Holy S@%T! I Have No Clue Where I Am Going!!

by Robb Sutton

A funny thing happens after you continue blogging for awhile. You get into a rhythm, the articles ideas and content seem to flow like butter, everything seems to be going just as planned.

Wait…what plan? We talk about how everything is going to plan a lot, but have we really defined what that plan is? Are we actually making any progress or money at this venture we call blogging? Weird thing is…we just kept on writing articles assuming the plan would hit at some point in time, but here we are…at some point in time and nothing has hit!!! What do I do?!

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

For those of you that don’t know, that is a catch phrase line that is beat into the business world over and over again. Why is it repeated so much? Because, without a plan, you have no where to go.

Too many beginning (and some experienced) bloggers go down the same tired road.

  1. They come up with an idea.
  2. Start writing about it.
  3. Repeat the cycle.
  4. Turn around a year from now in a different direction from where they started and nothing to show for it.

How did they end up here? Well…in all reality…they ended up exactly where they planned to be…no where. Successful business running and management is all about following a road map and carrying out the steps necessary to reach the end goal. Goals and outlooks change with the times, but the structure in place to make sure you are moving forward productively is always the same.

When Was The Last Time You Planned Your Blogging?

When was the last time you really sat down and planned the next month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 5 years of your blog? Have you even done that at all? How can you expect to be successful if you do not even know what success you are aiming for?

How To Plan Your Blog

While I could give you a ton of theory on business planning, I am going to jump straight to the nuts and bolts and tell you exactly how I plan my blogs.

  • Long Term Goals – The first thing I do is set long term goals. What assets do I want my blogs to have at the end of 1 year, 3 years, 5 years? I set these goals up and describe them in relation to monetization and how they affect the sites as a whole (what new visitors they bring, what they open up for future possibilities, etc.). These normally include larger projects and target amounts like yearly income, coaching programs, t-shirt and other solid goods product lines, etc.
  • Short Term Goals – After the long term goals are set, I formulate short term goals that will help me achieve the long term. These short term goals are separated into quarters of the year much like large corporations and small companies do for sales goals. What eBooks do I need to write? What design changes do I have to make? What outlines and product planning do I need to complete? I setup these short term goals with specific target completion dates. Without these dates, you will not complete these short term goals…that is a vital and necessary part of the process.
  • Super Short Term Goals – Now that the yearly and quarterly goals are set, what do I need to do on a daily basis to insure these goals get achieved? What articles do I need to write to attract the right audience to capitalize on my work? I write down article lists, idea lists, lists about lists. Everything I need to be doing on a daily basis to achieve the goals that are set is written down on a yellow legal pad and that pad goes with me everywhere! This way, there is not a day that goes by that I am not working towards the path I have set out in my blogging.

Do you see the trend this process starts? A lot of people know what they want to achieve down the road, but they freeze on a daily basis wondering how to get there. The trick to successful long term blog planning is taking those long term goals and chopping up the steps necessary to achieve it into manageable tasks and chunks.

You can not achieve that success by focusing on the end result on a daily basis. By forcing yourself to sit down and plan, you are able to tackle each individual action in a manner that is productive and leads to success. As you start to complete and achieve your super short term goals and short term goals, your long term goals start to creep up and happen. But…it is only because you laid out the action steps necessary to achieve them instead of talking about how great things are going to be in the future on some date you don’t even know.

Are you taking action on a daily basis? Or are you just spinning your wheels hoping something will eventually happen?

Image by Daniel Y. Go

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Brent March 18, 2010 - 10:08 am

Plan Your Work – Work Your Plan and then plan to work long hours.

It would be interested to see your outline for your blogging goals.

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 11:34 am

Long hours is right. They get shorter with time…but the beginning stages is a lot of work for little pay!

J S March 18, 2010 - 10:18 am

That’s it. You have to stay focused. Without a target to aim for, you won’t hit anything.

You’re going South by the way! 🙂

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 11:35 am

You will be going south if you down plan things out. Like the subliminal message there? 😉

Srinirao March 18, 2010 - 10:29 am

Hey Robb,

I personally couldn’t agree more. The day I started to make significant revenue from my blog was the day I wrote a marketing plan with goals. NOw, did I achieve all of those goals write a way? NO. But it’s kept me on track and I use this quarterly marketing plan to keep readjusting my strategy:


Hopefully your readers will find it as a useful supplement to this post. I’m going to be working on the new one today and I’ll be referring back to this post.

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 11:36 am

Like I always tell people…you can’t make your goals reality if you do not know what they are.

Write them down and execute. Great job Srinirao!

Jack | Online Marketing March 18, 2010 - 11:05 am

Setting realistic goals for yourself sets you up for success. By breaking apart your long term goals into manageable “pieces”, you’re altering your mindset and letting go the feeling of frustration.

Good tip.

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 11:37 am

All about the mindset and “tricking” your self into how to manage the stresses.

Maren Kate March 18, 2010 - 9:58 pm

Aggh! You are so right, I need to do this a.s.a.p. with my blog, I set goals a while back and haven’t really checked in lately. Thanks!

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 11:37 am

Anytime Maren!! Get after it!

Mike Tiojanco March 18, 2010 - 11:53 pm

For me, having goals and a plan is a great way to make little decisions easier. It gives you a concrete, thought-through framework to process those decisions.

Specifically, after a long day, when I think I’m too tired to write, I look at what I want to accomplish with my blog and my business in the next 3 months. It makes the decision to stay up and work that much easier.

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 11:38 am

It cuts down on the thinking process for sure. Everything is laid out so you can do action instead of thought wandering.

harvestwages March 19, 2010 - 11:10 am

Hey Robb,
Thanks for reminding me on the task i need to complete in order to create a focus. I often thought i knew all i needed for my blog and i never thought of planning. Now i’m scared, maybe i’m heading no where.
Could you list your goals for this blog?

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 11:40 am

haha! No list of my goals. I have to keep some things under the radar!

Samuel March 20, 2010 - 2:19 am

That’s great! Goals prevent you from wandering around aimlessly which I have done a lot. When you start making money from your online activities you have no choice but to do this. Especially if you want to enjoy the lifestyle that comes from your hard work. I keep mine on a whiteboard because I need to see it every morning as I fire up the PC.


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