When the year is coming to a close (or just beginning), we need to go through our businesses, reflect, audit, and make plans. Sounds good, in theory. However, no one really tells us HOW to do that.
So, here you go… How to Plan Your Yearly Blog Goals!
2016 was a super rough year for my own site (3 Boys and a Dog), but LearntoBlog Hangouts has grown qu ite a bit this year. As we near the end of the year, it is time to reflect on how things have gone for our blogs and make goals and plans for how things should go in the upcoming year.
As is our usual fashion when teaching you tips, tricks, and strategies, this blog post will walk you through step-by-step instructions to figuring out how things went for you in 2016 and how to make it better in 2017!
Step One: Reflect
Your very first order of business, when planning your yearly goals, is to reflect on how the previous year went. Did you reach your goals that you set the year before? Did you grow? Where was the bulk of your focus? How did that focus translate?
For example: my main focus was on LTB product. We cranked out 8 new products this year! This has translated to increased income for me and Crystal as well as LearntoBlog having an income. This is allowing us to hire an employee and do some conferences in 2017 as LTB!
Step Two: The Main Focus
Next up is to plan a main focus for 2017. I don’t care about your “word of the year” or whatever others always say to choose. No.
Choose a MAIN goal:
- Is it income?
- Is it page views?
- Is it education?
- Is it social media followers?
- Is it mastering a specific thing (Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, SEO, newsletter, etc)?
LTB’s goals as an example:
For LTB, we want to grow our newsletter subscribers – we have NEVER focused on a LearntoBlog newsletter, so we are almost starting from scratch.
- This means learning all the pieces of Active Campaign and setting up funnels.
- This means creating lead magnets.
- This means being regular with content on LTB so we can send regular newsletters.
- This means growing our brand Facebook page and Instagram to drive more people to our opt-ins or lead magnets.
- This means developing a group of active and productive affiliates to promote our products and our freebies.
Step Three: Make it a Goal
Once you know your main focus, it is time to make it an actual goal. A concrete and tangible goal. For LTB we want to grow our newsletter subscribers. That means we need a measurable number. Make a spreadsheet, decorate a notebook, draw a picture and frame it. Do whatever is necessary to put this goal right in front of your face for all of 2017!
Sticking with our LTB goal of growing our newsletter subscribers, we are going with a very lofty goal of having 100,000 subscribers by the end of 2017. Since we only have 1,056 we have 98,944 to go! LOL!
Step Four: Break it Down
Now that you know your goal and have put it where you can see it, it is time to break it down.
Still with our LTB example – We need 98,944 new subscribers to our LTB newsletters during 2017. We break it down by month. That means we need to average a gain of 8,246 new newsletter subscribers per month. That just seems so far above anything we could possibly accomplish. However, we are determined.
That also means we have to sell products each month in order to cover the cost of such a large newsletter. We currently pay a small amount for up to 2,500, but it goes up quite a bit for the 100K mark! So, as we are growing the newsletter we have to have funnels in place to filter those people to our products so they will buy; so we can afford to keep growing our newsletter. 🙂
Step Five: Brainstorm
Once you know what you need to accomplish each month, you need to start brainstorming ways to accomplish it!
- Grab a pencil, comfy chair, and some paper.
- Set your timer for 15 or 20 minutes and write down everything that comes to mind!
- Write down every single thing you can think of to help you towards that goal.
- No matter the thing, just scribble!
You will go through this brain dump in a future step and might find things that don’t really help you work towards that main goal. Don’t worry about that right now, just dump!
Step Six: Narrow Down Your List
Now that you have pages upon pages of thoughts, ideas, goals, plans, and random scribbles (am I the only one that has some house maintenance things added on my business goal planning brainstorm list??)… Sorry, sidetracked, story of my life 🙂 Now that you have that long brain dump, you need to start really looking at the ideas and write down only the ones that will actually work towards your goal.
“Get blinds for Thomas’ room” is not going to grow our newsletter, but “create content upgrades for our most popular posts” will! “Learn Twitter” is not going to grow your Facebook fan page, but “comment on other FB pages as my page” will!
Step Seven: Make a Plan
Now, you know exactly what your main goal is, you know how much you need to accomplish each month to reach that goal, and you know what tasks you need to do to reach the goal. It is time to make a plan!
I recommend deciding one daily and/or weekly task for the first month. Then, at the end of that month evaluating and making a new plan for the next month.
- If the first plan works, then repeat it!
- If the first plan doesn’t work, then you need to rethink things!
That’s it! Be sure to keep up with us as we give you more valuable blogging tips to help you grow your business!