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How to Set Achievable Financial Goals for Your Blog

Imagine this…

Today is CEO day, so you grab your laptop and start checking your blog’s stats. Traffic is steadily climbing, and you’re getting more comments and shares than ever before. A huge smile spreads across your face as you see new revenue notifications from your latest sponsored post and affiliate sales. Your blog is truly becoming a money-making machine!

This is what it’s all about, right? By setting clear financial goals for your blog, you can turn your passion project into a legitimate income stream or even a full-time business.

Having a plan is key to any successful endeavor, and blogging for profit is no exception. In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Why we need financial goals to grow our blogging business
  • How to set achievable, money-making goals
  • Strategies to track progress and adjust if necessary

Are you ready to transform your blog from a hobby into a full-time business? Let’s start by setting some financial goals for your blog.

Understand Your “Why”

Before you can set bold financial goals for your blog, you need to get clear on your deeper motivations. Why do you really want to monetize your blog? Is it:

  • To earn a little side income to treat yourself?
  • To eventually quit your 9-to-5 and blog full-time?
  • To build a business you can pass down to your kids?

Knowing your “why” will not only help you overcome the inevitable challenges, but it will also define and outline the financial goals you set for your blog.

For example, if your dream is to simply earn some “fun money” through your blog to take your family on family vacations, your money-goals will look very different than if you’re aiming to replace your job’s paycheck. The first step is to reflect on your core motivations and values.

Next, take an honest look at your current financial situation. How much debt do you have? What are your essential monthly expenses? How much do you need or want to earn from your blog? Getting clear on the numbers will help you set realistic income goals.

Finally, make sure your money-making goals align with the purpose and audience of your blog. There’s no point in setting goals that conflict with why you started blogging in the first place.

So take a step back and ask yourself: “What’s my true ‘why’ for monetizing my blog? What financial needs or dreams am I working towards?”

Once you have the answers, you’ll be ready to set goals that genuinely motivate and fulfill you.

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Set SMART Financial Goals

Now that you understand your “why,” it’s time to define exactly what you want to achieve with your blog financially. But you can’t just pick some random numbers out of thin air. That’s a surefire way to set yourself up for disappointment and failure.

Instead, just like any other goals you set, you need to make sure your financial blogging goals are SMART:

Specific – Don’t set a vague goal like “make more money.” Spell out exactly how much you want to earn and from what sources.

Measurable – Can you track your progress towards the goal? Metrics like income, website traffic, and email subscribers are measurable.

Achievable – While you should aim high, your goals also need to be realistic based on your current situation. Don’t expect to make $10,000/month right away.

Relevant – Your financial goals should align with your overall “why” and make sense for your blog’s niche and audience.

Time-bound – Give yourself a clear timeline to achieve the goal, like 6 months or 1 year. Open-ended goals are easy to ignore.

Let’s look at an example of a SMART financial goal:

“Within the next 12 months, I will increase my monthly blog revenue to $2,500 through a combination of affiliate marketing (50%), sponsored content (25%), and product sales (25%). I’ll track my income using spreadsheets and revenue reports.”

See how specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound that goal is? It leaves no room for confusion or empty promises.

But don’t just set one big long-term goal and call it a day. Break it down into a series of incremental milestones like:

  1. Earn first $100 from affiliate marketing within 3 months
  2. Secure first paid sponsorship deal within 6 months
  3. Launch first digital product within 9 months

Having these smaller short-term goals will make your overarching financial target feel much more attainable.

So take some time now to define 1-3 SMART financial goals for your blog. What specific numbers are you working towards, and by when? Write them down and make them public to increase your commitment.

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Money-Making Strategies for Your Blog

With your SMART financial goals set, it’s time to explore the different ways you can actually make money from your blog. The options are virtually endless, but some of the most popular are:

  • Advertising – Selling ad space on your site to businesses
  • Affiliates – Earning commissions by promoting other companies’s products/services
  • Sponsorships – Getting paid by brands to create sponsored content
  • Products – Creating and selling your own digital or physical products
  • Services – Offering paid services like coaching, consulting, VA work
  • Membership – Charging for exclusive, members-only content and perks

The key is to identify which revenue streams make the most sense for your blog’s niche, audience, and goals. For example, if you run a popular parenting blog, creating and selling digital products like ebooks or courses could be a great fit.

But don’t just guess – do your research! Check out how other bloggers in your niche are successfully monetizing. Join blogging communities on Facebook, for example, and ask lots of questions. My favorite community is definitely Passive Income Pathways: Money Making Ideas + Blogging Tips. So many great people all helping each other to become better blogging business owners. 

