Do you know what the biggest mistake is when creating your own blog? Indeed one of the biggest contributors to failure is the lack of a business plan and proper planning of activities.
If you want to start blogging effectively, you need to consider a blogger’s business plan. It will become a tool to promote your company or brand, and a habit you should apply in many aspects of your life.
The topic discussed is not based on any popular and traditional model.
Many of you have come across the idea to find a ready business plan over the net, but you won’t find anything more than mockups and concepts. A business plan for a blogger is not an easy thing to write. However, with the few steps described here, you should have an overview of how to successfully start blogging.
- Business idea
- Business goals
- Mission and Vision
- Services and products
- Brand identified
- Target Audience
- Blog Atmosphere
- Blog Categories
- Article Ideas
- Competition analysis
- Market niche
- Content marketing strategy
- Exit strategy
How to write an efficient business plan
Whether you’re creating a page as a personal blog, for a hair salon, or a coffee shop, every business plan has fixed points that need to be analyzed through with good detail. In addition to systematizing and verifying ideas, it will become a reference point at a later stage that we can always return to, or modify, if we see that the initially chosen direction does not work.
1. Business idea
The idea is the most important. It needs to be checked and thoroughly analyzed as it will be a key component of your business plan.
2. Business goals
Within this part, explain where you are in the development of your idea and where you intend to go in the future. Goals are divided in short-term (one-month), medium-term (six-month) and long-term (one year +). You specify the expected income, the number of viewers, the number of subscribers, etc. Your goals should be SMART or SMARTER.
Defining goals for your business is of greater importance. Same as you would setting personal goals. Thanks to this, you clearly define what you want to achieve, minimize any unexpected outcome, and the direction the business is going. You will have control over many situations as you will know what to do and where your idea stands in relation to your goals.
Practically, every successful and profitable page has set goals at one point. Therefore you need to set goals for 5 years, 12 months, and the next month.
What will your page achieve in 5 years? This can be a specific number of unique users on the page per month. For example, in 5 years my web page will have 200,000 unique users per month. After 12 months, it will have 10,000 unique users per month. For this month, the goal is 3,000 unique users. This is just an example, your goals may be completely different.
Maybe you want your page to be displayed in the top 10 of Google for specific key phrases? Maybe your goal will be to make the page he most popular in your market niche? The goal of an idea is an individual matter, but it is important that you define a goal for it.
Your goals on paper may look really impressive and ambitious, but you need to be realistic – those goals can’t be too ambitious. When defining goals, it is worth setting a so-called milestone. Which basically translates into small steps to achieve a greater goal.
Ask yourselves the following questions:
- How do you want to achieve your goals?
- Will you use paid advertising on Google or maybe on Facebook?
- Will your blog’s future growth be based on organic search engine inputs?
- How will you popularize your blog?
- How often will you create content?
- How often do you want to add entries to your blog?
- Will it be one comprehensive entry a week or several smaller entries daily?
- How much time do you have?
- How many hours a day can you spend on blogging?
3. Mission and Vision
The page goal is set, so now it’s time to establish its mission and vision. To do so, ask yourself simple questions like:
- Does your mission/vision define what you want your blog to achieve?
- What do you want to convey to your readers?
- What is your blog going to be for other people?
This is a way to simplify your thinking and point yourself on the right path.
A mission is nothing more than the leading idea of your online business. It’s worth knowing how to write a blog mission to make your brand stand out from the competition, as well as focus on your stated goal.
The clearly defined mission might help with understanding your brand values by your potential customers. Which in turn resulting positively in future cooperation. What’s more, when you speak about your brand “mission” you automatically attract the kind of people you will work well with – just by having a similar outlook on the world.
Before you write your mission, answer the following questions:
- One of the most important questions to ask yourself is: Why do you do this?
- What gives you the greatest satisfaction?
- What drives you to action?
- What do you want to be associated with?
Mission wiritng best practises:
- Make sure your mission is short and specific. Write about what you do, for whom, and why.
- Mention your brand values
- Write about who is your ideal customer/user/reader
- Show that what you are doing is your passion!
Company vision develops and clarifies the mission – this is the direction, the dream, and ideal image of your brand/company in 5, 10,15… years.
What would you like to achieve?
What will be your position in your industry? How do you see your company in the future?
