How to Stick to Your Hubbing Goals


Very few people establish New Year’s Resolutions that they actually stick to, which is a shame.

Though year-long goals can be intimidating and hard to hang on to through life’s twists and turns, there are still simple things one can do to significantly increase one’s chances of actually following through on one’s objectives, be they big or small.

When transitioning from 2012 to 2013, be sure to…

Make goals you care about

Many people make the mistake of establishing goals they don’t actually care about. I might hear, for example, that it is a good idea to “be healthy”, and so when people ask me what I will be striving for in 2013, I may just say “Oh, I want to live a healthier life”, but unless health is a particularly urgent concern in my life or a subject about which I am particularly passionate, I will not have the motivation I need to keep going when achieving this goal becomes even slightly inconvenient.

It is far better to establish goals that revolve around your passions, obsessions, and urgent desires. Things that will pull you through a long night or a hard day and almost always overcome that small “I can do this later” voice that so commonly drags goals into an untimely grave.

Make achievable goals

Another problem with a goal like “be healthy” is that it is too vague to really be achievable. How do I know when I have become healthy? What is “healthy”, anyway?

Goals that we can actually follow through on are discrete and attainable (though it is fine for them to be a challenge as well). The achievable version of a goal to get “healthy” might be “complete a marathon this year” or “lower my blood pressure to X amount” or “be able to jog for 90 minutes without stopping for rest”.

Break things down

Studies have found that breaking goals down into VERY SMALL pieces and turning them into habits can make them more attainable. Should you make a goal of writing eight Hubs every month, you might craft a regular Hubbing habit by starting with small goals and moving up.

An example of how you might start and progress:

  • After returning home from work, sit in front of your computer, open HubPages, and log into your account.
  • After returning from the gym write five sentences that can be used in a Hub
  • After finishing dinner, write three Text Capsules’ worth of information as a draft
  • After putting the kids to bed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, sit in front of your computer and publish a Hub

Get help

Nothing can help us stick to our goals like a good group of friends. Be sure to leverage your online and offline networks by…

[Image by geralt, Public Domain, via pixabay]

How to Bounce Back When Sticking to Goals Gets Tough

The year is almost up- are you ready to embark on your goal-seeking quest?

Before you begin, let us address one final thing: setbacks. I bet you have some awesome objectives, and want to be sure that unexpected twists or a lack of inertia stop you from achieving them.

After all, people would not achieve amazing feats, such as making it to the peak of high mountains and winning major wars, if they turned back at the first sign of trouble.

Here are three things you can to do push back against the challenges you’ll face as you pursue your 2013 goals:

Expect setbacks

Setbacks are inevitable. By expecting and planning for them, we can keep unexpected hardship from derailing us entirely. While it is impossible to know exactly what setbacks you will encounter, it is easy enough to build leeway and protection into your goals.

Even if you cannot completely plan for a setback, simply expecting complications will make it easy to bounce back when they come. Anyone can bounce back from a shattered goal-achievement process so long as one wasn’t depending on a finished piece that didn’t have a bit of glue holding it together.

Regularly check in

Some goals are not derailed by setbacks, but rather inertia. Either one does not see as much immediate positive feedback as one expects, or one simply loses focus.

One thing you can do to avoid this folly is to schedule regular goal checkups. Have a friend check in with you, or schedule times to evaluate yourself, as the days, weeks, and months of your goal achievement process progress.

In the past, I have written letters to myself in the future to be opened at specific dates. When I receive those letters (full of hope from my past self about achieving some sort of goal) I feel all the more compelled to continue my work and not let her down.

After all, we all secretly hope that our past selves would be proud of our present selves, right?

Don’t give up; adjust

Finally, when the going gets tough, don’t give up- just adjust! Say you lose an entire month of your goal-achievement journey due to illness or an unexpected family emergency. Don’t let that setback stop you from striving. Simply move your timeline back, scale down your workload, and keep on moving,

The only thing you should not change is your persistence and optimism! With a hearty dose of those, you can most certainly win!

[Image by nightowl, Public Domain, via pixabay]

Five Goal Breakdown Scenarios

Deciding on what to cover each month of an editorial calendar, or choosing small achievements that can help you move toward a very big goal, can be tough.

For some ideas on how to begin breaking things down, check out the hypothetical monthly themes associated with the five fun goals we outlined earlier this month.

Become a niche expert in 2013

Let’s pretend you want to be come an expert on dog leashes. Your initial goal breakdown might involve publishing articles around monthly themes, such as:

  • January: Cover the history of dog leashes
  • February: Basic dog leash safety
  • March: Fashionable dog leashes
  • April: Training dogs to behave well when on a leash
  • etc.