Once you’ve narrowed it down to 2-3 promising options, it’s time to set specific revenue targets for each stream. Let’s say your overall financial goal is to earn $5,000 per month from your blog within a year. You could break that down into:

  • Affiliates: $2,000 per month
  • Sponsored content: $2,000 per month
  • Digital products: $1,000 per month

Having these clear goals will help you reverse-engineer exactly what you need to do to get to your $5,000. For affiliates, you’ll want to calculate things like:

  • How many products you need to promote
  • What your average commission rate is
  • How much traffic/how many sales you’ll need to hit $2,000

This makes your big goal feel way more manageable. It’s just a series of smaller, actionable steps.

And of course, don’t forget to set targets for overall revenue growth year-over-year, like increasing your income by 20-25%. That’s how you’ll slowly but surely build a full-time blogging business.

So do your homework, get creative with potential income streams, and adjust the SMART revenue goals you set. The plan is becoming more and more clear, which makes your financial blogging goals feel much more achievable.

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Audience Growth Goals

While exploring the money-makers for your blog is important, there’s one factor that will impact your monetizing potential more than anything else: your audience. 

Your audience is tightly connected to how you earn money from your blog. But let me also emphasize that you need the right people visiting your blog to read your posts. Because only the right people are your potential customers. It’s like a funnel. 

For example, out of 1,000 readers, 500 will return, maybe 150 will subscribe to your email list, and in the end, only a small percentage of your email subscribers will purchase your digital product. So the bigger your initial audience, the more money you can potentially make from your blog. 

That’s why in addition to setting income targets, you need to set clear goals for growing your audience across all platforms.

Website Traffic

How many monthly visitors do you want to be getting to your blog? Nail down a specific number, like 50,000 monthly pageviews, and a timeframe to achieve it. Think about it – more website visitors means more people seeing your ads or affiliate promotions.

Email Subscribers

Your email list is one of your blog’s most valuable assets. Set a goal for how many new subscribers you want to gain each month through lead magnets, content upgrades, etc. One thousand new subscribers in 6 months could be a good starter goal, right? And that larger email list gives you more potential customers for your products or services.

Social Media Followers

Whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, or something else, pick 1-2 platforms to focus on and set follower growth targets. For example, “Gain 5,000 new Pinterest followers this year.” 

The exact numbers aren’t as important as making your audience goals SMART though, too. That’s what will set you up for success.

But don’t just pick some random numbers you think sound good. Dig into your current analytics to understand your blog’s current audience size and growth rates. This will help you set realistic yet ambitious targets.

For example, if you’re currently getting 15,000 monthly pageviews, aiming for 50,000 in a year may be a stretch. But 30,000 could be an achievable goal that really pushes you.

The same goes for revenue goals. If your audience is still relatively small, managing expectations around income goals is important. As your traffic and followers increase, so will the potential to earn more money. You see, audience growth and revenue are closely linked for bloggers? So in addition to defining money-making targets, be sure to give equal attention and effort to your audience growth goals.

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Managing Your Expenses

When you’re focused on ambitious revenue goals, it’s easy to overlook expenses. But managing your blogging costs is just as important as increasing your income. After all, your profits depend on both!

The first step is getting crystal clear on what you’re actually spending money on for your blog. Make a list of all your operating expenses like:

  • Web hosting
  • Domain name renewals
  • Premium themes or plugins
  • Email marketing tools
  • Subscriptions, like Canva or blogging tools
  • Outsourcing costs (writers, designers, VAs, etc.)

Even seemingly small expenses can really add up over time. Keeping an eye on your expenses becomes easier when you have an expense account for your business from where you pay all your expenses (especially handy during tax season!). 

So once you have your full expense list, determine a monthly or annual budget for these operational costs.

Let’s say your total comes to $100 per month. You could set a goal to strictly stay within that $100 budget as you start monetizing your blog. But as your revenue grows, you may want to adjust that budget accordingly.

A good target could be reducing your expenses to just 20-30% of your overall blogging income within 1-2 years. So if you’re making $5,000 per month, you’d want expenses to be $1,500 or less.

This allows you to continuously invest more money back into growth, like hiring extra help, upgrading tools, or launching new products and services. It’s all about maximizing your profits!

In addition to managing fixed costs, you’ll also want to keep an eye on any one-time expenses for things like:

  • Paid advertising or sponsorships
  • Graphic design for lead magnets or products
  • Attending conferences or taking courses

Build some buffer room into your budget for these types of investments in your blog’s growth.

The key is being intentional about where your money is going from the start. Expenses can easily get out of control if you’re not careful! So set clear budget goals and constraints to ensure your profits keep increasing over time.

