Every content creator has one thing in common: they need goals to succeed. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in fashion or inbound marketing, you’ll struggle to reach your company’s sales goals if you haven’t taken the time to set smart targets. HubSpot’s Ginny Soskey states that “blogging willy-nilly is like going on a roadtrip without a destination or map to help you get there.”
Who knows where you’ll end up if you’re solely focused on creating lots of content, without a clear picture of the revenue you want to earn or the types of customers you want to acquire?
Website traffic is often considered a measure of success for content marketers, but it shouldn’t be your only key performance indicator. While it’s critical to grow your website’s monthly visitors, a comprehensive view of the blogging goals that matter can help your brand grow faster than ever before.
Before you start building blogging goals, it’s crucial to gain a baseline understanding of your blog’s performance by evaluating your metrics closely. By determining exactly where your website lies, you can set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) to improve your performance.
For more on this topic, check out Blogging Metrics: How to Find and Apply Actionable Intelligence.
1. Increase Blog Subscribers
Setting blogging goals to increase your subscriber base could be one of the smartest actions you take to reach your revenue targets. Sales specialists believe that it takes around 7 points of touch for a company to convert a lead into a customer - and if your product is expensive, your sales cycle could be even longer. Winning subscribers means that your content is good enough that people want to read it regularly, and that you’ve got an opportunity to remain top of mind.
Master content marketer Neil Patel believes that it’s possible to reach blogging goals of gaining 1,000 subscribers in just two months time by creating high-quality guests posts for “A-List” blogs, and ensuring you have a clear invitation to subscribe on your website.
2. Improve Your Conversion Rate
It doesn’t matter if your blog is driving 90,000 visitors a month if you’re just not converting leads. Average conversion rates can vary drastically by industry, but between 2-10% is the norm:
Conversions are a measure of the quality and relevance of your content, the reputability of your website, and how well you’ve placed call-to-actions within your content. Beating your industry’s average for conversions is among the most effective blogging goals for improving revenue.
3. Double Your Social Shares
The burgeoning volume of content online means that quality isn’t always enough to rank well. Earning website authority and high search rankings can take time, and newer bloggers can struggle to grow an audience. If your website is new or poorly ranked for crucial keywords, the most effective way you can gain more exposure fast is through striving to increase your shares on social media.
GMB research has found that the primary reason people share content isn’t because it’s hilarious or contains cute pictures of cats (though those reasons certainly made the list). It’s because it’s interesting, which is really just a measure of relevance.
Image Credit: MarketingProfs.
Set blogging goals of improving your content’s average rate of shares on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest by emulating the types of content that have gained the most social exposure in the past. Social signals are closely tied to modern SEO, so you’ll likely find your search rankings, social following, and sales skyrocketing!
4. Earn More Backlinks
Inbound links to your content aren’t the only factor in SEO anymore, but they still send a loud and clear message to Google that you know your stuff. The more bloggers who link to your content, the more quickly your site authority will rise, improving your chances of being found on search engines by your future customers.
Venchito Tambon has found that link-worthy content often share one of the following five attributes:
1. Visual appeal, like infographics and videos
2. Brand-centric and a high degree of originality
4. Evergreen content with lasting relevance
5. Content that’s gaining viral exposure on social media.
Additionally, high-quality, original research, fresh statistics, and breaking news are effective ways to earn a high number of links.
Set blogging goals of increasing your blog’s annual inbound links received each month by creating more visual content, incorporating your customer’s content, and being the first to discuss the latest news items. Take matters into your own hands by establishing a program for publishing at least one or two guest posts per month.
For more insight on ethical link-building, look into An Exhaustive Guide to Exceptional Guest Blogging.
5. Create a New Kind of Content
Sure, you’re producing written posts, but are you leveraging infographics, custom videos, webinars, eBooks, comparison guides, or whitepapers? The sky is the limit when it comes to the types of content you can produce. Your metrics are an invaluable indicator of your website’s past performance, but you’ll never know whether your brand’s buyer personas go wild for tutorial videos until you try one.
Establish blogging goals to try at least one new type of content each month, whether that’s a collaborative list or Slideshow. Even if your metrics reveal there was no net increase in sales from your effort, you’ll have more actionable intelligence to shape your content strategy going forward.
6. Comment on Other Blogs
Even though modern content creators may do a lot more than just writing, there’s still invaluable lessons from the camp of authors and copywriters. Jeff Goins believes that “writers need to read. A lot. Magazines. Books. Periodicals. And so on.” Even if your average day includes social media engagement, SEO, graphic design and blogging, gaining exposure to branded content that other companies are producing can allow you to significantly improve your own approach.
Simply subscribing to other blogs and skimming through their content isn’t enough, either. Become an active member of other bloggers’ communities, and establish a goal of commenting on at least two other blogs each day. These blogging goals can allow you to improve relationships with big-name bloggers (so they may accept one of your blog posts), and gain increases in traffic to your website.
7. Blog More Often
What’s the most surefire way to increase your sales through content?
Produce more of it.
Not just any content though. Your sales are unlikely to increase if you stretch your resources further and your quality drops significantly. You’re more likely to lose subscribers, credibility, and readers if you start pushing yourself to publish as much as humanly possible. Creating more quality content isn’t easy, but it’s the best possible way to ensure you reach the most people possible. In fact, HubSpot research has found that 92% of companies that blog multiple times a day have gained a customer through content.
Only you know how much more you can publish, by using in-house resources or quality outsourcing agencies. However, make blogging goals to create more without losing quality, whether that’s one more post a week or day.
Have you managed to increase your revenue with the help of blogging goals? What other metrics and targets would you add to this list?