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. 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.
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 🙂
Here are the reasons I listed for wanting this goal:
- I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts
- I love connecting with others
- It’s a hobby I’d be doing anyway
- Flexibility to work wherever
- 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.
Here are the steps I wrote down to start achieving it:
- Post quality content consistently over a long period of time. Build a credible voice.
- Engage with readers. Earn their loyalty.
- 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,