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How To Create a Business Plan For Your Blog

By Nov 21, 2013 July 9th, 2014 47 Comments

Are you looking for direction when it comes to your blog? Today we’re focusing on how to develop an effective business plan to take your website in the direction it needs to go. By following these steps, putting together a business plan is easier than you might think!

When I first made the leap into the blogging world, I did what all new bloggers do; I started researching all the things bloggers are “supposed” to be doing. I was excited, proud, and passionate about my little space on the Internet. I quickly realized that being successful in blogging requires a lot more than stellar writing; it requires time, commitment, an appealing design, high quality photos, marketing, social media savvy, and a strategic focus.

How To Create A Business Plan For Your Blog

How to Create a Business Plan

Take a look around at your favorite successful bloggers.  You will see that most of them have been blogging for a year or more, and none of them became successful by accident.  Great bloggers have a clear vision about who they are in the blogging world, where they want to take their blog, and who they are trying to reach.  The good news is anyone can be successful in blogging with a plan and a lot of passion.  Today we are going to share with you how to create a business plan for your blog.

Step 1: Define Your Product and Your Purpose

Every business plan begins with an idea for a product.  It might be a tangible product like a fabulous line of cowboy boots or it might be a service, such as party and event planning.  Bloggers also offer a product, we offer writing that entertains our readers, we offer advice and tutorials, we share our experience and expertise.  In order to take your blog forward, it is important to understand what it is you want to offer your readers.  Are you hoping to provide them with inspirational writing, make them laugh, teach them how to make a centerpiece?

Step 2: Define Your Brand

Your brand stems from your purpose.  Once you have an idea what it is you are going to offer your readers, your product, so to speak, you need to position it in the blogging marketplace.  Honda markets itself as a reliable and affordable car, while BMW differentiates itself as a luxury vehicle.  Who do you want to be in the blogging world?  How do you want to be perceived?  Are you a busy working mom with talent for organizing, or are you a health conscious chef?  Be clear about who you are as a blogger and this will guide your path as you grow your blog.

Step 3: Identify Your Audience

Any blogger will tell you, in the beginning, readers do not magically appear.  You have to go out and find them.  Before you can find them, you need to know who they are.  What kind of readers would be attracted to your content?  Is it women?  College students and singles?  Moms?  Tech lovers?  Crafters?

Step 4: Determine Your Budget

Most businesses involve some start up costs.  Before a business is able to bring in any revenue, it often has to invest in equipment, offices, and marketing.  This may not be possible for all new bloggers, and that’s okay.  Many blogs are able gain traction using free platforms and templates.  However, you may be able to reach your business plan goals more quickly if you make some upfront investments.  If you are able to, investing in a unique domain name, hosting service, and a premium theme or design will do wonders for your branding and attracting sponsors, brands, and readers.  These are the things that project professionalism, commitment to your blog, and differentiate your blog as business rather than a hobby.

Step 5: Define Your Long Term Goals

At The SITS Girls, we like to talk about defining your end game.  As bloggers, we need to know where we are going before we can decide how we are going to get there.  Take some time to contemplate where you want to take your blog.  Be specific.  Do you want to monetize your blog?  What are your income goals?  Do you want to use your blog to launch and market a product or service?  Do you hope to turn your blog into a book?  What is your timeline?

Step 6: Create a Marketing Strategy

Now that you know who your readers are, you need to find out how to reach them.  Where do your readers hang out?  What social media platforms are they most active on?  Do you have topics that are frequently searched for online?  Do your research and investigate what other successful bloggers in your niche are doing.

Step 7: Set Short Term Objectives

When you have a long term focus, it can help to set short term objectives to help you stay motivated and measure your progress.  If your marketing strategy involves growing your social media platforms, you can set numerical goals to increase your following on a monthly or quarterly basis.  If your strategy involves search engine traffic, you may want to set goals to increase your page rank for certain flagship blog posts. Regardless of your strategy, it is important to set small milestones to keep yourself on track.  It also keeps you from getting overwhelmed.  Think “small manageable steps.”

