How To Write A Biz Plan For Your Blog (21 Page Workbook Included)
You have lost focus of your end goal, have a relentless urge to get your business to where you want it to be — but you just can’t seem to get there.
Does this sound like you?
This is exactly where I was one year ago (B.S. — “Before Success”).
My to-do list was out-of-whack, I lacked a clear-cut path to success and I was exhausted because all of this was actually making me LESS productive.
Que: The Business Plan.
I decided to sit down and actually map out a business road map — and I am still working from my that same biz plan, I wrote one year ago.
So what exactly IS a business plan?
Couldn’t have said it better.
A business plan is not only for you as the business owner, but for everyone else you involve in your business. For everyone to be on the same page, you actually have to HAVE the pages (get it? 😉).
I can’t tell you how many times my biz plan has come in handy. In meetings, Job screenings, Networking and more (I just can’t think of them because I’m so excited to get started).
So now that we’ve covered how you can use a business plan to map out your road to success, it’s time to actually do it.
At the end of this post, there will be a FREE download available to you. I highly suggest you grab that and use it to follow along.
The idea of the free template you just downloaded is to give you more of a one-on-one style, whereas this post is more “by-the-books”. The reason I do it this way is so you get THE MOST out of this post that you possibly can.
Ok, let’s get down to biz!
Step 1: Executive Summary
The most important part of an executive summary is the first paragraph that clearly explains what your business does. This is where you put your ‘aha!’ moment. Like, If you’ve identified a problem in your niche that you think you can fix or do better, you might start with that.
Ask yourself what’s unique and exciting about your blog. After you’ve explained that, it’s time to sell why you believe you’re uniquely qualified to succeed.
1. Your Mission Statement
Your company’s mission statement is your opportunity to define what your businesses’ goals, ethics, culture, and norms are for decision-making. The best mission statements define a businesses’ goals with these two types of questions in mind:
- What your biz does for it’s audience.
- and what it does for YOU (the owner).
Some of the best mission statements also extend themselves to include more in-depth questions: what your business does for its community, and even the world (Whoa!).
Tip: Define your business so well that it feels like a strategy.
2. Highlights of Your Growth
This is a section to highlight exactly what you have accomplished in your business up until this point. It’s also a place to highlight future growth and success.
Make two columns using the space in your free template download.
- Is for realistic goal-setting.
- Is for over-the moon, shoot for the stars type of goals.
Remember, both are within your reach.
3. Your products or services.
You’ll have the chance to talk more about your products and services in a later section, but here, write a couple brief sentences about the monetization methods you are using or the ones you intend to use.
4. What are your goals?
Where do you plan to take your blog business in the future? What are some goals you have? This is the place to get em’ down!
Step 2: Blog Biz Description
In this section, we’re going to tackle the organization and culture of your blog business (present or future).
1. What sets your blog apart from others?
Take some time to think about this one — why would someone read your blog over another, similar blog?
2. Who do you serve?
Your Blog Business Plan basically revolves around your target market. If you don’t know your audience, it will be impossible to grow a community around your blog or turn it into a full-time business.
- How old are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- What brought them to your blog?
- How can you help them?
- What are their future goals or aspirations?
- What are their hobbies?
3. What is your “company culture” or brand personality?
You may not be running a business casual office for your blog, but you still have a brand personality and culture to uphold.
- When people interact with you or your blog, what do you want them to feel?
- What words would you use to describe your blog’s personality?
- What purpose does your blog serve?
4. What is the organizational structure of your blog business?
This may not be a concern for you at the moment, but in the future you may want to turn your blog into a recognized “corporation”, like an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation). If you are currently running a blog and accepting money as a blogger,
Step 3: Competitor Analysis
Before launching your blog into a business, it’s important to research your competitors and for you this means blogs in your niche. Take a look around, Assess what’s working and what’s not. Write down things you like about their blog, and things you think they could improve on. It’s a competitor’s market, and no brand or biz has ever come successful without full analysis of their competition first.
