By Angie Nelson
Whether you've just launched a new blog and want to get off to a great start or you're an established blogger looking to bring your platform to the next level, setting actionable goals will help you achieve your blogging dreams.
As you take inspiration from the following blogging goals and tweak them for your own blogging efforts, focus on creating clear, challenging yet attainable, actionable goals. For example, “I'm going to write guest posts for five new bloggers this year,” is a much better goal than “Reaching out to new bloggers.”
Increase your web traffic 100 percent.
Web traffic makes or breaks a blog. You can have the best content in your industry, but if no one is reading it, your efforts are fruitless. Increasing traffic 100 percent may seem overwhelming. However, you simply have to increase traffic 6 percent each month to reach a 100 percent increase by the end of the year. Measuring the monthly 6 percent will keep you on track and not get hung up on the looming 100 percent until you're well on your way to reaching the goal. Focus on content marketing and search engine optimization to jump start your traffic generation efforts.
Publish long-form content.
If you haven't attempted long-form content at this point in your blogging career, make it a goal for this year. The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 Google search results for a given keyword has a minimum of 2,000 words.
This means that Google prefers content-rich sites. Content rich sites tend to get more links and generally perform better. Think about the type of long-form content that will be most relevant to your target audience. When you're used to writing 400-500 blog posts, 3,000 words may seem like a lot. Focus on writing in 400-500 word chunks, and you'll get the piece knocked out in a week.
Increase your email opt-in rate by 100 percent.
Once you've implemented some basic traffic generation tactics, apply standard conversion rate optimization techniques to grow your email list. The more people you have on your email list, the more these people will spur your existing traffic generation tactics, skyrocketing monthly site visitor numbers. Include a place to opt into your email list on every blog post. Experiment with different opt-in places including the author box, sidebar, scroll pop up and help bar to determine which locations produce the best results. Finally, think about offering an enticing incentive for new email list members. While a discount code may not be of much significance, an ebook with trade secrets will be quite valuable.
Make connections with a dozen key influencers and feature them on your blog or get featured on theirs.
Influencers play a key role in a larger content marketing strategy. Strive to form a relationship with one new influencer every month. Initiating a conversation can be as simple as leaving a comment on one of their blog posts or writing a review of their new podcast on iTunes. Then look for natural opportunities to feature them on your blog. For example, you can link to a relevant blog post when you write about a similar topic, or you can get a quote from an influencer. Let the influencer know when you've published the content so they're more likely to share it with their followers.
Finally, remember that blogging goals aren't set in stone. Don't be afraid to adjust your goals as needed during the year. For example, if you meet your traffic goal by June, set a new traffic goal. On the flip side, if your priorities change and you find that you're no longer focusing on an existing goal, create a new one. As long as your goals remain centered around your long-term pursuits, they'll help you achieve the success that you desire.
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Angie Nelson has been an online business owner since 2007. Today she balances several successful online ventures and shares her passion for home business and blogging with others on TheWorkAtHomeWife.com. Stop by her site for your FREE Blog Success Kit, which includes tips, printables and worksheets to keep you on track to meet your 2016 blogging goals.