Way back in week 2 of this blog I talked about Setting Smart Financial Goals. If you recall from that post, I set milestones for myself based on the audience for this blog. Those were measured in page views per month at the following goals:
- 500 in 3 months.
- 5,000 in 6 months
- 10,000 in 12 months
- 20,000 in 18 months.
Well, here we are 3 months in and we have exceeded the 3 month goal to the tune of 2000 page views a month for 2 consecutive months. It may be time to adjust my goals.
The Question of Adjusting Milestones
Hitting this milestone feels great. It’s also looks to be repeatable, the R in SMARTR as referred to in my article on planning. I’ve managed to hit the number 2 months in a row and appear to be heading towards a higher number in December. So, now I’m faced with whether I should reevaluate up my 6 month goal. Had I been watching the metrics more closely in prior months I might have increased my 3 month milestone to drive further action. Frankly I was busy with other things and did not get the chance to do so. It all worked out ok because I was intrinsically motivated by my enjoyment to keep the blog going. As my blog starts to mature and the newness wears off I suspect I will need something to continue to drive me at some point. So should I increase my 6 month goal?
Accessing the Current Situation for Adjusting Milestones
So, how do I determine a reasonable level? First, I look at my experience to date. I’ve noticed a quadrupling in page views for the first month and then a plateau for about a month and a half as I’ve taken my eye off the ball. Much of the traffic has come from comments on other blogs. In fact, very little has come organically thus far. I can assume this will likely continue over the next few months, with some increase as I create more content. To this end I recently made a lot of changes to the blog to pay at least lip service to understanding SEO. I’ve also created a twitter account that I am playing around with for the blog. This has generated a trickle of page views.
I’m simultaneously adding additional content. Thus the more people who visit the blog, the more content they can potentially view. So this adds some factor up to my baseline. This could potentially drive more traffic my way. That all being said I can also tell that moving up the next step of getting regular views won’t be easy.
The next step in resetting any goals is I view the experience of others to determine what I might expect. Viewing other blogs 6 month experience I can tell it is unlikely I will hit my 6 month goal of 5000 in a shorter 4-5 months. As such I am setting a more reasonable goal by increasing the 6 month goal to 6000 page views. This would mean I would need to triple my page views in 3 months time. I feel this is probably doable.
The process of adjusting milestones that I have highlighted for blog readership is the same one I use when I deal with any successful goal. I reevaluate the goal and set it higher based on my previous experiences and those of others.
How do you deal with reaching your goals to ensure you stay motivated?