Publish your first book in 2013

When aiming you publish a book, your monthly goal breakdown might look like:

  • January: Publish five vignettes highlighting the personalities of your characters
  • February: Publish five vignettes from chapters you are beginning to write
  • May: Publish a draft of the first quarter of the book online to get feedback, immediately incorporate feedback
  • October: Compile the finished chapters, have them printed through an online service
  • November: Send samples of your printed book to at least ten potential publishers
  • etc.

Publish X Hubs in 2013

If you want to publish a certain number of Hubs in 2013, consider selecting themes to stave off writer’s block and take advantage of seasonal surges in traffic by covering certain subjects right before interest in them peaks. Your monthly goals might look something like:

  • January: Publish eight Hubs on subjects like Valentine’s Day, health, and goal achievement
  • March: Publish eight Hubs on subjects like summer recipes, graduation, and travel
  • October: Publish eight Hubs on the winter season and holidays
  • etc.

Become an active netizen in 2013

Because becoming an active netizen is a somewhat vague concept, it is best to break your goal achievement down into concrete monthly achievements.

  • January: Become a more informed member of sites on which you are active (e.g. read their tutorials, get to know more members…)
  • February: Research major social media networks and decide on a small handful you think would be worth your time (e.g. Twitter, Pinterest, and Flickr)
  • March: Join one of those networks and get up to speed on the basics of being an informed member
  • April: Join another one of those networks and do the same, while maintaining an active presence on the networks you have already joined and committed to
  • etc.

Build a robust online portfolio in 2013

Building a strong online portfolio requires a mix of research and content creation. To publish work that can help you augment your career or land new work, you might have a monthly breakdown like this:

  • January: Evaluate your objectives (e.g. get hired by a design agency / become a freelance writer / look like a sound professional when searched for online…) and establish the best platforms and media through which those objectives can be reached.
  • February: Create or refurbish accounts on any relevant platform or network and establish a content strategy for each account
  • March through September: Establish a baseline amount of content you contribute to your collective online portfolio each month and STICK TO IT!
  • October: Begin reaching out to experts and potential employers for feedback
  • November: Incorporate feedback from experts into your online work
  • December: Get more feedback, amend your work accordingly, and prepare to begin using that portfolio come 2014!

[Image by Nemo, Public Domain, via pixabay]

 

How Editorial Calendars Help You Meet Your Writing Goals

Achievable goals are usually broken down into component parts. All sorts of goals are paired with special systems that make it easier for those pursuing them to approach their end states through a series of manageable baby steps.

Editorial Calendars – A Tool for Writers and Editors

The system used by most writers to achieve long-term and large-scale publishing goals is the editorial calendar. There are all sorts of editorial calendars- those for magazine editors, television producers, marketers, etc…. Regardless of their specific use, most editorial calendars share some common elements:

  • They break the year down into months, weeks, and days
  • They take advantage of seasonal themes
  • They enable one to focus on seasonal goals within the context of larger objectives

By creating an editorial calendar of your own, you may find it easier to achieve your online writing goals for the coming year- whatever they may be.

Creating an Editorial Calendar

The process of creating an editorial calendar is pretty straightforward:

  1. Brainstorm and outline what you want from the year. It is fine to lay out several different goals; editorial calendars are particularly useful in making it easy for you to fit and weave them together.
  2. Create the editorial calendar by deciding what, when, and where you will publish different articles, videos, social media posts, and other pieces of content that are related to your goals.
  3. Write, edit, and publish your work according to the calendar’s schedule.

Important Considerations

As you create your editorial calendar, you will benefit from:

  • Considering how you can make the most of different seasons. Consider cashing in on holiday subjects or seasonal events by making sure that you start publishing Hubs on the event around one and a half months before it occurs.
  • Being flexible. One can hardly anticipate everything that will happen in the coming twelve months. Be sure to make your calendar flexible. For example, do not make all of the content you write in September dependent on the content you write in August- something might come up in that month that drives you to focus on something else for a spell, and it would be bad if one small deviation from your calendar completely derails your goal achievement process.
  • Being reasonable. We often overestimate how much we will be able to achieve in any given time frame. Keep your expectations somewhat low in the beginning. If you find that you are capable of publishing high quality Hubs than you initially expected, you can always adjust your objectives accordingly.

As you do not need any special software to create an editorial calendar (all you really need is a physical calendar or a spreadsheet), you can get started right away. I hope you find it to be a helpful tool!

