Blogging goals that will actually improve your blog

The other day a small business owner asked me what blogging goals I’d recommend to someone who wants to focus more on their blog this year. I didn’t have to think for very long…

Those who know me through my work as a business coach and mentor know that I am not always a great fan of goals as, only too often, people overload themselves with good intentions. And soon fall back into old habits.

But I am an advocate of what I consider my one-goal rule. Sticking to just one key goal is usually much easier, whatever time of year. Whenever you want to implement some changes, the right goal can make quite an impact on a small business - and especially in a blog!

Now my guess is that most people would expect me to say that a business blogger should write more often. Or that they should be more consistent with their blog in order to gain from the fantastic benefits of blogging for a small business.

Of course, if it feels good, why not commit to writing a specific number of posts per week or per month? It will be beneficial no doubt (particularly from a search engine perspective) But can you feel confident that you will keep up with a blogging goal like this for months on end?

Instead I would urge to consider a different goal first. A goal that, in my view, is of greater importance and that may indirectly lead to new ideas and improve your blog too.

This goal is to become an avid and regular reader of blogs!

What happens when you write for the wrong reasons 

I see so many bloggers just showing up on their blog (or even online) to ‘dump and leave’ their content. Sorry about the strong language, but I see unloved blogs every day and know that I’ve been there too – publishing a post simply because it doesn’t look good when your last post was written two months ago or even longer.

You know deep down that it doesn’t give a good impression but you say to yourself that you’re just too busy running your business, and you can’t help it.

But the way I see it, it’s not always the writing or the lack of time that’s challenging us more mature bloggers.

Unless you feel certain that your readers are just like you, it can be hard to understand what your readers are looking for. They may expect you to answer their questions and be consistent and trustworthy.

And they may have very different online reading habits to you! Some people still prefer getting their news from traditional media i.e. newspapers and the TV, rather than the internet and social media. Whilst blogs are being read by more and more people, reading long articles online – especially on smart phones – isn't to everyone's taste.

Why reading more is one of the best blogging goals 

Successful people (and bloggers!) don’t ever stop learning. If you want to learn more about your reader and what's happening in your industry, the easiest way is to learn online, from the experts!

Reading more helps you to gather the vital information a blogger needs to know:

  • Which topics work in your niche and which ones don’t
  • The kind of headlines that work best
  • The style of writing or the presentation that’s popular
  • What gets readers to comment and engage
  • How often popular writers publish new posts
  • What other bloggers in your niche miss

The last point can be vital if you want your content to stand out online.

It’s only when you start following other bloggers in your niche and read their blogs regularly, that you discover things you may not have known before, e.g. their stories and experiences. But also, what you think may be missing in their content, and how you are different.

Then you could cover those missing angles in your blog – a great way to let your expertise shine through and help you get noticed!

In fact, ideally you should be reading and learning way before you actually start your own blog. You will get lots of ideas about content and how to present your ideas effectively. To keep a blog going can take some effort but, trust me, reading more could actually make blogging easier for you!

So I hope you can see how important your online readings habits are when it comes to improving your own blog?

Blogging goals are easier to reach when they are specific

Let’s think about what ‘reading more’ may mean in specific terms. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to achieve your goal!

So instead of saying ‘I will read more’, say ‘I will follow one new blog every week’ or ‘Every morning (or evening) I will read two posts written by bloggers in my niche.’

You get the drift?

When you’re this specific with your blogging goals, reaching them is much easier because you know exactly what to do!

And then, when you’re ready to start a blog or show your existing blog some love, you stand a far greater chance to become a better writer. A writer who reaches and keeps her readers in a much more meaningful way!

Why not share below what you want your blogging goal to be?

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Ute Wieczorek-King
 

Ute Wieczorek-King (founder of Success Network) is an experienced business coach/ mentor/ trainer. She started blogging in 2007 and has had some of her posts published on Huffington Post. Ute ran the first government funded social media courses in the South East in 2009 and has since run many 'social' courses for councils, charities and SMEs, incl. blogging workshops and bootcamps for a Start-up Academy and her personal clients. She feels that blogging is the best way for business women (particularly those who are a little shy) to get known, liked and trusted.

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