Even though I’ve been blogging consistently for a few months, I’m still learning. One of the things that makes it loads easier to track my progress as a blogger is my bullet journal. I recently considered making an entire bullet journal dedicated solely to my blog. I burned through many pages in my bullet journal related to my blog in the past month. Now, it’s expediting my need for a new one. I decided long ago I wanted to smash blog goals, but I didn’t have a clue how to do it. I learned from my bullet journal that it all starts with writing it down. So I did.
Four months since I started blogging seriously, and while I’ve made some progress, I’m nowhere NEAR where I want to be. Yes, I know — I have the overachiever bug. However, in October I saw some progress I’d never seen before — money. Yes, I made my first bits of cash in October, and I’ll be releasing my first income report later this week, so make sure you sign up in the side bar so you don’t miss it –>
I’ll tell you right now — It wasn’t much, and it wasn’t all strictly from blogging, but it was essentially my first “paycheck.” It was the momentum I needed in a dark moment when I almost quit.
Out Of The Dark And Into My Bullet Journal
Writing down my goals for my blog was the easy part. After all, I’d written them down before. They started as lofty statements about a full-time blogging income, creative freedom, and never-ending DIY inspiration. Dreams are only dreams until you make them ACTIONABLE. Action is the key to success. Whether you’re blogging for fun or professionally, you have to have goals. The difference is a “hobby blogger” might have goals like “one project a month,” whereas a professional blogger might have goals like, “two sponsored posts per month.”
You might be asking, but Megan, I thought this was a bullet journal post? Well, in truth it is. You see, the bullet journal offers solutions for organizing yourself for blogging. I use my bullet journal to help with blogging for the following:
- organize thoughts, ideas, projects, and posts
- track important information such as blog and social media stats
- prioritize and define actionable goals
All of these things are key to making my blog work. Of course, there are some things I track outside of my bullet journal — I track my income and expenses in a spreadsheet. But, I find it helpful to keep track of these things in my bullet journal, since I don’t normally go anywhere without it.
Methods For Organizing Thoughts, Ideas, Etc.
I have two spreads that help me organize my thoughts and ideas for projects and posts. The first set of spreads are my “Brain Dump” pages. Most bullet journalers have a version of this in their own journals. It’s a place to empty your brain of ideas, thoughts, and information (I believe, to make room for more creativity!). I use two versions of the brain dump method. I have one for projects I’d like to try and one for blog post ideas. I don’t necessarily do every project or every post, but it’s a nice spread to return to when I’m looking for inspiration. I can always find something there when the well runs dry, so to speak. Often I’m re-acquainted with projects I’d forgotten I wanted to do.
The second spread I use to organize my thoughts and ideas are my Blog Post Brainstorm Spreads. Admittedly, I don’t use them for every post. My “How To” posts tend to be drafted without more than a few notes on the order of steps and intro/conclusion remarks. Anything else tends to follow this pattern, which I started using a little less than a month ago.
I started by writing down the common things between my blog posts, such as title, intro, and social media checklists. From there, each post branches out by subjects I want to cover within the post. For example for this post, I wanted to touch upon both what I use and to introduce what some other bloggers have used successfully in their own bullet journals. This helps ensure that I have enough, if not too much, content for each post.
Methods For Tracking Blog & Social Media Statistics
I have some major goals for social media statistics. After all, I can’t smash blog goals without getting views on my blog. So, after looking through a bunch of social media trackers on Instagram and other blogs, I wrote down the information I thought would help me:
- Number of Followers
- Number of Pageviews
Then, I thought about what this information would ultimately tell me about my content. First, if my pageviews were increasing overall, it meant two things. One, that people were finding their way to my blog. Two, that at least some of them were repeat visitors. As such, I have a very simple chart in my bullet journal:
It tracks my pageview and follower data. I didn’t even start tracking this information until 2 months in. For the past few months, I was just happy if the numbers were growing overall. Even if it was only by a few followers, growth is growth right? Well, we will see — now that I have defined actions to take in the next month to try to boost growth.
Methods For Defining & Prioritizing Actionable Goals
I saved the best for last. This is the most important step to achieving any kind of progress. It goes beyond writing a list of things you want to do or want to see in your blog statistics. Recently, I created this blog goals brainstorm. They are labeled November 2016 because that is when the actionable steps begin. I wanted my data to start with a clean month, so I could compare it to previous months when I didn’t take those steps. You can see the brainstorm page is quite simple:
It’s based on breaking down the bigger picture goals (aka the ones that will take longer a month) into smaller actions. Some of those things I end up breaking down further on other pages. For example — create digital products is actually too vague to be considered actionable, but I couldn’t give it all away! 😉
When I write my goals, I start with the big picture — Example: Build Social Media Following on Instagram.
Then, I think of 3 things I can do to make that goal a reality.
- Post 2-3 times per day.
- Opt-in Freebie or Giveaway
- Create Posting Schedule based on projects/posts
These are all actions I can take to smash blog goals in my social media. They are all things I have seen successful bloggers do to bring in more followers. Most importantly of all, they are all well within the realm of possibility. They are things I can do right now. Though, with a few of the other things in my goal list I will need to break things down a bit further. Once I have defined my goals. I brainstorm further how I’m going to prioritize my time. Then, I go as far to schedule time in Google Calendar to complete those tasks.
Other Bloggers Who Bullet Journal
There are plenty of awesome bloggers in the bullet journal community. I found many who used their bullet journals to make their blogs and businesses more organized.
Kara Benz, from Boho Berry, was the blogger who first introduced me to bullet journaling. She posted an overview of her different bullet journals, including the one she uses for her blog and business. She includes her stats tracker, which I saw ages ago on Instagram and I used as my stats tracker, since it fulfilled my needs. There are also a lot of other ideas in her post I will have to try, like how she does her editorial calendar using post-it notes.
Jessica Chung from Pretty Prints & Paper has an excellent post on using her bullet journal for blogging and social media. I will definitely be delving deeper into her blog and social prep list to help me with future posts. I love everything Jess posts on her Instagram and blog. It’s always so useful! She has a lot of bullet journal expertise to share. You should totally check her out. 😀
Kellie from So Not Together is such a fun blogger! On top of her coffee mug in this post about bullet journaling for blogging, I LOVE her hashtag pages. One thing I’ve been thinking about doing is creating a spread for hashtags. They are so important on Twitter and Instagram. She has a lot of great ideas, especially if you’re just getting started with blogging or bullet journaling. Now, it’s time to smash those blog goals!
Smash Blog Goals With Action Steps
Ever heard the phrase S.M.A.R.T. goals? Yep, me too. SMART goals have the following traits:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound.
I keep these characteristics in mind during my planning process. Don’t get me wrong, I have dreams. Some of them are pretty unrealistic dreams. But, I also have a healthy sense of what’s practical. The result? I break down my bigger dreams into big goals. Then, I break down those goals into action plans. Once I have an action plan, I break that down even further into tasks. While I don’t have a master to do list (now, I know I should!) I spread out those tasks among the days and weeks of the month.
If you are also a blogger who uses a bullet journal, tweet about it using the hashtag and make sure to tag @adventurenhome.
Tell me about your bullet journal spreads for blogging in the comments below.
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Now go out and SMASH your Blog goals!
As always —
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