Welcome 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:
- RSS or e-mail subscribers
- search engines
- social media
- 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!