[Image by Nemo, Public Domain, via pixabay]

How to Write Successful Articles About Meeting Goals

Creating Hubs about your goals as you go about achieving them is an excellent way to gain more readers, make use of research you have already done, and make sure that you actually stick to your goals.

To help you create Hubs on the pursuit of goals that will be more likely to succeed, I would like to share with you the specific elements of a good goal-oriented Hub.

Focus On Readers

The most important thing to remember is that, while you may be writing about a personal goal, your primary focus should be on the needs of your readers. Your Hubs on goals should consist of guides, not personal stories. While it is fine to mention your personal experience, bring up unexpected difficulties you experienced, and provide the occasional personal anecdote, all of those details should be presented in a way that delivers useful information to readers.

For example, you might share unexpected bumps in your goal achievement quest in a Text Capsule titled “Common Roadblocks on the Path to Weight Loss” and present bullets summarizing problems you experienced and methods you used to overcome them.

Maximize utility; minimize talk

Another thing you can do to keep your Hubs reader-friendly is to make your personal stories and advice as succinct as possible. Avoid long paragraphs and utilize bulleted lists and lots of short Text Capsules with descriptive subheaders and supplementary images, videos, polls, quizzes, and tables.

Create a sensible collection

When sharing advice on creating and achieving goals, Hubbers typically create a collection of related Hubs that are linked together within the text of each Hub and also put into a Hub Group. This is an excellent means of developing a small online niche (something that is particularly worth doing if the goal you are covering is not very well-covered online).

That said, be sure that each Hub you write is a self-sufficient guide that completely covers one subset of the overall goal achievement process (e.g. Hubs with titles like “Buying New Clothes While Losing Weight” and “How to Deal with Weight Loss During the Holidays”).

Do not give your titles parts, and do not open your Hubs with “as I mentioned in my last Hub…” because most people (1) have not read your last Hub and (2) probably don’t even know what a Hub is because they found your article through search results.

Add as much original media as possible

One reason why Hubs on the pursuit of goals are so successful is that they are truly genuine. Articles that leverage real experiences of their authors tend to do much better than those built on shallow research and generalizations.

To leverage the personal experience that goes into these goal-oriented Hubs, include as much original media as possible- videos, images, and more! Before and after photos, especially when juxtaposed, have the potential to make your Hubs particularly popular. We’re all suckers for makeovers!

Hubs that incorporate these best practices have a real shot at seeing long-term success. Here’s hoping that you are just as successful at writing popular Hubs as you are at achieving your goals next year!

[Image by Nemo, Public Domain, via pixabay]

Why Write About Personal Goals?

While we are highly interested in the HubPages-related goals you create, we also encourage you to share your personal goals through your Hubs.

When presented properly, Hubs on tracking and achieving personal goals can be very helpful to others- and lucrative to the Hubbers who create them!

If you’re not quite convinced about the value of sharing the pursuit of your goals through your Hubs, read on.

You’re doing the research already

Good, detailed, major goals require a lot of research and time to put together. If you go on a diet, you will typically choose a particular approach or diet, establish a plan, and do some research on helpful recipes, motivational tactics, and exercises that can help you make good progress and stay on track.

Why not share all that useful information? So long as you present your findings in Hubs with search-friendly titles and make sure that each article you write (while perhaps associated with other articles about this goal) stands on its own as a complete online resource, you have a good chance of driving a decent amount of search traffic to your work.

If you have a goal, someone else probably has the same one

Why do Hubs on goals (when properly made) have a good shot at driving search traffic? Because if you have a goal, chances are a lot of other people have the same goal, and in all likelihood they’re typing queries into Google about it.

One of the greatest methods used by Hubbers to write Hubs that get a lot of traffic and attention is to select topics in which they have personal interest but for which they have little luck finding good search results. If there is not much information online on reaching a particular goal (e.g. you can’t find many guides to becoming a good indoor cactus farmer), you should fill in those gaps yourself by sharing Hubs on the process.

Writing about your progress can help you stick to your goals

In addition to helping others and possibly broadening your readership, writing publicly about your goals (while helping others achieve the same goal) can make you more likely to achieve that goal. This is the case for two reasons:

  1. Because you have made your goal public and you know that people are tracking your progress, you will be far less likely to give up because you know you are ‘being watched’ and a desire to not disappoint those who are cheering you own.
  2. By giving people advice on achieving a goal you are in the midst of pursuing, you are putting yourself in the mindset of one who is likely to achieve that goal. By writing guides, you are essentially saying to yourself ‘I am the type of person who achieves goals and is good enough about achieving them to give advice to others!’. The more you think like that sort of person, the more likely you are to become that person.

