The year is almost over. I can’t believe it is December already!
This is the time of year that bloggers and other entrepreneurs look ahead to the next year.
What do we want to accomplish? What could we do different?
I just started this new blog in October, so the new year will be my first full year with this blog.
But with my homesteading blog, I have big and lofty goals for 2018.
For both blogs, I plan on creating and selling new products, launching new affiliate promotions and becoming more efficient with my time.
So how do we go about goal setting for next year? It seems so overwhelming to even know where to start.
Let’s start by evaluating where we are now so we can see where we want to go:
- What worked/didn’t work this year? Be honest with yourself. Did something that you thought would be awesome just bomb? Maybe you just put out a product without doing a proper launch. You might need to nail down your “avatar” and understand what your audience really needs. Maybe you had a great year. What worked that you could scale bigger or add to for next year? Let’s build on our triumphs and learn from our mistakes.
- What new thing do you want to try next year? Are you interested in creating an online course but you aren’t sure if it will do well? Maybe you could create a free course first to get your feet wet or do a reduced price beta launch to get feedback from your customers. Creating something new is scary, but you never know until you try, right? Survey your audience, find their pain points, and go for it!
- How can you add to what you have already done? Did you write a ebook that did well this year? Maybe you should make it into an online course. Did you find that you are good at Facebook Lives? Maybe a YouTube channel would be right for you. Adding to what you have already done makes a new thing not as scary as starting from scratch. Your audience wants more from you, so give it to them.
- What do you want to learn how to do next year? Are you scared to be on video but know that it will be good for your business? Maybe you should decide to do one Facebook Live a month to get more comfortable in that medium. Do you think Instagram or Facebook Ads or podcasting would help your business grow, but you don’t know the first thing about them? Take a course and learn a new skill to move your business forward. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Set goals for 2018:
There are many types of goals you can make for your blog and business. Here are a few to get you started thinking. . .
- Traffic goals- What was your traffic number this year? Is that up or down from the year before? Is traffic important to you or just a vanity metric? Would boosting your traffic increase your income significantly (with ad revenue or email subscribers)? By analyzing your traffic, you can make a reasonable goal and make a plan to accomplish it. Maybe you need to learn more about Pinterest or SEO to increase traffic. Maybe a website redesign would help make your blog more user or mobile friendly. Thinking about these things will help you determine how to reach your traffic goals for next year.
- Email subscriber goals- How many people do you have on your email subscriber list? Is that up significantly from last year? What worked this year to get the numbers up? By analyzing your list, you can tell what your best opt in was and what didn’t work at all. Maybe you need to change email service providers to increase the viability of your list. Email subscribers can directly correlate to income if you use your list correctly, so you should be focused on this for next year.
- Income goals- Did you make an income this year? Did you make more than you spent? What can you do next year to make more income? Maybe you could incorporate ads, sponsored content, affiliate marketing or sell your own products/services to increase your income.
- Collaboration goals- Collaborating with other bloggers can help you grow your traffic and following. What can you do to help someone else in your niche? How can you work with someone else on a project you will both benefit from? By working with others, you can build friendships and your bottom line.
- Social Media follower goals- Is social media important to you? What social channels are you rocking this year? Which ones do you need to work on next year? Which ones do you need to stop using because they aren’t bringing a return on investment? Social media is important for bloggers, but it can also be a time suck. Figure out which channel your people are on and don’t worry about all the others!
- Content creation goals- Were you consistent in your content creation this year? How often did you post to your blog a week? Was that enough or should you do it more? Do you have an editorial calendar planned out in advance or are you flying by the seat of your pants? Did that strategy work for you? Consistency is rewarded in many places, including Google SEO and Social Media algorithms. So figure out how many times a week you want to post and stick to it. It helps me to brainstorm ideas ahead of time so that I know what I am going to write about and I don’t have to stress out the day before. Whatever works for you is best.
- Education goals- Bloggers are always needing continuing education because the industry is constantly changing. What do you do to educate yourself? How do you learn best (online courses, podcasts, other blogs, etc.)? Have you set aside money for education? Reinvesting in your business through education will always move your business forward.
- Networking goals- Did you go to any conferences or workshops this year? How do you meet other bloggers? Going to conferences is a great way to meet people and learn new things at the same time. I have my ticket for Activate next September, and I am so excited!
- Spending goals- What things do you need to spend money on next year? Maybe it is education, conferences, blogging tools, hiring a VA or even a house cleaner if necessary. Look into how you can best reinvest into your business to make things run smoother and increase the time you have to work on bigger projects.
How do you want to complete these goals?
Now that you’ve got your goals set, how are you going to do it? You have to be proactive to get things done in your business. No one else is going to do it for you.
- Do you want to create a new product to increase your income or email subscribers? Create it.
- Do you want to try a new strategy to increase traffic or social media followers? Try it.
- Who could you reach out to for a collaboration that would be mutually beneficial? Search for them.
- What new affiliate program could you get involved in to increase your income? Sign up for it.
- What new medium (podcasting, YouTubing, etc.) could you try to diversify your income/content? Learn it.
Plan out your year:
- Look at your year as a whole. What are your big goals for the whole year?
- Break your goals down in quarters. Do you have a big project or launch (your product or an affiliate) for each quarter?
- Map out your affiliate promotions (the ones that you already know about or can predict dates for) on your calendar.
- Fill in your launches for your own products or services.
- Make sure you are spreading things out throughout the year. This will help you not to be overwhelmed and it will spread out your income as well.
- Make an editorial calendar. I make one calendar for content and one for promotion.
- Work backwards on what needs to be done to get to your goal each quarter.
- Review this year with the questions above.
- Write goals for next year using the suggestions above.
- Plan out next year using the steps above.
Podcast Episode #183: How to Create Your Promotional Calendar @ Online Marketing Made Easy w/ Amy Porterfield (This podcast is awesome and even has a free printable to help you plan.)
Podcast Episode #218: How to Set Smart Blogging Goals for the New Year @ ProBlogger w/ Darren Rowse (I loved this podcast and how Darren goes through the SMART goal setting strategy.)
The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran (This book revolutionized how I thought about goal setting and product completion for my blog.)Let's see how intentional goal setting can skyrocket your blog for next year. #goalsetting #blogClick To Tweet
I hope these thoughts and resources will help you plan a great, productive 2018. The most important thing you can do when making goals is to WRITE THEM DOWN and keep them somewhere you can refer to often. Maybe next to your computer, on the wall in your office or anywhere you can see it regularly. Many experts have said that the biggest part of achieving your goals is writing them down and working towards them consistently over time. Consistency is key to goal achieving. Good luck in 2018 and I hope you crush it!
What are your big goals for 2018? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!
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