- Have you developed a business plan for your blog?
- Does your blog need a business plan?
- Of what relevance is a business plan to a blogger?
If these are the questions running through your mind, please read on as I will provide the answer in detail.
If a survey were to be carried out with respect to the topic above, it will be observed that over 85% of blogs are being run without business plans and I can also bet that as at the point of you reading this article, you don’t have one.
It is well known that one prerequisite to successfully starting and building a business is a business plan. Now if a business plan is an ingredient to business success, why can’t it also be utilized for a blog?
Writing a business plan for your blog is definitely not mandatory but if you intend to treat your blog as a business, then I will advise you to put down a business plan for your blog.
Business Plan describes the current status of an existing business and provides guidance for future forecasting. As said by a well know author “You can never plan the future by the past”, so keep in mind this popular quote and start an effective business plan for your blog.
Why you need a Blog business plan?
1. Your plan will help you maintain focus
The first and probably the most important thing a business plan can do for you is to help you maintain focus.
One thing about success is that it can make you cocky. I know so many bloggers online that started out small, grew big and forgot the initial purpose of creating a blog.
A business plan can help you avoid being among these set of cocky bloggers. Reviewing your blog business plan on a regular basis will help keep your effort in focus.
2. It will help you develop a short and long term strategy for your blog
A written business plan can serve as a yardstick for you in developing a short and long term strategy for your blog.
Most bloggers only plan short term but if your blog is going to churn out extraordinary profits in the near future, then the planning begins today.
3. It will show investors that you know what you are doing
What if tomorrow, you were approached by investors who picked specific interest in the growing popularity of your blog?
What will you do?
One of the best ways to show an investor that you are a smart business owner or blogger is to allow him to take a peep at your business plan and other financial records of your blog.
Taking this action alone will prove to the investor that you know your onions and you can definitely negotiate a better deal for your blog.
In the business world, getting the attention of an investor without a strong business plan is like trying to extract blood from a stone.
Having explained briefly why your blog needs a business plan, let’s go into the details of how to come up with a winning business plan for your blog
Effective Business Plan for Bloggers
The first thing you should ask from yourself is that what is your mission. What exactly do you want to achieve, and what are the available resources that can help you in achieving your goal.
As a blogger your goal is ‘Profit OR Earnings” and for that, you must first think about your vision. You should know about your readers, their nature and their needs. If you fail you might be heartbroken, but if you never tried, you are doomed.
2. Brand Name
Branding your business is the most effective step in a business plan. For example just look at the brand name of this blog that is “ShoutMeLoud“, now this is what you must think about. First brand your blog with a name so that your readers can use your brand name as your reference.
3. Goals and Objectives
Of course, your goal is to earn as much as you can, and establish your brand name just like “Problogger“. You will not make money if you fail to divide your goal into objectives.
Find all the available platforms that can help you in your blog promotion. Divide time for every objective, For example, Posting Time, Promoting Time, Correction Time etc and then Resource Allocation, that is which platform you should use first for your blog promotion etc.
4. Your market potential
This is where you explain in details the basis and result of your research.
Why did you target the niche your blog is situated in?
- Is the niche a small or large one?
- Is the niche narrow or broad?
- What is the local and global search volume of your niche keywords?
- How many percent of the total search volume can you attract to your blog? Is your target niche growing or dying?
These are the questions you need to answer before even launching your blog.
5. Your blog marketing plan
How do you plan to tell the world you have something they need? How will you attract the targeted audience to your blog?
- How much are you willing to spend to publicize your blog?
- Are you going to advertise your blog in print media, television, on the Web or all of these?
- Which marketing tactics will yield more result? Is it search optimization, joint ventures, free campaigns or paid campaigns?
- What marketing tools will be required?
- Who are the major competitors in your niche?
- How do they attract traffic to their blog?
- How did they monetize their blog?
- What percentage of market share do they control?
All the questions above needs to be sorted out in the blog marketing section of your business plan.
6. SWOT Analysis
This is one of the most important steps for a business. As a blogger, you must point out S= Strength, W= Weaknesses, O= Opportunities and T= Threats related to your blog.
If you think you have a particular ability and you are expert in that, then this is your strength. This will give you a brand name in that field.
If you think you are weak in any area, then try to overcome on your weaknesses. In this way, you will get extra benefits and you will be able to utilize all your expertise.
If someone is giving you free domain or hosting, articles, advertisement package etc that is the opportunity for you. Or if you think there is something available for your which can help you in your business, then point out all those ways.
If a business has more competitors, need more struggle and you want to compete with that business.
There are threats for you. If there are some threats for you if you start a “Blog” on a topic, then don’t go for that. Point out all the threats and then make a decision.
7. Financial Plan
Without finance, no one can start and promote a business. During developing a business plan (For Blog) you should think about your budget. If you start your blog with a cheap Web Hosting then it will not be effective for your blog. Starting a blog with reputable Web hosting like Bluehost will give you a lot of benefits.
All such decision are only possible when your budget is high and you are in the position to afford high-quality services for your blog.
Effective Business Plan depends on your budget, the high budget will give you a more effective business plan for your blog.
Now, the next few section is for blogs who also wish to attract investors in future. As a lot of businesses have started investing in blogs, having it handy would ensure you are ready when an investor approaches.
8. The executive summary
The executive summary is what introduces your blog to anyone reading the business plan. It includes a brief summary of the idea behind the creation of the blog, your blog objectives and overall strategy. Someone reading your executive summary should be able to get an overview of what your blog stands for.
This section will be used define your blog management team and what their purposes are. Are you the sole founder of the blog or you co-founded it with a partner? This is where you let us know about the blog ownership status; this is where we get to see the faces behind the blog. This section should include information such as the names and backgrounds of lead members of the blog management team and their responsibilities. Also to be included are their area of expertise, prior achievements, their strengths and weaknesses.
10. Your financial projection
This section of a business plan should have a summary of your expected financial forecasts, including spreadsheets showing the method that you used to reach these projections. You also have to show expected earnings. You can factor this out by analyzing the earnings of other blogs in your niche and using theirs to plot your estimated future earnings.
11. An exit strategy
This is the part where most bloggers don’t want to talk about. Almost all bloggers hope to live and die with their blog but in reality, it’s not possible. You will definitely have to let go of your blog some day. So instead of just allowing that day to happen, why don’t you plan for it in advance?
All good business plans include a section that lays out the benchmarks you will use in deciding to call it quits.
In the end, if you wish to make a living out of your Blog or want to see your blog at the next level, a business plan for your blog is what you need. For your success!
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