Some bloggers suggest creating a 90-day plan for your blog is a key component to building success and tracking your progress.
Do you have a 90-day plan for your blog? Do you need one?
Many blogging “experts” insist it can make a big difference in building success for your website. A 90-day plan forces you to take a “deep dive” (or in-depth study) of your blog’s direction — from the content you’re posting to the stats your analytics are reporting about that content — on a regular basis to make sure you’re connecting with your readers.
Some bloggers like to act as they don’t care about such things. Most of them are lying: All of us want to know, to one degree or another, that we actually do have readers and that the effort we put into our blogs is being appreciated. After all, if we truly weren’t interested in having anyone else read what we write, we’d sit down with a paper journal and write to our hearts’ content, then lock the little book away in a desk drawer where no one else would ever see it.
Some bloggers aren’t interested in being “in business,” insist they have no “product” to sell, and have resigned themselves to the fact they’ll never make one red cent with their blog. But even these folks have a vested interest in keeping up with stats and looking for ways to improve their blog: the community one builds with a blog is a great motivating factor for many bloggers to keep it up.
So how can a 90-day plan help?
A while back, I wrote about the number 13 and why it can help you in planning your blog. Thirteen is an important number, because 13 weeks is exactly a quarter of the year, a fourth of the 52 weeks that make up a year. The number 13 works well when it comes to planning topics for a new category you’re considering or even blog posts when you’re considering the launch of a blog: 13 is an easily-countable number that will get you a quarter into the year; if you can come up with that many, you may well be on to something here.
For improving the quality of your blog, you can track measurable stats over the course of three-month chunks. Think about it: it’s easy to know what’s three months from today’s date, right?
So you look at your blog and determine what you’d like to accomplish on that date.
Then you make a plan to help you get there.
In my case, I follow a very basic idea: I try to come up with only a handful of goals for those 90 days. The more you add, the more pressure you feel and that can adversely affect your progress along the way.
The main goals I have right now are to continue increasing year-to-year page views and unique visitors while decreasing the bounce rate on the front page. That’s three separate goals, but by limiting it to just a few, it’s easier to attain even one of them.
But also over the next 90 days, I want to get to a point where I regularly have at least four posts pre-written and scheduled, and that at least two of those are for the next two days at any given point. In other words, if it’s Monday, I want to have the posts for Tuesday and Wednesday written along with at least two additional posts, whether they be the ones for Thursday and Friday or Saturday and Sunday or Sunday and the following Tuesday.
So I’ve been pushing myself to stay ahead on posts. For the most part, it’s been going pretty well, but there have been a few spots along the way where I fell under that goal. (At the moment, I’m two consecutive posts ahead and have a third post for next week complete.)
By managing the work to meet the goal in three-month blocks at a time, it’s easier to keep track of how I’m doing than it would be if I just said I’d like to reach that point by next year. When you’re looking at something 12 months out, it’s a lot harder to stay committed to reviewing progress regularly.
Every three months gives you more immediate progress to examine and, therefore, a shorter time to wait before rethinking what’s not working.
So if you don’t have a 90-day plan for your blog, it might be time to consider it.
How do you plan for progress and growth on your site? Do you use any kind of plan at all? Have you tried such a plan in the past? How well did it work for you?
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.