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Most people would tell you, there’s a difference between having a blog and having a blog that makes you money. But I want to take that even a step further.

I would argue that money is simply not enough these days. You can make money working at the grocery store.

What I like to teach is that the income you make should be layered with purpose, steeped inside your passion, and fueled by a freedom that leaves a legacy that could uproot your family tree for generations to come.

And if you fall anywhere short of this, you’re simply “just making money.”

I’m not only here to tell you there's so much more, but to teach you how to get there.

That’s where your blog business plan comes in.

At first glance, sitting down and putting together a plan for your blog or business may sound counterintuitive. Why not just get started actually raking in some dough?

Well, my young padawan, you wouldn’t start cooking a meal without a recipe or building a house without a blueprint, would you?

And you should start a business without a business plan, whether it’s incorporated into your blog or not.

teal graphic for an article about how to create a business blog plan that fills you with profit, purpose and freedom

Check out the episode below:

We’re going to make this extremely easy for you, because we understand that you’re a busy human and you like things to be quick and painless.

So download the accompanying workbook so you can follow along and create your own blog business plan and get started monetizing your blog as soon as possible!

To get started you have to start thinking about what your business blog is all about.

Step 1: Blog & Business Summary

In this first step, all you’re doing is determining the why behind your business and what your basic business goals and objectives are.

Mission Statement

A mission statement is essentially a short statement of your business’s purpose. Why does your blog/business exist? What do you want it to accomplish? Why do you do what you do?

Business Goals/Objectives

Think ahead to the future. What do you hope to achieve in your blog and business? Your goals should be short and sweet, but also realistic. Think SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

Be sure you’re creating goals that are not out of this world impossible. Instead, give yourself a specific number that you want to achieve and a specific deadline.

For example: Increasing blog traffic by 5-10% each month.

List three actionable and attainable goals for your business within the next 6 months to 1 year.

Blog Topics/Categories

If you’ve already been blogging for awhile, this one should be easy for you. If not, take some time to think about this. What is your niche? What topics do you want to cover?

If you have been blogging already, consider any potential blog topics/categories you might want to add as you transition your blog into a business. Maybe there’s room for growth if you include a few more areas of expertise.

List all of your blog categories.

Brand Personality

This is one of the most important things you’ll ever determine when starting your blog or business. What is your business’s personality or voice?

This can be really difficult when you’re first getting started. Thinking about your own voice or personality is kind of awkward, so I have an exercise for you to help you figure it out.

  1. Ask yourself who am I? Jot down three adjectives that come to mind.
  2. Whenever you think to yourself, I am having a great time, take note of how you are speaking. These are likely qualities that your authentic voice has.
  3. Collect examples of headlines and content that make you want to take action. Since these messages moved you and resonated with you, you should definitely assemble a digital or physical folder of such examples.
  4. Think of something that fires up your imagination. Hit the record button on your phone and just speak about the subject. Transcribe it to see how your natural voice sounds written down.

Taking all four of these steps should help you to figure out how you want your business to sound, guiding the way for all of your blog, email, and social content.

Step 2: Market Analysis

This step is essential in any business plan: identifying and analyzing your competitors. You never want to flat out copy what your competitors are doing. However, it’s critical to know what their strategies are so you can consider how your business can improve on those or do something differently.

Identify Competitors

Who are your closest competitors in your industry? If you’re not quite sure, conduct a Google search of your business industry to see who comes up. The top results are likely to be some big names, so they might be competitors you strive to be like, but probably aren’t your closest competitors at this point.

List your top three competitors.

Competitor Strategies

Take some time to analyze what your competitors are doing. Where are they spending time online? How often are they posting (on their blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc)? How many Pinterest boards do they have? How do they appear to be growing their email list? What are their products/services?

List all of the information you find out for each of the three competitors you named.

Competitor Pricing

Take a deeper dive into your competitors’ products or services. What are their price ranges like? How do those compare to how you’d ideally like to price your products or services?

Don’t forget to download the blog business plan workbook so you can write all of this down and keep track of it in one place!

Step 3: Audience Insights

Knowing who your audience is and what they want to learn from you is essential to starting a successful business. Use this section to figure out who you’re targeting and what you have to offer them.

Customer Avatar

A customer avatar is a fictional character or made-up representative of who your target or ideal customer is. Having one of these can help strengthen your overall brand voice and marketing because you know exactly who you’re talking to.

Learn more about creating a customer avatar here, then write yours down.

Reader Survey

Sending out a reader survey is a great way to learn more about your audience and find out what they want to see from you. This is a really great way to start monetizing your business if you’ve grown a loyal following with your blog. Put together a few questions to find out if your target audience is who you think it is and what they want to see from you.

