This post marks 6 months since Full Time Finance was launched. Over 80 posts have been released via this blog. Now, if you recall back in December I set a goal for 6000 page views by 6 months. Well, I am sorry to report I came up about 1500 shy as we now regularly do between 4000 and 4500 page views a month. The good news is, this gives me a reason to write one more post on planning: What to do when you fail to reach your goals.
Why a Page View Goal, the Inside Scoop
Before I start I wanted to speak to my reasons for choosing page views as my primary blogging success metric. It is important your success metric is aligned with your motivations after all. I wrote previously about the upside of blogging. During that post I called out the benefit of learning. I specifically called out in that post financial learning and community. While this was the reason I started a “personal finance” blog that was not my motivation for starting a blog. I also did not start this blog to make money, as I’ve outlined this blog does not make much more than keeping the server bill paid. If it ever does make money it will not be because I’ve planned on the income in any way.
No, the reason I started this blog comes down to learning a new skill. In this case digital marketing. You see, I have spent my entire career working behind the scenes on operations and technical endeavors. About two months before I started this blog I realized I needed to expand my horizons and learn about a new area of business. I thus applied for and accepted a job in marketing program management at my current company. As I have noted, I still have a major hand in cost cutting efficiency, but the job changed my primary focus to revenue. Anyway, to supplement this learning opportunity I decided shortly thereafter to start this blog.
In order to ensure this blog was not all learning and no play, I picked a topic I immensely enjoy. I purposely chose a topic I love, which my wife is tired of hearing me prattle on about. That choice of topic has allowed me to meet some very cool like minded individuals. So thank you very much to all you readers, every comment is appreciated.
The successes on the path to reaching my goal
So where am I on my path to learning about digital marketing? First, I’d like to think this blog has found its voice and positioning. Finding that consistent message is very important from a marketing perspective and even from a career perspective. I am slowly starting to learn about this social media thing, starting with Twitter. I have also been actively participating in the community (which is both fun and marketing in a way) via other blogs and forums. So, I am slowly starting to go from a digital marketing dolt to someone who understands a modicum of how to move forward.
Why did I Fail to Reach my Goal
However, I do still have a few marketing misses. These are ultimately the cause of not hitting my milestones. When you fail to reach your goal, the first thing you need to do is take stock of why that occurred. You must evaluate your lessons learned and then you need to fix those issues. The definition of insanity is after all continuing to do what does not work.
These are my areas of focus over the next few months:
- The first is branding, the logo for this blog has been MIA. I’ve recently enlisted the help of my wonderful brother and sister in law to design a logo that will be seen here shortly. I am looking forward to unveiling it soon, and I hope you the readers like the design as much as I do.
- The second is guest posting. I have yet to guest post or even answer a guest interview. I plan on rectifying that here in the next few weeks.
- The third is to take more advantage of social media. Up until a few weeks ago I only had automatic sharing enabled for Twitter. Also, the site had no presence on other forms of social media. I have since added easy share buttons for other media types, and will be rolling out a Pinterest account for the site. It will probably take a while but eventually I will hopefully understand a few of these other social media channels.
- The final important goal is to continue to focus my content on the areas that both you the readers and I enjoy.
What to do with Future Goals when you Fail to Reach your Goals?
Now, that I have outlined what I will do different there is but one more step to do after failing to reach your goal. Assess what the failure means to your future goals. In an extreme case where you cannot determine ways to improve you should evaluate if it makes sense to continue. This is not true in my case, but if it were I would have to ask myself am I getting enough out of my current state to continue with it even if it never improves. Honestly, if I could not see a means of improvement today I probably would still blog as I am enjoying the community. Now in my case, the question is more do I stick with my goal of 10K page views a month by a year or adjust downward. I still believe this level is doable based on external bench marks and the ebbs and flows of this blog. As such I have chosen to reevaluate the metric in 2 months, and then adjust as appropriate. In the interim I have set a goal to get to 6K page views by 8 months. I believe this is doable with some focus.
Thanks to my regular readers and commenters, I’ve enjoyed every day of this 6 month journey, here is to many more.
Have you ever failed to reach your goals? How did you adjust your actions to change future outcomes?