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If you’re like a lot of bloggers, you didn’t necessarily consider blogging as a career option when you began sharing your thoughts and ideas with the world. More likely, you saw blogging as a way to express yourself and to connect with like-minded people. You’ve probably accomplished both of those goals, and in doing so, you may have discovered that your blog has business potential as well.
It may be that you want to keep your blogging experience light and fluffy. Maybe you feel like working to profit from your blog would put more pressure on you and take the fun out of it.
In reality, sitting down and developing some business goals for your blog can be an eye-opening and exhilarating experience. If you avoid setting goals, on the other hand, you may be shutting the door on many profitable and enjoyable opportunities.
This is the place to start because it will give you a specific, measurable goal to work towards.
Many of us content ourselves with vague hopes and wishes when it comes to the profitability of our blogs. Unfortunately, fuzzy goals make it easy to be lax when it comes to working towards them. For example, if you satisfy yourself with the vague goal of “making some money,” you can put in the minimum effort because, literally, a penny is “some money.”
On the other hand, if you set a challenging but attainable goal (or series of goals) – say, $2000/month, you’ll have a reason to work harder. Even a self-created goal will make you more accountable as long as it’s specific and measurable.
Will you achieve your goal in the first month? Maybe not. But you’ll have something to work towards.
Once you’ve established your financial goals, the question should cross your mind: how the heck am I ever going to make this much money?
Don’t take this as your brain’s way of undermining your confidence. Your brain is asking you a legitimate question here. What can you do to earn $2000/month from your blog? You could work with blog networks and direct sponsors, advertise, and even create a sell cookbooks and other products on your blog.
Part of establishing financial goals is developing a diverse number of income streams, so start thinking about all of the different ways your blog could potentially make money now.
To build any of these income streams, you’ll have to carve out time every week – at least – to promote yourself and your food blog. This may mean posting more frequently to increase your SEO, pitching campaign ideas to potential sponsors, and even getting out into your community to find local sponsors. It may mean posting to social media daily or attending food blogger conferences.
Whatever route you take, setting and working towards marketing goals will have a direct impact on your financial goals. While all of your income streams will benefit from improved SEO and increased traffic to your website, some will benefit from different types of marketing.
If you want to make money from advertising, you’ll also need to begin building relationships with ad networks.
If you want to make money as a keynote speaker, you’ll need to begin pitching to conference directors.
If you want to sell a cookbook, you’ll need to begin promoting it enthusiastically even before you’ve launched it.
Without goals – even goals that are a little scary – a blogger can easily dip into a rut and stay there spinning her wheels indefinitely. That’s fine if your blog is a part-time hobby that doesn’t interfere with the rest of your day. However, if you’re dedicating significant amounts of time to it, goals will ensure you’re compensated for that time.