An Uncomplicated Life Blog: November Blog SMART Goals

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November Blog SMART Goals

It's a new month, so it's time for the October goal review and November S.M.A.R.T goal setting! I discussed in October's goals about how doing this, as cheesy as it may seem, has taken my blog to the next level in terms of social media following and actual income earned. In fact, since starting and sticking to S.M.A.R.T goal setting, my blog has quadrupled what it earns every month - or more! This is why S.M.A.R.T goals are essential for blog growth.

Can I be honest with you? I'm sitting down to write this after about 12 hours of sleep and my husband and toddler are at swim lessons so I have the house all to myself. This never happens! I'm in a good mood. Logically, all I could think of was THIS song, so I turnt it up to get motivated for November's goal setting. Cheers to all my other dirty-thirty-somethings who are both old and young enough to remember getting down to this jam in the 90's!

Ok, back to business or I'll waste all my time on 90's hiphop and miss my chance to write this post! Here's how October shaped up:

1) Improve photography on my Instagram.
CHECK! I worked really hard and played around with making these DIY photography backdrops to improve my aesthetic. I participated in my first loop giveaway to see how that would effect engagement and followers. I did an Instagram challenge that provided me a subject to focus on everyday, which took "one more thing to think about" off my to-do list. I'm really happy with how cohesive my feed looks now! And I'm gaining new followers everyday without trying - just by posting photos daily, improved photography, and hashtag use.

Easy #DIY project to improve your blog and Instagram photography!

2) Make 4 evergreen posts for my "blogging maternity leave." 
CHECK! I actually knocked out 6 posts, and have them all scheduled. Of course, I have no idea when I'll actually go into labor so I might switch all the schedule dates around, but the point is I have some GREAT content to post after Otto comes. So y'all can still come here and read good stuff, not just "sorry readers I'm too tired to even open a laptop correctly, be back later!"

3) Pitch 4 brands for collaboration.
FAIL! I pitched 2. One told me to reapply in the new year because their "blogger queue" was already full for the year and the other was responsive and said they'd be happy to re-gram some of my shots on their Instagram feed. So all in all, not a bad response! But I did stop at two... If you remember, I lessened my posting schedule (which allowed me to get all those maternity leave posts written!) and I didn't think adding in more brand work made sense. So I guess it wasn't a total fail but more of a direction change mid-month. I still have my short list of people to reach out to when I'm ready to add more back to my plate though.

And now, what I hope to accomplish this November. I'm going to make it a light load, with being a full 8 months pregnant and the holidays coming up. But yes, I still think it's important to have SMART goals driving my month and my blog growth (despite any baby arrivals or major holidays!)

1) Expand my reach on Instagram.
I told y'all I was going to be spending the remainder of the year improving my account. When I focused on my Pinterest, I saw (and still see!) amazing results. First step in the IG improvement was to get my photography and aesthetic in shape. Now I want to focus on my reach. This means gaining new followers and utilizing new hashtags to make my account more searchable - and therefore, findable. I plan on continuing to post at least one planned photo a day and utilizing established hashtags to become a constant presence within that hashtag, as well as utilizing new hashtags to reach new potential followers.

2) Write 4 more "maternity leave" blog posts.
Evergreen content, relevant topics, great photos - blah blah. Just to have something in my scheduler for those days I'm struggling. Because I know I will have some rough days after Otto gets here, this aint my first infant rodeo!

3) ACTUALLY Optimize AdSense, and explore new ad contracts.
You saw this in my September goals, but I was unable to really play with AdSense because of my BlogHer publishing contract. Well here's the skinny on BlogHer: They weren't actually paying me! I'd get random contributions to my PayPal every so often, none of which matched THEIR records of what my blog was earning. It was less - way less - then what their own accounting system said I was making. I would get PayPal contributions of 42 cents y'all. Not even kidding.

After not getting paid for over 5 months, I mean paid NOTHING, not even my 42 cents, I had enough of their crappy pay and crappy service. I cut ties with them. I'm still working with SheKnows Media and SheKnows Experts Among us on social media campaigns, but have no desire to ever even see the BlogHer name again. Alas! I can actually optimize my AdSense now. I have a few resources I'm excited to share with you, because in 4 days (it's Nov. 4) I've already seen my earnings go up 39%. I also will explore other advertising contracts to see if there's a more lucrative deal out there. BlogHer just ISN'T it, for anyone else shopping around. I do NOT recommend working with them.

That's the plan for November! You'll see that my SMART goals are measurable and specific - not "post on Instagram more" but "utilize new and existing hashtags to drive engagement and new follower growth." That's the difference between a SMART goal and a goal that won't take you very far. It has to be specific, time sensitive, feasible and measurable. If you do this every month and faithfully work towards those goals, you WILL drive the growth of your blog!


  1. I'm so proud of you! I know it's a relief to get those posts done before O comes, too!
    I'm going to sit down and do my end of year SMART goals for my blog tonight!

  2. Cheers to 12 hours of sleep and having the house to yourself. Thanks for the tips on goals :)!

  3. Looks like you've been accomplishing a lot! And I'm sure November will be a success, too, since I can FEEL the motivation!! :)
    Link this up with Jessi and I today!

  4. Love me some SMART goals and your monthly goals have been great! I agree with you on BlogHer; they are terrible. Glad you got away from them. And yay for getting posts done before Otto comes! That's fantastic! I'll definitely need to do that before this little one comes in March.

  5. You did great with the October goals! Especially in planning ahead, that is always a big struggle for me, so I admire that! Good luck with November! Looking forward to hearing all your accomplishments!

    Clothes & Quotes

  6. Girl, you're doing amazing! I've been crazy impressed with your blog lately and have loved the blogging tips you've shared!

  7. bahahaha i don't know that song, but i blame that on my expat-ness rather than my age. i lol'd so hard at #2. so true. i mean, i've never had a baby, but still. good for you for preparing!
    ugh blogher sounds ridiculous! good for you for cutting ties. screw them. good luck with your november goals! i love the idea of 'smart' goals, i'm much more vague and obviously never succeed, so next time i make goals i am going to try and make them more specific.

  8. Awesome job on getting specific with your goals. I think it really helps to have them set!

  9. I think I just got a payment from blogher and it said it was a payout from July? Insanity. Definitely need to discuss more adsense with you especially after saying BYE to blogher. Great and motivating goals Paige. I'm with you on growing that instagram. I have had more advertisers reach out to me on there lately than even my blog. Very eye opening.

  10. I am gonna take notes from you. I like your specific goals!! My goals are so vague lol, I need to write them down on paper/laptop. Good job leaving BlogHer, they sound like a waste of useful time.

  11. Ooh great job getting your blog posts scheduled for while you're busy with a brand new baby (I did that too, really let me break for a while, but I had a hard time catching up on comments after). I like your photo backgrounds too! Would love to have you link this up to #GratitudeGoals

  12. Great Tips. I am focusing on my Pinterest now, then I have to work on Facebook and Instagram, hopefully it will look better by the end of the year.