Your Turn

Let’s keep the discussion around how to develop a business plan going. Leave a comment on this post below or head over to our Facebook page to keep the conversation going.

No matter what your blogs goals are, a little planning goes a long way.  Have you created a business plan for your blog? What has worked and what hasn’t?

Ready for More? Keep Reading!

If you enjoyed this post on creating a business plan for your blog, then keep reading!

About Stevie

Stevie, short for Stephanie, is a self-proclaimed coffee addict, wife, and mother to three fur babies that have taken over her heart and home. A lover of words and yoga, she blogs at Joy in the Midst of about her quest for joy, learning to love a little deeper, laugh a little more often, and live with more gratitude for all the blessings life has given her. She serves as a Community Lead for the SITS Girls and can also be found hanging out on Facebook or tweeting away at @joyinthemidstof.

47 Comments

  • […] How to create a business plan for your blog […]

  • Alex Roberson says:

    Most people don’t understand the countless hours that go into creating a business plan. My motto is “Let the experts handle that!” I found a really good company that creates Custom Business Plans for all industries http://www.ybcgroup.com. This is worth giving them a look into. They have created thousands of business plans and funded startups with over 500 million dollars.

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  • Shashee says:

    These are awesome tips! Lately I have been struggling with what my goals are for my blog because my ideas are great, just all over the place. I took a small break, now I am dusting myself off and trying again. Thank you for sharing! Very helpful!

  • Lots of good stuff to think about. I started my blog on a whim and never dreamed that anyone other than my mom would read it. Eight months in, things look a whole lot different. I need a plan for sure. I am old school, so I am printing this out and highlighting it to motivate me to make one! 🙂 Thanks much.

  • Ah yes,I was just having the business plan conversation last night. Does it count if it’s all floating around in my head? 😛

  • Rosenda V says:

    Thank you for the great tips Stevie! When I began it was basically for the love of writing. As my research increased and after studying other bloggers I realized how blogging can be a business. I love having the choice to have balance. I totally agree that learning from other bloggers increases our chance for success.

  • Charlotte says:

    I like this: small manageable steps. Makes diving head-first into blogging seem a lot less daunting. These are some incredibly useful tips–I really want to think about some of my blogging goals in the New Year so perfect timing 🙂

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  • corlie says:

    Great advice Stevie, I like your reply to Jeannete, saying that the person is the brand not the blog. It’s hard to stay focussed and figure out what the goal is when you start, I have only been going for two months now and I really have to try so hard to keep it all together somehow/1

  • yonca says:

    Those are great instructions for new blogers. I think deciding what you want-your goal is almost making a half way to reach it.

  • Susan says:

    Um, blogging can be a business? Where have I been?

  • Stevie says:

    It’s so tough isn’t it? But on the flip side, sometimes I have been so caught up planning that I’m taking time away from generating content. It has to be a balance!

  • Gracielle says:

    Great tips, Stevie! I get caught up in the grind of posting content itself. It’s always good to take a step back and look at the long-term goals for my blog. I so needed this!

  • Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I started my blog as a creative outlet and have recently decided that I want to turn it into a small business. Figuring out exactly how to proceed forward has been overwhelming. This gives me lots to think about and a guideline for basic planning. Thanks again ladies!

  • Chelsea Moos says:

    I have yet to create a plan, but with this, I expect it to be a lot less intimidating. I got a piece of advice once about social media. Focus on one or two at first and grow them, once you get the hang of it, then you have the choice to branch out to other platforms. Otherwise it can be too overwhelming. Thanks ladies!

    • Stevie says:

      I think that is great advice Chelsea, there are so many platforms it can easily get overwhelming! Best of luck with your planning! I’m working on getting more specific with mine.

  • Sarah Fuller says:

    Thanks so much for these great reminders.

  • Anne says:

    I feel like I am the slowest person ever to get this all together, so thank you for these tips. I have been at overwhelm for some time but do understand much better after reading this article, taking notes and will start again. Thank all the others that posted too.

