“When you started blogging for money, what amount of traffic were you aiming for?”
This was a question asked of me recently in conversation by a newer blogger. The reason they asked was that they were wanting to come up with a number to aim for, at which they knew they could become a full-time blogger.
As I reflected on the early days of my own entrepreneurial blogging, I realized that I never had a goal like that. My goal was never a certain amount of traffic, or even a certain amount of money.
My goals were always more about growing my blog’s readership (and income) by a certain percentage each month. The percentage that I was aiming for varied a bit over time, but the goal was sustained growth over a long period of time.
I realized early on that, even though my first blogs had relatively small readerships and income levels, if I could increase traffic and income by 10-20% per month over a year—or even longer—the idea of ‘exponential growth’ would take over.
Here are the calculations that were behind my goals.
Early on I was earning $10 per month. It didn’t seem like a lot but I realized that if I could increase that by 20% every month over a year, I’d be earning $89.16 per month at the end of 12 months.
That’s still not a massive amount (as much as a part-time job in those days, perhaps), but do the calculations on 20% growth each month over another 12 months, and at the end of that time you’re earning $794.96 per month.
Do it for another 12 months and you’re up over $7000 per month.
Do the same calculations on 30% growth and after three years you’re earning over six figures a month.
Is it realistic?
I can only really speak for myself, but this approach certainly worked for me—particularly early on in my blogging.
Each month my goal was to see increases in my traffic and income. I never really set a specific monthly goal, but in the back of my mind, I was always looking for at least 10% growth as a bare minimum—though I was aiming much higher.
Some months I scraped in at the 10% level, while other months it would be a lot higher—some months early on saw my income jump up over 100% in a month!
Of course, there were also occasional months where things went pear-shaped, and for one reason or another traffic and income fell. The key in these months was to not give up—to keep aiming to get things back up to where they were previously.
Today, things are a little different. After a number of years of blogging, this kind of growth can get more difficult from month to month. I’m still aiming for growth each month but due to the nature of blogging, my income is up and down depending upon what products are being launched and what we’re promoting.
Having said that, over time my goal is still sustained growth. I’m just looking less at month-by-month figures, and focusing upon quarter-by-quarter and even year-by-year results to see that upward trend growth.
What’s your approach?
How do you approach goal-setting with your blog? Are you looking for specific amounts of traffic and or income, or do you approach it some other way?