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Do you spend hours upon hours blogging, but you’re still not seeing the kind of results you were hoping for? Do you have hopes and dreams of what you want your blog to be, but they seem virtually unattainable? Do you see bloggers all around you achieving amazing goals, but somehow it’s not working out like that for you? If you want to achieve your blogging goals, it won’t happen by magic – you need a plan! Here’s how to turn those blogging dreams into an actionable plan…
All too often I see overwhelmed bloggers who are fed up of wading through the blogging fudge… endlessly churning out blog post after blog post, spending hour upon hour on social media, doing all kinds of things because they think they ‘ought’ to be doing them and then getting hugely frustrated because they are still not seeing the results they hoped for…
If so, I have some good news and some bad news.
First, the bad news…
If you carry on like that, your situation is unlikely to change. If you carry on ‘doing a bunch of stuff’ without any kind of real strategy or plan, you are unlikely to EVER achieve your blogging dreams.
Now for the good news…
You absolutely CAN achieve your blogging dreams… if you do things the right way round.
Instead of ‘doing a bunch of stuff’ and hoping for the best. You need to get strategic.
You need to ‘begin with the end in mind’, as Steven Covey says in his productivity classic The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People*.
You need to START with your blogging dreams and WORK BACKWARDS from those lofty goals right back to your daily to do list.
In other words, you need to turn your blogging dreams into an actionable plan. And that’s what this blog post is all about…
Start with your dreams…
The big problem for most bloggers is that, while they have dreams, goals and ambitions for their blog… what they do on a daily basis bears almost no resemblance to those ambitions, dreams and goals.
And the reason for that is very simple: they have never sat down and really thought seriously about HOW they will achieve those dreams.
It’s so easy to get caught up doing ‘blogging stuff’, going through the motions, doing all the things that bloggers do… But if you’ve never made a plan for how you will get from where you are now to where you want to be, it’s very unlikely that you will ever achieve your blogging dreams.
The good news is that this is not hard. And in this blog post I will take you through the entire process of how to turn your blogging dreams into an actionable plan.
But before you can do that, you need to first get clear on WHAT your blogging dreams are.
What do you want to achieve with your blog?
Spend a couple of minutes right now, with your eyes shut and imagine what you would like to achieve with your blog. Being realistic but hopeful, what would you like your blogging business to look like 12 months from now? In 5 years’ time? In 10 years’ time? What is your definition of success?
Now open your eyes and write that down.
How will you achieve your dreams?
The next step is to consider carefully HOW you will achieve your dreams.
Of course, the HOW will depend on exactly WHAT your dreams are.
But let’s say, to give us an example to work with, that your dream is to earn a full time income from your blog from mainly passive income sources so you only need to work part-time hours.
If that’s your dream, then you need to focus mainly on passive income sources, such as ads, affiliates and digital products. If your goal is to earn a full time income working part time hours, then you’ll probably want to avoid more time-consuming monetization sources, such as sponsored posts, services, events and memberships.
Turn those dreams into an actionable plan…
Once you are clear on HOW you want to monetize your blog, the next step is to look at each of those monetization strategies in turn and decide what activities and tasks you will need to do in order to earn money in that way.
Let’s say you have decided to monetize via affiliate marketing and digital products. Here’s what that might look like…
If you want to earn a good passive income from affiliate marketing, you need to first do your research and decide which affiliate programs you will join (e.g. Amazon, ShareaSale, etc.) and which affiliate products you will promote.
Then you need to do your keyword research to determine what search terms potential buyers of those affiliate products are typing into Google.
Then you need to write ‘affiliate posts’ – posts that will include those affiliate links and where the main aim of the post is to get your reader to click on your affiliate link and buy the product you are recommending.
This could be a straightforward review of the product (for example, my review of CoSchedule).
Or it could be a side-by-side comparison of two products (for example, my comparison of SiteGround and BigScoots).
Or it could be a list which includes more that one affiliate link (for example, The best blogging tools to increase your productivity and traffic).
