Blogging

Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals

clip image001 0018 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals

Imagine a teacher who can captivate a classroom of students for an hour, get applause and great reviews, but who has never had a student pass an exam, let alone pass the course.

Would you consider the teacher a success? If you were that teacher, would you consider yourself a success?

If “good” is the enemy of “great,” then “approval” is the enemy of “success” in the blogosphere. Most people are quick to give praise and approval because it’s easy, friendly, and non-committal. It doesn’t cost anything. Even a retweeted link, for example, doesn’t even mean an endorsement of the blog post. A comment is more frequently a one-liner than a constructive addition to the conversation these days. Approval, especially online, often feels commoditized.

This approval can easily cloud out your ability to think clearly and objectively about whether your blog is really “successful.” Even though it feels great (and is usually correlated with good, engaging content), you should be skeptical about whether the approval corresponds with the fulfillment of goals and objectives you’ve set.

The Critical Nature of Blogging Objectives

Blog objectives are the only way to dig past the fluff. Even if you don’t call it a “goal” per-se, you should always be working toward an end, the more concrete, the better. You might ask yourself, “What would have to happen for me to feel satisfied with the time I’ve spent blogging?” Or is writing inherently satisfying enough? Even if self-fulfillment is your only goal, you’ll become a better blogger by focusing on it.

Just by asking around, I got a variety of responses to the types of goals people have set for their own blogs.

clip image002 0071 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals@seaturkey: I would like to add something to my blog this year so far batting an O-fer

clip image003 0009 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals@imagesbyjami: No but I probably set some

clip image004 0047 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals@sahans: I have never sat down and really thought about them. I really just like to have fun with my blog. Goals are so pressure filled. LOL.

clip image005 0009 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals@theshums: My personal blog is almost entirely just for me, to have a place for non-journalistic writing. No real goals other than that.

Not surprisingly, when most people think about blogging goals, they tend to think more about their own personal goals to do more blogging rather than specific outcomes they’re trying to achieve by blogging.

While many people aren’t likely to quantify their goals and prefer to maintain generalities focused on going in the right direction, you’ll notice that some have really thought about blogging with a clear end in mind.

clip image006 0029 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals@JoshSPeters: I think the biggest thing I want out of my blog this year is to get more newsletter subscribers so I have a conversion goal; open-ended right now, but I have a loose goal of 300 subscribers by year’s end.

clip image008 0000 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals@Matt_Siltala: WHEN i have the time to blog, I really am choosey about blogging on sites that will do me good (related, targeted to my industry) I want links. I want to post on blogs that have a good readership. My goal is for business, links, branding & reputation. Those pretty much sum up my goals in 140 chars or less LOL hope that helps!

clip image010 0007 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals@TodaysMama: Our goals are focused on scaling localized content around the country.

clip image011 0002 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals@Petit_Elefant: My blog objective involves money and numbers. I’d like to make enough money a month on blog ads, campaigns, to make the mortgage payment on my house. Seriously, that’s it. And to get to that point, I’d like to have around 8,000+ readers daily. I’m on my way, but I’m always setting goals to be achieved and quantified. My biggest goal last year was to get recognition, visibility, and street cred in the blogging world. Now that I have that, I’m onto the money.

clip image012 0005 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals@inevergrewup: …we have very clear goals which lead to very clear action items and great success. Sometimes we get stuck and have to redo our goals and our action items when success isn’t working. So setting up goals really has kept us on track. They have been….

–Upping our traffic numbers every single week

–Promoting local businesses

–Spreading the word about the importance of shopping local and supporting the community

–Working with online press and offline press in spreading our message

–Utilizing social media to help companies spread the buzz about their business

Hopefully the experiences of others will get you thinking about what you can do for your own site. You don’t have to do it all overnight, but you can start getting more out of your blog now. By having more specific goals and objectives for your blog, you’re more likely to:

  1. Reach higher by having something to push yourself toward.
  2. Get help from others in reaching your goal because the goal is just as comprehensible and quantifiable to them as it is to you.
  3. Be able to better test and document the road to success, providing you with invaluable expertise that will ultimately help you and others.
  4. Gain more satisfaction from the approval that comes your way because you’ve worked hard for it.
  5. Realize your own ability to create a successful blog, which might lead you to expand your blogging into a business, book, or other profitable and fulfilling experiences.

What goals have you made for your personal/company blog? Or what keeps you from making them?

 Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals
Scott Cowley is an SEO consultant by night, marketing PhD student by day. He was previously head of SEO at ZAGG and SEO manager at SEO.com. He speaks and writes frequently about social media and digital marketing.

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5 thoughts on “Don’t Let Approval Overshadow Your Need For Blogging Goals

  1. This is solid advice that can be expanded past blogging as well. Set goals related to your entire online presence, not just on your blog.

    Who do you – or your business – want to be online? What do you want to accomplish with your online presence? It's so easy to merely “exist” online, as you mentioned with comments often being one-lined blurbs, but with a little goal setting you could easily become something more.

    Get a little creative, I say.

  2. I love that you got such a great variety of answers. It just goes to show the diversity in the blogging community.

  3. Yes we all need a long-term vision to guide our day-to-day efforts, but many people with high goals develop a negative attitude when they think they’re not making progress.
    That’s why it’s important to set achievable goals every day. The more goals you achieve, the more positive your attitude will be.

  4. what you see is what you getr, so what you post is who you are to the readers. That's why the first goal should be defining to yourself who you are, and then sticking to it. Further goals will come with time.

  5. what you see is what you getr, so what you post is who you are to the readers. That's why the first goal should be defining to yourself who you are, and then sticking to it. Further goals will come with time.