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When you Fail to Reach your Goals

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?

18 Comments

  1. Lars-Christian
    Lars-Christian March 17, 2017

    Great post, FTF, and very interesting to learn more about your background for picking up blogging. I’m of the opinion that we really don’t really fail until we give up the opportunity to learn from not reaching our goals. Until then, it’s just an opportunity to learn about what doesn’t work!

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] March 17, 2017

      Thanks Lars. Not reaching your goals is in some ways is better then hitting them. It more readily exposes your flaws. You could set your goals low enough and never fail, but that might mean missing the opportunity to reach your full potential.

  2. To be honest, 4.5k page views in a month is very good. Given the fact that you have stuck with it for 6 months, it can only grow from here.

    I’ve recently been working with a friend who has a few online businesses and he was very impressed that my blog reached 2k views in the few 2 months… With 2k views, small tweaks here and there and really help.

    Thanks for sharing FTF – I enjoy your content, 6k views is in reach!!

    P.S. I’m always open to swapping guest posts!

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] March 17, 2017

      I’m actually fairly happy with the page views so far. This is afterall a learning opportunity. I might just take you up on the guest post idea.

  3. Matt @ Optimize Your Life
    Matt @ Optimize Your Life March 17, 2017

    Your list of things you need to focus on matches up pretty much exactly with mine. Logo, guest posting, social media, and focus. I should just watch you and follow your lead 🙂

    Congrats on the success so far! I’m sure you will continue to build from here.

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] March 17, 2017

      Thanks Matt, it’s good to know I have company in my endeavors.

  4. Leo T. Ly @isaved5k.com
    Leo T. Ly @isaved5k.com March 17, 2017

    Recently, I was hosting a cash giveaway on my blog and I was so nieve with the thought that I will be able to buy new subscribers. Boy was I wrong. I didn’t end up with that many subscribers, but a huge lesson to be learned. Two months later I am still struggling to improve my subscriber count. Got any tips on this front?

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] March 17, 2017

      I’m not the best one to ask on the subscriber list. To date I’ve not added a mailing list because of a lack of a po box for the blog. That’s also on the list but I’d like to reach a point where the blog might pay for that on its own. It might never happen, though I think I’d be ok with that.

  5. MUSTARD SEED MONEY
    MUSTARD SEED MONEY March 17, 2017

    I set up my blog so that I could improve my writing. I felt like it was an area that I definitely needed to improve on/still needs to be improved on. So I’m working diligently everyday 🙂

    4k views is really good. I saw a big pop in viewership when I started using Pinterest. Setting up the account and then creating a Tailwind account (it costs $10 a month) was definitely money well spent as I felt like I doubled traffic over night.

    I’m trying to finish some tweaks on a blog write up that I plan to put on my site. But it’s basically everything I’ve learned along the way. Which I’m sure you’re aware of most of it since you’ve been doing this for quite a while. But happy to share with you if interested 🙂

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] March 18, 2017

      I keep hearing about Tailwind. I’m going to have to look into it. At the moment I’m not ashamed to admit I have no idea what it is.

      I definitely would love to see your blog write up MSM. I’m a strong believer in benchmarking others to understand what works.

  6. Mr. Need2save
    Mr. Need2save March 18, 2017

    Thanks for sharing your goals and your current progress. We would certainly appreciate more page views and comments (thanks again for commenting recently!).

    However, our primary goal is to stay focused on achieving Financial Independence and Retiring Early (FIRE). So sticking to our weekly posting schedule and reading other great FIRE blogs helps keep us focused. And like MSM mentioned above, hopefully it will improve our writing skills.

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] March 18, 2017

      That’s a great reason to blog as well. I’ll have to make it a point to visit your site more often.

  7. Max Your Freedom
    Max Your Freedom March 18, 2017

    Great insight FTF! Like you one of the reasons I started my blog was to learn what it took to run one. It’s been a steep learning curve. I’ve learned that pageviews are very hard to come by, without considerable effort. This is an area I haven’t applied myself either. My writing needs to improve first.

    Thanks for sharing your goals, looking forward to the updates!

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] March 18, 2017

      Definitely content and writing comes before acquiring viewers. Afterall if there’s nothing to view why would people come back?

  8. Mr. Zero
    Mr. Zero March 19, 2017

    Thanks for sharing your goals and progress FTF. From where I sit, 4.5K views per month looks darn good. 80 blog posts in 6 months is also an accomplishment. I am stuck on about 1000 views per month, but have made only minimal effort to grow and am having fun with it. Good luck! I am sure you will reach this goal and be setting a new one soon.

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] March 19, 2017

      Its a slow and steady grind, but I’m sure you’ll make it well beyond 4.5K as well.

  9. Rich @ pennyandrich.com
    Rich @ pennyandrich.com March 20, 2017

    For what it’s worth I always stop by your blog 1-2 times per week because I can sense its authenticity.

    Now I can’t be *sure* this is authentic — if you are secretly a 15 year old Russian hacker, I would stand corrected and say, “Well done, comrade.”

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] March 20, 2017

      Well it did look like Siberia out my back window last week during the winter storm…

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