How should be your company vision:
- realistic and concrete
- distant in time
- difficult (but not impossible) to achieve
How to write your brand vision- what questions should you ask yourself?
Of course, you don’t have to answer all the questions – just pick the ones you think are the most important and promising.
- Start with the most important one – what do I NOT want to do?
- What drives me to action?
- How do I want to make a difference in my clients’ lives?
- How will I change the world for the better?
- How are my relations with co-workers?
- What features of products/services are most important to me?
- What should the company develop above all?
- What will distinguish my company among others in the industry
- What is the company’s position on the market?
4. Services and products
Determine what topic you want to specialize in and the thematic scope of your idea by choosing the appropriate niche. This is extremely important as by writing articles for your page you are building your brand. This way you gain a specialist status. Do it consciously, A recommendation from TheDigitalTrail is to plan what you want to specialize in at the very beginning. It is important to choose one main topic on which you want to focus on.
Narrowing your niche will allow you to build your position as an expert way faster. Maybe you have several interests, so do many other entrepreneurs. The secret is to consciously separate them. Otherwise, your image will suffer. Before you decide to start, plan what you want to specialize in.
A blog is a business like any other, so even if you are just starting out, you will still have to account for minimum expenses like a domain and hosting.
Depending on what skills you have and how much time you have, the next expenses can vary:
- Hiring a freelancer to create blog content
- Creating a logo
- Advertising etc.
Plan your budget carefully and define your monthly expenses.
6. Brand identified
This part of the business plan is about how you will attract readers.
- What kind of content will you create?
- What your idea will contribute?
- What makes your idea unique?
- What sets you apart from others?
- Why is your idea better?
Remember that it’s not only your skills that make you unique. It’s a good idea to include your personal experiences here, which can make people read your content and not your competitors.
At this point, you might think you are great at many things. However, it’s easier to build a professional page if you focus on just one of them.
- Be very specific
- What is one word that describes your blog or brand?
- What is the “one” keyword that readers will search for on your page?
- What will your page do for readers?
This part of the page business plan is about a “promise”. Most of you simply call it the value of a product or service. So what problems your solution will solve and what will be in the central part of your page.
Also, remember that branding is a fundamental process if you want to build a successful blog or brand on the internet. The appearance of your website needs to attract readers and state clearly what the page is about and what it’s purpose. Therefore, it is worth taking some time to design a professional and appealing appearance of your page from the very beginning.
7. Target Audience -who is your ideal reader?
Defining your target audience is establishing who your ideal readers are.
Think about who you are writing your content for? Not everyone will read your blog because not everyone will find your content interesting. Each group or niche has different tastes, needs, and mindsets. You should know who the content will be addressed to create the best quality content.
The ideal readers of your blog are the ones to whom we have directed or intend to direct the content from your blog. Defining such a niche is essential, without it, we can’t create any kind of relevant or noticeable content. Make a profile of your ideal reader. The more detailed you define your profile now, the easier it will be for you to reach readers with your message in the future. Establish a relationship with readers from the very beginning and they will stick in the long run.
- Place of residence
- Relationship status
- Work or profession
- How does he spend his free time?
- What is he looking for on the internet?
- What blogs does he read?
- What books does he read?
If you feel the need to do so, don’t hesitate to add your questions or change the ones you find here. Completing this task will allow you to get to know your readers better. This way you will understand what type of people you plan to attract to your blog. Such knowledge will allow you to create content tailored for your readers, in which they will find a touch of empathy.
8. Blog Atmosphere
Plan what the atmosphere on your blog will be like
- How do you want to be perceived?
You know that some blogs or pages are solemnly dedicated to fun, others are rather serious, others really professional, and so on. It is the creator of the blog who creates an atmosphere that will reign the page. Neil Patel has created a blog with an atmosphere of professionalism and honesty. How did he get it? Each of his articles is almost exhaustive. They are very extensive, but you read them with interest because they are always written with minor detail.
You create the atmosphere of your page, setting up the language that you desire and choosing what to publish on it.
9. Blog Categories
Categories can be set when publishing articles, but it is much more efficient if you pre-plan all types of categories you want your page to have.
If you can’t come up with all of them, focus on creating at least the main category. The categories will strictly define the topics of the articles that will appear on your blog. These categories may change over time, and that is perfectly normal.
