I’ve been spending a bit of time over the past couple of weeks planning my blog strategy for the next 12 months and I’ve been thinking about the concept of a BHAG – a Big Hairy Audacious Goal!
The term was first used by Jim Collins in his book Built To Last. It’s become more popular in the business world in recent years and is something worth thinking about when it comes to strategic planning for any business.
Wikipedia defines a BHAG in this way:
A BHAG encourages companies to define visionary goals that are more strategic and emotionally compelling.
In many cases a BHAG is a long term vision / goal but it can also apply to the shorter term.
BHAGs for Bloggers
Most bloggers have some goals for their blogs (at least I hope they do!). And as part of your business planning for your blog you’ve probably sat down this year and written down some goals you’d like to achieve.
Lets say you’ve been getting an average of 500 visitors a month to your blog. A simple (and achievable) goal could be to increase this amount to 600 visitors a month. A BHAG is much bigger than that. A BHAG would be all about doubling your traffic – go to 1,000 visitors a month, or how about 2,000!
Another example could be newsletter sign-ups. Maybe you only get 10 people per month signing up to your newsletter (it could even be less for some people – don’t worry!). A simple, ‘safe’ goal would be to increase this figure by 20% or 30%. That’s achievable, realistic and possible – it meets all the criteria for a good goal.
Can you see where I’m going here? A BHAG isn’t a normal goal – it’s a goal that will massively stretch you, but is still achievable.
One last example – revenue. Maybe you sell a few affiliate products (promoting other people’s products). Maybe you make $100 per month. A simple goal could be to make one or two extra sales a month and increase your revenue to $150 pm. A BHAG would be to increase it to $1,000 per month.
BHAG’s are scary things, but they’re great.
Why are BHAGs Great?
BHAGs force us to step outside our day-to-day business reality and dream a bit.
What if I could increase traffic to 2,000 people a month?
What if I could earn $1,000 per month?
A BHAG is all about helping you think about what could be, rather than what is currently happening.
The reality is that these things are possible. You can go from 500 – 2,000 visitors per month, it’s been done before.
Here’s the thing to realise with BHAGs:
The things you’ve been currently doing won’t be enough for you to achieve your BHAG – you’ll need to do things differently!
Think about that last line for a minute. Re-read it again and again. You need to change what you’re doing to achieve your BHAG.
Some Practical BHAG Examples
Now that I’ve got you thinking about BHAGs , here are some ideas that relate back to the three examples.
- Guest posts work. Write guest posts for other bloggers and engage with their readers.
- Keyword research. Get a program like Market Samurai and do your keyword research. Find some keywords that you can rank well in and increase your organic search engine traffic.
- Improve your use of social media. Drive traffic to your site from Twitter and Facebook.
- Put your content elsewhere. Once you’ve written a blog article, submit it to article directories. Make a video about it and put it on You Tube. There are plenty of places to put your content.
- Write to your subscribers more.
- Write more content. Give readers more ways they can find your content.
Email Newsletter Conversions BHAG
- Let’s say that at the moment for every 100 visitors to your site, 2 of them subscribe to your newsletter. If you can double your traffic, you could double your subscribers every month.
- What about conversions? Could you increase that 2% sign up rate to 10%? How would you do that?
- Consider a plugin like Pop Up Domination which can boost conversion rates.
Increase Revenue BHAG
- Sell more of whatever you’re currently selling.
- Consider using Google AdWords and social media.
- Find other products to sell or promote.
- Promote more to your email list.
- Create your own product and sell it!
I bolded that last one because it’s so simple and easy to overlook, but the best way to achieve a revenue BHAG. Stop only selling other people’s products, take the time to create your own and get other people to sell that for you. If you do this, a BHAG of going from $100 to $1,000 (or more) per month is very achievable.
What’s Your BHAG?
I challenge you to think of one BHAG for 2012. What’s one thing related to your blog that would be amazing to achieve? Remember, don’t limit yourself by your current reality. The BHAG comes first, then you work to find the ways to make it happen.
Good luck in 2012. I’ve got a number of new articles I’ll be posting to help you achieve your BHAGs.
I love getting your comments. Let me know what you think about BHAGs – in fact share your 2012 BHAG in the comments below.