Blogging Goals

On New Year’s Eve, I spent time over a cup of coffee reflecting on my blogging goals and journalling about steps to take to achieve them. I have this amazing goal planner that I purchased recently, and it has templates for goals. For example, what do I need to do this week, this month, this year, etc.

What I also really like is that this planner has a section where you are to list out the reasons you want your goal. This may seem like a no brainer that anyone with a goal should know why he or she wants that goal, but I think surprisingly this is often not the case. Sometimes I think we say xyz is our goal because deep down we think it is somehow “supposed” to be our goal.

For example, for the longest time during high school and college, I thought I wanted to get my PhD. In what? Eh, doesn’t matter. Just a PhD. Why? Um, because it’s good? Because I’m supposed to? Upon further introspection, I realized I didn’t actually have that goal for legitimate reasons.

I surmise that a good many folks out there say to themselves, “I want to be a professional blogger” because on the surface it just sounds cool.Β Getting paid to sit around in my PJs tapping away at a computer and having companies send me things to review? Sign me up!!

I’m not (yet) a professional blogger, but I am very wary when someone says they want to be a professional blogger and has that kind of response. It just seems to me like that kind of motivation is ill-placed and will likely lead to burnout and disappointment.

starbucks-journaling-2

All of this is to say that yesterday I journalled about my goal of becoming a professional blogger. By “professional,” I mean earning enough so that I wouldn’t need more than a part-time job on the side in order for my husband and I to maintain our current standard of living. I don’t mean a six figure income stream and oodles of book deals πŸ™‚

Here are the reasons I listed for wanting this goal:

  1. I enjoy writing and sharing Β my thoughts
  2. I love connecting with others
  3. It’s a hobby I’d be doing anyway
  4. Flexibility to work wherever
  5. Make the world a better place

Cheesy, I know.

I highlighted number three, though, because to me that is the key here. I love doing this and would spend hours every week on it anyway just out of sheer enjoyment. If it turns out that I can turn something I would already be doing into a career, then all the better.

This is just my opinion, but I think blogging is one of the few things where it’s disingenuous to start doing it because you want it to be a career. Personally I think it should be the other way around, that it should be considered as a potential career because you just love blogging. In other words, I don’t think people should have the goal of being a professional blogger simply because they want fame and fortune. Not only are those things incredibly hard to come by, but that kind of motivation just sounds like a recipe for disaster.

All of that is to say that my pipe dream may never actualize, and I am totally, 100% content with that prospect. I’d be doing this anyway for the human connection and personal catharsis it brings.

So, the next step in my journal was to map out steps to take to achieve the goal.

starbucks-journaling-3

starbucks-journaling-4

Here are the steps I wrote down to start achieving it:

  1. Post quality content consistently over a long period of time. Build a credible voice.
  2. Engage with readers. Earn their loyalty.
  3. Cultivate social media presence. Provide unique content on each channel.

Having maintained this blog for well over a year now, I can definitely say that I’ve learned that my two biggest blogging weaknesses are posting consistently and doing the whole social media thing.

I’m addressing the social media blindspot by setting aside a few minutes here and there to devote to my Facebook page, my Twitter account, and my Instagram account. I also have Tumblr but do not plan on putting much if any unique content on there; that account is simply as another posting stream.

To address the need to post consistently, I am still working on a realistic game plan. It needs to be realistic so that I don’t let myself get swallowed whole by being overwhelmed. But it needs to be aggressive enough to have an impact on achieving my goal.

Tell me, have you considered turning your blogging hobby into a profession? I am ever eager to hear others’ thoughts.

Until next time,

Charlotte xoxo

 

Advertisements

42 comments

  1. Sounds very exciting, I hope the professional dream becomes a reality, and the fact that you love doing it anyway means your probably even more likely to achieve it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I suppose I am blogging in the hunt for fame, but I don’t want fame as a blogger. In actuality, I don’t want fame at all. I want a stage to showcase my writing abilities and build a following so that when I approach agents with my novel they’ll have something they can search for and can gauge my popularity, etc. Apparently it really helps. It has also helped me learn to write in alternative styles so if the number one venture fails, I can at least say I’ve gained from the blogging experience

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know what you mean, Paul. Although this isn’t the primary reason I blog, I do nonetheless hope that building a solid blogging platform will help when it comes time to query agents. As for fame, I have never wanted it and am not sure how I would feel if I ever had it. I don’t think I would like being famous, but who knows.

      Liked by 2 people

      • No, the thought of being famous actually makes me feel nauseous. Especially with the way the vulture-like media operate over here in Britain. I think if fame ever found me I’d do my best to keep out of the media spotlight. I think authors in general do a good job of it so it can’t be too difficult.
        I enjoy blogging more than I thought I would, especially writing my fiction which is definitely my favoured style. Escaping reality is fun. Though I definitely find people are generally more interested in the real life stuff, perchance because generation Facebook is rather nosey. Haha

        Liked by 2 people

      • Exactly! Just look at Mariah Carey on New Year’s Eve. From all accounts, there were technical difficulties outside of her control, but she is being slammed left and right. I’m not a psychologist, but I just wonder how much the anonymity of the Internet plays into that kind of celebrity-bashing. No matter the cause, I know I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of it.