10. Article Ideas
Make a list of topics for your future articles. This is very important as it will allow you to plan your work accurately.
How many ideas or topics for articles you should have? Usually, students are asked to make a list of 50 ideas. I know it’s not easy to sit down and build such a tricky list in one go. However, the longer it passes, the faster you will run out of ideas. Therefore, it’s best to complete this task at the very start.
Remember about the page goal and the page mission. You don’t have to use all the ideas in the future. You will keep adding new ideas to this list as the time comes.
11. Competition analysis
A fundamental part of any page, blog, or business for that matter, is to check the market for existing competition and potential future competition (It might be an oversaturated market).
If you want to start a page effectively, you need to see how much competition you have and how strong it is. Additionally, you can watch how professional places attract readers, where they advertise, where they get links, etc. This will allow you to get your own ideas on how you want to develop and rank it
Who are the competitors? Write down a list of some competitors you would like to follow and a few whose ideas you do not like. Analyze their strategies. Find similarities in the actions of your competitors and use them to create your own strategy.
Do your competitors have products they’re selling, or maybe services? If so, analyze its advantages, disadvantages, and prices. Ask yourself these questions while checking the competition. Take a look at what really distinguishes all the brands.
- What social media do they have
- What do they post on them and how often?
- What makes them different from each other?
- How do they build their page?
- What do they write about?
- What do they focus on?
- What can you learn from them?
- What can you use when creating your online strategy?
12. Market niche
A business plan for a page is also a definition of a market niche. The more your blog is targeted at a given specific group, the more readers you will be able to effectively attract.
Your task in this part of the business plan is to define a niche that is large and competitive enough for you to grow and earn money in the long run.
13. Content marketing strategy
A good business plan must contain a marketing strategy section.
The content of each entry should be a coherent part of the entire blog. So everything you write – articles, guides, posts, courses, letters – must form one integrated system that will transform future readers into loyal audiences and customers.
Here we define how we will reach the recipient, how many times we will write posts, how many times we will post a photo on Instagram, or if we will promote individual posts on Facebook.
Ask yourselves; Will we advertise and, if so, how?
If you’re just starting out, write down a list of sample entries that just come to your mind. It takes time to promote a blog to a profitable level. It is important that you decide at the outset how much time you have to develop your blog.
Remember what your goals are for the blog. Promoting a blog or page is one of the most important factors that will have an impact on achieving several of your goals, especially a side income. Your web is not only about publishing content but also about working on external matters. Schedule tasks for each day, week, and month.
This could be gaining links to your blog throughout comments on other blogs. A strategy can be to leaving 2 comments a day on other platforms. Or Promote posts on social media, like Facebook or Pinterest. Or sharing your article in 10 groups on Instagram every day. As you can see, these tasks are not the most fun but performed systematically and with strict discipline and they will bring a fantastic result.
If you treat your idea as a business, it should become profitable, A page, idea, or blog can generate income by displaying contextual advertising, e.g. through Google AdSense. You can make money on it by using affiliate programs or with sponsored articles, i.e. blog posts with remuneration, selling your own products or services.
Plan carefully how you want to earn money on your blog? Once you choose the method, plan its implementation. If you decide to monetize your page with Google AdSense, then create a plan for the places where the banners can be displayed, how they will be visible, and so on.
15. Exit strategy
This is probably the most difficult part of any business plan.
So, How does this work? We have a plan, a content writing strategy, a milestone set for all steps. And now, do I have to plan how to close my blog?
Not exactly. This part is set to consider what you will do if your strategy does not work.
- What will you do when, after some time, despite posting content every day, adding photos to Instagram, and sharing the news on social media, your blog reaches no audience?
- What will you do if your idea turns out to be a flop and a misfire?
Do not kid yourself. Creating a page is hard daily work. It is in fact one of the busiest professional groups. Running a high demand page, that ranks first on the Google search engine, will require a good amount of work and dedication, and often a group of people to handle all load of work. None the less is fair to say most of them started alone but persistence and smart work settled them on the podium.
It is important to analyze what you will do when the race to the podium seems too long? When you run into a wall and you don’t know how to run further. It is indeed a tough marathon with a really rewarding price. The shoes might feel too tight midway through the race. This is where you need to be able to say what to do next.