This past year, I’ve put a lot of work into this little blog. I went to a blogging retreat last fall that kicked me into gear and over the course of the year, Candle in the Night has grown significantly. I have been amazed and humbled by the number of new readers who have visited this blog. All that said, I have a dream for this blog that is bigger than where we are now. My dream is to connect mamas who love the Lord, love their kids, and love crafting in a place where they can find peace, encouragement, and a place of hope and joy. I feel like we’re headed in the right direction, but we’ve still got a ways to go. So I’m setting some blogging goals for myself in the new year and I’m sharing them here with you so you can hold me accountable.
The main purpose of this blog is to be a source of encouragement for moms. The secondary purpose is to be a source of income for my family. Right now, we live in a small home. God has blessed us and we are debt free, but I’ll be honest, the amount we’re able to save each month for a new home is pretty minimal. Some of the blogging goals I have are related to the money this blog brings in. I hope none of you are put off by this, but since a blog is a lot of work, I don’t feel too bad admitting that I’m making a little side income from it.
How to Set Blogging Goals
Before I share my blogging goals with you, I’m going to take you through the steps I went through to set these goals.
- Make a spreadsheet (or just write down) your current stats. Include monthly unique visitors, monthly pageviews, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram stats, and email subscribers.
- In your spreadsheet, make a column for each month of next year. Then, multiply your current stats by 1.1. That will give you your goal for January. Multiply that by 1.1 which will give you your goal for February. Continue on down the line until you have a your goals for next December. These numbers will give you 10% growth each month. I feel like that’s a pretty reasonable goal and although I’d like to see more, I’ll be happy with 10%.
- Check your numbers and see if you’re happy with them. If you’re not, then figure out what you can do to improve in that area. Be sure to write down those goals as well! When I looked at my income, I realized I wasn’t going to be happy with only making $200/month by next December. Blogging is a LOT of work, so I modified my monetary blogging goals to hopefully bring in more income. I’m (hopefully) going to be adding some sponsored posts by January which should almost double my income by the end of next year. (Be sure to read my promise about sponsored posts below.)
- Share your goals. This is the scary part. I don’t like to share my goals. Know why? Because then people know if I fail. I know if I fail. It’s scary to put yourself out there like that. But you know what? Getting your goals out there can be a huge motivator. If you share your goals with others, you’re less likely to just ignore that you set them at all. You know you have others watching you and that they’ll know if you decide to just quit.
That’s it! Some simple math and you have your numbers. The only other thing you need to do is figure out HOW to make those numbers happen. Check out these articles if you’re interested in learning more about how to grow your blog.
How to Double Your Pageviews in 2014 (I’m sure this still applies in 2015!)
My Blogging Goals
When putting together my blogging goals, I essentially have two lists. The Number Blogging Goals and the How-To Blogging Goals. Here they are!
Number Blogging Goals
I know you won’t all understand this, so feel free to skip this part if you’d like. My blogging friends will appreciate it. 🙂 These numbers are what I’m aiming for by December 2015
- Unique Visitors/Month: 152,377
- Pageviews/Month: 409,577
- Adsense Revenue/Month: $203
- Other Revenue (sponsored posts, etc.)/Month: $260
- Facebook Fans: 3,898
- Twitter Fans: 599
- Pinterest Followers: 3,920
- Instagram Followers: 295
- Email Subscribers: 2,109
When I look at this list, I see a lot of potential. I KNOW I can do this, but it’s a little scary too. I also see some areas that really need work. Look at those Twitter and Instagram goals… Does that not tell you something?? Evidently those are two platforms I really need to work on and hopefully I’ll FAR surpass those little goals!
How-To Blogging Goals
Now comes the fun part. I’ve got my numbers set…how on earth am I going to get there? This is the part where all of you non-blogger readers get to get excited about what is coming to Candle in the Night in 2015! Check it out!
- To Grow Visitors: Post amazing content! I’m planning all kinds of great posts for you this year! I have some series in mind (that I can’t tell you about now!) and some great round-ups coming. I’m sure you’re going to love them! Be on the lookout!!
- Goal: Post 3-5 times per week. Have a series on the odd months and a round-up on the even months.
- To Raise Pageviews: I will be concentrating on linking to relevant content within my blog. So…if you’re reading a post about cooking with your kids and I say something about cleaning the kitchen afterwards, I’ll link to it right there so you can find what you’re looking for. See how I did that?
- Link to my own content at least twice in EVERY new post.
- To Increase Adsense: I honestly have no idea. It SHOULD go up automatically as pageviews increase, but if it doesn’t , I’ll be looking into hiring someone to optimize it for me.
- Goal: Watch Adsense carefully to ensure proper performance. Create new custom channels if necessary.
- To Increase Other Revenue: Here’s the important one. I promise I will NEVER post about something I don’t think is relevant for you AND I will NEVER lie about my opinion on a product. When a blogger writes a sponsored post, they are NOT paid to say good things. They are paid to write the post. There are times a blogger will decline to write a review because they don’t like a product, but every blogger I know writes honest reviews. I promise to do the same. I want to continue providing you with good, honest information and hopefully I’ll be writing some great sponsored posts for you this year!
- Goal: Find ways each month to write sponsored posts.
- Increase Facebook Fans: Come join me on Facebook! We have a great time chatting about life and what it’s like to be a crafty, crazy mom! And that, my friends, is one way I hope to increase my Facebook fans. Facebook is a social media site. We’re social. I share fun stuff and I love to chat with you all there!
- Goal: Post 7 times every weekday and 3 times on Saturdays.
- Increase Twitter Fans: Um…I should probably learn how to use Twitter this year… Who is a Twitter expert? Who wants to teach me…? No, honestly, that is definitely on my list!
- Goal: Learn how to effectively use Twitter. Stop being a Twitterphobe.
- Increase Pinterest Follower: Pin, pin, pin! Have you visited my Pinterest page lately? I loooooooooooove it! And it’s growing nicely too. But with the changes Pinterest has been making, there’s more that needs to be done.
- Goal: Make sure EVERY picture on my site is Pinterest-worthy. Include key words in graphic’s Alt-text. Pin 3x per day. Pin daily to relevant group boards.
- Increase Instagram Followers: Ditto what I said about Twitter. I need to learn, learn, learn this year!
- Goal: Learn how to effectively use Instagram.
- Increase Email Subscribers: I’ve been pretty happy with the growth I’ve seen from my email list. I want to continue to offer my subscribers special bonuses for welcoming me into their inbox! If you’re a subscriber already, thank you! If not, be sure to subscribe today so you have access to the fun freebies offered here!
- Goal: Update subscriber freebies once per month. Invite people to subscribe once per post.