Or it could be more subtle – a post that helps your readers with a specific problem, but where the main solution / one of the solutions to their problem is your affiliate product (for example, How to create an opt-out link for your sales emails which promotes my affiliate link for ConvertKit).
READ MORE >>> A beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing for bloggers
READ MORE >>> 19 easy ways to increase your affiliate income from your blog
If you want to make good money selling digital products then you will first need to do your market research to uncover a profitable topic for your digital product, as well as what format your potential readers would prefer.
Then you will need to create your product and launch it.
Next, if you want to make regular passive income from your digital product, you will need to create an evergreen sales funnel.
And finally, you will need to do keyword research to discover the search terms your potential customers are typing into Google and write blog posts which drive new leads to the top of your sales funnel.
READ MORE >>> Ebook vs Online Course: Which should you create?
READ MORE >>> 20 reasons why you should create an online course
READ MORE >>> How to create your first online course: a 10 step plan for success!
Your new ‘to do’ list
By the end of this process it is almost certain that your to do list will look quite different from the one you started with.
Instead of things like ‘write X blog posts each week’, ‘promote on social media’, ‘do random thing everyone else is doing’, suddenly your to do list is much more focused…
You are going to be:
- doing keyword research
- researching affiliate programs
- writing posts which drive affiliate sales
- doing market research for your digital product
- creating an opt-in offer
- creating a digital product to sell
- launching that product
- building an evergreen sales funnel
- writing blog posts designed to attract your ideal customers into the top of that funnel
But I hope you can also see that, by being a lot more focused and strategic in what you do with your time, you are much more likely to finally start hitting your goals and achieving your blogging dreams, than if you just do a random bunch of unfocused ‘blogging stuff’ each day.
Taking things off your ‘to do’ list
Of course, it’s as much about what you take off your to do list as what you put on it. In order to have the time to do those more strategic, goal-focused activities, you will almost certainly need to stop doing a whole bunch of less important activities.
Take a long hard look at everything on your current list and give yourself permission to cross off everything that is not going to help you achieve your blogging dreams: everything that doesn’t have a purpose, everything that doesn’t move the dial (or will only move the dial a tiny little bit) and everything you are just doing because ‘every other blogger is doing it’.
This could mean drastically reducing the amount of time you spend on social media, stopping doing less passive forms of monetization, giving yourself permission to stop creating content for YouTube or your podcast, saying ‘no’ to all kinds of ‘opportunities’ that aren’t in line with your blogging goals and dreams… It could even mean writing fewer blog posts…
But stopping doing these activities which aren’t directly taking you towards your blogging dreams is 100% necessary if you truly want to achieve your blogging dreams.
By stopping doing all these other nice-but-not-necessary tasks that don’t really move the dial, you will free up time for the tasks and activities that really do move the dial – tasks that will help you to finally start hitting your blogging goals and achieving your dreams!
Just an example…
Of course, this is just an example: your blogging dreams may be different and you may decide to monetize in a different way… Or maybe earning money isn’t the goal of your blog at all. Maybe you want to spread a message that’s dear to your heart… or just have a fun and fulfilling hobby… or leave a legacy for your children…
You can still follow the same process: start with your ultimate goal and work backwards.
- How are you going to achieve your goal?
- What specific tasks or activities do you need to START doing?
- And what do you need to STOP doing?
Remember to always ‘begin with the end in mind’ and then work backwards until you get to the individual steps on your to do list.
If you do that, and then consistently follow through on your plan, you WILL achieve your blogging dreams!
Want more help, support and guidance in this process of first identifying your goals, and then working that right back to your to do list?
Then grab a copy of my free ebook Blog Smarter Not Harder, where I go through this entire process in much more detail, with examples and worksheets – all designed to help you finally start hitting your goals and achieving your blogging dreams!
- Why setting goals will make you more successful
- How to plan your year for maximum success
- How to organize your blogging week
- How to get more done in less time on your blog
- Why every blog post should have a purpose (and how to decide what it is!)
Don’t miss a thing!
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*This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!