How to Make a Blog Business Plan
My day job requires me to train the next wave of sales and marketing students at the collegiate level. Not a teacher, more of a consultant and coach for students at 60 different universities. I am responsible for all of the student services that we provide, which is half of the organization. I have worked my way up now to second in command, winning marketing awards, and have a team working under me. I’ve had to create strategic plans for our organization, which isn’t too different than a blog business plan.
Enough about me, now it’s about you.
Are you just starting a blog and hoping to make a profit from it? Or maybe you already have a blog but have no idea how to take it to the next step.
Either way, you need to create a blog business plan because if you don’t treat it like a business, it is not going to make money like a business.
What should you include in your blog business plan?
You definitely need to start with the basics.
What is your niche?
What problems do you want to solve for your readers?
Why are you the person your readers should trust on the subject?
This does NOT mean you have to be an expert on the subject. Hell, you could be learning something completely new to you and relaying the information and adding your spin on it. As long as you are transparent that you are not an expert and can make mistakes might actually give you more credibility and provide comfort to your readers.
Notice how I did NOT say “What are you going to write about?”
It is important that your readers see you as a means to an end. So you need to be a place where they can look to for advice or expertise.
Let’s say you want to run a blog where you talk about your weight loss transformation. What good will it do your readers to see that you had success… but then you don’t tell them the exact steps you did it (recipes, workouts, etc.)? If you just write that you lost so many pounds and feel great and its all about you, you are going to turn off your readers AND probably run out of things to say pretty quickly.
Who is Your Blog Audience?
You need to have a crystal clear image of who you are speaking to when writing your blog posts. A lot of people skip this step, thinking their audience is “anyone that reads it” and those people miss out on the insane advantage of connecting to a certain type. If you run a knitting blog, you need to appeal to what a crafty person likes. This sounds like something that doesn’t need to be said, but I promise you, your readers will connect with your message so much more if they feel like you are talking directly to them.
How does your audience like to feel? For some niches, it may be that they want to feel like the blogger is their best friend, some might want to feel like they are going to get their problem solved without any extra fluff.
How are you going to address your readers? Remember, it is about connecting with them. I saw one blogger kept referring to her audience as “Hey BFF!” and I promptly closed the browser window and never went back. You don’t know me!
Now that you have your audience in mind, approach your blog posts in a way that you would if you were talking to them in person.
What makes you different from your competitors? In other words, why will readers come to YOU instead of someone else?
When you are looking at blogs that are similar to yours, it is extremely important that you are only looking to figure out how you are going to be DIFFERENT. No copying.
Are you going to see good ideas? Yeah, of course. But you need to put your own spin on them. Don’t copy someone’s exact theme, opt-in, posts, etc.
Also, when I say “competitor,’ that doesn’t just mean the blogs that are almost the exact niche as you. Are there podcasts, books, or even brick and mortar shops that will have the same audience?
This is an incredibly important part of turning your blog into a profitable side-hustle (then a full-hustle if you’re into that sort of thing).
In my FREE mini-course, Goal Setting For Bloggers, I want to walk you through the right steps of creating rock-solid blog goals and inspiring you to take action today.
Your goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. and lead you to that ultimate big goal. That goal is the one that if it came true today, you would be at (what you think) is the peak. I bet you have something in mind right now, but I already know it is not big enough. Times that by ten and maybe we are getting closer to your actual potential.
I go WAY more in-depth on this part in my mini-course, so I highly recommend you check it out. Your blog depends on it! Sign up here!
Your Services and/or Product
In order to make money, you have to offer something. That is about as basic as it is going to get.
What are you going to offer? An E-Course? Services? Patterns? Images? Printables? E-Book? Real book? It’s all up to you!
How much are you going to price it for? Make sure it is not only fair to your customers but fair to yourself. If your product is going to solve a problem, what is that worth to someone? If you create a training about how to change your own oil, think about how much money you are saving your customer. Probably like $120 a year, if not more… so don’t charge only $10!
Thinking back about your competitors, how are you setting yourself apart from the service or product they offer? Reminder: Price is only ONE aspect of this.
Attracting Your Audience
Marketing Your Blog/Services/Products
Once you have your service or product created, the last thing you will need to know is how you are going to put it out into the world. Every company out there has had to create this plan and your blog business plan is no different.
How are you going to promote your blog/service/product? Ads? Social Media? Pinterest?
Get as detailed as you possibly can about what you are going to do and what you need in order to do it. Are you going to need to hire a photographer or designer? Are you going to need to take an online course to learn how to purchase ads?
What is your strategy going to be for collecting contact information for your potential customers? An opt-in is a very common and smart way to stay in touch with your readers. Create something that you will give away, and all it will cost is a working email to access? Do not feel like you are getting screwed over by giving away something. Having direct access to, and a list of people that want your offerings is invaluable.
Think about it, I am not going to go to a website and give my email to access crochet patterns, because I don’t know how to crochet. My aunt would happily do so and then that blogger has an instant connection with someone that cares. It is the difference between those people in the mall trying to sell EVERYONE a new hair straightener and someone offering one inside a hair salon. Getting in front of the right crowd matters.
Check everything out and do the math on how much money you will make per sale. You will need to prepare to pay for the convenience of selling online. Change your prices accordingly if the percentage is more or less than expected.
It is magnitudes easier to sell to someone that has already bought from you than to create a new customer. Even if a customer has purchased everything the can from you at this time. Keep your customers and audience engaged and informed about what you are going to offer in the future.
Then, when you are ready to launch a product, this group is more likely to buy a premium product than a brand new customer.
I hope this gave you a much clearer picture of the direction of your blog and what you need to focus on. If you followed my plan and launched your blog, put it in the comments, I would love to check it out!