view of a cozy little bit messy desk and chair. On the desk is an open laptop, some plants, notebooks, and a glass jar with pencils - setting SMART goals for blogging

A Practical Guide for Setting SMART Goals for Blogging Success

Juggling family, building a blogging business, and that never-ending to-do list? It’s tough sometimes. Believe me, I know what you mean!

The to-do list is a mile long, and even the most determined blogger can feel overwhelmed. You know you want to be productive, make your blog shine, and achieve the goals you set for yourself. 

But vague goals are the enemy of productivity. They don’t get you anywhere, really. Wishing for “more traffic” or hoping to “be more consistent” leaves you with no roadmap, no way to measure progress, and, ultimately, a whole lot of frustration.

Listen, setting goals is great, but it’s the difference between generic goals and SMART goals that can truly transform your productivity. Forget vague promises of “posting more” or “growing my audience.” SMART goals are fantastic for taking control of your time, crushing your blogging goals, and feeling like a genuine business owner.

Run out of time to read the blog post right now? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!

Pinterest pin for this blog post

What are SMART goals?

You know goals, right? SMART goals go just a little bit further. You could look at them like a roadmap taking you from point A to point B, whereas a generic goal is just some point in the distance. You’re not really sure how to get there and it’s difficult to determine if you’re even on the right path.

SMART goals are clear, specific plans that break down your goals into actionable steps. They let you track progress and celebrate wins along the way. And celebrating wins is a great feeling, who doesn’t want to celebrate once in a while, right?

To set these goals, they need to be:

Specific – What exactly do you want to achieve?

Measurable – How will you track your progress?

Achievable – Is this goal realistic within your resources and timeframe? Can you do it?

Relevant – Does this goal align with your overall blogging vision? Is it useful?

Time-bound – By when do you want to achieve this goal?

a view of a woman from the back sitting behind her open laptop holding the mouse. she's surrounded by plants and a bookcase full of books. - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by George Milton on Pexels

Why do we need SMART goals? The Benefits

There are quite a few benefits to using SMART goals over generic goals. A SMART goal will give you direction and focus. You will know exactly what you need to do on a daily basis to move the needle forward in your business, and your chances of reaching your goals will increase as a result. 

Another benefit is that SMART goals help you track your progress. Because you’ve set a deadline by which you want to reach your goal, you know exactly where you stand at any given point in time. 

This can be helpful when life happens or another big(ger) business project comes along. When you are tracking your progress, having set SMART goals, you can then adapt your approach while still staying on track with your ultimate goal. By the way, it is ok to also say no to other projects and protect your boundaries.  

Adjusting your strategy is always better for your motivation and productivity. You don’t want to throw your goals out the window once you hit a bump in the road, right?!

I also want to mention that having SMART goals will hold you accountable for taking action in your blogging business. When you have set a specific, time-bound goal, it makes it harder to procrastinate or wing it because you have a clear target to hit. Knowing you need to work on your goal keeps procrastination in check and holds you responsible for sticking to your plan.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of setting goals, check out my post: Unveiling 10 Astonishing Benefits of Goal Setting

a closeup view of a woman writing in her notebook. there is an open laptop and a cup of tea in the background. - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by George Milton on Pexels

How to set SMART goals for your blog

Before we get into the process of how to create a SMART goal for your blog, I want to urge you to write your goal down. Why? Because if you write it down, in your planner or even on a post-it note, it’ll become more tangible. 

Your sense of accountability will become stronger, especially if you share it with “the world”. And this “world” could be an accountability partner, a Facebook group, or your blogging coach. Someone you trust to push you a little bit when you need it. 

By the way, I’m in this awesome Facebook group of bloggers, led by Sadie Smiley. There is accountability there, we all help each other succeed, and together we build our thriving blogging businesses. It’s just mind-boggling what a group of like-minded people can do for your progress. 

a side view of a woman sitting behind her desk with her open laptop, a cup of tea, a little plant, and a pile of books on the desk - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by George Milton on Pexels

Okay, now for the fun part: Let’s break down the process of setting SMART goals for your blog.

1. Get crystal clear on your blogging goals

It is important to know exactly what you want to achieve with your blog. What does your blogging strategy look like? Why do you have a blog and what is its purpose? Then identify your primary goals. Goals like increasing traffic, generating leads, building authority in your niche. Get all of this written out in a Google Doc, in a notebook, or where you take your notes. 

2. Make your goals Specific

The next step in truly harnessing the power of SMART goals is making them specific. Ditch the vague wishes and clearly define what you want to achieve. You want to use precise language and set quantifiable targets. Instead of “get more readers,” aim for “increase website traffic by 20%”. That’s a goal you can track, celebrate, and work on.

3. Make sure your goals are Measurable

A goal is measurable if you can track it. Identify key metrics, like website traffic or email subscribers, to track your progress. When you set achievable milestones along the way, you can celebrate those wins and stay motivated on your blogging journey. 

