Believe me, I talk to a lot of bloggers. When I ask them, “What is your goal for the blog?” I am often met with a blank stare, a puzzled expression, a shameful nod of the head.
Sometimes I will hear, “I want more business”, or “Duh, commission checks”. While those are lofty goals, the problem is they aren’t good goals.
Your goals need to be SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Specific: “More business” isn’t specific. Everyone wants more business. More what? More clients, more money, more frequent pay days, more listings, more buyers… You’ve got to get specific with your goals.
Measurable: If you can’t measure it, how do you know you’ve achieved it? “I want a good blog”, “I want a recognized/respected blog”. How do you measure “good” or “recognized”? If you can measure something you can track your performance and implement new strategies and tactics to improve it.
Achievable: There is no point is making an unachievable goal, you are just setting yourself up for failure. “I want as many RSS subscribers as Chris Brogan!”. While specific and measurable, it is not remotely achievable (for a new blogger, in the real estate space. Patience Grasshopper…).
Relevant: Yeah, yeah, I know your ultimate goal is to sell enough real estate to retire so you can sit on a beach and sip cocktails out of coconuts (wait, that’s my goal. You can’t have it). Aside from that lofty goal not being Specific, it’s not really relevant for a real estate blog. Ditto for, “I want to write a New York Times best seller based on my blog”. Pam Slim you aren’t (or Brogan or Seth or Vaynerchuck). A real estate blog doesn’t have enough reach to make the NYT list. You’ve got to have a goal that is relevant to what you can do with a real estate blog.
Time-bound: This one basically keeps you honest. If, for example, RSS subscribers is your goal, proclaiming. “I want 5,000 subscribers!” doesn’t cut it. 5,000 it what time frame? A week? 5 years? Two decades? “I want 100 people to register for a home search” — Great! Almost. That would be a SMAR goal. Add the “T” — “I want 100 people to register for a home search in the next 6 months”
Some possible SMART goals for a real estate blog:
- Home search registrations
- Email addresses added to a newsletter distribution list
- Email inquiries / phone calls received on home listings
- Number of listing appointments taken
- RSS / Email Subscribers
- Page views / unique visitors
Personally, I think the last two are the weakest of the lot — it is difficult to convert either subscribers or visitors into home buying / selling clients.
Slap a metric on these (Measurable), be that either a raw number or a percentage increase, make sure your metric is Achievable (you’ll need to be flexible and probably go through a data collection phase if your blog is newish), and give yourself a time limit (Time-bound).
And you’ll be off to the races. With a SMART goal, you’ll be able to track, tweak and adjust your efforts to ensure success.
Don’t like SMART goals? DUMB goals work too – Doable, Understandable, Manageable and Beneficial. Think about adding an “ER” to the end of either of those — Evaluate and Re-evaluate making your goals SMARTER and/or DUMBER.
I’d love to hear your SMART goals!