Blogger A creates a blog. They set themselves a target of gaining 100 followers in month one. Why 100? Well, it’s a good, solid, round number. It sounds achievable & not too unrealistic because it’s only month one after all. A week later Blogger A has 10 followers. They start to panic – 10 followers per week is only 40ish per month…but their target is 100!
So what can they do?
Join a pod?
Ask (beg) for more followers across all their social media platforms?
Quickly write more blogs about anything to encourage more followers?
After a month Blogger A has gained 50 followers. Brilliant – 50 people have followed their blog! However, Blogger A did not achieve their arbitrary follower count of 100, so they feel like a failure despite their 50 followers. This demoralises them and they feel too despondent to continue blogging.
Blogger B creates a blog. They don’t set themselves an arbitrary follower target. They concentrate on writing great blogs and posting consistently. They interact online – authentically. They never ask for/expect more followers. They gain 50 new followers. Brilliant – 50 people like what they write! Blogger B feels happy. Blogger B continues writing great blogs and growing their followers organically, without the extra pressure of reaching a target that’s actually beyond their control.
Which blogger would you rather be?
This is obviously a bit tongue in cheek. Every blogger wants followers. I get it – I’m a blogger. However, I want people to read my blog and enjoy it/get value from it/find it interesting and/or informative enough to follow it, and that’s the difference.
Instead of focusing on random numbers, here are 5 targets for bloggers to work towards that:
they are in control of;
will benefit themselves and their blog.
Target 1 – Write valuable content for your target audience(s).
What does your blog post offer your reader?
A solution to their problem(s)?
A useful resource?
A relatable/universal cautionary warning?
If not, how can you ensure it appeals to your reader?
Target 2 – Write quality content for your target topics/niche(s).
Who are you writing for? Who do you want to write for?
It’s useful to focus on particular topics or niche(s). Even catch-all lifestyle bloggers have expert/preferred topics within their niche.
Of course bloggers can write about anything at all, but writing absolutely anything and everything risks not achieving depth of engagement, which then dilutes target 1 – write valuable content.
Target 3 – Target the gaps in your knowledge, and fill them.
Following on from target 2 – write quality content – how can you write about what you don’t yet know? Well, you can, but not necessarily very well. For example, I don’t know enough about SEO (yet!) to write a blog post all about it.
Therefore, it’s imperative to carry on learning/researching/practising so that you can go on to write about what you do know, and well enough to achieve target 1 – write valuable content.
Target 4 – Target the gaps in blogging/guest blogging and fill them.
Do you often see blogs about similar topics? Obviously there are hot topic bandwagons which seemingly every blogger is jumping on (including me!) – that’s to be expected. But, is there a gap for a different way to write about a certain subject?
How might your perspective differ from other bloggers’ perspectives? Do you have a more effective way of doing something, or can you offer the benefit of your knowledge/experience in a unique/revolutionary way?
Target 5 – Target the best social media platform for your blog.
Connecting to target 2 – write quality content for your target niche – how disappointing would it be to write a great blog post but then promote it at a certain time on a certain platform and achieve barely any engagement from it? This is where analytics come into play.
You need to know the best time and the best platform(s) to promote your blog. Blog posts and social media posts can be scheduled for future dates and times using Tweetdeck (for Twitter – free) or Hootsuite (several platforms – paid) in order to maximise visibility without interrupting anything you might be doing on any given date or at any given time.
These are the realistic and actionable yet achieveable targets I have set myself as a blogger.
Have I inspired you to re-evaluate your targets too? If so, I’d be really interested to hear them!