One component many bloggers overlook when starting or buying a blog is the importance of having a business plan for their blog unless their only reason for providing blog content is purely informational or for enjoyment.
Any blog oriented toward making money should have a business plan for a blog that provides a concise summary of the purpose of the effort.
The business owner should write it so that a potential investor can use the business plan to understand the blog content and its goals quickly.
If you run a blog, here is why you need a blog business plan and how you can get started drafting it.
Business Plan Blog Basics
Two plans are vital for any blog geared towards making money.
The first is a marketing plan based on market research, or how the blog owner plans on getting the word out to potential customers.
The second is the blog business plan, the opportunity for the business owner to convince a potential investor the business idea behind the blog is a worthwhile investment.
What is a Business Plan for a Blog?
A blog business plan is a formal document that maps out that plan for the business.
Generally, a business plan has two types of information: A summary of the general goals and the specifics of how to get there, including defining the target market.
Why is a Business Plan for a Blog Important?
A business plan is important because it maps the blog’s purpose, what the blog will accomplish and how the blog content will further the effort to attain its stated business goals.
Do I Need a Business Plan for a Blog?
If your blog is something you do for fun or is strictly informative or opinion driven, and you do not need or want funding of any sort, you do not need a business plan.
However, if you want to make money off your blog beyond just raising weekend “beer money,” then a business plan can help you.
What Should Be Included in a Business Plan?
A successful business plan for a blog tells a story.
That story is why the blog exists, what it is supposed to accomplish, how it will accomplish its goals, and why it is a good investment.
The story aims to convince potential investors or advertisers that giving the blog owner money is not a waste of funds.
Additionally, a good business plan will address general concerns an investor might have before the investor asks about those issues.
Specifically, it will include the following.
The Executive Summary of a traditional business plan is a high-level summary of the blog’s purpose, the background of the owners and writers, the goals of the blog, and the prospects for meeting those goals.
Competitor & Market Analysis
While the executive summary is broad, competitor and market analysis look at specific market aspects and why the small business blog owner thinks they can succeed in that market.
It also looks at the competitive field and details what blogs will threaten the business in attaining its goals.
Brand Overview & Identity
The brand overview covers the blog, its purpose, and its defining characteristics.
For example, a marketing plan on a blog about fishing will map out why its advice stands out from other fishing blogs.
Brand identity is how people recognize that blog and what makes it special in the reader’s eyes.
Content Teams & Operations
The Team and organization portion of the blogging business plan highlights the bios of the major blogging contributors and business managers.
This section covers why investors will do well based on the employees’ skill sets and contributions.
The Blog Content You’ll Produce
Blog content covers the information that will go into each blog post.
A blog on fishing, for instance, will not have articles on how to sew or DIY projects.
Likewise, the content will reflect fishing strategies and techniques that support the blog’s mission.
How The Blog Will Make Money
The money section of a business plan outlines the proper way to write a blog post, the financial opportunities associated with the blog and its content, and how the business owner or blogger will merge both to make money.
A blog on skiing equipment will list ski resorts, ski shops, and skiing equipment retailers within the blog’s sphere of influence that is attainable as advertisers.
It will also highlight the makeup of its target audience and the price point those individuals would pay for the blog’s content.
How The Blog Will Scale
The section on how the blog will scale covers growth strategies for the blog from membership and advertising perspective, as well as how the content and information presented will modify to meet a growing audience with diverse interests.
The skiing blog, for instance, will have a business plan that covers how the blog will migrate into snowboarding or extreme sports, etc.
Blog Promotion & Marketing Roadmap
Blog promotion and marketing cover the strategies and tactics employed to get the word out on the blog.
Here are a few popular marketing methods and venues
- Social Media: Social media includes any organic or manipulated marketing coverage for the blog. Social media includes sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, message boards, etc.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing comprises emails to targeted lists outlining the blog’s purpose and why someone should check it out. Often, with email marketing, a promotional item will be included for a monetary action.
- SEO & Link Building: SEO and link building entail ensuring all content links to the blog or blog’s website and keywords and keyword phrases that help any content rank high on Search Engine Results Pages.
- Paid Ads: Paid ads like Google Adwords advertise the blog’s purchase, announcing what it covers and why someone should check it out.
- Outreach & Other Marketing: Outreach and alternative marketing techniques cover tools that will allow a blogger to grow with the blog while expanding the blog’s reach. Examples include events, premium giveaways, physical promotional materials, etc.
- Exit Strategy For the Blog: The exit strategy portion of the business plan covers how the blog will either migrate to another level from a business perspective, meet its goals, or get sold. This section will also cover what happens when a blog meets its goals.
Types of Business Plans for a Blog
The type of business plan you write must cover the format in which you write a blog post and how you will use your core purpose and goals to make money.
To do this, you must outline how your type of blog will further your goals as a business. Here are a few examples.
- eCommerce: If your blog covers eCommerce or is an eCommerce venue, your business plan should include how you intend to leverage that to increase your sales of products or services.
- Informational Content: A business plan covering informational content should map out how your content has value to your target audience.
- Product Reviews: With a product review blog, a business plan will need to focus on the products advertised on the blog, how those listings translate into revenue for the blog and how you will conduct blog outreach.
- Membership Websites: A membership blog or site will have a business plan that covers how you will build your membership base and keep them renewing their subscriptions.
How Do You Write a Business Plan for a Blog?
The following is a step-by-step way to craft an effective business plan.
Define Purpose, Goals, and Break Even Point
No business plan will be effective if you do not know why you are writing the blog and at what point you will begin to make money.
Figure out the point you recoup any costs, and then map out how your blog will get there.
State Your Goals
Map out your goals to help you reach your breakeven point and beyond.
These should be tangible, quantifiable, and realistic.
Provide An Overview of the Operations and What You Offer
The overview section covers who is on your team, the type of content you will produce, and how you will monetize it.
Save Time With a Business Plan Template
One way to ensure that your business plan is successful is to use a template from business plan software if you are going it alone or hire a business plan writer with experience writing business plans for blogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many people interested in blogging or a blog business plan ask the following questions.
What makes a blog successful?
That depends on how you answered “why start a blog?” when debating if it was worth the effort.
If you are reviewing products, selling those products would be a success.
If your blog is purely information or “how-to,” having readers comment on how your advice helped them would mean it is successful.
Can I hire a business plan writer?
Yes, if you can afford it, having a paid business plan writer draft your document will help you avoid spending hours researching how to do it.
Your blog needs a business plan if you plan on making any money off it.
Using a template to outline your goals, plan, and strategies for success will also help you attract advertisers and investors.
Leave a comment or ask any questions you have below.