It’s like driving from home to your vacation destination. You don’t set yourself behind the wheel of your car and start driving. You pick out stops along the way. Whenever you reach that next stop, you don’t just drive by. You stop to fill gas, get something to eat, and get ready for the next track on your journey.

a cozy view of a little table and two chairs. on the table is a pile of books, a cup of tea on a coaster, a little vase, and a burning candle - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by George Milton on Pexels

4. Check if your goals are Achievable

This can be a difficult nut to crack initially. I thought it was hard to determine if my goals were achievable, but then I discovered it has to do with things like resources, skills, and limitations. 

You need to have the right tools or access to tools. You need to know how to do things to get you further towards your end goal. And also important, you need to know your limitations, like time or money. The best way to check this is to break your larger goal down into smaller, actionable goals. 

5. Assess how your goals are Relevant

As a true businesswoman, you have created a mission for your blog. When you set SMART goals, it is important that your goals align with that mission. Therefore, when you create a SMART goal, you check if that goal contributes to your overall values and vision for success. Only then will they lead you in the right direction. 

6. Set a realistic Timeline

Every goal needs a deadline, a point in time when it will be achieved. When you set a deadline, be sure to be realistic about it. We all know that life happens. Sometimes, you can count on interruptions and plan for them (like when your kids are home from school due to vacation), and other times, those interruptions are unexpected (like a sick kiddo needing your attention). 

That’s why it’s important that your deadline is realistic. Besides, there’s no shame in needing to push your deadline further into the future. Just factor in potential challenges and setbacks to ensure your timelines are ambitious yet attainable.

a young woman sitting at her desk working on her laptop - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by George Milton on Pexels

5 Examples of SMART Goals for Blogging Analyzed

Now that you know the theory of setting SMART goals, I have 5 examples of how it looks in real life. I love to see a theory in action, it’s always helpful and fun!

  • Traffic Growth: Increase monthly blog traffic by 20% within 3 months, tracked through website analytics
    • Specific: Increase monthly blog traffic by 20%.
    • Measurable: Track website analytics (e.g., Google Analytics) to monitor traffic.
    • Achievable: 20% is a realistic growth rate based on current traffic and resources.
    • Relevant: Growing traffic helps reach a wider audience and achieve other goals.
    • Time-Bound: Achieve this goal within the next 3 months.
  • Content Creation: Publish 2 high-quality blog posts per week for the next month, ensuring they meet word count and visual content standards
    • Specific: Publish 2 high-quality blog posts per week.
    • Measurable: Track the number of published posts and ensure they meet quality standards (like word count, visuals).
    • Achievable: You have the time and skills to maintain quality.
    • Relevant: Content creation is crucial for audience engagement.
    • Time-Bound: Achieve this goal within the next month.
2 open notebooks with 2 blue colored pencils - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by Jess Bailey Design on Pexels
  • Email List Building: Grow your email list by 100 engaged subscribers within the next quarter, tracked through your email marketing platform
    • Specific: Increase email subscribers by 100.
    • Measurable: Track email opt-in forms and subscriber numbers on your email marketing platform.
    • Achievable: This growth target is based on the current subscriber base and planned efforts.
    • Relevant: Building an email list fosters a loyal audience and potential customer base.
    • Time-Bound: Achieve this goal within the next quarter.
  • Social Media Engagement: Boost average social media post engagement (likes, comments, shares) by 15% within the next 2 months, tracked through platform analytics
    • Specific: Increase average post engagement (likes, comments, shares) by 15%.
    • Measurable: Track social media platform analytics to monitor engagement metrics.
    • Achievable: This realistic increase is based on current engagement and planned content strategy.
    • Relevant: Increased engagement signifies a more connected audience.
    • Time-Bound: Achieve this goal within the next 2 months.
  • Guest Blogging: Secure 3 guest blogging placements on high-authority websites within the next 6 months, tracking website traffic generated from these posts
    • Specific: Secure 3 guest blogging opportunities on high-authority websites.
    • Measurable: Track the number of secured guest posts and website traffic generated.
    • Achievable: The realistic target is based on your niche and outreach efforts.
    • Relevant: Guest blogging expands reach and builds backlinks to improve SEO.
    • Time-Bound: Achieve this goal within the next 6 months.
a woman looking down at something holding a cup of tea - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by George Milton on Pexels

A few more examples of SMART goals are:

  • Grow my Facebook group by 30% within 2 months, focusing on engagement strategies like hosting live Q&As and polls
  • Boost email open rate by 10% in the next quarter, utilizing email optimization methods like A/B testing subject lines and using clear preheader text
  • Increase monthly blog income by $500 within the next 6 months by finding 5 affiliate programs that suit my business 
  • Growing my email subscribers by 500 in the next quarter by participating in 3 blogging bundles
  • Attract 30 new students for my course within the next month by sending 5 targeted emails to my list and offering a special package for those who join within the deadline

You see, creating a SMART goal isn’t all that difficult. You just need to put some thought into it, and you will come up with a fantastic goal or two for your blogging business as well.

partial view of a woman sitting at her desk working on her laptop, beside the desk is a big white vase with greenery in it - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by George Milton on Pexels

Working on your SMART goals

Once you have created your SMART goal, it is time to get to work. You need a plan of action. Writing it down isn’t enough to reach your goal, right?! So get out your notebook and pen, or open up the Google Doc where you wrote down your goal. 