And, of course, don’t forget to diversify your income streams as much as possible. That way if one revenue source underperforms, you have a safety net from the others. It’s all about reducing risks as a business owner.

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Profit First

Speaking of managing your finances intentionally, I highly recommend implementing the “Profit First” system outlined in Mike Michalowicz’s book. The core idea is treating your profits as a line item expense that gets paid first rather than just taking whatever is left over.

So let’s say you earn $5,000 in a given month. Using Profit First principles, you would allocate the different percentages for profit, owner’s compensation (your paycheck), taxes, and operating expenses. 

You could compare it with an enveloping system. You always have enough money set aside for taxes and expenses while also keeping a portion of the income (profit and owner’s comp) you worked so hard to generate rather than just operating based on leftovers. It’s a mindset shift that can have a huge impact.

Implementing a system like Profit First from the start will instill disciplined financial practices as your blogging business grows. It protects you from the cycle of constantly reinvesting every penny back into operations.

Every Friday, I look into my finances and allocate my income to the different “envelopes”. I always have money to pay my bills, I’m paying myself for my work, plus I have money set aside to reinvest in my business. I truly love this system, so be sure to pick up this fantastic book and implement Profit First, too!

Profit Goals

Revenue and audience goals are crucial, but at the end of the day, what really matters is how much profit you’re bringing in from your blog. That’s the money you get to put in your pocket or reinvest back into the business. I love to have a big fat juicy profit account. It’s like spending-money for my business. 

So in addition to income goals, you need to set clear profit goals that factor in your projected expenses using the “Profit First” system we discussed earlier.

Here’s how to approach it:

First, estimate your total monthly revenue from all your various income streams: ads, affiliates, products, your membership, etc. Let’s use that $5,000 as an example again.

Next, allocate a percentage of that for your profit account right off the bat, per Profit First principles. Many businesses start with 15%, so that would be $750 from the $5,000.

From the remaining $4,250, you’ll need to account for expenses like:

  • Taxes
  • Owner’s compensation (your pay)
  • Operational costs (hosting, tools, etc.)
  • Any other obligations

Let’s say your total expenses come to $2,500 per month. That leaves $1,750 as your additional profit for that month.

So your total monthly profit target in this example would be: $750 (allocated first) + $1,750 (remaining) = $2,500

Not too shabby for a goal, right? Earning $2,500/month in pure profit from your blog is a great starting point.

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From there, you can set incremental targets like:

  • Earn $3,000/month in profit within 6 months
  • Earn $5,000/month in profit within 1 year
  • Earn $10,000/month in profit within 2 years

The timelines will depend on your specific revenue and expense projections. But you get the idea.

I started out with a 10% profit, 30% taxes (which is fixed here where I live), 25% opex, and 35% owner’s comp formula. Throughout the years, these percentages shifted, and my opex percentage went down because my income increased. Therefore also my profit went up, and I could pay myself more. 

Just be sure your profit goals are realistic yet ambitious. Making $50,000/month from a new-ish blog isn’t very achievable. But $5,000-10,000 in monthly profits could be if you really hustle.

The key is treating your profits as a top priority from day one using Profit First. That mindset shift will ensure you actually get to keep a portion of the money you work so hard to earn through your blog.

Tracking and Accountability

Setting ambitious financial goals for your blog is just the first step. The real work comes in consistently taking action and tracking your progress over time. Otherwise, those targets will just collect dust!

Public Accountability

Luckily, as a blogger, you have a powerful accountability tool right at your fingertips – your blog itself! By publicly sharing and updating your goals, you’re way more likely to stick to them.

Start by dedicating a page on your blog specifically to your financial goals. Outline all the revenue, profit, and audience growth goals we’ve discussed. This makes your intentions clear to both yourself and your readers.

From there, commit to posting regular progress updates – monthly or quarterly works well. Share your wins and successes, but also be upfront about any shortfalls or struggles. This level of transparency will motivate you to keep pushing forward.

You can even take it a step further by allowing your audience to weigh in and hold you accountable. Ask for their feedback, tips, and words of encouragement in the comments. Knowing that people are watching can be incredibly powerful!

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The blogger Michelle Schroeder published a lot of posts on her income and believes that publishing her goals has pushed her to work even harder because she doesn’t want to let her readers down.

To help track your key metrics, there are tons of other tools and methods:

  • Revenue reports from ad networks, affiliate programs, etc.
  • Google Analytics for website traffic
  • Email marketing platform for subscriber numbers
  • Spreadsheets for logging income and expenses
  • Apps for monitoring profit goals

The exact tools don’t matter as much as picking a simple, consistent system for measuring your progress. Reviewing your numbers regularly keeps you focused and motivated.

