5 Smart Blogging Goals For Beginners (For A Remarkable 1st Year Blogging)

Blogging goals, to set or not?

When you start a blog for the first time, if feels like you are being pulled in so many different directions.

And sometimes, no matter how hard you work, it still feels like you’ve just spun your wheels and achieved nothing.

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This is where setting blogging goals help.

smart blogging goals pin image

When you set measurable goals for your blog it helps you grow immensely and most importantly, by tracking your blogging goals you can see that you are indeed growing.

Amen to a little less pressure to perform?

But how do you figure out what the right goals should be? That’s what this post is all about.

First, let’s start with what isn’t the right 1st year blogging goals.

  1. 100,000 pageviews a month. Duh
  2. 10 Blog comments per post. Great but what do you need them for?
  3. Make money the first month. You are better off with a plan to make $100,000 in month 12 than this. I’m not saying you can’t make $100 your 1st month blogging or even $1,000, I’m saying you’ll be trading more important things for a goal that will most likely slow you down some.
  4. 30 blog posts per month. I like this goal a lot believe me, however it just isn’t practical in most niches. More posts is great but what you really need is more extremely high quality posts that you have time to promote.

Now these goals in themselves are not inherently bad, the problem is usually setting these goals for the wrong reasons, and then not having a practical plan to help you reach them goals.

So what blogging goals should you set for your first year blogging?

The following are good blogging goals smart bloggers set. Blogging goals I think you should aim for.

1. Traffic Goals

As a new blogger, this should be top of your list.

When you grow your blog traffic, you find the opportunity to

Simply put, traffic is the fuel of your blog. You need it to learn how to blog for money.

Depending on your niche, here is a practical (and highly achievable) blog traffic growth timeline to aim for the first six months.

  • Month 1 – 2,000 pageviews
  • Month 2 – 4,000 pageviews
  • Month 3 – 7,000 pageviews
  • Month 4 – 10,000 pageviews
  • Month 5 – 15,000 pageviews
  • Month 6 – 25,000 pageviews

Here’s how to easily and smartly reach your blog traffic goals

  1. Install Google Analytics correctly – It’s the resource that will help you accurately measure your blog traffic. Here’s how to setup Google Analytics for wordpress.
  2. Write high quality posts – You’ll need lots of posts if you are going to reach your traffic goals. To be more specific, substantial traffic growth usually kicks in after you’ve published around 50 high quality blog posts. Here are some blog post ideas and blog writing tips to help you get started.
  3. Get started on Pinterest – Pinterest is the easiest way to achieve those numbers we’ve mentioned. In fact, a whopping 90% of traffic to my new blog comes from Pinterest. It may be confusing at first but with the right pinterest strategy you’ll find it’s pretty straightforward and totally worth your time.
  4. Try guestposting – When you guest post on another blog, you open your blog to a new audience. I get constant referral traffic from old guest posts and those readers who come over to your blog from other sites usually see you as an authority already, become hyper-interested in your content, and eventually buy from you. If you nail one guest post per month it quickly adds up.

Smash your blogging goals with this simple (and beautiful) tracking system!

2. Subscriber Goals

Most experts say you should aim to have 500 – 1,000 subscribers by the time your blog is one year old, I’m not sure I agree much.

Here’s my very practical (easy actually) list building timeline assuming you are reaching your traffic goals and doing list building correctly.

  • Month 1 – 30 new subscribers
  • Month 2 – 80 new subscribers
  • Month 3 – 120 new subscribers
  • Month 4 – 180 new subscribers
  • Month 5 – 240 new subscribers
  • Month 6 – 350 new subscribers

That’s 1000 total subscribers in 6 months

For a hardworking blogger (that’s you!) following the right list building strategies, you would reach 3,500 subscribers the first year at least.

How do you reach this subscriber goal?

Create optin freebies your audience will love.

No one wants to sign up to “get your latest post delivered to their inbox”, and they certainly don’t want to sign up to “support your blog”.

It’s their email remember, their most sacred digital space.

You’ve got to create that optin bribe, bring something to the table si. You don’t need a ton of freebies, I actually only have 2 optins on this blog!

The key is finding the right freebie that will make them sign up, and promoting it wisely.

3. Blogging Friends Goals

Know that saying about how being rich in friends makes your poor in nothing?

That’s especially true with blogging.