For the exact steps to start working on your goals, you’ll want to read my blog post: 8 Easy Steps to Set Goals for Your Blogging Business. I talk about breaking down your goals, measuring your progress, and celebrating all the milestones along the way. 

I also want to point out regarding time, it is important that you can find your resources, like photos for your blog posts or the inlog credentials for that course you need, to work on your SMART goals. A digital declutter could be a good idea. Marj from the Declutter Buzz has a fantastic article to help you with a digital cleanse. 

Questions around SMART goals

I can imagine you still have questions around SMART goals and how to actually work with them. Here are a few common questions and the solutions on how to proceed.

Q1. What if my goals are too ambitious or unrealistic?

Don’t shy away from ambitious goals! They can be a powerful motivator. However, the key is to ensure they’re also SMART, especially achievable. Here’s what you can do:

  • Break down large goals into smaller, more manageable steps. Aiming to increase traffic by 100% might be overwhelming. Start with a smaller, achievable increase, for example 20%, and celebrate reaching 5%, 10%, 15% etc. along the way.
  • Consider your resources. Be realistic about how much time and energy you can dedicate to achieving your goals.
  • Start with a baseline. If you’re unsure of your current website traffic or email subscriber count, track this data for a week to establish a starting point. Set your goals based on achievable growth from this baseline.
someone writing on her tablet with a digital pencil - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by Jess Bailey Design on Pexels

Q2. How often should I review and adjust my SMART goals?

Regularly reviewing your SMART goals is crucial. A good idea is to revisit them monthly.  Here’s why:

  • Circumstances can change. New opportunities might arise, or unexpected challenges could impact your progress (remember those kids we talked about earlier?). Reviewing your goals allows you to adapt your strategy accordingly.
  • Evaluate progress. Tracking your progress helps you see what’s working and what might need tweaking. This might involve adjusting your deadlines or specific actions within your SMART goals.
  • Stay motivated. Seeing progress towards your goals is a powerful motivator! Regular reviews keep you focused and energized on your blogging journey.

Q3. Can I have multiple SMART goals at the same time?

Absolutely! In fact, having multiple SMART goals can be beneficial. Here’s how:

  • Holistic Approach. Set SMART goals that address various aspects of your blogging journey, like traffic growth, email list building, and social media engagement. This creates a more holistic approach to your success.
  • Balance. Having multiple goals can help you maintain a balanced focus. You might have a SMART goal for content creation alongside one for community building within your Facebook group.
  • Prioritize. If you have a multitude of goals, prioritize a few high-impact ones to focus your efforts initially. Don’t go overboard with setting to many goals. You need the time to work on your goals to reach them.
a woman sitting at her desk behind her open laptop. She's writing in her notebook and has a cup of tea with her. There are a lot of books around her on the desk - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by George Milton on Pexels

Q4. What should I do if I’m struggling to achieve my SMART goals?

It’s okay if you hit a snag! Here are some strategies to get back on track:

  • Reassess the achievability. Are your goals truly realistic, given your current resources and timeframe? You might need to adjust the deadlines or specific metrics within your SMART goals.
  • Evaluate your strategy. Is your current approach effective? Research new tactics or consult with other bloggers for fresh ideas on achieving your goals.
  • Break down barriers: Identify and address any obstacles hindering your progress. For example, if time management is a challenge, schedule dedicated time blocks in your day to work on your goals.

Q5. How can I stay motivated and committed to my SMART goals?

When you want to stay motivated, you could benefit from these tactics:

  • Celebrate milestones. Reaching smaller milestones within your SMART goals is a reason to celebrate! Acknowledge your progress and reward yourself for staying on track.
  • Visualize success. Take a moment each day to visualize yourself achieving your goals. This positive reinforcement keeps you focused and motivated.
  • Find an accountability partner. Having a friend or fellow blogger hold you accountable can be a powerful motivator. Share your goals, track progress together, and encourage each other.
  • Focus on the “why”. Remind yourself why you started this blogging journey. Reconnecting with your initial passion can rekindle the fire within you.

By following these tips, you can overcome challenges, stay motivated, and achieve your blogging goals through the power of SMART goal setting.

a woman sitting at her desk behind her laptop. there is an open notebook and pen beside her. she is about to take her cup of tea to drink - setting SMART goals for blogging
Photo by George Milton on Pexels

My Final Thoughts

Remember that feeling of overwhelm we talked about at the beginning? The struggle to stay focused and make progress in the middle of endless to-do lists? Now you know that to conquer that feeling and be truly productive in your blogging business is to create SMART goals. 

SMART goals are the better option when it comes to goal setting. With SMART goals, you will be more productive in your blogging business because you know exactly what to work on and when you need to finish this or that particular part of your bigger goals. 

Creating to-do lists is a good tactic, and they are a great tool, but they work even better in combination with SMART goals. By setting clear, actionable plans, you’ll be amazed at how much more productive you become in your blogging business. 

SMART goals give you the drive you need to become a successful and productive blogger. Once you’ve set a SMART goal and reached it, you will never go back to regular goal setting!

Pinterest pin for this blog post

Sharing with others!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *