More numbers. More visitors. More blog traffic. More comments. These are the things bloggers dream of and wish to come true. Goals and dreams are two completely different, yet interrelated beasts. Goals are something you are acting on while dreams are something you are just thinking about. I set a goal for myself a year prior to grow my blog’s traffic. I never expected it to go up that much, but I know that I had:
• A Blog Business Plan;
• Actionable bite-sized steps to make it happen;
• Decided to have a goal with a deadline so the above two steps could occur;
And in the end, a year after enacting my plans and steps, I grew my blog traffic by over 100 percent in under 365 days. Here are some key things I did to make it happen, which I hope that you will borrow and apply to your own blogging goals:
Create a Clearly Defined, Short but Sweet Blog Business Plan
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the term “business plan,” I cringe. A business plan sounds like a gargantuan task and one that can be monumental and suck the life out of me. It can if you allow it to and if you are building a Fortune 500 company.
However, there is one thing a blog business plan can give you that no amount of wishful thinking, sticky note thoughts, or calendar of ideas will give you. That one thing is a solid goal with a deadline.
I broke my blog business plan into 7 sections. < ---- Click to see those sections. I did not do this on a fancy form or with cute stickers, nor did I use a planner. I literally sat down to a blank screen in Word and starting filling in the sections. I didn't make it super time consuming, but I did make it focused and applicable to my blog and my personal goals and desires.
But Isn’t This Work and Time Consuming?
Heck, yes! If you are currently employed or at any point in your life had a job, did you know what tasks and duties were included in that job? You showed up for the job, whether as an employee or freelancer, part-time, or full-time. A job has a job description for a reason: A clear expectation must exist between employee and employer. The employee has to know what his or her tasks are, and the employer outlines those needed tasks in the job description.
Can you imagine showing up for a work and not knowing what to do, just sort of stumbling through your day, hoping you are successful, and then not knowing what your payment might be come payday?
That’s exactly what you are doing if you blog and do not have a blog business plan. Start one. Today.
Create a Clearly Defined Social Media Plan
With the blog business plan intact, I set my sights on developing a social media plan. I am guilty of going down the social media rabbit hole and succumbing to bright shiny object syndrome.
Knowing that I am easily swayed by the power of social media and its many luring ways, a social media plan was and remains necessary for me. It will help you, too, if you:
A. Design it properly and
B. Implement it regularly
Here is why bloggers need a social media plan and some ideas for what to put in it.
Build Marketing and Social Media Reciprocation Into Your Day
Seven days a week, social media reciprocation is a part of my life, and it helped in my blog’s traffic ascent. I spend more time reciprocating across social media channels than I do actually posting. It’s working because I genuinely get to know people and their social media accounts, I get ideas for my own accounts and blog topics, and because I am showing a genuine interest in others, they are generally showing a genuine interest in me.
By the way, I use the time blocking method for social media engagement lately, and it’s working famously for me.
Clean It Up and AMP It Up
By clean it up, I mean your blog’s back end. How fast is it? Is the blog mobile friendly? Do you know there are free tools to tell you this information?
I am not a techy person. I know enough to get by, but I decided long ago that I wanted to concentrate on my blog’s front end, that is blogging and social media engagement, and leave the techy back end stuff up to someone I can trust. Thankfully, I found that person. She ensures my plug ins are up to date, that my server is stable (I am on a private server), and that I am securely protected while also being mobile friendly.
And then there’s that whole speed thing: Your site needs to be fast. That’s where AMP comes in.
Jill Caren, founder of 2 Dogs Media, writes, “This is a general overview to give you an idea of what CAN happen if you begin using AMP on your website – this is not a guarantee it will be as successful for you due to the many variables involved. The data here is a low level overview of one website over a very short time.”
The folks over at Wired say that Google’s AMP is speeding up the web by changing how it works. They say, “To use AMP, you create an alternate version of your site that conforms to the specifications published by the AMP project.”
Caren did that for my site, and you can read my AMP Pages Case Study here.
Last But Not Least
Hone in on the social media networks you want to grow and then make it happen. You need not be on every network. I made a concerted decision which networks I wanted to grow and then I went out and did that. If you can grow all your favorites, then more power to you. If you need some help growing your social media accounts, you’re in luck.
The BlogPaws Social Media Challenge walks you through, step-by-step, platform by platform, with actionable steps you can take over the course of one month in order to help your social media accounts grow.
Will it happen overnight? No. Will it happen in general? Yes, if you put in the time and work and just like a regular job, you treat that blog business plan and social media plan with respect and a focus. You can do this at your own pace. It may take you less than a month, but do build this into your planning. I, too, took the challenge as we went along. It works!
Can you do it? I did it, and so can you. Sky’s the limit, and here’s to declared intentions for 2017: Let’s make our blog traffic grow.
Commit to Yourself
Beyond the social media and blog business plan, attending a BlogPaws Conference is a game changer. I’ve been to all eight conferences, and this year’s conference in Myrtle Beach promises to be our best conference to date. Snag your ticket before we sell out.
What goals do you have for your blog and social media accounts in 2017? How can we help you?
Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®