Posted on January 19, 2016

Figure Out What Your Goals // 8 Weeks to #ImproveYourBlog

blog tips

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Welcome to 8 weeks To #ImproveYourBlog, week 3.

During this 8 week course, we’ll be focusing on one thing per week. Every Tuesday, they’ll be a new post for you to read, go away and do some tasks that will hopefully enable you to improve your blog.

If you want to see what’s coming up in future posts, then check out the introduction post where I go through each weeks topic.

If you want to get this post sent to you via e-mail, then sign up to the newsletter either in the sidebar or below the post. Alternatively, you can keep up to date with me on Bloglovin‘, Twitter or Pinterest.

The previous weeks:

If you’ve missed the previous two weeks, check them out here:

  • Week 1: Check Yourself an audit of your blog and social media accounts to make sure everything is up to date and ready for the new year.
  • Week 2: Learning From Othersanalysing other peoples blogs to see how you can improve your own.

Let’s get onto this weeks topic, shall we. Where we’ll be figuring out what we want from our blog in order to set clear goals.

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Figure Out What You Want. 

Right kids, people blog for many reasons – for pleasure, for money, for community and more. There are no right or wrong reasons, and don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.

There is no shame in wanting to blog in order to earn money and make it a part time or full time job. I think too many people are ashamed to admit they want money or freebies.

There are many people out there who are very quick to say they blog because they’re passionate about what their writing about – not because of PR samples and stats.

While this is brilliant, don’t make that make you feel ashamed for wanting to earn some cash in the long run or for wanting more Instagram followers  – as long as you keep your integrity, are honest to your audience and stick to the general bloggers etiquette.

While trying to figure out what you want, have a think of some of the following three things:

Are you happy with your topics?

It can be easy to fall into the trap of blogging what everyone else is blogging about – or carrying blogging about the same topic over and over again, even though you’ve lost your passion for it.

I started this blog as a fashion blog – I used to post only outfit posts. After a year, I started to feel restricted by calling myself a fashion blogger. I had a bit of a redesign and changed the types of things I was posting about.

I’m much happier now classing myself as lifestyle. Not having a clear niche isn’t always recommended, I feel like I can cover almost any topic I want so I don’t get bored or feel trapped in a box!

Though if you find yourself happy within a certain niche, then keep at it. You can blog about anything, whether it’s vegan friendly make-up, gluten free food, 50’s fashion.. just don’t be too hard on yourself if you want to post about something different for a change.

So be honest with yourself – are you happy with what you are posting about? Do you want to try something new?

Task 1: Think about a post you would like to write that is different from your normal topics.

Are you happy with your blog design?

Having a design you’re happy with is vital to staying motivated. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve hated the way my blog looks, where I’ve been embarrassed by it but not really known how to fix it.

I have a post on the evolution of my blog, which goes through how my blog has changed across the years.. it started out NOTHING the way it looks now!

Screen-Shot-2015-02-17-at-16.25.25

As you grow, you will start to outgrow your design, every time I tweaked mine, I loved it – for a bit. Then after a while, I started wanting to change something again.

Changing how your blog looks can really inspire you and make you fall in love with your blog all over again.

After last weeks task, where you analysed other blogs – you might have picked up on some features you want to implement into your own site, have a think about things such as:

  • social media buttons
  • badges
  • ad placements
  • headers
  • your colour scheme
  • footers
  • menu bars
  • social media widgets
  • post layout

This might seem complicated, but you know what? Google is SO handy for finding out how to change these things. So if there’s something you’re not happy about, Google how to make social media budgets, how to add or remove sidebars, how to inside a ‘read more’ tag.

Task 2: Make a list of things you’d like to change or amend about your blog and pick one thing to change this week.  

What do you want from your blog?

The reasons for starting a blog differ from person to person – have a think about what it is you want from your blog and how you’re going to get there.

  • If you want to build community, you’re going to have to be active in the blogging community.
  • If you want to earn money, you’re going to need to build your traffic, social media following and think about a possible product you could offer.
  • If you want to make friends, you’re going to have to find local bloggers and interact with them.

You goal could be anything, from getting a certain amount of Twitter followers, getting more traffic, writing a certain number of posts per week, learning a new skill – it’s up to you.

