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Blog Improvement Project Week 1: Setting Goals

2009BIP 150x210Welcome to the first week of the 2009 Blog Improvement Project!  The first topic we’ll be working on is goal setting — what do you want to accomplish with your blog in 2009?  The first part of this post is links to some articles on goal setting that I found online, the second part is the task for the project this week.

I set resolutions every year, and every year I inevitably fail at them, mostly because I set goals that are too broad to achieve, or so specific that I fail at them early and lose all motivation to keep trying.  With that in mind, I found a few websites I think set some good principles for goal setting in the new year.

Even before you set goals, it’s important to reflect back on what you’ve actually accomplished.  Problogger suggests 69 questions (of various topics) that you could use to consider the things that are going well with your blog and the things that might need improvement.  Using some of these questions could help you decide what blog areas you should set goals in.

There are a number ways to set effective goals.  Some tips include  using positive statements, writing precise statements, setting clear priorities, and keeping immediate goals small and achievable.  Other important points include setting goals for performance, not outcomes.  In that sense, it would be difficult to set a goal that in 2009 you want to have more hits on your blog because that isn’t something you can control.  Instead, it probably makes more sense to set goals about writing better book reviews or leaving more comments on other blogs because those are tasks you can perform.  Both of these things will probably result in getting more readers to your blog, but who the number of people who read your blog is not something you personally can control.

The WikiHow page on “How to Set Goals” suggests that you should set a few goals for each different part of your life.  Applying this to blogs, goals should reflect different areas of the blogging process.  Visionary Blogging suggests nine different topic areas for setting blog goals:

  • content
  • design
  • community
  • traffic
  • RSS or e-mail subscribers
  • search engines
  • social media
  • monetization
  • blog value

Again, these topics may not all apply to your blog, but looking at them might give you an idea of some topics you can fit your goals into.

Another goal setting principle is to write your goals down because having them in writing makes you more accountable.  With that in mind, here is the first task for the Blog Improvement Project:

  • Read some of the articles on goal setting.
  • Set some goals for your blog.  Think about where you would like to be a year from now, and try to set clear and specific objectives that you’ll be able to measure in some way once we get to the end of 2009.
  • Write a post about your goals.  If you can think of any, also include ideas about projects or activities that you think could help you achieve those goals.
  • Come back and sign the Mr. Linky (image below, it will be a popup) with the specific post you’ve written your goals in.
  • Check back to answer questions (if you can), read and comment on other participants blogs, and to see a wrap up post next week of some of the most common goals other participants have set.

Have questions?  Leave them in the comments and check back to see answers from fellow bloggers.  Good luck, and happy blogging!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • julia January 5, 2009, 8:41 am

    Thanks for holding this challenge, Kim! It got my blogging year off to a reflective and ambitious start.

    2009 Blog Improvement Challenge – 1

  • Beth F January 5, 2009, 9:16 am

    Great! Thanks so much for hosting. I’ll work on this over the next few days or so.

  • bkclubcare January 5, 2009, 9:21 am

    I don’t really have any goals for blogging but I will be watching this and cheering everyone!

  • Louise January 5, 2009, 9:48 am

    I want to thank you as well. My first Blog Improvement post is up and I look much forward to continue.

  • meg89 January 5, 2009, 10:09 am

    I’m glad that you’re running this! I think I’m going to be follow along unofficially. Great first post!

  • Elizabeth January 5, 2009, 11:48 am

    Thanks for all the research you’ve done for us! I’ve briefly browsed what you found, and I know it’s going to be really helpful.

  • Anastasia January 5, 2009, 1:01 pm

    This is a really good first topic (and you did a great job researching it!), and I had a lot of fun writing my post. I’m excited to see what other people said!

  • Eva January 5, 2009, 1:49 pm

    I really enjoyed reading the articles-sorry I jumped the gun on my post!

  • Kay January 5, 2009, 2:25 pm

    While my blog has been scheduled since its beginning to be the home only for book reviews (no non-“book review” posts, ever), a policy that I have to enforce these days in particular as I enlisted my blog to be added on herebereviews.com, I nevertheless wanted to participate in this project (that I find a great idea and I’m really happy someone has thought of doing something like that). The only solution I could find was to create a small site (that I named Blimp) where I plan to fill each week’s mini-projects on a separate page. While I do realize it lacks the interactivity a blog has (I am always “findable” on my blog for any comments one might have), I do hope you’ll let me participate in the project too (pretty please?).

  • Serendipity January 5, 2009, 2:28 pm

    I’ve just posted mine and just wanted to say thanks again for holding this challenge. I’m feeling quite positive about the whole thing.

  • Kay January 5, 2009, 2:59 pm

    Thank you for your nice words!

    I was quite worried for a while, you know 🙂

  • Cathy January 5, 2009, 3:07 pm

    I’m so glad you had this idea, Kim. For the past couple of months, I’ve been thinking, “What can I do to improve my blog?”, and now I’m amongst a great group of folks who all want to do the same thing!

  • care020 January 5, 2009, 5:58 pm

    I really aoppreciate all of the research you put into this first week. Thanks for putting together such a useful challenge.