And don’t forget to celebrate milestones along the way, even small ones! Treating yourself for hitting a new income level or subscriber count helps reinforce positive habits.

The path to financial success through blogging has its ups and downs. But by tracking your goals publicly and leveraging your audience for accountability, you’ll be much more likely to cross that finish line.

Privat Accountability

While publicly sharing your goals on your blog can be a powerful accountability tool, not everyone is comfortable putting their financial details out there for the world to see. That’s totally understandable!

In that case, you could consider forming an accountability group with a few blogger friends or joining an existing mastermind. Having a small, trusted circle to openly discuss your goals, wins, and struggles can be just what you’re looking for.

I personally have two other bloggers with whom I check in daily, and we meet face-to-face on a monthly Zoom call. The three of us share revenue updates, bounce ideas off each other, and call out anything that’s holding us back from our goals, all in a totally judgment-free zone.

The key is finding people you can be fully transparent with, who will push you but also celebrate your successes. An accountability buddy keeps you honest and on track, even when you’d rather make excuses.

Whether you choose to share publicly on your blog or keep it within a private group, vocalizing your goals is powerful.

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Reviewing and Adjusting

Phew! We’ve covered a ton of ground so far on setting rock-solid financial goals for your blog. But we’re not quite done yet. The final crucial step? Regularly reviewing your progress and adjusting your strategy as needed.

Think about it – when was the last time everything went 100% according to plan? Exactly, probably never! That’s why it’s so important to build in checkpoints along the way to re-evaluate.

Maybe you launched a new product, but sales were disappointing. Or perhaps your affiliate revenue is growing faster than expected. Situations like these call for adjustments to your original goals and approach.

So set a recurring calendar reminder (monthly or quarterly works well) to do a deep dive into your financial metrics:

  • Revenue from each income stream
  • Total expenses
  • Profit levels
  • Audience growth numbers

Compare your actual performance to the SMART goals you set initially. Be brutally honest about what’s working well and what’s not. Don’t make excuses. When you are honest with yourself, you grow, and it becomes easier to adjust your goals.

If you’re falling behind on certain targets, get to the root of why. Is it an issue with your strategy, your execution, or were the goals simply unrealistic? You may need to:

  • Adjust your deadlines to allow more time
  • Invest more into ads, tools, or outsourcing
  • Pivot your monetization methods completely
  • Reset your expectations to more achievable goals

The key is making data-driven decisions, not just guessing. The numbers don’t lie. 

On the other hand, if you’re doing better than expected in some areas, it’s time to raise the bar. You may want to set higher goals in those areas or shift your focus and resources to other important tasks.

For example, if your affiliate marketing revenue is booming, you could aim to make even more money from affiliates. Or, you could spend less time on affiliate marketing for a while and put more effort into areas that aren’t doing as well, like sponsored content.

The key is being flexible and making changes based on your actual results, not just sticking to your original plan, no matter what. Successful bloggers adjust their strategy as needed to keep growing their businesses.

Regularly check how you’re doing towards your money goals. Figure out what’s working well and what needs improvement. Then make updates to your plan as needed. This back-and-forth process is normal when building a profitable blog over time.

And I’ll say it again, don’t forget to celebrate milestones and wins along the way, no matter how small. Treating yourself reinforces positive habits and keeps you motivated. Progress is progress, after all.

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My Final Thoughts

Wow, that was a lot, right, on setting achievable financial goals for your blog? Let’s quickly recap the key points:

  • We started by stressing the importance of understanding your deeper “why” for monetizing in the first place. This guides the goals you set.
  • Next, we broke down the criteria for SMART goals – making them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • You learned about various money-making strategies like ads, affiliates, products, and memberships to explore.
  • We talked about setting goals for growing your audience, too, since traffic and followers impact earnings.
  • Managing your expenses was also a major focus, including the “Profit First” approach and paying yourself.
  • From there, we covered calculating and incrementally increasing your profit goals over time.
  • Finally, we emphasized the need for consistency in tracking, accountability, reviewing, and adjusting along the way.

See, setting financial blogging goals is a comprehensive process, but one that’s absolutely essential for real money-making success. Without a clear plan, it’s easy to spin your wheels and never gain real traction.

So let me leave you with some homework…

Carve out some time this week to go through the steps we outlined. Grab a notebook and write down those money-making goals.

Start small if you need to, but start somewhere. Because the sooner you get clear financial goals in place, the sooner you can start taking actionable steps to turn your blog into a legitimate income stream, and maybe quit your 9-to-5!

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