November 6, 2022

3 Goal-Setting Frameworks For Content Creators & Solopreneurs

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In this issue, we’ll talk about goal-setting frameworks for content creators, marketers, and entrepreneurs.

Without knowing how to set goals, your dreams will stay dreams forever. There are multiple ways you can fail at goal setting…

You’re lucky, I’ve made all those mistakes so you don’t have to.

Set your goals effectively, and you’ll see stress, anxiety, and imposter syndrome disappear in no time.

Goal-setting frameworks should fuel you, not put pressure on you.

You’re a business owner, a marketer, a creator… you need goals not just for deadlines in client projects but also for your own campaigns.

Content creator goals usually span across:

  • income and building wealth,
  • how much we work,
  • what we work on,
  • and how location-dependent or independent we are.

At least those are the big four goals for me.

We all know that we’re in full control over how much effort we invest - yet sticking with goals requires superhuman willpower…

Who can be Clark Kent or Batman for an entire day, let alone for a few weeks or even a year?

Unfortunately, setting S.M.A.R.T. goals didn’t get me there - it’s the only method I knew until a few weeks ago.

Sometimes, S.M.A.R.T. doesn’t work.

You probably heard about the goal-setting framework S.M.A.R.T. Those goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

While this theory sounds easy to implement and promises fast results, it never truly clicked for me.

My content creator goals are to grow my email list by 5% every month, double my website traffic in six months, and build evergreen course funnels that cover my family’s cost of living.

Recommended reading: Your Job Isn't To Get More Subscribers. It Is This.

I found myself falling off the wagon with those goals time and again for multiple reasons:

  • Life got in the way and I couldn’t readjust
  • I got distracted
  • I couldn’t adjust to new requirements
  • The execution became so boring that I couldn’t cope with it.

Despite having S.M.A.R.T. goals, I rarely achieved them.

After years of struggling, I started searching for a new goal-setting framework and came across two goal-setting methods I want to share with you.

Here’s how - step by step:

Goal-Setting Framework 1: D.U.M.B.

D.U.M.B. stands for:

Dream — is the goal ambitious? Are you reaching for the stars?

Uplifting — does the goal energize you and make you feel positive?

Method-friendly — Can you break the bigger goal down into actionable pieces?

Behaviour-driven — Can you form habits or automate processes to reach the goal?

I appreciate how DUMB includes efficiency and emotional energy in the goal-setting process.

Oftentimes, we focus on getting to 10,000 subscribers, 100,000 monthly page views, or any other arbitrary number.

Those superficial goals rarely lead to results - chasing numbers can wear you out faster than you can say “content”.

Try the D.U.M.B. framework if you want to simplify how you go about goal setting and focus on what matters.

Goal-Setting Framework 2: C.L.E.A.R.

This is my favorite goal-setting framework currently:

Collaborative — Is everyone involved?

Limited — Have you set a time and financial boundary?

Emotional — Is everyone emotionally invested in the goal?

Appreciable — Is the progress easy to measure?

Refinable — Can you adjust if necessary?

In 2013, I went through a burnout because I set a S.M.A.R.T. goal of earning a particular income at a certain age.

I was chasing money and status - not following goals I was intrinsically passionate about.

The C.L.E.A.R. framework entered my weekly and monthly reviews because it lets me set goals not just based on numbers but based on energy levels.

One of the goals I set using this framework is to write two blog posts per week within less than 1 hour.

With the help of, keeping that time commitment is super easy.

Optimizing every post with Rank Math takes me about 15 minutes for a 1000-word post - and ensures my site gets more organic traffic over time.

This is what most of my posts look like, I aim at a score of at least 80/100 (meeting the "Appreciable" point in CLEAR).

Rank Math plays a big role in implementing my goal-setting framework

Step 3: Evaluate Your Content Creator Goals.

What goals have you set for November?

As I said, one of my big goals is to publish two blog posts per week and to email every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Recommended reading: 4 Steps To Build Momentum In Business Daily

For the blog posts, I’m heavily relying on AI content that is optimized to rank well using the Rank Math SEO plugin for WordPress.

Rank Math helps me structure my content, ensure I’m hitting the keyword and related phrases, create visually appealing content, and leverage internal and external links.

If you’ve got goals that don’t energize you but give you anxiety or overwhelm, evaluate them through the DUMB or CLEAR frameworks.

Adjusting your goals is ok and often necessary.

Changing course is ok as long as you don’t change your entire strategy.


  • Sometimes, S.M.A.R.T. goals don’t work
  • Alternatives are D.U.M.B. or C.L.E.A.R. goals
  • Content creator goals should fuel you, not stress you
  • Use tools that make your life easier, like Jasper or Rank Math SEO.

Whenever you're ready, here are four ways I can help you:

1. Turn your existing email list into a predictable income source, even your struggling to grow and nurture your subscribers. Supercharge your email list today.

2. Join Get Your First Sponsor and get sponsors for your podcast, newsletter, or virtual summit.

3. Get more subscribers and earn more money from your newsletter with List Building School (3,900+ attendees)

4. ​Book a 1-hour call and let me help you directly.


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