Saturday, December 31, 2011

Creating Goals For Your Blog

The week has given me quite a lot to celebrate. Christmas. New books. New clothes. Tomorrow is New Year's Day. And now, I present my 50th post! What a milestone!

When I started blogging in February this year, I really had no idea what I was doing. Someone just told me I should start a blog, so I did - what could possibly go wrong? But I had no idea what I wanted to achieve, or whom I wanted my audience to be, or what it was I wanted my blog to be. I had no goals.

However, the new year is almost upon us, I've reached a milestone post, and I feel I've been goal-less for quite long enough! So, here's how I've gone about creating goals for Writing Fire for 2012, and here's my advice on doing the same for your own blog:
  • Brainstorm. Get a blank piece of paper and write in the middle, "Words that I want to describe my blog." Then, around the outside, write just that - things you want your blog to be. These words could be very different to each other (quirky but professional, for example). Doesn't matter. Write them down.
  • Expand. Encompassing the words you put down in your brainstorm, now write a few paragraphs on what you would like your blog to be. This is an expansion of your brainstorm; for example, I expanded on the word consistent by writing, "I want my posts to be consistent in terms of length, content, and also when I post, so that my followers know what to expect from me; yet varied so that my posts do not become boring." Notice that this doesn't specify what I will blog about, or when, or how long posts will be - that comes later, this is just the base.
  • Distill. By expanding on your brainstorm, you developed all the basic ideas. Now, with everything in mind, condense your number of paragraphs down into one sentence (and don't cheat by using semicolons). This is your mission statement. This is what your blog is about. It will be reflected in every post, even in your layout. You'll find it will probably be adjective-heavy, containing many of the words in your brainstorm. For example: "Jumping Elephants exists as a social site for zoo-keepers that provides quirky and interesting articles on animals and zoos." This statement will be reflected in every post you write.
  • Specify. Now you go into detail. Pull out every adjective in your statement and determine how exactly you are going to create this effect. I asked, "How exactly will I make my blog unique?" Voice, obviously. But also things like posting vlogs or interviews or live posts. "How exactly will I make my posts more consistent?" A blogging schedule. On Monday, post about this; Wednesday, this; Friday, this. Possibly a limit of 700 words per post. You get the idea. Do this for each adjective.
And you're done! Brainstorm, expand, distill, specify. BEDS. The idea now is to use your specifics (these are your basic goals) to develop your blog so that it fits your mission statement completely (which is your ultimate goal). I've already started towards my ultimate goal by redesigning Writing Fire and adding a sweet banner - isn't it awesome?

Anyway, good luck for 2012 and achieving your goals. Who's ready for the best year yet?


  1. BEDS. Love it! Thanks!

    I'm ready for 2012. Happy New Year to you!

  2. Congratulations on 50 posts. I've said it before and I'll say it again: you have made tremendous milestones at a young age and I'm inspired by your drive and dedication. It's been great getting to know you over the past year. And I love your new design. Happy New Year, buddy. Can't wait to see what 2012 will bring you!

  3. I love the banner - noticed it right away and was impressed! Goals are important, and BEDS is a nice, structured way to go about it. Thanks for the idea!

  4. *rubs hands together* let's do this 2012!

  5. Kelley: Thank you, and no worries :) Happy New Year to you also, and all the best for 2012!

    Paul: Thanks very much. I'm always so encouraged by your words, so thank you :) It's been awesome getting to know you as well :D Happy New Year! And best wishes for 2012.

    Lara: Thanks :D I agree, goals are like stepping stones, help you get to where you want to go. I'm a very goal-orientated person :) Happy New Year; all the best for 2012.

    J. A.: Let's! Definitely :) I hope it's a good one for you! Happy New Year!

  6. Aloha Nick,

    Nice one, mate. Keep up the awesome work/writing... I wish I had your drive at your age... God Bless, and all the best... Let's delve into '12 :)

  7. Haha, great acronym. Wish I'd been this organized when I first started yammering into cyberspace. I have since cleaned up my act a bit, and plan to continue the organizing into the new year. :)

  8. Hey, thanks, Mark. Looking forward to 2012. Wishing the best for you :) Happy New Year!

    Thanks Laura :) I wish so too - as I said, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing in February. But I'm planning on turning this blog into something quite cool if I can. Happy New Year :)

  9. Happy New Year, Nick! May your 2012 voyage be rewarding and fulfilling, may the winds be forever at your back, and may your sails be filled with the breaths of your muses.

  10. Happy New Year. Thanks for the detailed tips for blogging goals. They are very helpful. I made a list of writing goals but, I neglected to make blogging goals. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. A perfect acronym. It will help people sleep on their new writing approach. Awesome post, sir.

    Happy New Year! :)

    I left an award for you at my blog.

  12. The new banner looks great. Best wishes for meeting all of your blogging goals this year!

  13. Hey! First time here :) glad to see your blog.

  14. Thanks all :)

    David, thanks for the award - I'll be sure to pass it on when I can :) And Nabila, thanks for stopping by. Nice to meet you :)


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