Task 3: Think of one thing you want to get out of your blog and set yourself a next step to achieve it. 

So now you should have three things to think about:

  • Task 1: A new blog topic.
  • Task 2: A design improvement. 
  • Task 3: A blog goal.

Download the PDF worksheet to fill our your new goals.

Tips on setting your goals:

When setting yourself these goals, think of the SMART goal model. This is the idea that a goal should be:

goals

For example, you wouldn’t get set a goal to be something like: Get more Twitter followers.

It should be something like: Reach 2000 Twitter followers by July 1st by talking to more people on Twitter and joining in two Twitter chats a week.

So this is a specific goal as it has an exact number that can be measured, it’s actionable as you’ve set yourself some things to do to reach the goal, it’s realistic as it’s a number you think you’ll be able to achieve and it’s timely as it has a deadline.

Though you can do the 3 tasks privately – I’d love to see some posts about them with your action plans with some time scales, or see how you’re going to tackle them in the comments below!

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22 Comments

  • Reply Sarah January 19, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Love the use of the SMART goal model for blogging, I’ve never thought of applying that before. I’m glad I broke out of my niche and jumped on the good ship lifestyle, it’s so much more freeing and I can really write about anything and everything I want, but sometimes, only sometimes, do I wish I was a little more back in my niche for continuities sake – though there’s no way I’m going to start up another blog to do this, one is hard enough to run as it is!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland
    Sarah recently posted…Barley and Beans – LiverpoolMy Profile

  • Reply Candice January 19, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Such a great post!! I love these – they are such a great help! I am always tweaking my blog and never really satisfied but I love playing around with blog design

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Reply Amy January 19, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I’m loving these posts Corinne, they’re so helpful! I kind of thought about this at the beginning of this year, although I didn’t do anything to tweak my layout so I might have a look at that as I’ve had the same one for ages!
    Amy xx
    Amy recently posted…How Growing Up With a Disabled Sibling Has Affected MeMy Profile

  • Reply Darina January 19, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Love this post, great tips! I have to think about what I want with my blog, these tips are very useful!
    Darina recently posted…Winter Solden in ParisMy Profile

  • Reply Janine January 19, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Same thoughts here! I started out as a mere “style” blogger who casually posted ootds but I wanted to share more than just outfits that’s why I rebranded to a lifestyle blog. I love how you can share everything you love in one page. Food, fashion, travel, and even blogging tips are what I usually post on the blog now.

  • Reply Suze The Luxury Columnist January 19, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I’ve been meaning to redo my About page and wanted to design it in Canva but I’m finding that very hard to get to grips with. If you’re an expert on that too then any tips are welcome!
    Suze The Luxury Columnist recently posted…New Year New You – The Ultimate HydraFacial at Waterhouse YoungMy Profile

  • Reply Jackie Harrison January 19, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Great tips to keep in mind thanks.

  • Reply Sarah January 19, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Just caught up on this series of yours last night and I’m really loving your advice – when I started out I was desperately trying to do fashion like the other blogs I loved but despite figuring out early last year it really wasn’t me I still haven’t been able to decide on a niche. This has given me loads to think about and I love the little tasks – makes reorganising everything far more manageable! 🙂 x

    Viva Epernay
    Sarah recently posted…TRAVEL TUESDAY | FAVOURITE 2015 MINI BREAKSMy Profile

  • Reply Katy January 19, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I love SMART goals – I always find I’m far more likely to achieve them if I lay them out in that way (I guess that’s the idea!) I set some very tentative goals for my blog at the start of 2016 and it’s looking like they’re making good progress so far – I may need to up the ‘measurable’ aspect of them a little bit!
    Katy recently posted…5 moments of happinessMy Profile

  • Reply Ella Pinto January 19, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I love that you’re using smart for blogg purposes. And I find this post immensely helpful. Of course, I blog because I’m passionate over the things I post about – but then again, that only means I’m happy with my content. But I do want to make a part time job out of it. Maybe even a full time if I could. But it’s because I want to find a job I love as opposed to just being in a job because I need the money. I’d probably end up hating my life if I worked full time in something I completely dislike.

