So, you've started a blog for your business. Great! But is it growing as quickly as you had imagined?
If you are struggling to work out how to grow your blog, you can manage and keep track of your progress by setting goals, specifically SMART ones. SMART goals are goals that give clear direction, enabling you to focus on what you want to achieve.
Having these goals will give you the proper direction to grow and expand your blog over time. In this post, I explain a little bit more about what a SMART goal is before giving you 10 examples of SMART goals you can use for your blog. These examples are in template form, so you can fill in the gaps with targets that are relevant to you.
What Are SMART Goals?
SMART is an acronym to describe a goal that follows all five of the following criteria:
Specific - it is clearly defined and precise.
Measurable - goal progress can be tracked.
Achievable - you can meet that goal.
Relevant - it's consistent with your business and what you want to achieve.
Time-bound - there is a deadline or an amount of time to complete the goal.
Here is an example of a goal that isn't SMART: Gain subscribers.
Why is this not SMART? Well, despite being achievable and relevant, it isn't specific, measurable, or time-bound. It's far too vague to be a proper goal; does it mean one subscriber, or 1000? Is the deadline six months or six days?
Before you start planning your goals, you need to figure out what you want to achieve and why. Knowing what and why you want to achieve something will help you plan how to get there in the long term.
Struggling to come up with some SMART goals? Here are ten examples of SMART goals you can use for your business blog.
10 Examples of SMART Goals For Your Business Blog
1. Write one blog post every day/X weeks/month
Writing posts regularly is the first (and arguably most important) step in building your blog. After all, what is a blog without blog posts? You can choose how best to use your time writing blog posts.
For new bloggers, I usually recommend starting slow. Don't rush to write a post every day or you face burnout. Once a month or every two weeks works just fine in the beginning. You can always increase the rate at which you post as you grow and expand.
2. Write X different types of blog posts in X months
You need to make sure your blog is fresh and interesting, and one way to do that is to vary the types of blog posts you publish. There are many types of blog posts to choose from, including:
"What is/are" posts
For more on the types of blog posts and how to use them, check out the post below.
3. Gain X subscribers in six months
Following the example I used earlier, this is how you would make the goal SMART. Gaining subscribers is important, but setting a specific goal of a target amount (say 100 or 1000) in a certain time frame will give you the structure you need to achieve that goal.
From this, you can promote your content and offer downloadable freebies to grow your subscriber count.
4. Get a post on page one of Google in six months
Having at least one post on page one of Google is the dream for many bloggers. From experience, it usually takes between three to six months for a website page to make it to that coveted top spot. This works as long as you do all the right things SEO wise, including keyword usage, high writing quality, use of headings and structure, and appropriate links to other pages.
Getting your posts on the top spots of Google search (even page two can work) is a great goal to set to increase your brand's visibility and grow your blog even more.
5. Increase your blog traffic by X% in one month
Similar to the previous goal, only this one is very specific in terms of traffic. You want to reduce bounce rate (the number of visitors leaving within seconds of arriving on your page) and retain visitors through engaging content that is relevant to their needs.
Following the previous goal and repeating it is a good start to growing your traffic, as well as promoting your content via social media and email marketing.
6. Pitch and write X guest posts per month
Guest posting is when you write on other people's blogs with their permission (sometimes getting paid to do so). Writing guest posts is a great method of expanding your reach, as your post will include an author bio with your details and business included.
Most blogs that offer guest posting require you to pitch a post idea to them rather than sending them a whole draft. It's up to you how many you want to pitch to, but always read the guidelines before sending a pitch. It's also good practice to read through some of the blog's posts too so you get an idea of the type of content they produce and are looking for.
7. Create a downloadable lead magnet within X weeks/months
Having a downloadable lead magnet such as a checklist or an eBook is a great way to gain subscribers to your blog. An eBook for example has a value that you can offer for free in exchange for someone becoming a subscriber or a contact.
Once you have plenty of blog content available, you can pull together posts of a particular theme and repurpose them into an eBook, or you can choose a "how-to" post and turn it into a checklist. Create the lead magnet, and then link it to the bottom of your post with a CTA encouraging readers to subscribe to your blog and download the product.
8. Connect with X influencers in your industry each month
Similar to guest posting, influencer marketing can boost your reach to a new audience. Influencers are people who have an influence and a large network and outreach in your industry. You can connect with influencers, perhaps promote their material in your content, and they will start sharing your content with their audience.
A good technique for finding potential influencers is to use tools like BuzzSumo to research people in your industry or your target market who have a large social media following. That social media following is a potential extended audience for your blog, so it's worth your time connecting with a few influencers each month to expand your outreach!
9. Make £X in affiliate marketing in one year
Affiliate marketing is one of the methods many bloggers use to earn income from their content. Affiliate marketing is a sales and advertising model where a retailer or business pays content producers such as bloggers commission fees for promoting their products or services in their content.
Typically an affiliate (the blogger) can earn a commission when they link the company's products on their blog posts. These links generate traffic to the company's website, thereby increasing its sales chances.
It's worth looking into affiliate marketing if you find your blog is getting thousands of views per month. If you're just starting, don't expect to make a lot of money from affiliate marketing, because your blog is still young. It will only have a few posts and it won't start ranking well on Google until at least six months in.
10. Plan content for the next X months
Having SMART goals is one thing, but starting or growing a blog can't be done without a proper content plan in place. Planning your content saves you time in the long run, and you won't be panicking at the last minute trying to come up with a blog post.
I usually plan my content every quarter and choose themes to focus on. For example, last quarter (January-March 2022) I focused on copywriting basics, whereas this quarter (April-June) is all about starting a business blog. This way, when I sit down to write a blog post, I know what the post is about and what keywords I'm going to use. It's then just a case of researching, writing, and editing.
So, although this goal isn't specific to growing your blog directly, it is beneficial to have a content plan in place so you know exactly what you are doing when you need to.
Over To You
Growing a blog can be challenging in the first year. Setting SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound will give you the clear direction you need to set targets and meet them.
Having a couple of SMART goals to meet each quarter is useful for focusing your efforts on growing your blog's traffic and subscriber base, and eventually converting your audience into paying customers.
You can use any of the goals in this list however you choose, and you can also create your own. Just make sure that they follow the criteria for what makes a goal SMART.