No matter what you do in life, no matter how smart you are, you simply cannot go at it alone.

Any success you achieve on your own is only a small fraction of what you could ultimately achieve when you network with other people.

Being rich in blogging friends is being rich in:

  1. An army of genuine promoters.
  2. A tribe to lean on when you experience a failure.
  3. Mentors who share their knowledge freely with you.

Want that? I’ll show you how to get it.

How do I make friends with other bloggers?

  1. Become vulnerable – If you don’t risk being embarrassing, no one will ever know how interesting you truly are.
  2. Chase after people who are accessible – you want to reach out to people who are not too big they simply won’t notice you.
  3. Start by thinking of them (not you) – help them without asking, see something that needs to be fixed? tell them respectfully, link to their posts and promote them. Build genuine relationships.
  4. Leave meaningful comments on their blogs and respond to their emails (goldspot) whenever something comes to mind.
  5. Join facebook groups, this is where bloggers are most accessible for real time interaction! Happy to have you in mine.
  6. Join Tailwind and share their pins from tribes (it’s free to use tribes).
  7. Tweet and retweet their posts. – Twitter is my 2nd sweetest place to engage with people.
  8. Become their poster boy – This is the ultimate key to getting promoted like crazy, implement the tips they’ve shared then make sure to share the success you’ve gotten with them. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t in the same niche really, it just has to related to work.

So how many friends should you aim for? As many as your heart can genuinely harbor! Desperately need me to mention a number? 2 – 3 is a good place per month.

But just in case you are thinking of skipping this goal (because believe me I know how scary making friends can be), I’ll say it. This is the single most important goal for your blog growth.

Everyone may seem bigger, better and most intimidating, so far away from you but I believe that you can do it. Because I did and it loved it.

Start now, leave a comment below and let’s become friends.

4. Authority Goals

What is “Authority” when we talk in terms of blogging?

An authority blog is a very high quality website that is respected by knowledgeable people in its industry. It is a blog that has content on it that is so good and makes the site so useful that people are actually glad they landed on it and want to share it with their friends.

The Authority Blog Starter Kit

See why you should have authority building goals too?

How do you build authority for your blog?

#1 Only write high quality content that establish you as an authority.

We’ve already touched on writing great content before so I’ll just be adding a few points.

  1. To write a truly great blog post you need to start with the scenes your readers do not see.
  2. A great blog post is searched for (like Christmas deco ideas), there’s no point writing stuff people aren’t actively interested in. It’s the reason sole reason you carefully choose your blogging niche first.
  3. A great blog post adds value to the reader. They have to learn something they can use.
  4. A great blog post is evergreen, that means it’s not written on a passing trend.
  5. Finally, a great blog post is the best one your reader gets to see on the topic.

For more blog writing tips, how to actually write your post and some great ideas to help you get started, see this post and then this one.

#2 Get people to link to your blog.

With consistently posting great content, people will start to see you as an authority but only happens after they get to see your posts right.

For that you need the search engines (google, bing…) to see you as an authority too and the fastest way to do that is by building high quality backlinks to your blog.

You build your domain authority through:

  • Tight onpage SEO.
  • High quality links from other blogs (Guestposts, Features, Interviews, Comments…).

I found these great blog posts on Onpage SEO, and building backlinks to a new blog. I encourage you to read them.

Here’s an exercise for you. Check your current DA then aim to grow it to DA 15 at least by the end of your 1st year.

5. Income Goals

How much should you realistically aim to make your first year blogging?

This one entirely depends on your blogging niche, monetization strategy, how aggressively you build your blog and a whole other things but it’s safe to use a timeline like this to set income goals for the first year.

  • Month 1 – $0
  • Month 2 – $10
  • Month 3 – $40
  • Month 4 – $120
  • Month 5 – $250
  • Month 6 – $480
  • Month 7 – $750
  • Month 8 – $1000
  • Month 9 – $1500
  • Month 10 – $2300
  • Month 11 – $2800
  • Month 12 – $3500

Total = $12,750 – Please note that this is just a guide and there will be months when your income will fluctuate and most importantly, remember that you’ll need a working plan to get here.

It’s also very important that you track stuff like this. Here’s a blog income tracker you’ll love.

