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Every successful blogger has a business plan. It shows that you’re serious about growing the business, and helps you know how to structure and run your new blog.
Long gone are the days when people started blogs just as a hobby. These days, people start blogs to influence people and build wealth. If that’s you too, you need a business plan for your blog.
Initially, I had a women’s lifestyle blog daleneekirapa.com that I had started back in 2017 as a hobby. I never made money with it till a year and a half later, which wasn’t much – maybe $50 on a good month. Through that blog, I learnt a lot of the ins and outs of blogging, and I appreciate that journey!
Then I decided to launch two new blogs and dismiss that-something I did in March 2020.
The two blogs are:
Dal Meets Glam – a women’s fashion, skincare, wellness blog. This blog featured good articles from my old blog, thus, had an upper hand thanks to redirected traffic.
Homes N Away – a food, travel & homes blog. This blog was absolutely new, and I had to build its traffic from scratch.
5 months later, both blogs are bringing in a significant income that is steadily growing. In this article, I want to talk about the new Homes N Away site, since I know most of us would appreciate knowing how a good business plan can help propel your blog.
In order to turn your blog into a viable business in the first place, you need to create a strategic business plan for your blog.
See The Contents
- 1 How to Create a Business Plan For Your Blog in 5 Easy Steps
- 2 What Is A Blog Business Plan?
- 3 1. Define Your Blog’s Bigger Picture A.K.A Blog Business Goals
- 4 2. Analyze Your Competition!
- 5 3. Start Your Blog & Grow It Profitably!
- 6 4. Lay Down Groundwork For Your Blogging Strategy
- 7 5. Create SEO-Optimized Content & Put Your Plan Into Action!
How to Create a Business Plan For Your Blog in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a blog is so easy that everyone can do it. And everyone pretty much does. But creating a successful blog, that’s harder.
So, what is a successful blog? This kind of a blog has:
- A consistent schedule of content publishing,
- Workable and consistent ways of bringing in traffic to your blog,
- Various channels of monetization.
If you’re a new blogger, you should appreciate the 3-step process above. Getting into blogging just for the money, and fore-going the 2 steps above will have you quit sooner.
Thus, a solid business plan for your blog will help you successfully walk through each of the steps above. Now let’s create one…inspired by how I was able to grow my new site to $400 a month.
What Is A Blog Business Plan?
A business plan is a roadmap for your business. It carefully outlines your goals and how to achieve them. It also gives timelines and deadlines, a key component for achieving goals.
Do You Need A Business Plan For Your Blog?
Yes, you do! Creating a good business plan for your blog is fundamental! It will help:
- Guide you through each stage of starting and managing your blog.
- Outlines the path your blogging business intends to take to make money and grow revenue.
- Inform your decision making as you move forward. For instance, it is essential whether you need to invest in a course to improve your knowledge or hire writers too.
- Ensure you reach your blog milestones.
- Keep you accountable in ensuring your blog succeeds.
- Create reasonable goals per time.
Having a solid business plan for your blog is key. But the zeal to follow it closely matters even more.
Now, let’s help you create one for your blog, whether it’s new or a few months or years old.
Purchase The Mompreneur Blog Planner Kit I Use On Creative Market
1. Define Your Blog’s Bigger Picture A.K.A Blog Business Goals
You want to first start by defining the primary goals for your blog i.e. where you want your blog to be.
Laying your blog’s foundation is fundamental if you want to scale your business sooner, provide the right content, get the target audience and have a rough idea of how you’d want to monetize.
To do this:
Pick A Niche
A niche is a specialized or focused area of a broader market that your blog differentiate themselves from the competition.
When picking a niche, here are some important considerations to put it mind:
- Seasonality – will your blog provide evergreen content or just during some seasons like summer? Avoid niches with a short and narrow windows and go for those that will provide readership, income and remain relevant throughout.
- Monetization – is your market really monetizable? E.g are there affiliate products within that niche? You want a niche with broad monetization options and not just ads.
- Trends – some sites boom during some trends like a pandemic and die down when the trends are off. Say goodbye to those, and prefer industry topics that don’t die.
- Size of the Niche – is the niche arguably too small for a ton of pageviews? Are just a few people interested in such kind of a topic? Instead, pick a broader niche that will serve more people.
- Your Lifestyle – does the kind of blog you want to start align with your particular lifestyle? Would you invest your time and effort into it? You want to pick a niche that you are knowledgeable about, enjoy or would be interested in knowing more about.
- The Competition: Some niches are very competitive for beginners! Unless you’re an SEO or marketing expert, or a celebrity with a huge following, it might be so hard for your succeed easily. However, if you can do search analysis and you’re a good teacher in words, you can nail it!
- The Ability to Outsource Content: a good site can have guest authors on. If your niche is just about you, and no one else can write on it, you want to think twice!
- Site Relevance: is your site relevant on Google? Your site must be relatable to the kind of search terms you want to rank for, as well, they must be on demand.