  • Jeanette says:

    I have been blogging since 2010 and it’s first now that I realize what my goal are and I want to turn it in to a small business. But my only problem is that I have a hard time to figure out the brand. I write about different things that I like. It is fashion, home decor, my daily life and sharing product reviews. In the same time that I want to make a brand I don’t know my niche:-/ It feels like I really need to let my blog get a niche!

    • Stevie says:

      I think it is totally okay to have lots of topics and cover several niches. I believe that you are the brand, not just the blog. So maybe think about you, and how you want people to see you, use your personality to guide your brand.

  • Kam kay says:

    Some of the great points every new blogger should consider. Thanks for the great tips Stevie 🙂

  • Natasha says:

    Thank you for the advice! I started my blog with a dual purpose, to share and to turn it into a business. With having a tot my biggest obstacle is finding the time to get more into it! I have recently set up a blog planner to help me with setting long term to short term goals with an action plan for each. I am still busy with my planning, but it has definitely helped me so far to get a bit more focused!

    • Natasha says:

      Oh, by the way. I am also using my time a bit more productively to get things going. Having a mobile device, such as an iPad, really helps to make the most of the little gaps of time I have available!!

    • Stevie says:

      A blog planner sounds amazing. Is that something you created yourself? I agree, mobile devices are so helpful. I use my phone for most of my social media interaction.

      • Natasha says:

        Hi, Stevie!

        Yes, I have created my blog planner myself, though I looked at those of others and customized it to my own needs. Still testing it:) I don’t know where I would have been with my blog if it wasn’t for my phone or iPad! What a blessing!

        Thanx for replying! It is awesome to get feedback from seasoned bloggers! It is really appreciated!

  • The only thing I’d add to this list is: be flexible. Technology is changing at lightning speed, which affects everyone who has an online presence and web properties.

    You can’t do it all, but you can define what’s worked in the past and where you want to go. However…while you keep your eyes on the prize, don’t become so steadfast that you miss other opportunities as they arise.

    Because they will! 🙂

    Stay open to other possibilities developing and things changing, because they always do. Where I started in late 2010 and where Big Grey Horse Media is today, at the end of 2013, are two totally different places. And it’s been very exciting to watch my blog morph into areas I’d never dreamed of!

    Thanks for a super article! You’ve given me things to think about, and several ideas to write about. ;-).

    • Stevie says:

      Wonderful advice Laura! Just look at how rapidly Facebook marketing has changed! I think as bloggers we can be long term focused, and still be open to changing that strategy if and when opportunities arise or our inspiration takes us a different route.

  • Hasby says:

    oh…really this article help me to move on. Thanks for share

  • Stevie says:

    I know it really is tough. As I was writing this I realized I need to get more specific and map out some of my goals too. I think for me, I need to break them down a little smaller. Sometimes I make them big and broad and it is hard to keep up with them.

  • Kristen says:

    Great tips, Stevie! My biggest stumbling block in my plan is setting realistic goals and having a plan for how to achieve them. I know that setting goals is important for any plan, but I’m never quite sure what are appropriate goals.

    • Stevie says:

      I know it really is tough. As I was writing this I realized I need to get more specific and map out some of my goals too. I think for me, I need to break them down a little smaller. Sometimes I make them big and broad and it is hard to keep up with them.

  • These are great instructions for new bloggers, truly. A lot of times people will begin blogging for fun and then realize they could turn it into something more but may not realize they actually need a plan. Great work!

    • Stevie says:

      Thank you Sandra! You make a great point, I think so many bloggers start out blogging for fun before deciding to try and turn it into a business. Of course you can start planning at any point in your blogging career, but if you start planning in the beginning it just helps you move forward that much faster.

  • Alison says:

    Great tips, Stevie!

    I’d add this, which applies to deciding on goals, long or short term, and budgets – define a timeline of how you want things to go, so you commit yourself to a schedule to keep accountable. It’s easy to say, I want to write a book “someday”, but giving yourself a deadline will keep you motivated and on track.

    • Stevie says:

      Ah, great point Alison. I know I need to get a little more specific with for a few of my goals. Even if we have to adjust the timeline, I think it helps to have something to shoot for.