How to Create a Blogging Business Plan - TheCollectiveMill.com - Blogging & Business Tips

How to Create a Blogging Business Plan
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A blogging business plan is so important if you’re a new blogger. It will help you set goals, define your target market, determine what differentiates your blog from competitors, put together a marketing plan, and figure out the best ways to monetize your blog. Plus, when you write things down they’re more likely to happen. Now let’s look at what exactly goes into a blogging business plan (and grab this FREE worksheet to help you along the way.) 

Executive Summary

The first thing you want to work on is your executive summary. This is where you’re going to sum up your blog in a few, short paragraphs. You can include the inspiration behind your blog and your goals over the next year, three years, or even five years. This is also the place where you’re going to put together your mission statement. A mission statement defines your blog’s values, goals, and purpose in one-sentence. Basically, it sums up what your blog is about and what makes it awesome. The executive summary is important because it really makes you think about why you’re starting a blog and what you want to achieve.

Target Market

The next step when putting together your blogging business plan is to define your target market. Who exactly are you creating your blog for? Maybe you’re creating your blog for new moms who are interested in healthy recipes. Or maybe your blog is focused on twenty-somethings interested in urban gardening. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to come up with blog posts, decide what sort of images you want to use on your blog, and overall stay on brand. Plus, if you’re always writing about one specific topic, your audience is going to love everything you create. Below are a few ideas to help you define your target market:

     ●  What is their age?
     ●  What are their hobbies?
     ●  What is their gender?
     ●  Where do they live?
     ●  What do they do for work?
     ●  What is their income?
     ●  What other blogs do they like to read?
     ●  Do they use social media?
     ●  Do they purchase products online?
     ●  How often are they online?
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How to Create a Blogging Business Plan - TheCollectiveMill.com - Blogging & Business Tips

Competitive Analysis

Now it’s time to put together your competitive analysis. The competitive analysis will help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. This will show you what you’re up against. However, it will also reveal opportunities that your competitors may not be taking advantage of. Spend some time researching your competitors and write down a list of their strengths and weaknesses. For example, when you’re putting together your blogging business plan, it may end up looking something like this:

     Strengths
   Weaknesses
       ●  Large Twitter following 
     ●  Not utilizing Pinterest
       ●  Engaged community
     ●  Hasn’t created a Facebook group
       ●  Hosts a podcast 
     ●  No video content
       ●  Over 100 blog posts
     ●  Shorter blog posts
       ●  Professional theme
     ●  No freebies
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Once you put together your list, it will be so much easier to determine what opportunities are out there – and that’s exactly what’s going to make your blog unique.

Differentiation

Your competitive analysis is done! Now we can use it to determine what will differentiate your blog from your competition. Look back at each strength and weakness you wrote down to help you determine different ways to stand out. Let’s say your main competitor has a large Twitter following. If that’s the case, you can become an authority on Pinterest. If your competitor hosts podcasts, you can be known for creating awesome videos. Or if they write shorter blog posts, you can focus on creating long, detailed ones. If you want to grow your blog and brand, figuring out what makes your blog unique is crucial. Especially because what differentiates your blog will be the exact reason why your audience loves you and keeps coming back for more. 

Monetization

Now it’s time to focus on how you’re going to monetize your blog. Luckily, as a blogger we have so many different types of opportunities. Do you want to sell a product or service? Or maybe you want to work with sponsors or affiliate networks. Whichever you choose, the important thing is to write down how you’re going to reach your goals. If you want to sell four advertisements per month, write two sponsored posts, or create an e-course, what steps do you need to take to get there? Mapping out exactly how you’re going to monetize your blog will help you put a strategy in place. Now let’s look at three different ways you can start making some moolah:

Products and Services
If you decide to sell products or services on your blog, there are so many different options. You can sell an e-book or e-course, create WordPress themes or digital fonts, offer consulting services, etc. Really anything you’re good at, you can bundle up into a package and sell on your blog.

Advertisements
Advertisements can be the perfect way to generate a passive income. Plus, ads are easy to set up and don’t require very much work to maintain. You can work with an advertising networking, like Google Adsense, where they connect your blog with brands. Or you can even use an adverting platform, like PassionFruit Ads, where you’re the one selling ad space and they handle the technical side for you. The only negative side is that you may need a larger audience to generate a decent income.

Sponsorships
You can also offer sponsorships on your blog. Sponsorships are nice because they’re straightforward and easy to implement. Plus, you can choose sponsors you want to work with and turn down the ones that don’t complement your brand. There are also different types of sponsorships – sponsored posts, product and service reviews, brand ambassadorships, newsletter promotions – so you can choose which ones work best for you.

How to Create a Blogging Business Plan - TheCollectiveMill.com - Blogging & Business Tips

Marketing

The last step is to figure out your marketing plan. If your goal is to monetize your blog, a good chunk of you time needs to be dedicated to growing your brand. So now is the time to brainstorm how you’re going to drive traffic back to your blog and connect with your audience.

Social Media
When you’re first starting out, one easy way to promote your blog is through social media. Start by choosing one or two social media platforms and give them a ton of love. If you focus on sharing awesome content that relates to your brand, you will start to build a following while connecting with your target market.

Advertisements
Once you’re ready to start spending a little bit of money, you can invest in advertisements. You can pay for promoted pins on Pinterest or invest in Facebook ads. You can also look for similar blogs that offer advertisements. That way you’re reaching a brand new audience that’s still within your niche.

Relationships
Another way to promote your brand is by focusing on building a long-term relationship with your audience. That could mean you reply back to every comment on your blog, send out an awesome newsletter, or truly connect with people who follow you across social media. There are a lot of ways to promote your blog. Once you figure out what works for you, create a schedule to make sure you implement it.


Although a blogging business plan may seem like a lot of work, I promise it will save you a ton of time in the long run. It will help you determine what makes your blog unique, who exactly falls under your target market, and the best ways to monetize your blog. Plus, it’s going to help you become even more organized.

Pro Tip: Also, if you’re just starting out and host your website through Bluehost, it comes with a FREE domain name. AND hosting plans start out at as little as $3.95 per month. Check it out HERE!


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2 Comments

  1. That is a great explanation of starting a blog as a job. People underestimate the amount of work someone has to put to get results. A blog is like starting a business, you have to work and understand the audience and attract sponsors based on your content. Great tips.

    • It totally is. And if you don’t think of it as business, you’re only going to create more work for yourself. Thanks for the comment!!! : )

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