- Regionality: if your blog content can apply to a large audience globally, it will be easier for you to grow. However, a blog that shares content around your exact area can be limited in terms of traffic.
You want to pick a niche that you are interested in building a blog business around it, and has enough demand for you to grow a potentially profitable blog.
Determine Your Target Audience
Your target audience is the intended audience or readership of your blog.
The better you understand your target market, the more you’ll be able to focus your content and products, and reach the audience most likely to convert into customers.
Some point to consider when defining your target audience include:
- Demographics – This includes factors like their age, gender, location, living status.
- Psychographics – This factors in their interests, attitudes, values, opinions, lifestyles and personalities.
Understanding your target audience will help you know what problem you’re solving for them, thus, the content and products you’ll create in the long run.
Determine Your Monetization Strategies
Now that you’re clear about your niche and audience, let’s help you know how to monetize your blog business.
There are many ways of actually monetizing your blog. Some of the best ways include: displayed advertisements, selling affiliate products, selling your own digital products like eBooks, printables, planners and online courses, and sponsored posts.
While all these money-making channels are great, you want to employ a route that works best in your niche, and your kind of audience.
On Homes N Away, I was able to earn $400+ in my 5-month blogging in these ways:
- Ezoic Ads income – $50 with 5,111 page views
- Amazon Affiliates – $8.50
- Sponsored Content– $190
- Freelance Writing For Homes-Related Content– $80
Set SMART Goals
We’ve already broken down the 3 keys of a successful blog business plan, now we have to write down clear, smart and achievable goals.
It’s important to have long-term goals for your business. However, it’s important to also have short-term goals that are easy to track. These can be weekly, monthly or quarterly goals.
Here are some of the goals I have for Homes N Away, for its first year:
- Publishing at least 3 articles a week (currently, I have 77 articles within 7 months)
- Spending 2 hours daily promoting it, and looking for more article ideas (my largest traffic source is Pinterest that guarantees 80% of the traffic thanks to my daily pinning routine)
- Hitting 15,000 monthly page views consistently (I’m currently at 5000PVs a month)
- Earning $100 monthly ad income (my blog is monetized by Ezoic Ads and you can see the numbers for the last 30days! I’m actually doing very well)
Ezoic Ads allow for sites with over 10,000 page views. However, I joined Ezoic Ads with my old blog that averaged more than those numbers. Thus, I was able to add my new sites to the platform and they were accepted.
Here’s what Homes N Away made just from ads in the last 30 days (*September 12th, 2020 update)
Having realistic goals is key to ensuring you meets them, and have a sense of satisfaction from your blog business. At the end of the day, you want to make money whilst enjoying the process!
2. Analyze Your Competition!
Every successful person or company knows their competition- so should you!
Learning your competition helps you know who you’re coming up against. Knowing this data is fundamental because it will help you position your blog uniquely to attract readers that are dear to you.
You want to look into:
Your Main Competitors:
Who else is blogging in your chosen niche? Compile :
- brief profiles on the leading blogs in your niche,
- their blog design and content ideas,
- their marketing strategies, for instance, Pinterest marketing strategies,
- resources they offer such as eBooks, courses or programs), and more.
You should note any particular feature that stands out to you and figure out what they do best and why it works.
A good place to start it on Ubersuggest. Here is how you can go about analyzing your competitors:
- Do a quick keyword research by typing a sample keyword phrase you want to rank for in Google search. e.g business plan for blog
- Take a careful look at the search volume, searchers demographic data, trends and more.
- Note the articles & sites already ranking for those search terms, particularly, on the first few pages.
- Thoroughly go through their content, looking at their content approach, and monetization efforts e.g ads, digital products and affiliate programs they sell.
- Also, gather intel and find gaps within their strategies. For instance, is there a clear opportunity for creating better and more helpful content than theirs?
Learning from the competition provides meaningful insights that you can incorporate into your own blog business plans.
It can show you what your competitors aren’t doing and this data is key as you will know how to set your blog apart.
3. Start Your Blog & Grow It Profitably!
Welcome to the much easy part- starting a blog!
Thanks to blog hosting platforms like WordPress, the process of actually starting your own blog has been made easier.
All the steps of starting a blog has been broken down in this guide: How to Start a Successful Blog (and Make Money).
Once you’ve got an overview of your blog business, it’s time to start thinking about the details. For a quick overview, these are the most important aspects of setting up your blog:
Your blog name and domain name
You want to try as much as possible to get a blog name that fits your brand or niche.
Your web host
I personally use Bluehost, an affordable, reliable and amazing web hosting company out there.
Plus, they offer free domain registration when you sign up for your hosting plan. Starting a premium , for instance, .com blog establishes trust with your audience sooner.
Your blog design
Bluehost and WordPress make an amazing blogging starter pack. Good thing, WordPress comes free, thus, a no-brainer that as it means cutting down on your expenses (a bonus in any blog business plan).
