5 Step Business Plan for a Blog

If you have been considering starting a blog, have you thought about creating a blogger business plan? It’s common to simply “wing it” when income isn’t the driving purpose for a blog, but if you plan to monetize — from the start or sometime down the road — having a blogger business plan in place could be your key to making money sooner rather than later.

Just like a regular business plan is written to guide a business on its journey to success, a blogger business plan guides a blog along a path you hope to line with dolla dolla bills ya’ll!

Let’s explore what needs to be in this treasure map of sorts.

Blogger Business Plan Treasure Map

5-step blogger business plan

Believe it or not, you can start a blogging business in just five main steps:

  1. Define your mission.
  2. Consider your ideal reader.
  3. Think about monetization.
  4. Plan your editorial calendar.
  5. Devise a traffic strategy.

Those are the big items you’ll want to include in your blogger business plan. Ready to get started?

1. Define your mission.

First up, you need to define your mission. No, I’m not talking a Jerry Maguire “Show me the money!” moment circa 1996 kind of mission statement. I’m talking a “why the hell did I think blogging was a good idea?” kind of statement.

  • What will you blog about (your niche)?
  • What value will you provide?
  • Who will you blog for?
  • What do you hope to accomplish with your words on the interwebs?

Think about why you are blogging in the first place.

If you’re dreaming of fame, state it. If you prefer lots of money, say so. Want both? Write it down. Simply writing your internet intentions will spark some amazing thoughts in your blogger brain.

2. Consider your ideal reader.

Next, consider your ideal reader. Sure, you can write to the world, but if your goal is to make money, it’s time to get clear on who you’re really talking to.

If at some point you want to write sponsored blog posts, for example, you need to cater to a specific group of people. Let’s say you blog all about baking — your ideal readers might be baking enthusiasts or wannabe bakers. (Here are eight luscious tips from the best baking blogs, BTW.) Perhaps you blog all about Star Trek. You’ll need to be writing about all things Trekkie, such as conventions, movies, shows, products, etc. Who will benefit the most from reading your blog?

The beauty of figuring out your ideal reader is that it can practically develop your blog post ideas for you. Why? You’ll be thinking about what that ideal reader would want to know!

3. Think about monetization.

Third, think about how your blog will generate income. How will you make money? Although you might not have written a single word yet, it’s important to start thinking about how you will monetize your blog.

  • Will you rely on Google AdSense? Hint: That might not be your best bet for monetization if you don’t have a rabid fan base and crazy traffic just yet.
  • Do you hope to sell your own products?
  • Are you planning to partner with brands to sell their products for an affiliate commission?
  • Perhaps sponsored posts are what you would prefer?

Maybe you would like to try a combination of all of the above. Yes, this is possible — just be sure to blog from a place of authenticity. Check out my posts on blog sponsorships, and the risk of being too spammy. Blogger Nile Flores also wrote a great post about how to make money blogging that’s filled with lots of ideas.

4. Plan your editorial calendar.

What will your editorial calendar look like? Some of your to-items here will include:

  • Decide how often you will post content.
  • Develop monthly or quarterly themes. This will make it easier to plan cohesive content.
  • Brainstorm post topics. Start with a long list and then narrow it down.
  • Do keyword research. You’ll definitely want to optimize your blog posts for organic search traffic.

There are many tools you can use to manage your editorial calendar, but if you’re just starting out, you might simply begin with a Google or Excel spreadsheet. Include the topic name, target keywords, publish date, post URL (when it’s live) … and any other information that will make your blogging life a little more efficient and successful.

Having an editorial calendar can help you stay organized and think ahead about what needs to be addressed on your blog.

5. Devise a traffic strategy.

Once you write those amazing blog posts, how will you get eyeballs on your blog content?

  • Will you launch an email marketing campaign?
  • Will social media be your main traffic source?
  • What about guest posting with linkbacks?

Or do you have another killer traffic strategy? By writing down your ideas in a blogger business plan you can start using and analyzing them. Test them out to see what is working and what isn’t.

Foundation for success

Once you have these five steps addressed in your blogger business plan, you’ll have a solid foundation to kick off your awesome new blog. Later you can think about things like expansion, product creation, collaborations and more.

The beauty of a web-based platform like a blog is that there is no limit to the possibilities that could be ahead of you.

You could turn your blog into podcasts, YouTube videos, an eBook, a course — anything. The key to your growth is planning. Start with a plan, stick to the plan, and then as you grow, revisit and expand your plan. Here’s to your unlimited income!

HitchHiker’s note: Nerd of Fortune’s  WordPress Premium Blend Managed Hosting makes it easy for you to focus on creating and promoting awesome blog content. How? We handle the WordPress installation, core software and security updates, and daily backups — all the pesky backend stuff that takes you away from doing what you do best.

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