Do you want to take to your blog to the next level?
Are you ready to go from being a hobby blogger to a professional blogger?
If you haven’t read my post on How To Become A Successful Blogger I suggest you start there, before reading this post.
If you want to go from being a hobby blogger to a professional blogger the first thing that you have to do is to start thinking of your blog as a business.
Even if you only plan to make money blogging as a side-hustle you still have to have a business mentality.
Today, we’ll discuss what kind of goals your should have for your blog, finding ways to meet your goals, creating SMART goals, and creating a plan for your blog.
So how do you take your blog from a hobby to a business?
All businesses no matter how large or how small they are have two things in common.
1.They have clearly defined goals for their business and
2. a plan to reach those goals.
1.What Types of Goals Should You Have for Your Blog
Do you have goals for your blog?
What kind of goals do you have?
How do you plan to achieve those goals?
Creating goals for your blog should be the first step in your journey to turning your blog into a business.
What kind of goals should you set for your blog?
Your blog posts are the bread and butter of your blog.
Your content is what will:
- attract your target audience to your site,
- drive traffic to your blog,
- and eventually lead you to make money from your blog.
If your having trouble thinking of content goal ideas ask yourself the following questions:
- How often do I want to post to my blog?
- What kinds of blog post do I want to write?
- Do you want to guest post on a popular bloggers site?
- What kinds of post rank well in search engines? Do I have any of these post on my blog?
The amount of traffic that you get to your blog is tied to your content but it can also be affected by:
- Your blogs age
- Your niche
- Time of the year
- Website Hosting
- Site speed
- And a host of other factors
The younger your blog is the harder it will be for you to rank in search engines the first few months of blogging.
That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to rank on the first page of Google your first few months, but for most bloggers it will take some time before they start seeing results.
How well you use your SEO strategies will impact how much organic traffic you get to your site (traffic from search engines).
Web hosting also plays a role in how well you’ll rank in search engines.
Self-hosted sites seem to get preferential treatment over hosted sites.
This is where your marketing strategy for your blog comes into to play, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
How much traffic your blog receives per month can have a direct effect on how much money you can make from your blog.
Whether you decide to make money from your blog by selling a product, affiliate links, or advertising the more eyes you can get to your blog the better your odds are of making a sale.
Need help creating a traffic goal? Ask yourself these questions:
- How much traffic do you currently have (check your analytics page for this information)?
- Which blog post are currently receiving the most traffic?
- Are you trying to apply to a specific ad network?
- Where does your traffic come from?
If you are taking a business approach to blogging I’m going to assume that you hope to make money from your blog.
Do you want to make a side income or replace your full-time income blogging?
There are several ways to make money from your blog:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored post
- Offering a service (coaching, virtual assistant, freelance writing, etc)
- Selling a product (e-courses, digital products, e-books)
Are the most common ways to make money from your blog.
Unlike the other goals this one is pretty easy to come up with because it’s entirely based on your financial wants and needs.
Before I move to the next section I would like to say something about setting goals for your blog.
In the business world the year is broken down into 4 quarters.
I recommend coming up with 2-3 major goals for the year.
Then breaking those goals down into smaller quarterly and monthly goals.
- For example if your financial goal is to make $12,000 a year from your blog.
- Then your quarterly goal would be to make $3,000 each quarter.
- Your monthly goal would be to make $1,000 each month.
Now you can create an actionable plan to help you reach your big goals by focusing on the smaller goals.
2.Finding Solutions To Help Meet Your Goals
I’m sure many of you have realized by now that blogging as business involves looking at the big picture before focusing on the minor details.
The first 3 goals I had for my blog looked something like this:
- Write more content in each area of my blog.
- Increase my blog traffic.
- Make money from my blog.
As a new blogger I had way more questions than answers.
How much content is more content?
How do I get more traffic to my blog?
How much money did I want to make and how?
This is where I used KRLA to help me figure out what I should do next.
What is KRLA?
If you’ve ever done a KWL in school, KRLA is a lot like that.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about that’s ok, I’m about to break it down.
KRLA is a graphic organizer that can be used to:
- What you already know
- Research on how to meet your goal
- What you learned from your research
- And how you plan to implement what you learned
The four steps are to write down:
K– What you know.
- What do you already know?
- What do you already use?
- Include specific examples.
R- Do research to answer your questions.
- Read blog posts about the goal your trying to reach.
- Write down any techniques, strategies or classes that can help you meet your goal.
L– Write what you’ve learned.
- What did you learn from your research?
- Do more research on a specific tool or technique.
- Take a free e-course on a specific technique or strategy.
A– Apply what you’ve learned.
- Take what you’ve learned and apply it to your blog.
- Revamp your goals based on what you’ve learned.
- Analyze what worked and what didn’t work.
Interested in using KRLA?
You can download a free copy of KRLA graphic organizer here.