        As for blogging, that is an interesting observation. So your statistics reflect that more of your readers go for your real life posts? I was just reading another blog I follow, and he mentioned something similar. Not about fiction versus real life posts, but basically saying that he’s still learning his way around what his readers like, and that some of it surprises him.

        Liked by 2 people

      • All I have to go off is my stats and I definitely find that non-fiction stories I post do generally better and I can only deduce that people are more interested in real life struggles and successes (ie, nosey) than the stuff I create using my imagination. Not that I’m going to suddenly favour non-fiction over fiction. I’m a fiction writer. I set up my stall for that before I was even a teenager.
        The way celebrities are painted in the media is the entire reason I wouldn’t want to be famous. Paparazzi spying on you, people reading through old posts on social media trying to dig some dirt, family members, friends and exes getting hounded…no thank you. I’d definitely be very selective about my public appearances if I achieved any kind of fame

        Liked by 2 people

  3. When I started blogging my writing, my attitude was “if I post well-written content, people will read it.” I now know that is nonsense. I’m interested if you know any stats like how many followers a blogger who makes a four-figure salary needs? I typically gain a follower a week, so at this rate it will be about six years before I catch up with you. Best of luck and congrats on your rebranding.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh gosh I definitely know what you mean about that totally organic attitude being nonsense. I have definitely learned that there does have to be a decent amount of encouragement for growth to happen. That’s a great question about the stats. I’ve had similar questions myself and have done some cursory research. I’ll definitely let you know once I find out more. I think part of the answer depends on how the money is earned. For example, right now all I’m attempting is ad revenue, but for let’s say a fashion blogger who wants to get successful enough to have luxury brands sponsor posts, I imagine the answer might be different.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Really solid article!
    As you pointed out on my goal post, we certainly have a lot of goals in common. I really love your point about needing to know WHY you’re striving for your goals. I think an issue I experienced in 2016 was losing sight of my original goal when I started a blog – growing as a writer – and kind of got caught up in the idea of maybe making this a profession. As soon as I lost sight of why I was really doing this it impacted the consistency of my content. Multiple times I started a post and never finished it because in my mind it didn’t work towards that artificial goal of expanding my reach towards “professional” status. I guess what I’m getting at in my very long-winded sort of way is this: you’ve done an excellent job here of capturing something that I think a lot of bloggers deal with. Very insightful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Robert Ian! I am really glad you enjoyed reading it. Likewise, I really gained a lot from reading your post. It sounds like you and I both started our blogs in 2015 (I started mine in the fall of that year), so it’s interesting to read that in both of our cases it took doing it a full year to learn some of these things. It makes me excited to see what I will learn in the future!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This is great, Charlotte! I thank you for posting it and giving me some food for thought. Personally, I started blogging to get over the fear of criticism regarding my writing. As I mentioned in a previous comment, ‘strangers’ are likely to be more honest/critical than loved ones so opening myself up to the public/fellow writers before spending real time on my novel felt like a good idea. That said… your #3 why is spot on for me! I LOVE writing! It makes me feel complete. When I haven’t written, even just a bit in my journal, I feel like something is missing. “it’s a hobby I would be doing anyway!” Looking forward to your journey. Thank you for helping mine. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So, how do you make money with ads when you’re not self hosting? I thought that if you were using WordPress as a host site, you couldn’t collect for ads? If I’m wrong, feel free to email me! I need to get in on this action! It’s SO HARD to maintain a solid following. Posting consistently is key. Also, being a presence on others’ blogs is huge. It sounds crappy, but I don’t have the time to devote hours commenting and liking other people’s blogs if they aren’t ever on my blog. It sucks that it has to be that way, but that’s how it is. I’m following this one blogger who I think is interesting. Every time she posts, I like and comment. I don’t even think she’s following me. I don’t know how much more of my precious time I’ll give to a blogger who doesn’t give back. It’s a give and take. I’ve noticed that if I run out of time and I disregard certain bloggers, they don’t like or comment on my blog. I think it’s just an understanding that in order to get love, you gotta give it. That said, many people don’t have the time to devote to that. It’s so hard!

    Liked by 3 people

    • There might be more than one way to do ads, but I will email you the way I figured out! lol I am totally still learning my way around all the different ways to monetize. For the stats I have it’s essentially pointless at this point, but I figure it can’t hurt at least to go ahead and understand how it works in case I ever get fortunate enough to use it.

