S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting for Youtube

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First and foremost your goal must be specific. For example. “I want to improve my channel content” is an open ended goal and much to vague. Instead when setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal think about the specifics. Some examples of specific smart goals would be:

  • I want to publish 8 videos

  • I want to update my channel art

  • I want to start a blog to compliment my channel


Not only do goals have to be specific to ensure completion but they must also be measurable or have some sort of metric put into place to ensure that you know that your goals are getting accomplished. Some metrics for the above goals could be:

  • I want to publish 8 videos, I will do this by producing and uploading a video every week.

  • I want to update my channel art, I will do this by creating three different options to choose from

  • I want to start a blog to compliment my channel, I will do this by researching 4 different blogging platforms and choosing the one I like the most.


Goals must ALWAYS be attainable, meaning, that you must be able to accomplish it solely on your own or with your creator team.(I.E. publishing 8 videos, updating channel art, and starting a blog!) We must remember to not fall into the subscriber/view count trap. It is easy to want to have a subscriber or view count related goal (who doesn't want to get those first 100 subs or first 10k views?!?). BUT these milestones do not make for S.M.A.R.T. goals because we cannot reasonably attain them on our own. We can put in all the hard work possible into our channels and it is STILL up to others to click our content and hit that subscribe button.


Something to keep in mind when goal setting is that your goals needs to be relevant to both your cause (content creation/brand expansion) and experience (your subscriber/video count etc.) For example, a brand new creator with 25 subscribers will not need set a goal for finding a channel manager but an established creator with 25k+ subscribers might! And in turn, a 25k+ subscriber channel will probably already have a set upload schedule, established channel branding, and utilizing their social medias, but a small 25 sub channel might not have started exploring that resource yet!

Time Bound

Lastly we must remember that for our goals to be achievable they must be time bound. Due dates help to focus our efforts and work and helps us from procrastinating. As creators we will want to have a mixture of short, medium, and long term goals. Using our examples from before:

  • I want to publish 8 videos, 1 a week, to be completed in 2 months - short term goal

  • I want to new channel art, 3 options to choose from, to be completed in  12 months - long term goal

  • I want to start a blog, 4 options to compare, to be completed in 6 months - medium term goal

Short, medium, and long term goals help to sort, distribute, and prioritize the workload. First and foremost you want to get the content up and flowing at a constant rate. THEN you can focus on fleshing out the other areas of your brand, like a blog! Once your channel has a rhythm and a personality you could turn your attention to updating the channel art.  

Learn More:

  • Doran, G. T. (1981). "There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives". Management Review. AMA FORUM. 70 (11): 35–36.

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