What’s Your Blogging BHAG?

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.

But a BHAG takes this and smashes it! Why don’t you aim to double your newsletter sign-ups – go from 10 a month to 20. Or why not make a BHAG to go to 100 per month?Stick Figure Push Up Arrow for a BHAG

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.

Traffic BHAG

  • 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.




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Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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7 Responses to What’s Your Blogging BHAG?
  1. Rick Castro
    February 27, 2012 | 7:48 pm

    It is my first time to hear about BHAG! Would love to read your future articles about this strategy! It looks effective. Are there many bloggers who already been using BHAG?

    • Allan Ward
      February 27, 2012 | 9:37 pm

      Thanks for the comment.

      I like the BHAG concept because it makes you step away from the ‘usual’ things you do and forces you to think outside the square.

      I’m not sure how many other bloggers use it. I saw it featured on an internet marketing video a few years ago and all the participants seemed very excited because they were hearing about it for the first time. I’d already known about it for a few years and I was surprised many other hadn’t heard about it. It’s part of the reason this blog exists – bringing marketing strategies that work in the offline world, into the blogging world.

  2. Juphet Mislang
    March 15, 2012 | 11:52 am

    The idea of marketing a product or the website differently is great! I would like to try new stuff, makes me stand out from others. I like the BHAG concept too!
    Juphet Mislang recently posted..Blogging Still On the RiseMy Profile

  3. Pubudu
    May 2, 2012 | 4:28 pm

    It will be really good If we could achieve goals with BAHG. Someone can become really successful with shorter period . But the problem is, we have to do a SWOT and measure it.I’m also drafting my own product but it’s lagging. I think sticking to it and motivation is the most important part. What do you think?How do you track the progress of BAHG?
    Pubudu recently posted..Real-Time Collaboration to Make Diagramming Even More FunMy Profile

  4. Asher
    June 8, 2012 | 1:29 am

    A true goal can help you to become a true blogger for your niche.

  5. Shalin
    December 9, 2014 | 9:05 pm

    My BHAG is to get as much as visitors I want. I’m working towards it now. I did my swot analysis for my blog and moved forward with he actions. Thanks for sharing!
    Shalin recently posted..5 Common SWOT Analysis Mistakes and How to Avoid ThemMy Profile

  6. Mike Morrison
    June 22, 2016 | 4:33 pm

    Great piece. thanks for sharing. BAHGs are a powerful way of stepping out of the norm for goal setting. Be big, be brave and be specific!

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