This is a guest post by Daniel.
With a proper plan of action, it’s not possible to satisfactorily achieve your goals. You may achieve some goals in the long term without a plan but most of it will be through fluke. Planning is at the core of any blog. Having a good plan means you’ll know what to do to get to your goals, without floundering or wasting time.
Write Down Your Blog’s Goals
Why did you start your blog? What were your ideas then and what will be your goals now, based on what you’ve learnt so far? What is your goal? Do you want to earn X amount of money per year, attain fame as a blogger, or use your blog to promote a cause?
Write Down Short Term Objectives
For this purpose of this article, we’ve taken the long term goal of attaining sufficient financial success to let go of your day job in 1 year. Here’s a partial list of short term objectives you need to achieve:
- Build a loyal reader base
- Promote your blog on social media
- Build a loyal fan following on Twitter and other networks
- Build relationships with your readers
Set A Timeframe Against Each Objective
Remember each objective in your list will take a certain amount of time to achieve. How do you set a timeframe against something like building a loyal reader base? How many readers will be sufficient for you to start promoting your blog? To know the answers to these questions, you must do your research. Make a list of 5 top blogs in your niche and study how they’ve succeeded. Backtrack to the day they started and mark their progress via old posts, old tweets and PR announcements. What strategies did they use to grow? How long did it take them to achieve their goals? This study will help you set tentative timeframes to achieve your short term objectives.
Evaluate your Skills and Strengths
You may not be able to do everything that your blog needs you to do. To know how much you can contribute, do an evaluation of your strengths and skills. Do you have great writing skills? What about your marketing skills? Are you also good with building relationships with your audience? How are your social media skills?
Evaluate Your Assets
Do you know of any sponsor who can promote your blog and help you get there quickly? What do you need to do to get a sponsor? Find out who the top players are in your niche and make a plan to network with them. You can promote their blogs for free and ask for a return favor. Knowing the movers and shakers in any field is a great asset.
Consider Your Options
If you don’t have all the skills required to achieve your goals, do you need to hire someone, or partner with someone who has them? What contacts can you leverage to increase your reader base? Evaluate all your options and decide on how you’re going to proceed.
Evaluate Your Blog
Take a good look at your blog and consider updating its SEO, navigation, user-friendliness and usability. Get someone to test it for you – are they happy with the user experience? If not, set to work on improving your blog.
Create A monetization strategy
A study of the other blogs in your niche should help you understand how you can monetize your blog. There are many options out there – advertising, affiliate programs, selling products and so on. Find out which methods will work for you, given your interests and limitations.
Create A Marketing Plan
Finally, a good marketing plan is necessary to help you achieve your goals. Having a solid reader base is not the same thing as having loyal customers. The conversion is where the money is at. Work out how you’re going to get there.
Its very important to do your blogging with a proper plan as it will help you measure your success as compared to efforts you've put it and will also help you to find out the strategies and techniques that work better than others. Do you do plan your blogging? If yes then please share your experiences with us.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net