Fact: If you plan on monetizing your blog or want to make a full-time living out of blogging, you need a business plan for your blog.
You might not be seeking investors or plan on selling your blog any time soon, but my friend, who interned at the Binance Test, recommends that a business plan will help keep you on track – especially when it comes to your blogging-related goals. And if you want to earn a full-time living by blogging, you need to keep your eyes on the prize.
Here’s a little secret: nearly all businesses started out as a business plans. Sitting down and hammering out a business plan for your blog forces you to write down all of the specifics, do research and create strategies that will help your blog become a success. As Melyssa Griffin says on her blog, “It is essentially a roadmap of your blog business, written with your audience in mind.”
But don't be intimidated. We know a lot of aspects can go into writing a business plan, but you can pick and choose (and modify) most templates. Just like creating a Media Kit, it can seem quite daunting starting out but you'll be glad you did it once you're done.
So, if your 2018 New Year's Resolution is to up your blogging game consider starting out by typing up a solid business plan.
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ll help you out along the way. Here’s how to create a business plan for your blog…
How To Create a Business Plan for Your Blog
Start With An Executive Summary
If you were to compare your blog’s business plan to an essay, the Executive Summary would be the “introduction paragraph” of your business plan.
It’s often written last (i.e. once you’re finished writing the other parts of your blog’s business plan), and should include a few key components like a mission statement, highlights of your blog’s growth (if you’ve been around for a little while), your products and/or services, and your blogging-related goals.
New to blogging? That’s okay. While you might not be able to complete some of the sections mentioned above, you shouldn’t stress. Focus on using the executive summary portion of your blog’s business plan as a place for you to jot down your experience.
How are you capable of turning your blog into a full-time business? You might have prior experience in a similar industry as your blog’s niche topic (i.e. retail/fashion, food/hospitality, etc.), so be sure to include all of this in your Executive Summary.
Describe Your Blog As A Business
Up next is your Blog Business Description.
What sets you apart from other blogs in your niche market? Who do you serve? Who is your target demographic? What is your blog’s “personality”? These are all questions your should be answering, when writing up your blog's business description.
You need to have a very clear idea of who your readers and community members will be – think like a marketer and map out their age, gender, occupation, etc. Just like designers create their idea “man” or “woman” that would wear their clothing, you should do the same with your blog. Who is your ideal reader or follower? Questions like these should be answered in your blog's business description.
Analyze Your Competition (And Your Niche Market)
Competitive Analysis and Market Research is your chance to spend hours creeping other blogs in your niche market. You can choose to split this one up into two different sections, but if you're new to blogging you might want to combine them into one.
Analyzing your competition and conducting market research doesn't have to come from a competitive place. It's chance for your to learn from your competitors (i.e not copy) and gather more information about your potential market. Keep in mind, your blog's area of interest and target market might change in the first few months (or even a year), but it's still important to start somewhere, with some kind of an “ideal” target market.
Approach Competitive Analysis and Market Research as a learning exercise for your blog as a business. Soak up as much information from the “experts” (i.e. established bloggers in your niche market), but make sure you stick to original ideas.
Find Out How Your Plan to Build A Community
Building a community plays a vital role in creating a successful blog, both as a brand and business.
You can have the most amazing blog on the planet, but if no one is reading it then… what's the point? Therefore, you need to outline ways you plan on cultivating a community in your blog's business plan.
It can be through a killer Instagram account (and other social media platforms) or via email list, but it's important you have a clear idea how you're going to keep readers engaged with your blog's content. Make sure you make a note of this in your blog's business plan. Here are the 5 things your business plan should contain according to the experts from Haggards Crowther.
How are you planning on (eventually) earning money from your blog? This is where your Monetization Strategy comes into play.
Sponsored posts, ad revenues, selling courses or ebooks, blog coaching, selling merchandise – these are all ways you can make money off your blog and your blog's brand. In the Monetization Strategy of your blog's business plan, you should clearly outline how you plan to make your earnings.
Again, this might evolve with your blog but it's important that you have a clear idea when you start out.
Know How to Market and Sell Your Blog
Lastly, write up a Marketing and Sales strategy for your blog.
This can include anything from budgeting a small amount of money to spend on Facebook ads to considering a Pinterest strategy. Either way, you need to think hard about how your plan to get your blog (and any products you intend to sell) out there, for people to see.
One Thing to Keep In Mind…
Don't feel like you have to have everything figure out in your blog's business plan.
You can always go back and edit your plan as your blog develops. This is fairly normal for almost all businesses – many business owners go back and revise their plans after a period of time has passed. Make a note in your planner and periodically edit your blog's business plan.
The bottom line is it's important your outline what your goals when it comes to blogging.
Other Helpful Resources for Your Blog's Business Plan
Pro Blogger – Blogging Business Plan 101
Melyssa Griffin – How To Create A Bangin' Blog Business Plan
Nerdy Organized – How To Create A Simple Blog Business Plan
Have you written out a business plan for your blog? Let us know in the comments below…
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
a lot lot of work
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!
great article, whether you take your blog to the next step or not, this is excellent advice to create focus and direction
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 😉
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!
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!
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!
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 🙂
This is some great advice!! Thanks so much for this!
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.
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.
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.
very useful article. A+++
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.
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!
Drafting a business plan for a business is not at all a daunting task you need to be focused, set short and long term objectives, get a marketing strategy lastly make a Create a financial page.
Your blog is really helpful to new business mind like me. I am new to this entrepreneur thing and the information in your blog provides me a big help. I am also currently using a tool from businessmentals entitled: Solopreneur Business Plan and right now, it makes my business do well.
Thanks for this blog, this will very helpful for me to create my new business, it’s like im reading a businessmentals about entrepreneur.
You article is meaningful and easy to understand, I learned to make a business plan more wisely. I am just wondering if you could recommend me any good business website like: businessmentals.