your control
Income goals and traffic goals are measurable but you cannot control them. You can however say that you are going to republish 2 blog posts per month and publish 2 new blog posts, with the intended result to increase your traffic by 20%. That is something you can measure, check off a list, and set a deadline for.
Do a brain dump of all of the goals you think you might want to achieve this year. Then prioritize by starring or highlighting the ones that feel the most impactful to you.
Once you have your priorities, choose the ones you are going to work on for the next quarter. You should be progressively having a smaller list from the year goals to quarter goals to monthly priorities.
Once you figure out your priority for the month, then you can break it down into a task list or process to actually get it done.
Also put a reminder on your calendar or project management tool to check in on these goals and see how they are doing.
Spend more time on the tasks that drive you towards your goals.
Now you have set a vision for your blog and figured out which direction you want to go. You’ve set goals to help you move towards your goals. But most importantly, you need to make sure you are spending your time working on tasks that drive you towards your goals.
Figure out the core tasks that have led you to your biggest results or proudest moments in the last year.
Track your time to see how much time you are spending on other tasks. Evaluate your to do list AND time tracker to see which tasks are necessary and will help you move towards your goals.
Eliminating the things that don’t move you towards your goals (i.e. growing a facebook page if your goal is to be a food photographer for other food bloggers). Your time could be better spent networking in Facebook groups rather than growing a Facebook page.
Work towards spending more of your time on the tasks that are leading you towards your goals.