There are numerous ways to make money blogging which I cover in depth in my post “How 3 Smart Bloggers Make Money With A New Blog” but the summary of it all is this:

  1. Selling ad space.
  2. Marketing affiliate products. Most people use Amazon.
  3. Selling your own products or services.
  4. Selling your content (sponsored posts).

You’ve come this far, all that’s left now is for you to take guided action and reach those blogging goals.

Here are some of my favorite resources to help you on your journey.

blogging goals to set

Share for good karma ;)

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30 thoughts on “5 Smart Blogging Goals For Beginners (For A Remarkable 1st Year Blogging)”

  1. Thank you so much. I believe finding this was from God. I started my blog in June and had no idea what goals I should set that would be realistic other than writing quality posts. I put in a search today about blogging goals and found your article. This is very helpful. I’m going to get to work on some of these goals and continue reading your other linked posts to help me with the others. Blessings to you for continued success.

    This was a long comment. Are we blogging friends now? Lol?

  2. Hi Lily,
    I just wanted to thank you for your insightful post. I’ve been blogging for just over a year and never really pushed myself, with working full time it felt more like a part-time hobby with no consistency which shows in my monthly page views!
    Now I’ve been reading through a copy of your posts (many more to go) I feel confident that this year I can push my blog to the next level and really get the results I want. I am currently making a transition to a more family travel blog which is where my passion is, I realised that my travel posts were the most popular!
    Thank you so much

  3. Lily, thank you for taking the time to write this! It helps paint a realistic picture. I’m trying to get my 1st blog up and this has helped me set some goals in the right direction! Now just need get if finished and published!

  4. I’m so glad I found these tips. I have my niche set, I have been working on on page SEO so far and using Pinterest for traffic. Now to work on backlinks and all the awesome tips that you have shared. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Hey! I launched my blog dec 1 2019. Facebook has been the main traffic source. January‘s goal is to up my Pinterest presence. Thank you so much! This is a lot of really good information.

    1. You are welcome Airess! Glad you found it helpful. Pinterest traffic has always been easier for me, even before I learned to use Pinterest correctly. So do jump in immediately, it’s not as difficult as it may seem.

  6. These goals and strategies are great. Puts things in perspective and keeps me realistic. I enjoy it every time I read it and it helps me stay focused or refocuses me when I feel I’m not where I should be. And I’m so new so I need give myself some grace. LOL!

    1. Definitely give yourself grace Nicki, things are so difficult in the beginning.
      So many things to worry about, especially the tech stuff!
      But you’ve got this, I’m cheering you on girl!

  7. This is such a great blog post! As someone who is reevaluating blogging their goals, this helps put things into perspective…it’s easy to be hard on yourself. I am definitely going to go back to my goals and adjust as necessary.

  8. I love this post. Some very important tips to learn when starting out. I know for a fact that I would set my goals way too high when I started out and boy did it diminish my spirit when I wouldn’t hit them.

    I highly agree about making new friends. Personally, it is HARD to reach out to other people and be vulnerable, but it is worth it in the end.

    Quick heads up my dear. The bullet point list for your favorite resources has an extra bullet point.

    1. This is so so me Stephany!

      I used to get so stressed up and discouraged when I didn’t hit my blogging goals but now what I do is set smart blogging goals to help me grow, then rejoice for how far I get because I always surpass or get very close to my goals.

      For me now, blogging goals have stopped being a numbers game. It’s now a tool to help push me to work hard and get farther than I was.

  9. I love this post! Thank you for all the helpful info. I just started out a few months ago and been struggling to set realistic and attainable goals for my blog. These numbers will help me keep track of my progress. And such great tips to implement everything!

    1. So glad I could help Julia!

      Just remember that these recommended blogging milestones are just numbers. 🙂

      Don’t beat yourself up if yours differs.

      If you nail and surpass them however, I would love to do a happy dance with you 🙂


  10. Absolutely loved this post! Have not read anything like it. I love how you covered what to expect the first year blogging. That was my biggest issue when I started because I was trying to set goals and numbers but had no idea what was achievable, what was likely, ect. I’ve been blogging now for 4 months and this will help me with my goals here on out. I would love to be blogger friends too!

    1. Thanks Nessa!

      A lot of bloggers feel confused about what blogging goals to set in the first year. I know I did.

      I think focusing on the right things first helps you grow faster than you can imagine.

      Yes to being friends mama! Great blog, goodluck.

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