Blog Benefits

This is your time to shine! Brag on yourself a little bit. What does your blog (and you) offer to your readers that they can’t get anywhere else? Why should they come to you instead of a competitor?

Step 4: Blog Business Offerings

Now we’re getting into the good stuff! How you’re actually going to monetize your blog. This is the part of your blog business plan that’s really going to turn what you’re already doing into a revenue stream, so pay attention.

Monetization Strategy

There are a number of different ways to generate income from your blog. You simply have to decide which make the most sense for your industry and business, and which you’re the most passionate about doing or creating.

  • Products: Selling something that you create. This could be an informational product like an eBook or an online course, or a physical item like office supplies or clothing.
  • Services: Doing something for a client. This can often be a great way to get started in your online business, but it’s not the most scalable monetization option. You’re only able to make money based on the hours you want to work.
  • Affiliates: Promoting something someone else sells for a commission. There are tons of available affiliate programs out there, with Amazon being one of the most popular.
  • Ad Space: Selling real estate on your site to make commission on ad clicks and/or conversions. Google AdSense is a great way to get started with this, but as you grow, you can sell your own ad space to customers and input it wherever you want to on your site.
  • Membership/Subscription Programs: Selling access to a program or subscription. There are so many different options for this, like a mastermind group or a training program.
  • Other: Are there any other ways you plan to monetize your website that work for your specific niche?

You certainly don’t have to use all of these methods of monetization, but you also don’t have to close yourself into just one box. Make a list of all the ways you plan to monetize your blog and turn it into a business.

Core Product

You are absolutely welcome to have multiple revenue streams in your business—for example, offering consulting services while also selling informational products—but it’s a smart idea to have one core product that you are known for.

This strengthens your brand name and can, in turn, bring in more money.

So what do you want your core product to be? Is it going to be a flagship online course? Is it a membership training program? Is it an app or software?

Think about what you want your business to be known for and what the most scalable option for a core product would be for your business.

Write down your core product (or ideas for your product).

Step 5: Digital Marketing Strategy

Ahh, every good business plan has to have a marketing plan attached to it. How else are you going to get new readers and customers?

Promotion

What is your promotion strategy? First rule of thumb is to always be where your target audience spends their time, so think about that when determining your promotion strategy and social media platforms.

Not sure what your options are? Here are a few to consider.

  • Social Media: Okay, so this one probably crossed your mind. There are several different social media platforms for you to choose from: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn being the most popular. You should have a presence on all of them in the event your strategy needs to change and you want to test other platforms, but you should heavily focus on 1-2 that your audience uses.
  • Social Advertising: The further we get into the digital marketing age, the more everything is becoming pay to play. Sure, it’s a bummer that all that awesome, free, organic reach is decreasing by the day, but social advertising is one of the cheapest and most targeted methods of advertising readily available, and you should definitely have a budget for it.
  • Email: There are two things you need to consider here: list growth and marketing. Having an email list as a business owner really isn’t an option. When you grow your email list, you essentially have an entire database full of people who are interested in your product/service. Use that to your advantage.
  • Video: This is not an option. Luckily, there are tons of smartphone apps out there to help you create and edit short and engaging video clips to share online. Start exploring the best options for your business and industry.
  • Podcast: As blogging has continued to grow, alternate methods of digesting content have come into play. Podcasts are one of them. Many people in your audience may prefer to listen to your content rather than read it. Do you plan to create a podcast to accompany your business?
  • Guest Posting: Guest posting can be a great way to get your name out into your industry. Look for some of the largest blogs in your industry and research if they accept guest blog contributions. You’ll get a byline and a bio along with your blog that you can use to talk about your business and link to your website.
  • Webinars: A webinar is essentially a live training session. These are extremely beneficial to any launch, whether it’s your blog/business or your core product. Consider incorporating these into your online promotion strategy.

Write down your strategy for each of these promotion options.

Time Investment

You’re starting a business. These take a lot of work. Then you have to throw promotion and marketing into the mix? You’re going to have a lot on your plate. Think about how much time you realistically have to put towards your digital marketing each day or week.

Outside Hires

Let me repeat myself: You’re starting a business. These take a lot of work.

And if you need to make some outside hires? Freaking do it! Solopreneurship is sooooo last year.

Write down a list of each of the areas you think you might need help in so you know who you need to outsource these tasks to.

If you’ve reached this point, give yourself a huge pat on the back. First of all, you’ve just created a bomb blog business plan. Second of all, you are now ready to get started making money with your new business!

cheesy workout gif that says work, for a business blog article

And if you haven’t downloaded the blog business plan workbook, you definitely should do so now to get started putting together your business blueprint.

 

GET MY 5 PROVEN STEPS

These are the EXACT same steps I used to 10x businesses just like yours and generate new customers on autopilot!

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!