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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 Realistic Blogging Goals for the New Year

It’s that time of the year again when we ramp up to the New Year and start envisioning what changes we can make in our lives. Since I would imagine that your blog is an important part of your life, I’m sure many of you are looking for ways to add value to your blog. You want to make some positive enhancements to your blog as the New Year comes ringing in.

As a fellow blogger, I too am always looking for ways to improve my blog site and my blogging, for that matter. But I want to set some realistic goals that can be met. Not attaining unrealistic goals can be disheartening. For example, at my present place of employment, we had a VP of Sales who, every month, would project an unrealistic pie-in-the-sky revenue number. It was so unrealistic that the monthly revenue number was never met and eventually his words fell on deaf ears. He wasn’t taken seriously and the sales reps became disenchanted because they could never reach the goals that the VP was spouting.

So, this year, try to set some goals that are attainable. Don’t go into the New Year with the goal of hitting a Page Rank of 6 if that is unrealistic. Don’t strive for a subscriber number of 10,000 if it’s clearly not attainable. Take baby steps and try to take positive steps and maybe you’ll build some momentum in the coming year.

1. Tweak your Theme
I purchased a fully functional WordPress theme for my blog a while back and I really like it. The thing is, I’m probably utilizing a fraction of its functionality. This year I am hoping to learn more about all of the bells and whistles that my theme can do for my blog site. I’m hoping to tweak my theme in an effort to present my visitors with a new look and feel. Try not to stay stagnant with the look of your blog. Take advantage of what your theme can do for you. If you’re not happy with your current theme, there are plenty out there that you can purchase for a reasonable amount.

2. Become SEO-savvy
I am guilty of being an SEO novice. I understand the concept but I have yet to truly implement it on my blog site. We all want to rank high in the search engines and, in order to do so, we must become SEO-savvy. You could outsource and use a consultant or you could buy one of the many books out there that speak to SEO. I’m planning on buying a book and boning up on the subject.

3. Collaborate
There are many other bloggers out there in your niche. Consider a joint venture or a collaborative effort with one or many bloggers in your niche space. It may be mutually beneficial. Chances are you are already commenting on their posts. Get to talking and you might find that there could be a project you could work on together that could boost your blogs’ visibility.

4. Advertise
One of the best ways to advertise that your blog actually exists in the blogosphere is to guest post. I know that you’ve probably heard over and over that guest posting helps your blog become noticed. The reason you have heard this is because it is true. Daniel, the owner of this illustrious blog, is letting me do so with this post. I simply could not reach as large an audience without Daniel allowing me this opportunity. Seek out the larger blogs in your space and request to guest post. Don’t be intimidated. They can only say “No”. But if you are persistent and write a quality post, chances are your name and your blog link will be in lights in front of a whole new audience.

5. Outsource
I learned quickly that there are technical aspects of the blogging world of which I may not have the expertise. Instead of trying to do everything, it may behoove you to seek out a consultant who really knows what they are doing. There are many WordPress consultants who charge a reasonable fee if you want to move from one theme to another or if you just need some technical expertise. And when it comes to graphic artists, I found one to create banners for my sites and will use her to create some more images that I hope to use for marketing my online business. Outsourcing may save you a lot of time and aggravation at a nominal cost.

6. Take the time
Time management is always an issue for us blog owners. If you are not a full-time blogger and have a 9-5 job, you must take the time for your blogging. Set aside your lunch hour at your day job and devote it to your blog. Even if you are just writing your blog post in a notepad, you can then transfer it to your WordPress blog at your convenience. Writing the content is the hard part and if you can get it done on your lunch break, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

7. Take back your blog
If your blog has had some type of popularity, chances are there are other blog owners who want to guest post on your blog. This past year I got into a bad habit of publishing too many guest posts on my blog. The problem is that anyone who subscribed to your blog did so because they liked your writing. If you are constantly publishing others’ work then your regular subscribers will become disenchanted. Make it a point to keep the guest posts on your blog to a minimum. Even if you can’t post as many articles, it will be well received by your regular readers.

8. Take a break
This past year I was forced to take a break in my blogging due to a loss in my family. What I actually learned from this experience was that the break helped me revitalize my feelings toward blogging. When I eventually got back into it, I had a whole new sense of exhilaration toward writing. It is definitely worthwhile to take a break in your blogging if you feel you have become stagnant. You may find that it will really help you approach your blog in a new light when you get back into it.

9. Join a forum
I belong to a couple of forums on blogging. What I have found is that it gives me a connection to other bloggers and it also gives me an outlet to ask questions and, more importantly, to get answers. A forum will typically charge a reasonable monthly fee but it will definitely be worth it if you make it a point to participate.

10. Relax
Blogging is supposed to be fun. Hopefully this is the reason you got into blogging in the first place. So, if you can’t post on a regular posting interval, don’t let it consume you. Enjoy the experience and enjoy the process of writing. If you can only post once a month, make it a quality article. Quality over quantity should reign supreme when it comes to posting. Remember, your blog is your brand so don’t diminish what that brand means.

Try to make some positive strides in your blogging in the coming year. Enjoy the process and make the coming year a great one for you and your blog.

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