Caveat: there are ways to do this well AND horribly

Before I get you too excited about this whole goal writing process, I want to warn you that many, if not most people who write on HubPages about their goals do so in a way that pretty much prevents them from being successful.

They do so by:

  • Writing Hubs that do not have search-friendly titles
  • Writing Hubs that are just about their process and not full of helpful advice for others
  • Writing Hubs that are not designed first and foremost for readers
  • Writing Hubs that do not stand well by themselves (which is how most readers see them); this is often done with Hubs that are presented in parts (e.g. “Losing 50 Pounds: Part Five”- who wants to read part five???)

By avoiding these problems and focusing on creating search-friendly, stand-alone Hubs that are designed to help others, you can avoid this folly.

Good luck!

[Public Domain image by mickyroo via pixabay]

Share Your Goals With Us!

As you go about setting and sharing your goals for 2013, we hope you will share them with us!

We encourage you to tweet your goals to us on Twitter and include the hashtag #HubPagesGoal, and to post your 2013 objectives on our Facebook wall as well.

We’re especially interested to hear about any particular systems you are adopting that will make it easier for you to achieve your goals. If you have created a vision board for 2013, a special checklist you keep on your fridge, or something else visual and fun, snap a photo of it and share it with us!

Your idea might be just the sort of inspiration another Hubber needs as she develops goals and achievement mechanisms of her own.

Oh, Where HubPages May Lead…

fastfretaWe were surprised and delighted to see Alfreta (fastfreta) on the Today Show yesterday. As it happens, she and her daughter are featured on a new TLC show and fastfreta was first scouted for the show through her work on HubPages!

We asked fastfreta to give us some more backstory on the experience, and she most kindly obliged! Read on for this Hubber’s account of an awesome experience:

How did this whole TLC thing get started?

I wrote the article, here on HubPages, Why I Love to Clean, and the show was searching the Internet for “talent” for the show. Someone from the show contracted me through HubPages, I assumed that she Googled something referring to cleaning, I answered her message, and the rest is history. From the moment I was first interviewed, I was told that everyone associated with the network just loved me. I took it with a grain of salt, but I guess they were telling the truth.

Was this the first time the media had contacted you?

This is absolutely the first time the media has ever contacted me, because I’ve never sought this kind of notoriety. I actually consider myself quite boring in the grand scheme of things.

What was it like being on reality TV? Were there any particular highlights?

Being on the show was quite fun. The crew was so nice and easy to work with. The scenes all took place in real places; the bus was on a real bus route. The restaurant was a real restaurant, the house where the dinner party took place was just that disgusting, etc. What you saw was not all that took place, naturally; they had to cut so much. I understand when it airs internationally more scenes that we shot will be shown. For instance, a scene that took place in a department store will be shown, but I don’t know what else. I do hope a Hubber will let me know what they saw on the show, or maybe even send us a link to their version. If you read my article, most of the things that I mentioned were acted out.

The highlight has been all the notoriety I’ve received on TV and the Internet. I am just so overwhelmed, I can’t believe it.

Alfreta (fastfreta) and her daughter April Jackson on the Today Show

Alfreta (fastfreta) and her daughter April Jackson on the Today Show

What was it like being on the Today Show?

To be on a national syndicated show was, to say the least, totally unbelievable. The cast and crew of the show are all so nice. I met Star Jones, Dustin Hoffman, and Paula Dean. Willie Geist hesitated to shake my hand for fear I wouldn’t want to, funny. Actually I use hand sanitizer after I shake hands with men, very discretely I might add. Everyone said I looked great during the interview, but frankly I looked stiff to me.

When you first joined HubPages, what were your goals?

When I first joined HubPages, I thought I would make a lot of money, but I soon realized that would not be the case, so I ultimately developed a love for writing. The reason I don’t make a lot of money is that I don’t write articles that are searched on the web. That’s alright; I love writing here anyway, and I’ve met so many wonderful friends worldwide that I would never have known had it not been for HubPages.

Did you have any inkling that your online activity might lead to television engagements?

I never even had one iota of an inkling that I would get noticed by television or any media for that matter. I did read a while back that someone had been contacted by a Broadway Producer for one of her articles. It was Habee if I’m not mistaken. I thought then, “Oh that would be nice,” but beyond that I never thought it would happen to me. This is so far beyond anything that I ever dreamed. Ironically, I was thinking, to get my age and have this happen to me is so unbelievable.

Now that all this has happened, what do you plan to do? Do you have any particular goals for 2013?