    I set some goals for my blog of course. For example, I’m at 78 follows on bloglovin and I wanted to get to 100 in february. Atleast until the first week of February. I don’t know if it’s doable, but I’m willing to try. And I wanted to get up my blog views and followers on twitter. But I know I still have alot to work on. I feel like I’ve been progressing as I started late october/early november.

    I also hated my theme – I felt that it was too confusing. So I changed my template and my logo (still working on that) and my domain. Now I’m satisfied with that I have and I work even better because of it.

    I know what I want to do with my blog. But I still haven’t found the right way to do it. So I’m still planning. And your advice is phenomenal, I love the tasks you set up and I’m going to make sure it’s something I work on as well.

    Thank you!
    Ella x
    Ella Pinto recently posted…Look of the day // CasualMy Profile

  • Reply Shireen L. Platt January 19, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I always tweak my previous blog design and drove myself bonkers once every two months or so. Finally my husband got fed up and told me to purchase a pre-made design through Etsy and I’ve been really happy ever since. No sure how long it’ll last but for now I’m happy. PR opportunities have pretty much triple too ever since my blog looks more professional.
    Shireen L. Platt recently posted…BRAND SPOTLIGHT: NeoStrataMy Profile

  • Reply Anca January 19, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Setting up goals is so hard for me. I blog as a hobby even though I work with brands from time to time (because I like it a lot). But as it’s only a hobby and not my job, I feel I want everything, more followers (yes, it’s only about pride), more engagement (because I love talking with other bloggers) and more friends (because I work from home and it’s harder to met people like this :))) ). I will have to think about it. I really love your series. xx
    Anca recently posted…What I ate Wednesday #WIAWMy Profile

  • Reply Melody January 19, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I’m already working on my goal to be a self hosted blog.Two more payments left and then I’ll be able to have the blog of my dreams can’t wait for the next lesson
    http://sheismelrose.net/

  • Reply Rowena @ rolala loves January 19, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I set up a few goals for my blog and social media accounts at the start of this year and I need to begin my plan of attack soon.
    Rowena @ rolala loves recently posted…Dine Out : OijiMy Profile

  • Reply Rebecca Smith January 19, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Such a helpful post! I need to change my design when I can!

  • Reply Mira January 19, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Great post, thank you for sharing your tips! I think being happy with the content is really important, I started my blog as a beauty blog, mainly reviewing products, and I quickly realised that I was more passionate about fashion & lifestyle posts. 🙂 x

    113-things-to-say.blogspot.com
    Mira recently posted…3 books to read on a rainy SundayMy Profile

  • Reply Jonine G. January 19, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I love this! 🙂 Great tips. 🙂

  • Reply kelly January 19, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    This is such a rad series! I am so happy that you are doing this 🙂 Love the advice about really knowing what your goal is and setting realistic check points to ensure that you reach it.. It is so easy, particularly for me, to just go about everyday life and blog without any real purpose or aim other than to bring awareness to topics I feel are underrepresented.. You are inspiring thank you so much!

    XOXO
    http://www.kellmenow.com/blog/
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  • Reply Rebeca January 19, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    At first he also wrote about personal style but there comes a time when I was saturated and I added new sections, now I like more as my blog is with various items, which I have pending is to make some improvements and changes to the design blog , I loved this post as always very informative and useful.
    Rebeca recently posted…El bañador de meshMy Profile

  • Reply Sam January 19, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I really need to come up with a blog goal! I don’t think I’m active enough in twitter chats so I think I’m going to work towards that as my main reason for blogging is to get to know more people with similar interests to me! I might try to right a post to stick to this, If I do I will let you know!

    The task I think ill struggle with is probably writing a post on a new tops. I really haven’t been doing this for very long and feel fairly happy to write about whatever I fancy, but having said that I have scheduled a post this week that I was not sure about posting as I’m not sure if anyone will actually find it interesting! So Does that count? haha xx
    Sam recently posted…Colour Pop order! My thoughts & how I got it delivered to the UK.My Profile

  • Reply Velvet Blush January 19, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    There’s so many goals here that I haven’t thought of here, although my blog topics is something that I enjoy experimenting with 🙂

    Velvet Blush
    Velvet Blush recently posted…Winter PolishesMy Profile

  • Reply Akaleistar January 20, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Ah, I had that pink template, too! Love these questions 🙂

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