Can you see into the future at where your blog is headed? Does goal setting for your blog seem mysterious or impossible? Let’s break down how to set strategic goals for your food blog in today’s episode.
Can’t listen to the episode? Read on for the transcript!
A few weeks ago I was flying to Virginia and my favorite thing to do on the airplane is to write. There are no distractions and the hum of the airplane drowns out the background noise of the rest of the plane. I get serious tunnel vision and can write for hours (as long as I have enough coffee in me of course).
So that’s exactly what I did. I started planning my episodes for the next few months. The last two episodes I talked all about themes and then how you can customize your theme and make it less out of the box.
But as I was getting ready to start on the next episode about designing your homepage, I realized that I needed to cover this topic first.
One of the things I talk to my clients about is their goals for their blog in one year and in five years. This really helps me to understand the vision of their blog and where they see it going. Without knowing all of this information, I may be able to design a website that fits them right now but my goal is always to build a website that my clients can grow into and grow with.
So what are your goals for your blog?
I’m talking about the little goals, the big goals, and the super scary to say aloud goals.
When I was at the Mediavine conference last year, my mastermind group and I had been talking about how we needed to speak our big scary goals aloud to each other. So we went out for Mexican food and sat around the table with margaritas in hand to share our big scary goals. There were goals like having her own TV show, writing a cookbook, creating physical product lines, and basically taking over the world (no really, that was one of the goals!)
There are SO many opportunities that come up as a food blogger. No matter if your blog is tiny or a full time gig, you have likely gotten at least one email to collaborate on something. And it’s flattering and exciting ot have someone reach out to you!
Recently one of my clients had a brand reach out to her about being an affiliate partner for a product that she uses and would easily recommend to her audience naturally.
But when we talked about it, I reminded her that her goal this year was to build her audience and her email list to start selling an ebook down the road. Affiliate marketing wasn’t a part of her goals, right now. Even though it was exciting and flattering for a brand to reach out!
When you have strategic goals set for your blog, you have something to measure your ideas and opportunities against to see if they are a good fit for you right now.
Saying no to those opportunities doesn’t mean you’ll never do something like affiliate marketing. It just means it’s not a priority, right now.
There are a few different types of goals that I want you to think about here.
The first is the tangible, measurable goals that you want to reach in the short term. This may be a specific page view amount, income amount, or maybe posting a certain amount of blog posts per month.
These are great goals to have but the goals I really want to encourage you to think about are the strategic, long term goals.
What do you want to do with your blog?
So many bloggers stumbled into blogging, especially if you have been around the blogging world for a while. But now that you have stuck with it and you’re continuing to try to grow your food blog, I really want you to answer the question of WHY you are doing this.
- Are you passionate about connecting with your audience?
- Is your blog a stepping stone to something bigger like a cookbook publication or hosting your own TV show?
- Do you want to create a product line that would serve your audience and their struggles?
- Do you want to contribute a certain amount financially to your family?
- Do you want a creative outlet that also brings in some extra cash?
- There are a few different types of goals within the examples I just gave. Some are monetary, some are not.
But you have to know where you want to take your blog or what you want it to do for you so that you can make smart and strategic decisions about your blog.
It’s very easy to say that you want to grow your blog.
But what does that mean? Is it page views, is it monetary, or is it a certain reputation to help lead you to something bigger?
Do you want to grow your audience so that you can make a bigger impact with them? Or grow your audience so you can qualify for sponsored posts? Do you see how that slight difference in your end goal could radically change the things you do to grow your blog?
There is not a bad answer for this. Even if your goal is to have a creative outlet, that is not a bad goal. But having that goal in mind will help you make good decisions about your blog and give you boundaries to stay in.
Your goals could change anytime. But as you sit down to plan out your content for the quarter or redesign your website or as you are figuring out whether to focus on affiliate marketing or email marketing, knowing your end goal is essential to making strategic decisions about your blog.
So how do you do this?
Envision your blog in 5 years. Someone asks you what you’re most proud of that your blog has achieved in five years. What is your answer?
One tactic for really digging into the heart (and therefore goals) of your blog is going 5 layers deep with answering the question why.
So if your goal is to grow your blog, ask yourself why at least 5 times until you get to the core of it.
Maybe your answer is that you want to grow your blog so that you can qualify for ad networks, so that you can pay for sports for your kids or send them to a private school.
Maybe you want to grow your blog so that you can grow your audience, get a cookbook published, and share your grandmother’s recipes with the world.
Maybe you want to grow your blog, so you can reach more people and share your blog’s message about plant based eating with more people so that those people can find balance in their diets.
Do you see how each layer gets a little more deep?
These answers are what will help keep you grounded when there is an algorithm update or your email list unsubscribes or you don’t get a sponsored post. These answers will give you boundaries when an opportunity comes along but doesn’t align with your core goals for your blog.
I also want you to envision your blog in one year. What do you hope to accomplish in the next year with your blog? Do you want to increase your pageviews, increase your connections with your audience, or increase your income from your blog? Do you want to find a good rhythm for your publishing schedule and be consistent with it for a year?
Once you know your short term and long term goals, you can design your homepage, about page, or even sidebar with your unique strategy and goals in mind.