Now that this has happened, I am just taking it all in stride, not getting ahead of myself, after all it’s just a cleaning show, or rather a freak show, LOL. I don’t know who would want me for anything else, but if they do I’ll have to weigh the options, not that I feel there would be any. I call myself a “One Trick Pony.” So I’m not sitting around waiting for Hollywood to beat down my door. It seems these days so many are getting their “one second of fame.” Oh, by the way I wrote another Hub about Famous People born in 1947, and I added myself in jest. Who knew that anyone would notice me!

 

Thanks for sharing your story with us fastfreta! And congratulations!

Five Great Online Writing Goals to Set for 2013

The first step to creating sound goals involves figuring out what you want. As simple as that action seems, many of us have no idea where to start! With regard to online writing in particular, we see a lot of Hubbers struggle in the beginning because they don’t know what they should be striving for.

To make life easier for those who might be experiencing goal-setter’s block, I have five fun ideas for online writing goals that you might consider setting for 2013.

Become a niche expert in 2013

One of the most efficient means by which you can develop a strong online presence is by becoming a big fish in a little pond. To do this, simply develop a niche! The more specific your niche, the easier it will be for you to become the go-to expert on that subject.
When establishing goals about developing a niche, it is helpful to create specific objectives, such as publishing a given number of Hubs on that subject, having your work rank high in key search queries on that subject, mentioning your expertise in all of your public online profiles across platforms, etc.

Publish your first book in 2013

Many Hubbers come to HubPages with vague dreams of someday publishing a book. Now is the time to stop dreaming and start planning! Consider this to be your wake-up call, and let 2013 be the year in which you finally make your dream a reality.
By setting specific, attainable goals such as “Sit in front of a word document for at least five minutes every day after returning from work” and “Create an outline of characters and the basic plot by February 15th”, you can avoid feeling intimidated and overwhelmed. By sharing vignettes and chapters on HubPages as you’re working on them, you can also get immediate feedback on your work from our community!

Publish X Hubs in 2013

Much of one’s success on HubPages is contingent on one’s ability to publish a significant volume of Hubs, so simply by being prolific, you can make great progress this coming year.
We recommend focusing on quality over quantity and avoiding burnout, so sticking to objectives of publishing eight stellar Hubs a month would be a reasonable (but very effective) approach (one we have seen to be quite effective through the Apprenticeship Program).

Become an active netizen in 2013

Those who are truly successful on HubPages tend to be successful all over the place online; they are simply good online citizens. Why not therefore make it a goal to become a literate netizen in 2013?
Simple sub-goals can include familiarizing yourself with major social networks, becoming an active participant on your favorites, and getting up to date with important internet issues regarding online privacy, business, politics, and copyright.

Build a robust online portfolio in 2013

While some Hubbers focus on simply publishing a certain number of Hubs in a given amount of time, those who have specific professional ambitions tend to focus more on creating a portfolio.
Small objectives that can move one closer to achieving this goal include establishing concrete professional goals, figuring out what sorts of online accomplishments would help you get there, and making a point of achieving those things over a series of twelve months.

For example, if you wished to someday open your own wedding planning business, you might aim to develop an online presence with a HubPages account showcasing lots of great wedding planning guides, a Pinterest profile curating beautiful wedding inspiration boards, a Flickr account presenting photos from weddings you helped to organize, and a Twitter account that you use to offer tips to those who are in the midst of planning their nuptials.

 

Do you have any other great ideas for HubPages-related goals? Share them in the comments!

[Image via Hans, Public Domain, on Pixabay]

Set Hubbing Goals for 2013

Can you believe the year is almost over? With 2013 right around the corner, it is time to set goals!

Throughout the month of December, we will be sharing tips and advice on creating, sharing, and sticking to your 2013 goals- both on HubPages and beyond.

We encourage you to start by reflecting on the past year and asking yourself some questions: Did you set goals last year? Did you reach them? What got in your way? What were the high points of 2012? What were your low points?

Did you learn any important lessons? What are your proudest achievements of the past twelve months? Finally, where did you start at the beginning of 2012, how far have you come, and where do you want to be when next year comes to a close?

The more you contemplate your highs and lows, wins and losses, and lessons learned in 2012, the more equipped you will be to begin creating new goals and objectives for 2013.

Even if you don’t typically set goals, we encourage you to make some this time around. After all, you’re not likely to achieve something fabulous if you don’t strive for it, and it is rather difficult to strive for anything at all without first establishing what one wants!

We know selecting goals isn’t easy. If you get stuck, don’t worry! We’ll share some fun suggestions later this week.