5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Writing Goals for the New Year

New Years is known for parties, but it’s also known as a time to set goals. Have you set any writing goals for the next year?

Whether you’re an author, blogger, or business owner that uses content to promote your business, it’s vital to set writing goals. What better time than now, as we head into the New Year?

In this article, I get into five questions to ask yourself when setting writing goals for the New Year.

[feature_box style=”1″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” alignment=”center”]

Note: If you happen upon this at some other time than the start or end of a year, don’t let it stop you from taking action. Any time is a great time to set writing goals.


5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Writing Goals for the New Year


[button_2 color=”red” align=”center” href=”https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h6x7s3″ new_window=”Y”]Free Bonus Content – Writing Goals Worksheet[/button_2]



#1: What are You Trying to Accomplish with Your Writing?

Do you hope to drive more traffic to your site through written content? Is your goal to establish yourself as an authority in your niche? Perhaps you want to have an easy way to answer the questions that people ask over and over again about your company or products or services. (It’s a lot easier to send someone a link to a blog post than to continually answer the same questions via email, as an example.) Maybe you want to make enough money writing to quit your day job or to build a nest egg to put your kids through college or perhaps you merely want to supplement your retirement.

There aren’t necessarily right or wrong outcomes for your writing, but it’s important to at least know what your goals are so that you can plan and execute your writing efforts more strategically.


How to Discover and Achieve the WHY for Your Blog and Business

#2: What Worked Well for You this Year?

Before you set your writing goals for the New Year, first consider what worked well for you this year – and what didn’t.

For instance, if you had nothing but trouble with client work, then you may want to look for other ways to make money writing in the coming year. Or if you just one digital product this year, and it sold well, you may want to invest some of your writing time into creating more digital products.

As you consider what did and didn’t go well this year, consider the why behind the problem. Going back to the client work example, let’s say the problem was that you had a hard time collecting payment. You may still want to do client work in the New Year, but collect a 50% deposit up front before starting the work.

#3: What Type of Writing Will You Do?

Do you want to write a book (or perhaps several books)? Do you want to create digital products that you can sell? How many written blog posts do you hope to publish each week or month?

As you think about this, be sure to refer back to the first question, what you hope to accomplish with your writing. The answers to this second question must fit with your overall purpose for writing.

For example, if you hope to make enough money to quit your day job, the writing you do must have a monetary component. If you merely want to establish yourself as an authority and don’t need income, you may answer this question differently.

#4: What’s Your Budget?

Writing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it will cost you something.


When thinking of budget, it’s important to budget both time and money. How much time will you spend writing? When will you do it? How does it fit with your other responsibilities such as a day job, and nurturing relationships? Is there anything you need to cut or reduce from your current life to free up the time to write? If so, what will that be?


Now let’s talk about money. Can you spend zero dollars as a writer? Yes, it’s possible. And if you’re brand new, and have zero budget, then put down zero. But if that’s your answer, you need to consider what you’ll do instead of spending money. For instance, you may have to teach yourself how to handle tech issues with your website. You may need to design your own graphics, do your own book editing and formatting, and so on.

Bootstrapping for Writers

While bootstrapping it at the beginning may be necessary, let’s assume you have some money to spend. In light of your answers to the previous two questions, plan out a rough budget. For example, if your goal is to publish two books, and you plan to hire a cover designer, editor, and formatter, how much will that cost? You may not know the precise answer, but simple Google searches will provide ballpark figures for those services. It’s also helpful to look back at what you’ve spent over the past year for recurring expenses such as web hosting, your email service provider (e.g. GetResponse), etc.

Double It

My next tip may seem pessimistic, and perhaps it is. But I recommend that you double your first figure. The reason is that it’s easy to forget some of your expenses, especially if those bill quarterly or annually. In addition to that, you may have some surprises. For example, this year, my website was hacked. Cleaning that up and then signing up for a service to keep it from happening again weren’t on my original budget, but I had to spend the money on them. Doubling your estimated costs gives you a cushion so you can pay for surprises without breaking a sweat.

Where Will the Money Come From?

Now that you have a ballpark figure for your overall expenses, where will the money come from to pay for those things? Hopefully, you generate enough income from writing to cover at a bare minimum, your costs. But if you’re just starting out, you may need to draw from your personal income. If that’s the case, determine ahead of time how you’ll pull it off, and if you’re married, be sure your spouse is on board with your financial plans.

#5: What One Thing Needs to Happen to Consider the Year a Success?

Several years back I followed an Internet marketer named Sean Mize. Sean provided a lot of great content and food for thought. One of the best things I got from him was to daily ask yourself the question, “What one thing needs to happen today to consider the day a success?” Note this was a daily question, but you can also apply it to a week, month, quarter, or year.

Adapt Your Writing Goals as the Year Progresses

Getting clear on your one thing helps you adapt your goals as the year progresses. For example, perhaps your one thing is to make enough money writing to quit your day job. Maybe you plan to make money through affiliate links in your blog posts and through book royalties. Perhaps as the year goes on, you’ve made some money through these things, but not nearly as much as you need to quit your day job at the end of the year. In light of the one big goal, you may need to double up on your work and publish more books, blog posts, and other written content than you originally planned. Or perhaps you’ll have an opportunity to take on some client work and make money writing content for others. Having one big goal, helps you know when to pivot.

Here’s another example. Let’s say your one big goal is to publish your first book, but you’re struggling to find the time to blog and write a book and grow your social media following. You may need to adapt some of your other goals to find the time to write your book. For instance, you may need to blog your book so you can kill two birds with one stone. Or perhaps you need to blog less frequently. Maybe you need to hire an assistant to help with your social media. Or perhaps you need to temporarily put a hobby on hold to devote more time to writing.

Another way  having one big writing goal helps is that when it comes to every task you plan, you can ask, “How does this fit with my one thing?” Again, using the example of your one thing being making enough money as a writer to quit your day job, your daily tasks should support your growth as an income-producing writer. That may mean that the every blog post you write has an affiliate link, or a lead magnet that gets people into a funnel to buy your books and products.

It All Goes Back to WHY

For all of these things, it’s important to consistently go back to knowing the why for your writing. Why informs the what and how. What I mean by that is that being clear on your why provides a filter for all of the other decisions you make regarding your writing goals.

If you’re not crystal clear on your why, be sure to check out my course, How to Discover and Achieve the Why for Your Blog and Business.

Download Your Free Writing Goals Worksheet

[button_2 color=”red” align=”center” href=”https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h6x7s3″ new_window=”Y”]Give me the worksheet, please![/button_2]


Similar Posts