Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

Simple Steps To Achieve Long Term Goals

It is no secret that it can be very demotivating when you set your self Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) and find that it is near impossible to get started let alone achieve anything.

Sometimes you just get overwhelmed thinking about your goal. For example:

One of my long term goals is to generate a full time income from my own business, probably an online business. But to think I need to earn $60,000+ online in one financial year when I’m not making much online in a daunting task. If I was to just look at that task (which I have done in the past) then I would get completely overwhelmed.

One of the ways I plan to achieve this goal is through my website http://CashFlowInvestor.com.au. However, I don’t have a lot of spare time (I work full time and have a young growing family) and thus I can’t focus a lot of my energy on achieving that BHAG. For that reason I have had to focus on passive income strategies and have broken down my huge goal into tiny bit sized pieces.

Here is my current goal for CashFlow Investor (CFI):

Receive 1,000 visitors from search engines in any calendar month

This is a good goal for me because it helps me work towards my BHAG but it is a tiny step on the journey. It also works because search engine traffic is passive, in that I write the article once and get search engine traffic to it for years.

Currently I am getting around 350 visitors per month from search engines so I am a third of the way there.

This is how I plan to achieve my goal:

Keyword Research

First I spent a few hours doing keyword research. I have selected 10 keyword phrases relevant to my site that have little competition. Combined these phrases receive over 4,000 searches per month. If I can rank #1 for these 10 keywords then I can expect anywhere from 1,000-3,000 visitors per month just from these 10 keywords.

The great thing is though, that as I write articles for these keywords I am finding that I am generating a great deal of traffic from other keywords. So the more targeted articles I write the more traffic I get for keywords I didn’t even think about.

Writing Posts Using SEO

As I mentioned above I have done my keyword research and I am now going about writing articles that focus on these keywords. It is my goal to rank #1 for these keywords in Google. To do this I have written relevant, helpful articles that I believe people searching that keyword will find interesting.

I make sure I use the keyword in the title, in the URL and at least a few times throughout the post. This tells Google that my article is all about that specific phrase and it should show people my site when they search using that phrase.

Backlinking

Lastly I am creating backlinks to my articles using the keywords I am targeting. This tells Google (again) that my article is relevant to that specific keyword. If I can get enough backlinks from enough sites then hopefully I will get to the #1 position in Google. If I don’t get to #1 I still hope to get in the top 3.

I am using article marketing to get my backlinks. Article marketing is great because you get backlinks not only from a high PR site (like ezinearticles.com) but when people use your article you get backlinks from their sites too.

However, Google is a pretty smart machine and is likely to know that those articles are genuine backlinks to my site (someone who shared the link using their own free will) so I will also be using Squidoo lenses to link back to my site. I will then use article marketing to link to these lenses so Google sees these lenses as a reputable source.

Hopefully using all of this I will succeed in ranking highly for my search terms.

Time Frame

I don’t actually have a time frame for this goal. I guess the time frame would be “as soon as possible.” I am lucky in that this is a fairly achievable goal and I have done the prior research that will make it easy to achieve. My prior research and knowledge of SEO will help me achieve this hopefully within 3 months (so 1,000 visitors in the month of October), but if I absolutely had to give it a date I would say that I want to achieve this by December 2011

The Power of Focus

There is so much to think about when trying to achieve a BHAG. But if you take it one step at a time and focus on one area it makes that one thing much easier to achieve. By spending my time focusing on building search engine traffic (which I know I will always need down the track) and blocking out everything else, I can let my mind focus and think of the best ways to achieve that one thing.

Because my mind is focused it makes the task at hand much easier, and it allows my mind to come up with some great blog posts because it isn’t distracted by the one million other things I need to do.

What’s Next

I am already thinking about which goal to set next. I am tossing up between either “5,000 visitors from a search engine in a calendar month” or “12 weeks of email marketing messages for my list”. Both I will need somewhere down the track.

I am trying to time my goals so that I can achieve good passive results and maximise the return on my labor early on. If I can make some money early on (it doesn’t have to be a lot), then that can fund more articles and more marketing which speeds up the process. But it has to be balanced. If it is all about money then your site goes to crap and you get greedy, but if you don’t earn any money you get discouraged.

I am making about $10/1,000 visitors to my blog at the moment, so I think my next goal will be 5,000 visitors in a calendar month, but we will see.



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