  • bookfan January 5, 2009, 6:42 pm

    I just want to get a fresh look for my blog – content will not change all that much. One tip (that I saw a few times today) is to get a test blog. So I’ll start there.

  • J. Kaye January 5, 2009, 7:58 pm

    All I can say is wow! You have really gone all out for our first week. I plan on posting the 69 Q & A throughout the week. The link above is the intro and I’ll post two sets of questions Tu – Fri.

    Again, thank you for doing this for us!

  • Betty and Boo's Mommy January 5, 2009, 8:35 pm

    Wow – this is a great beginning to our improvement project, Kim! Thanks for putting these links together. Definitely lots of food for thought.

  • Alessandra January 6, 2009, 4:18 am

    Wow, lots of things to reflect on! I feel like I’ve gone back to school… (this is a nice thing, don’t worry). Thanks for doing this. I’ll be putting my post up in the next few days.

  • callista83 January 6, 2009, 8:53 am

    Great first post. Here’s my (LONG) response for my book blog. I’ll be back with my response on my other blog.

  • bermudaonion January 6, 2009, 11:46 am

    I got my goals up today. It’s kind of nerve-wracking putting them out there for everyone to see. Thanks for hosting this, Kim.

  • blbooks January 6, 2009, 1:32 pm

    I’ve written another post about my Young Readers site. After yesterday’s post, I had a few aha moments and so decided to do a follow-up post. I didn’t know if I should add it to Mr. Linky or not. I went with not just in case that was a no-no. But I do hope people will read and give more feedback!

  • Sherrie January 6, 2009, 6:03 pm

    This was really hard for me to do. I am not good at setting and completing goals. I either go overboard or don’t finish them. But I have posted my goals, just hope I can get it all done. Have a great week!


  • RuthDFW January 6, 2009, 10:17 pm

    Excellent way to challenge us. I have posted my goals. Thanks.


  • Easton Ellsworth January 7, 2009, 3:25 pm

    Awesome project, Kim. I see dozens of people are already involved. I’ll try to post about this soon too!

    By the way anyone wanting a free private blog review can just ask me. 🙂

  • Matthew January 8, 2009, 1:43 pm

    My goals are up for the year. Thanks for hosting this awesome challenge. 🙂

  • alirambles January 8, 2009, 10:01 pm

    Got some goals posted, but they may evolve over the course of the next week or so.

  • belleofthebooks January 9, 2009, 12:41 pm

    I finally posted about my goals! Although, once I got going, I keep thinking up more!
    Thanks for a great start!

  • Jackie (Farm Lane Books) January 9, 2009, 3:37 pm

    I thought it would be a good idea to note down my blog’s statistics at the start of the project, so that I can see how I’m progressing.

    My statistics are here:

    I’d be interested to compare them to people who have been around for a while – I’m not sure what they potentially could be.

  • Margot January 10, 2009, 11:32 am

    After much procrastination, my goals are up today. I’m ready to make them happen. What’s next?

  • Shonda January 10, 2009, 3:20 pm


    Here are the goals I have so far. It’s possible that I may have more as we go along.


  • Tamara January 10, 2009, 9:08 pm

    I’ve developed some of my blogging goals, I’m sure they’ll develop as time goes by.

  • Chelsea January 11, 2009, 5:22 pm

    What a great challenge, and what great goal-setting articles! Hopefully some of those will come in hand when it comes to setting non-blog related goals as well!

  • Kris January 11, 2009, 7:41 pm
  • Jack January 11, 2009, 8:25 pm

    Just finished posting my goals… looking forward to the next challenge!

    Assignment #1 — Setting Goals

  • staceydaze January 12, 2009, 2:50 pm

    Mr. Linky’s not working, but here’s my first assignment.


  • D Dubs January 13, 2009, 3:03 pm

    I finally got my first assignment done! Looking forward to working with everyone here to improve all of our blogs.


  • mervih January 14, 2009, 11:29 am

    Goals are though but I managed to get a few:

  • Inkpot January 16, 2009, 11:18 am

    Here’s my post on the first task. Looking forward to the next one. Good luck to everyone else participating! 🙂


  • Bonnie January 19, 2009, 10:40 pm

    I had to think about this for awhile but my post is finally up HERE. Now, I’ll be ready to dive into the next assignment!!

  • Claudia DOWD Sperl January 24, 2009, 6:14 pm

    I have just started this blog and am interested in your Improvement Project. As a beginner I hope this will help me start. At my point in my blog I need all the help I can get.

  • Manola January 25, 2009, 6:00 am

    OK after reading your blog this afternoon I have caught up with the posts. I have uploaded your button and posted your link in my blog list. I set my goals and am now continuing with brainstorming. I think this will take a couple of days. Will keep you posted.
    Manola Chong xo
    Townsville, Queensland, Australia

  • Lisa (The Mental Mom) March 4, 2009, 1:05 pm

    Hope i did it right. I know I am late but just finished week 1! Will try to catch up on reviewing all the other blogs and their projects! Thanks for letting me join the party!

  • Violette March 4, 2009, 1:17 pm

    When I first found out about the challenge I thought that I would skip it. After seeing several blogs that are participating, I don’t think that I can pass this up. I will try to play catch up this weekend.