3. How to Create SMART Goals For Your Blog
If we take a look back at the goals I mentioned earlier you’ll see that they were very general.
- Write more content in each area of my blog.
- Increase my blog traffic.
- And make money from my blog.
These goals are not focused and make it harder to come up with a decent plan.
SMART goals on the other hand are goals that are focused and allow you to create an actionable plan to achieve them.
How do you know if your goals are SMART goals?
Ask yourself the following questions.
Is this goal:
Content Goal– To write more content in each area of my blog.
While this goal is measurable, attainable and realistic.
It isn’t specific, or timely.
Revised Goal- To write 5 new blog posts in each area of my blog by the end of the first quarter.
Specific- 5 new posts for each category, Yes
Measurable- Total of 15 posts, Yes
Attainable- 1 post a week, plus one extra post a month, Yes
Realistic – I currently write 1 post a week, Yes
Timely- Completed by the end of the quarter, Yes
If you want more examples of SMART goals or how to create them check out my post on How to Crush Your New Year’s Resolutions (despite its title it’s about creating SMART goals).
SMART goals are meant to create goals that you can meet.
However, Don’t be afraid to set the bar high, just make sure you’re ready to put in the work to meet that goal.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”Norman Vincent Peale
4.Develop A Plan to Help You Meet Your Goals
This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small fee, at no additional cost to you, when you purchase items using the links provided. If you would like more information click here for my disclosure page.
Now that you’ve done your research and you have some goals in place it’s time to start putting a plan together to help you meet those goals.
One of the benefits of having SMART goals for your blog is that they help you stay focused.
If you want to grow your blog into a successful business you will need:
Having a posting schedule is a great way to keep yourself and your blog organized.
You can use an editorial or a content calendar to plan out your blog post and social media content.
You will also need to schedule time into your schedule to write post, do research, and create graphics for your blog post.
Content Marketing Strategy
How will people find your website?
As a new blogger it’s going to be hard for your site to rank on the top pages of Google.
You are going to have to get your content out in front of people.
I read somewhere that blogging is 20% content creation and 80 % marketing.
I’m not sure I agree with those figures, but no matter what the numbers are your going to have to put yourself out there.
That’s where your content marketing strategy comes into play.
The easiest way to get your content out there is to use social media.
I would recommend you start with whatever social media platform you are most familiar with, plus Pinterest.
If your interested in taking a free course on how to use Pinterest Marina at Tinylovebug has an excellent free Pinterest course.
If you already have a few blog post on your site go to your analytics and see where most of your traffic is coming from?
Pinterest? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Search engines?
Whatever is driving the most traffic to your site that’s what you should be focusing on.
New bloggers should stick to learning how to use 1 or 2 social media platforms.
If you try to do more than that you will get overwhelmed.
Remember you have to make content for these sites as well.
If plan to make money from your blog then you’ll need an income strategy.
- How will you make money from your blog?
- What expenses are necessary and which can you live without for the time being?
- What blogging tasks will give you the highest ROI (return on investment)?
Remember there are several ways to make money blogging.
As a new blogger I would focus on 1-2 sources of income to begin with.
Ads and affiliate marketing are probably the easiest ways to start earning passive income from your blog.
If you are interested in starting with ads or affiliate links you can read these post:
- 7 Best Ad Networks for New Bloggers
- Best Add Network for New Bloggers
- The Best Affiliate Networks That Accept New Bloggers
- The 11 Best Affiliate Programs For Bloggers (In 2019)
Now I will say that most of the ad programs will require you to be on a self-hosted site because you have to be able to place the code into your website.
If you’re using wordpress.com this is only something you can do with a business plan or higher.
WordPress.com does offer WordAds to their users, but you have to have a certain number of pages views before you can be admitted to the program or at least on a premium plan.
As you become more comfortable with blogging and you build your audience you can add more complex streams of income like selling digital products, offering a service,etc.
Keep Track of Your Expenses
As with any business it’s important to keep track of your expenses.
You should be brining more money in then you are spending.
Keep track of everything you spend on your blog.
Hosting, paid courses, plugins, software, conferences,taxes, etc all need to be recorded.
You will also need a separate bank account for your business.
You can use your local bank or set up a paypal business account.
All that really matters is that it is separate from your personal account.
Wow, that was a lengthy blog post!
Probably the longest one I’ve written to date.
Turning your blog from a hobby to a business takes a lot of work.
It requires you to stop treating your blog like a hobby and treating it like a business by having goals and a plan in place to meet those goals.
It also takes courage and a willingness to keep trying even if you fail or don’t meet your goal.
Looking for some more information about blogging check out my post on my 6 favorite free blogging tools.
Now it’s your turn.
What are some of your blogging goals for this quarter? Share them with me in the comments section.
Please don’t forget to like and share this post on social media.
Until Next time,
Are you ready to take your blog to the next level? Download a free quarter of my Business Planner for New Bloggers!