Marketing 101: Setting and Achieving Goals

So you’ve started your blog, designed it beautifully and perfected your personal brand. Now what? Easy! Start marketing your blog.

Let’s take this one step and a time – today we’re just going to tackle the big picture stuff. First up, setting SMART goals and objectives. And I don’t mean intelligent, although that helps, what I mean is S.M.A.R.T. = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Before we dive into the full explanation, let’s get some definitions out of the way:

Goal: A desired result.
Objective: The quantitative formulation of a goal (we’re talking numbers here – how much, how long etc.)

For example if your goal is – “Increase blog traffic” your objective might be – “Get to 10,000 monthly page views by June.” Got it? Great! Now let’s get into making those goals and objectives SMART!


Here’s where we go back to journalism 101 – we need the 5 W’s of your objective. Who, What, When, Where, Why. Let’s use the traffic goal again:

Who: Me (and any blog team member I might have)
What: Increase site traffic to 10,000 page views a month
When: By the end of June 2012
Where: On my blog! (easy!)
Why: So my blog looks more inviting to the brands I want to be working with.


Make sure you can measure the results of your objectives – in real numbers. This helps you understand if you’ve achieved your goals. Ask questions like: How much? How many? How will I know I made it?
Figure out HOW you are going to measure too – are you going to use a site counter? Google analytics?


When you are setting your goals and objectives – make sure they are something you can actually get to. This does not mean you should sell yourself short – it means if you just started out and your goal is a book deal, you have to set attainable steps to get there. Don’t expect to get there in a day – figure out the stepping stones that will get you there!


Make sure that you are both willing and able to reach your goals. If you want to shoot for the stars – shoot away! But be sure you are willing to work hard to get there! If you can dream it – you can do it – but are you really going to be able to put in the time it will take? (Of course you are, you’re here right!?)


Give yourself a time frame for your goal. You want that book deal right? When do you want it? Someday isn’t going to cut it here. By November of 2013 – there’s a timely goal. Now set up some objectives to get you there – increase your traffic by June, grow your audience engagement to 20 comments a post by August, reach out to 4 publishers in January etc.

Now that you’re feeling SMART, get your tactics in line. (Definition time!)

Tactic: The tools you use to meet your goals and objectives

Tactics can include Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, outreach to other bloggers (via IFB, of course!), advertising on other blogs, guest post, etc. Set up a few tactics that will help you reach your objectives. You can even use IFB’s Editorial calendar to map out your plan!

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10 Responses

  1. design thrift

    thanks, this was helpful. sometimes it’s daunting to have all these goals and expectations…but when you break it down like that it really helps to wrap your head around the goal and see it clearly.

  2. Lauryn

    I had been ignoring my blog for months and just got back into it. I’m ready to put the time and effort into this and your article really pumped me up. Thanks for the advice and motivation!

  3. Harry

    Great advice on goal setting.

    You may want to check out, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.

  4. Sentrell

    I made my first editorial calendar last week. It really does allow you to stay on track. I’m going to try the 5 W’s approach to setting goals. It makes so much sense. Thanks!

  5. kimmiepooh

    thank you so much for this refresher. Sometimes we need a little more guidance and structure when it comes to reaching our goals and this break down helps so much!

  6. From A_to_B~Ahshia B.

    Extremely helpful and encouraging. As a publicist I am the speaker box for my clients and after several years of pubbing others, I am finally launching my personal brand blog on fashion,beauty & lifestyles I know this will come in handy!

    From A_to_B~Ahshia B.

  7. lydia

    I couldn’t survive without lists and calenders and all my ideas written down! Much like most fashion bloggers I’m sure, my head is forever awash with creative ideas so if I didn’t write them all down, I’d go delirious. I’m just starting out and your articles are SO helpful. It’s all stuff I kinda know but to have it all spelt out to you is such a big help. thank u.