It’s Not That Daunting: Drafting a Business Plan for Your Blog
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This post is by Jared Michael Lowe of lowefactor°

 

The idea of creating a business plan for your blog can seem frustrating, daunting and probably not needed. Trust, I was like that ten months ago, when I started lowefactor. I felt, why go through the stress of creating something that’ll sit in a folder on my Mac never to be opened. Major overlook! Sometime after this past New York fashion week and before my site traffic tripled, PR people and would be sponsors were calling; at that point it made sense to have a business plan for my booming business! I had to rethink the benefit of having a business plan for my blog.

 

If anything, drafting a business plan for your blog could be a great guide to accomplish what your objectives and long term goals are, plus it’ll help you stay on your toes on what you want to achieve from blogging and when that wonderful time comes around: monetizing. Here are some tips I suggest:

 

Create a main focus

When you started your blog, what was your main focus? Sure that could have been ages ago, but what type of blog/ blogger are you. Designate a section, typically in the beginning, of your business plan with your main focus. Keep in mind; what you want your site to do, who you want to reach, and how you will go about doing it.

 

Set short term objectives and long term goals

I always say: set short term objectives for you to reach today, tomorrow and the next few weeks for the long term goals months away. This will help you get your grand prize. Your short term objectives may affect your long term goal, i.e. reaching over 1000 twitter followers to show to a potential sponsor when requesting to do a giveaway or extra promotion on your twitter. By creating short term objectives, you will be on the fast track to achieving your long term goals that will shape the direction of your blog.

 

Have a concise marketing strategy for your blog

I must admit, this is especially hard for me. Pretty much anything from doing a giveaway to a simple tweet via your twitter could be considered some sort of marketing for your blog. Try and come up with several marketing campaigns/ strategies to put in a 3 or 6 month time block. They do not have to be etched in stone, but ideas and plans that you can jot down and refer to.

 

Highlight what you can do outside your blog, in your plan

Perhaps you’re adept in social media and have good relationships with a few PR firms; it wouldn’t hurt to put your personal skills in your business plan for your blog. Why? It could be an added addition into whether a not a sponsor would like to work with you, outside of providing banner ads on your site. Perhaps you can boost their online presence through social media with your know how.

 

Create a financial page

Also, designate a section in your plan for finances. This section should include a summary of finances you have put into your blog as well as your expected financial forecast. For example, your recent trip to the IFB conference should be in your financial plan, as well as what you hope to earn (and how you go by doing so) 6 months down the line.
As we approach another year, (can you believe 2010 is leaving us so soon?) it is best to set a new 2011 with a well thought out business plan for your blog.

If you have any additional tips, please feel free to share!

 

Image by gilles chiroleu

Comments

  1. laura says:

    thank you so much for this! the step-by-step break down is especially helpful for someone like me who wants to put things in motion but doesn’t exactly know where to start – you make business planning seem more approachable. less scary.

    great article!

  2. Christina says:

    I agree with Laura. It is easy to say you want to turn your blog into a booming business, but it is another thing to actually put a plan in action to accomplish it. I agree it is important to set goals for your blog. I would also add once you create a plan, to take a step every single day, no matter how small or big the step, to move your blogging business forward. Great article!

  3. This post really spoke to me because this is what I am doing. It is so hard to figure things out at first, but once you get yourself together, having a business plan makes maintaining your blog easier. Great post!

  4. lisa says:

    This is a really interesting idea! Not every blogger can take their blog to the next level and do it as a professional f/t gig. But having the business plan in place can certainly help clarify your current status and your future objectives. It’s a helpful thing to hve in place regardless.

  5. You are spot on! The most important thing you said was focusing some of your time outside of your blog. Think about it… if your readers aren’t on your blog where are they? They are out and about on other sites where you should be advertising yourself through comments (like this one hehe) or just interacting with another audience.

    Here’s my take on applying structure to your online bussiness:

    http://www.thetrafficblogger.com/2010/12/applying-structure-to-your-online.html

  6. Great post Jared my love. I have to agree that drafting a business plan will not only help in taking your blog to the next level, but will also help to legitimize it your own mind. Once you can convince yourself that you are a business, convincing other people will be a piece of cake. Having a solid plan is the first step. Very nice!

  7. de la Pen says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post! I’m definitely going to begin working on a business plan for my blog since I’m a full time blogger. I have a basic plan in my head but I think writing it down will make it so much easier.

  8. Rosa Espinosa says:

    a lot lot of work

  9. Nikki says:

    That’s such an interesting way to look at things and really puts bloggers on the table. I came to IFB hoping to find tips/tricks of the trade and now I’m glad, there have really been some good reads lately – this being one of them!

    xx

  10. Hair Romance says:

    great article, whether you take your blog to the next step or not, this is excellent advice to create focus and direction

  11. our youth says:

    my blog’s not a business. it’s just my blog.
    business plan, how weird that sounds.
    but good luck, ha. making a lot of money with blogging sounds good ;)

  12. Thanks for a really interesting post. I started my blog kind of as a hobby but mainly because other people said I should and just fell in love with blogging. Whilst it is something I do for fun, it’s amazing how great an impact bloggers have especially in the fashion industry and I know want to push it as much as I can towards becoming a business. V helpful advice here!

    Ella. X

  13. great tips. I’m just starting to make a schedule and business plan for my blog, Muse Me, and these tips are going to prove to be helpful. Thank you!

  14. Milly says:

    Such a sensible handed approach to the whole business of blogging. Thank you for taking the time to write this up. Food for thought for sure!

  15. Amber says:

    Thanks for this! I just started a new online magazine and I have trouble writing a business plan, which is ironic because isn’t that what being a writer is all about….writing? I def just wrote these tips down I look forward to my new plan :)

  16. Maycie says:

    This post by lowefactor really got me thinking. I might be a bit more productive if I had a plan. I’m having so much fun blogging; might as well take it seriously. I started a discussion group where we can share ideas about drafting a business plan for your blog. Find it here: http://heartifb.com/members/pg/groups/952802/blog-business-plan/

  17. Shay says:

    This is definitely interesting, because even though my blog is new (only a week old) I am thinking about really expanding it in a few months. To really make it apart of my life.

  18. Sandy says:

    This is some great advice!! Thanks so much for this!

  19. Rachel says:

    Thanks so much for this – I started out blogging in december and being honest from training at work knew i should have some sort of plan but — hey its a hobby.

    Low and behold I am loving it way more than I thought. PR people have contacted me so today I sit, after 6 hours yesterday researching everything from using social media better and reading my analytics properly, reading about business plans – hoping to start mine this week the only bits I’m scared about are the marketing and finance bits.
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    Rache

  20. alex says:

    very useful article. A+++

  21. Thanks for contributing your important time to post such an interesting & useful blog It’s Not That Daunting: Drafting a Business Plan for Your Blog. It would be knowledgeable & resources are always of great need to everyone. Please keep continue sharing.

  22. Alexis says:

    This was very helpful! I started my fashion blog ( http://thosethreads.com ) a few months ago and it’s doing well so far but I need to start setting more concrete goals!

    –Alexis

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