550 days ago I had a dream. I dreamed that I was going to make a lot of money online. How I caught it, found it, or came by it I do not remember – and it does not matter. I got it and I was going to do something about it.
The dream turned into obsession. Every mouse click and keystroke was aimed towards the dream. Hours turned to days which turned to months in pursuit of this dream.
A blog was created. Posts were written, ads were up. All the usual forms of attracting traffic were employed. Joining forums, writing articles, socializing with other bloggers.
Everything was in place. Everything that was suppose to be done to make my dream come true was done.
430 days ago my dream shattered. I do not why it came on that particular day. It just did. On that day the dream died. Not without reason of course, for the last couple weeks I was averaging 20 visitors a day and earning an equal amount of pennies.
I quit. Like a cheated lover, I never wanted to see my blog again.
For the next few weeks I stewed. How could this happen? All those hours spent on the stupid thing. All those hours spent thinking about it, devoting all my mental energy on it. Even the dog suffered – walks in the park were shorter. All for what? 20 visitors and less money then what I find every month in-between the couch cushions.
I cursed the dream and its siren song.
The problem with dreams is that they spawn out of every place except reality. They create a pretty picture, but do not show you how to paint it yourself in the real world. Make a lot of money online is a great dream. But how to make a lot of money online – the dream will not tell you.
Dreams are Vague, Goals Are Specific and Measurable
Dreams are good for poets to ponder and psychologists to probe. But for bloggers they only lead to disappointment. I don’t need a dream – I need a goal.
A goal is something you can touch. A goal has a beginning, a middle, and a end. A goal has a means. Dreams only have an end. With dreams you only see the end but you do not see the path towards it. With dreams there is no way to tell how close you are to achieving it. 120 days after the dream materialized I had made no progress towards turning it to reality. That is why the dream died.
Goals have a end and more importantly a middle. With goals you can see how close you are to achieving it. You see progress.
An example. I abandoned my dream of making a lot of money online. Too fuzzy and vague. Instead I made a goal. My goal: be on position 1 on Google search results for ‘make money website’. Sounds like a crazy dream but it is not.
Unlike a dream, with this goal I know exactly where the end is – position one. I know exactly where I am now – position 702. I can check my progress – do a search for ‘make money website’ and see where I am. I know what I need to do to reach my goal – optimize my blog for ‘make money website’ and get quality backlinks. The more optimized the blog and the more backlinks the higher up I go. Maybe in a couple months I will be in position 650 – progress.
Specific Goals Allow You To See Progress
The advantage with this goal is that I can see progress. With a dream like make lots of money online there was no perceivable progress – and that was really discouraging.
By having a goal that allows you to see the progress you are less likely to be discouraged. You are less likely to quit and have your blog die.
Some more examples of measurable goals:
- Get 1000 RSS subscribers
- Get 1000 visitors a day
- Get 1000 Twitter followers
- Be in position 1 for specific keywords
As you can see these goals are very different then having dreams like have a successful blog or make lots of money online. With these goals progress can been seen every time a there is a new subscriber or a twitter follower.
I have forgotten my dream. Now I focus on goals that allow me to measure their progress. So long as I keep moving closer and closer towards my goal I am happy and my blog will not die.
Roman runs a blog call How This Blog Makes Money. It shows how this blog makes money.