When you’re researching your competitors, make sure to scope out both blogs you like and dislike. This way you’ll get a more well-rounded view of your market.
1. Identify Who Your Competitors Are.
Make a list of all of your competitors. Which other bloggers are in your niche, doing something similar to you or to what you want to do? Which other bloggers have potentially similar products or offerings? Write down who they are, with a link to their website.
2. Research Your Competitors’ Strategies And Goals.
Now that you know who your competition is, take some time to research their strategies and goals. Go through their websites and social media accounts. In other words, yes, I’m asking you to spy 😉.
- What purpose does your blog serve?
- Are there any strategies that many of your competitors seem to use (for example, do they all promote e-courses)?
- What sets each competitor apart from the other competitors on your list?
3. Know Your Competitors’ Price Ranges For Their Products.
If your competition has any products for sale, then write down what the price ranges are for those products. This will give you an overview of how much is typical for a product you may create one day and what your target audience is used to paying.
4. Create A List Of Your Competitors’ Strengths And Weaknesses.
The competitor analysis section is is for you to set a benchmark for yourself and your blog biz. To find out what strategies and tactics are being used right now in your niche.
Step 4: Audience Research
1. Audience Observation.
In a biz plan one would typically survey their audience by asking them a series of questions to get to know how they can better serve them — but I have an easier and more effective method.
Remember when you jotted down that list of all your competitors? That’s going to come in handy when you dive into this next method.
Visit all of the competitor websites you wrote down, and click-through to 1-5 of their posts, scrolling down to the comments section.
- In what areas are your competitors’ audience asking for help? What specific questions did you see? Any recurring?
Now do the same kind of research on your competitors’ social accounts. Search their comments, replies, Facebook groups and Twitter chats (if those apply).
- In what areas are your competitors’ audience asking for help? What specific questions did you see?
2. How Can You Help Your Audience Specifically?
Taking everything into account (Competitor analysis, your brand and target audience and audience observation) how will you help your audience? How will you set yourself apart from your competitors to become more successful?
Step 5: Building Your Community
One of the most effective ways to build community is by harnessing the power of social media. You can focus on Pinterest for traffic growth, and Twitter/Facebook/Instagram for finding your potential members and engaging with them.
1. Social Media
- On which platforms will you put the most emphasis?
- Where does your target market hang out the most?
- What strategies will you use on each platform in order to grow your audience and community?
- How will you find your target audience on social media?
2. Email List
Not only will your email list be essential for selling your products, but it will also be an incredible medium for connecting with your audience.
- Which strategies will you use to grow your email list?
- How often will you communicate with your list?
- Which types of things will you send your email list?
Step 6: Your Product Or Service
It’s time to start planning your monetization strategies. This is the part where you decide how you will turn your blog into a biz. Will you launch services? Will you create an e-product? it’s all up to you my friend and the possibilities are endless!
1. What will you do/sell?
- What is a product or service that would help your target market or is something that you know they need?
2. How Does Your Product Or Service Benefit Your Audience?
3. How Is your Product Or Service Different From What Your Competitors Are Selling?
Step 7: Marketing And Sales Strategy
If you’ve made it this far you’re officially an online biz superstar! It means that you care about your and biz enough to want to drive and grow it to new heights, and that’s the first step in building a successful and profitable blog — so congratulations!
Now, we need to talk Sales and Marketing strategy because this is going to be the backbone of your biz (and any biz).
1. How Will You Market Your Products, Services, And Blog?
What methods will you use to market your products, services, and blog. Will you use Facebook ads, schedule tweets, create a robust Pinterest strategy?
2. If You Haven’t Started Your Blog, What Strategies Will You Use To Launch It?
3. What Is Your Growth Strategy? In Other Words, What Techniques Will You Use To Continue Growing Your Audience And Income?
What types of marketing and promotion strategies will you use to keep your growth on the up and up?
I know this all seems like a lot, but it should be — building a biz is A LOT of work! Sometimes it can be fun, while other times it can be a super daunting task. I really hope you downloaded the template so you can start on this RN because there’s no better time than the present my friends.
Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments below!