Monday, August 3, 2009
9 First Step Goals for New Bloggers
My youngest boy will take his first steps any day now. He’s been watching his older brother (and his mum and dad) run around the house for 12 months now and you can just see in his eyes the desire to be up and doing it too. This week he’s started pushing around the block trolley (right) and is practicing his standing up without the aide of anything to pull him up.
It’s not been a fast process and by no means do I expect to see him running around the house soon but he’s almost ready for his first steps.
Many bloggers start blogs these days with the dream of millions of readers and making large amounts of money.
While it is possible to build blogs that are widely read and profitable and there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big - the reality is that it takes time and a lot of work to build these kinds of blogs.
New bloggers would do well to spend more time thinking about their ‘first steps’ than just the big picture dreams and goals that they have..
Yesterday while chatting with a brand new bloggers who had some very lofty goals for this blogging I reflected back to him that I felt that in addition to the big dreams he had that I wondered if he might also benefit from having some realistic goals for the short term.
Here’s a list of 9 first step type goals that I suggested to him that might be a good place to start:
1. Publish 10 Posts
2. Getting your first comment from someone you don’t know
3. Get your first link from another blog
4. Build your readership up to more than 20 readers a day
5. Hit a level of 20 RSS subscribers
6. Getting your blog indexed in Google
7. Get your blog earning $1 a week (update: only if making money from your blog is one of your goals - it’s not for everyone
8. First guest post on another blog
9. Having someone (not you or your mum) tweet about your blog
Note: Others goals might include goals more to do with setting up your blog including those related to design, platforms, setting up metrics/stats etc.
To someone who has been blogging for a while these kinds of goals might seem rather small and insignificant - but for a new blogger they’d be where I would start.
For new bloggers these goals might also seem a little insignificant also (in fact the blogger I was talking to told me I was thinking too small and dismissed my idea) - however I’d argue that to get to your big dreams there is a lot of steps in between - many of which might not be glamorous or as fun to think about. However sometimes it’s helpful to visualize the very next steps that you need to take in order to move towards your goals.
Tangent: I once had opportunity to meet a guy who had travelled the world climbing some of the highest mountains. When I said to him that it must be an exciting thing to do he told me that there are moments of exhilaration and excitement but that the reality is that much of what he does when climbing a mountain is pretty boring. It’s one foot in front of another type activity through foothills, carrying a heavy pack and not feeling like you’re making much progress. Of course once you make it to the top or conquer challenges along the path you have moments of excitement but it all starts with setting out from base camp and with the goal of getting to a point where the climb starts in earnest.
Once you’ve achieved these first goals start to increase them. You might want to double the numbers for the next step (although for different bloggers the numbers will no doubt be different) - then double them again and so forth.
What other ‘first step’ goals would you suggest to a new blogger just starting out? If you’re a new blogger what are your first goals?