How I Make My Blogging Goals S.M.A.R.T.

As a blogger, I sometimes have difficulty coming up with meaningful goals to set for myself. I do my best on a daily basis to write interesting and readable blog posts; I try to be organized and complete assignments on time; and I am constantly reading about social media and blogging practices. So what else is there to do?
Of course, I am far from perfect, so it is silly to think that I can’t improve in some way. The problem is how I’ve attempted to frame my goals in the past. For example, my goal can’t be simply to “write better” or “get more readers.” Those goals are too vague and don’t focus on any action I can take to reach them.
To help you set goals that result in meaningful change, try remembering the acronym S.M.A.R.T.

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound (or trackable)

Let’s use my goal of “write better” as an example. Following S.M.A.R.T, how can I make “write better” more specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and trackable?
Specific – What exactly does “write better” mean? Does it mean using fancy words? Does it mean cutting out extraneous words? Let’s decide that it means I want my writing to be clearer and more concise so that readers can understand me better.
MeasurableWriting is a difficult thing to measure because “better” can be very subjective. Instead of measuring my results, I can measure my effort getting there. My goal could be to write 500 words daily, or to write 3 different drafts for every blog post. It could also be to read more resources on how to improve my writing.
Attainable – Fortunately, everyone can improve their writing. Even Shakespeare, if he came back from the dead, would try to work on his old craft. But part of creating a specific goal is making it attainable. I could say that I will write 1,000 words every day, but 1,000 is quite a bit to start out with. 500 words is a more realistic goal for any writer beginning to make daily writing a habit.
Relevant – There are millions of resources out there through the Internet, podcasts, books, videos, etc. on how to be a better writer. However, lots of them are very specific: how to write memoirs, how to develop characters, how to be a travel writer, etc. I don’t need to make my writing more concise when describing a person, a fictional character, or a place I’ve visited (unless that’s relevant to my blog post); I need to make my blogging more concise. So my reading materials will be based more on content marketing and writing for an Internet audience.
Time-bound or Trackable – This is also a difficult one to follow with writing. I can’t force my writing to be on par within a month because I have no idea how long it will take me to improve. Nor can I track my improvement – it’s not like I can create a graph for how each piece of writing is improving. However, I can say that I want to write 500 words every day for a month. I could perfect a blog post and plan on publishing it a specific day in the future.
I do not want to use page views or readership as an indication of my success. Unfortunately, good writing isn’t always what attracts an audience to your blog, so I do not think it’s a relevant indication of my improvement in that specific area. Don’t get confused, though – there’s nothing wrong with wanting more page views or making it part of your goals.
What kind of blogging goals have you made in 2014? How do you create your goals and make them S.M.A.R.T.?


“Personal Goal Setting.” (20 Jan. 2014).
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