Design your website, making sure it feels professional enough to establish trust with the types of readers you want to attract and retain.
Branding your blog right from day 1 is fundamental for your blog’s success. While a good logo is good, there is more to branding, including:
- Visual aesthetics: an attractive, easy-to-navigate and clean-looking blog layout will add to the visual appeal of your blog. Thus, the importance of a good theme. I personally use Hello Blush from Hello You Themes.
- Blog personality: this encompasses your writing tone, style, color palettes and the vibe you want your readers to pick up on.
- Your vision and mission: This will help dictate the type of the content you produce. For example, my aim with Homes N Away is to inspire food, travel and home decor options for my readers to live comfortably and joyously.
- Your categories, topics and tags: this grouping makes your blog easy to navigate and very user-friendly. The right tags will help you rank on search too so you want to use short and precise tags that are searchable.
4. Lay Down Groundwork For Your Blogging Strategy
By now, your blogging business plan is looking pretty professional but there’s still more work to be done: laying the foundation of your blogging strategy.
To do that, you need to identify:
Consistency is the key to success. Right from the beginning, develop a blogging schedule and stick to it.
This will help get readers in the habit of returning to your blog at regular intervals and makes it easier to get yourself in the habit of a regular deadline.
- Define how much time you’ll put into your blog everyday. This could include the time for researching, creating and promoting your content.
- Craft a workable schedule for you to ensure you show up everyday. You can paste in on your home office board and tick off what you accomplish by the day.
Here is a good blogging planner that I use, I got it off Convertkit. This ready-to-print planner includes:
- 1 Daily Planner
- 1 Weekly Planner
- 1 Monthly Planner
- 1 Month At a Glance
- 1 Planner Page Grid for scheduling anything
Your Marketing Strategy:
How do you intend to market your blog in order to reach the right audience?
There are a couple of proven ways in which you can start getting traffic to your new blog: SEO marketing has to be the most effective whether on Google or Pinterest.
While it takes longer, approximately 3-6 months or more for a new site to start ranking on Google search, Pinterest is a faster alternative that offers immediate traffic with consistent input.
I have been able to grow a new Pinterest account for my 7-month old blog Homes N Away to 2m+ monthly viewers that translates to at least 150+ clicks a day.
How did I do that?
I purchased the Big Pin Energy Guide by Emily, an Ultimate guide on how to start a Pinterest account and grow to upto 5,000 clicks a day and 150,000+ page views a month! Emily shares amazing insights on her Twitter page, you want to follow her there too!
Figure out how to nail your traffic sources for the types of readers you want to attract—and your blog business is almost guaranteed to thrive.
As you start your blog, also put in mind your strategies for email marketing. Building an email list is key especially if you want to sell products to your audience soon.
Starting as soon as possible is great. While you can always have a subscription form on your blog, having a freebie to offer your readers will entice them to join your list.
I’ve been using ConvertKit to build new forms and landing pages to grow my email list as a creator. It’s the easiest way to launch your next creative project!
Sign up through the link below and you’ll unlock 1,000 subscribers for free.
5. Create SEO-Optimized Content & Put Your Plan Into Action!
Content is king! Thus, more people to your blog if you create extremely valuable content within your niche.
If you can create share-worthy content, then more people who stumble upon your article are going to want to spread the word to others they know— whether through social media sites, search engines, online communities or more.
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Some of the best SEO practices that can get your content discovered by more people include:
- Nailing your keyword research!
- Taking your time writing quality SEO-friendly content,
- Using the right headings & precise tags,
- Optimizing your blog URLs,
- Crafting a click-worthy meta description,
- Focusing on user intent and understanding the needs of searchers,
- Optimizing your images,
- Being strategic with your links,
- Having a mobile-friendly, fast-loading site,
- Promoting your content (where your audience is spending their time online)
Also, be sure to follow your business plan in order to come to fruition. While I’d put things in place in regards to my blog business plan, I wasn’t didn’t see it through in its first two months. Then in its third month, I decided to review my business plan, and dive right in!
I put in at least 5 hours a week since and you can see the steady growth in the screenshot below:
What I’m I trying to say? Developing a business plan for your blog is good, only if, you will follow it through to ensure you succeed.
Don’t be lazy and sit around like I did in the first two months, because the earlier you start working on your blog, the better!
P.S: I updated my schedule as of the 14th of September,2020 to 5 hours a day of blogging work, I’ll be sure to share the updates in a future blog post.
Every business plan needs concrete specifics you can track and manage, checking progress, reviewing, and steering the business. For a blog, there are a ton of metrics including:
- Convertkit for subscribers,
- Google Analytics for tracking the performance of your blog,
- Tailwind stats & Pinterest stats if you use the platforms for Pinterest marketing,
- You can also look into your comments, and feedback.
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Do you have a business plan for your blog? Would love to know your blogging experiences too!