We’ve all made those New Year’s resolutions — like going to the gym, calling Mom and Dad more, saving money — that we’re never going to keep. And why? Because our resolutions are:
- Not specific enough
- All of the above
And those are just our standard resolutions. Imagine how difficult it is to stick to our resolutions for blogging, which requires effort every day. Beyond “writing more,” bloggers new and old need to be SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Here are five simple, SMART tips to get you started blogging in the new year.
1. Write Down Big Goals and Break Them Into Smaller Goals
If you want to gain more readers, you need to decide how to do this over time. Specify what you will do exactly and when. For example, if your big goal is to gain more social media followers, your small goal should be to create Facebook Ads to promote your blog twice a month.
2. Commit Slowly, Realistically and Consistently
Many newbie (and even experienced) bloggers take their resolutions to the extreme. Don’t make your resolution be writing 10 blog posts a week or paying for a costly redesign of your site because it’s a sure-fire way to burn out. Instead, discover your method of writing a good blog post and create a schedule around that. After all, writing one good blog post a week every week is better than writing 10 mediocre pieces before abandoning your blog altogether.
3. Create Consequential Motivators
We are all motivated differently — some of us positively, some of us negatively. For whichever one works for you, you need to create motivators with consequences, good or bad. Tie your goals and actions to a positive reward, such as treating yourself to a movie, or negative punishment, such as losing money.
4. Acknowledge Discouragement and Persevere
“No one is reading my blog,” is a painful thing to admit. Even if this is the case, you need to keep writing anyway. But that’s easier said than done. Instead, pair up your dream goals — such as having 500 visitors to your blog a day — with a goal you can control, like writing two blog posts a week. That way, you’re still building momentum to get to that dream goal while seeing results.
5. Create Checkpoints and Metrics
To achieve your objectives, you need to measure how close you are to completing them. Establish a timeline of what you want to see accomplished and by when. If one of your larger goals is to gain traffic to your blog, you need to measure how much is coming in now and at several specific dates in the future, so you can continue to adjust your tactics accordingly. Use Google Analytics or other software to help you analyze the data.
No matter the resolution — blogging or otherwise — it’s important that you be SMART about achieving it. Now get to work!