      And yeah I totally hear you on the symbiotic nature of blogging!! What you described is absolutely one of my biggest blogging pet peeves. I was actually wondering to myself the other day, how big would someone I follow have to be for me not to get irked with a continual lack of reciprocity? I mean no one I currently follow is big enough for me to feel that way, but I guess theoretically there is some threshold at which I’d be like “yeah ok you’ve got thousands of comments per post, I get it.”

      That whole prospect is actually something that would scare me to become too successful of a blogger. I mean I guess it would be a good problem to have, but I would personally feel so bad if I ever got to a number of loyal followers that I couldn’t reasonably keep up with reciprocating. Lol thankfully that problem is not going to ever happen for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Charlotte, Great blogging goals you’ve set for yourself! I just followed you on twitter and instagram. I believe that as long as you do what you love and don’t put pressure on yourself, everything will fall into place. Same for me, I didn’t start this blogging journey because I want to make money from it, but I did it because just like you, I love writing and share my thoughts. Since this blogging industry is highly competitive, I still believe there’s enough room for whoever wants to write and share their thoughts with the world. Thanks for sharing this post. xo, Jey.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Goshh this social media thing is a job on its own, really!! I have a love-hate relationship with social media. Plus people love to play the *follow-unfollow* game, especially on Instagram. I’ve decided to only focus on the ones that are good for the blog. Twitter is a good tool for bloggers because it’s about link sharing and you gain new blog followers. Instagram is a microblog on its own. People are there for photos, they hardly ever click on your website link. As for Facebook..ah well, not sure about that one. I’m thinking about removing my page there…Have you already seen what works for you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh gosh I hear you! It is such a time consumer! For me I am finding Facebook and Twitter to be the most helpful. Insta…not to much. Like you said, most people just double click to get you to like them back, not to really click on profile links.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I want Blogging to enhance my life and I too want to enjoy it. I takes me a while to write posts and read/support my fellow Bloggers. I did contemplate other social media but I’m not sure it’s worth it for me. I only want to my blog for personal benefits. Do you use Blogging? That’s another way for you to grow maybe?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. These are interesting ideas. I think professional bloggers are supported by advertisers – they basically write advertising copy as far as I can tell. If that’s what you want to do, go for it. I think some people make money by selling space on their blog for other people to write content. You would have to a really big readership to make that happen I think. It all takes a lot of time and requires real dedication. Getting onto other social media as well takes so much time too.
    It all depends on what you main goals for blogging are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Suzanne, thank you for your comment! You are absolutely right that professional blogging (or professional anything, really!) takes a lot of time and effort. As you point out, there are also lots of different potential sources of income for bloggers. As always, thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you liked it! And I agree – there is this pervasive cultural misconception that becoming a famous and lucrative blogger is as simple as signing up for a website and waiting for the ad money, free products, and endorsements to come in. I spend upwards of ten hours a week (on average) for a hobby that I love but that currently earns me literally pennies a month. But I love doing it, so I’d still be doing it for nothing too lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel like I’m with you on that. I enjoy blogging so much. I only just started this blog around July. I went about 5 months without posting just because my job caught up with me. But I would love to be able to blog about many different things, have a following, and be able to make some sort of money off of it. I’ve been reading blogs about blogging and working on my pinterest account so we’ll see what the future holds. Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by!! It can totally be disheartening knowing how many mountains have to be conquered to get enough of a following to turn it into a living. I think that’s fantastic that you truly enjoy it though! Good luck as well!

      Like

  10. I have a blog and only recently started my second year. Don’t know if I want to be a professional blogger. Right now, I love blogging as a hobby especially because I am still a college student. I do already have a dream job, which is eventually working in Nonprofit and open my own. I thought of maybe opening up a theatre company and allow those living in poverty and homelessness to audition

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by! I loved reading your comment — that is such a fabulous idea about a nonprofit theatre for homeless persons to audition!! You should totally pursue that dream. πŸ™‚

      Like

      • I have been called to reach out to the homeless. In Fall of 2015, I realized that I wanted to work in Nonprofit. I thought of this idea due to me being a musical fanatic all because I am this obsession with Les Mis. I am constantly asked how come I want to work in Nonprofit if you love musicals so much. I thought of a way to combine my two biggest passions into one: the musicals and helping the homeless, which will exist through this Nonprofit idea

        Like

  11. Hi!
    I just subscribed to your blog and am looking forward to reading through your articles! We develop mobile apps for bloggers that allow your audience to connect with you directly at the touch of an icon. This is different from the WordPress app because the WordPress app is for the blogger, our apps are for your audience. Our apps are easy and fun and we do it all for no charge πŸ˜‰ Also we combine all of your social media into one app so your audience can fully connect with you (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.technology.zenlight.okotoenigma) If you are ever curious or want to step up your blog a bit please contact us anytime.
    Keep up the hard work and stay focused
    -Jacque’ Terrell

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s