How to Crush Your Blog Business Plan Like A Boss + Free Template!

by | Feb 20, 2020 | Business

74 min read

Does this sound like the dream business for you?

  • High income of six figures per month
  • Low overhead costs
  • No physical products
  • Unlimited digital products
  • Limitless affiliate income
  • An average of 50% profit margin
  • Easy to run and maintain
  • Work from anywhere at any time

Sounds fantastic to me – sign me up!

What is this dream business? Blogging!

It might sound pretty fake and impossible, but I’ve got great news:

It’s totally and completely real, and attainable.

See, I know quite a few bloggers who are literally making six figures PER MONTH. No, that’s not a typo, and it’s not a lie.

These bloggers are k-i-l-l-i-n-g it!

Just look up names like Ruth Soukup, Jennifer Maker, and the Create & Go couple.

What’s the difference between the blogger that’s just starting out making zero dollars, and the ones who are making bookoo bucks?

They have a plan.

A strategy in place.

A blogging business plan!

You have to stair-step your way there.
And the only way you’re going to get there is to start where you are now, and create a staircase to get there.

But as MLK said,

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just the first step.”

So the veeeeeery first step in starting your blogging business is to consider it a business from the get-go.

Step two is to read this post and fill out the workbook. You’ll be SO much more prepared with a plan behind you.

I highly recommend NOT skipping the step of creating a blog business plan.

It’s simple to start a website in 15 minutes like all the posts say, but then what?

You need a plan. A strategy.

Now, a business plan for your blog isn’t any ol’ boring snoring business talk.
This is where you get to really open your imagination and dive into the passion and vision that you have for your business. You can get as wild as you want! Never lower your dreams to meet ‘realistic’ expectations.

Are you ready to become a highly respected, money making blogger?

Let’s get going!

Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links, which helps support our site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases that go towards supporting this website, it’s content and costs, at no cost to you. Please read our policy here. Your support means everything!

Why do you need a business plan for your blog?

A business plan is needed, yes, even if you have a small blog right now, if you want to do anything serious with your blog in the future.

Want to make money?
You need a plan!

Want to work with brands?
You need a strategy!

Want to get free products or create your own products?
You need a roadmap!

Don’t worry, I’ve made a Blog Business Plan workbook for you, and you can snag it here right now!

I recommend you go through this workbook as you read this post. We’re going to combine the instructions of this post into an actionable workbook to get started with your blogs business plan.

C’mon, it won’t be dry and boring – it’ll be fun!

How to create a business plan for your blog + free template!

STEP ONE: The Blog Business Plan Summary

WHY

Find Your Why

There’s a fantastic reason why you want to start your blog – and I know that reason is awesome!

Whether you’re doing it to make an impact on others, or even just to start making money, I’m excited for you!

My personal blog journey has been amazing and full of excitement, as well as difficult times. I’ve enjoyed almost every minute of it, lol.

This is where I started in my blogging journey.

Simply, with an idea.

Your Why should be the dreamy part of your blog business plan. It should get you excited. It’s probably the first thing that got you motivated to create a blog in the first place!

Let that idea take you somewhere. Take a few minutes and consider why it is that you want to start your blog.
What gets you excited about this new idea?

Your Why is the entire reason you’re doing this thang. It’s the reason that will push you forward when you get tired.  This is going to be the motivation in those times when you feel like you want to quit.
Really think hard about this one, because if it isn’t strong enough, it won’t hold past the tough times.

This is the entire reason that your blog and the business plan exists.

VISION

Create Your Vision

Now that you’ve uncovered your why, you probably have a better idea as to your vision.

In your dreamiest of dreams, where does this vision lead you? What does it look like? What do your days look like? What does your audience look like? What do you think your friends and family would say if they saw this vision? What do you see yourself doing?

The only tip I have for this exercise is: don’t limit yourself!

 

MISSION

Decide on Your Mission

Your mission statement isn’t the ol’ boring office ‘mission statement’ claiming teamwork and customer service.

Instead, it’s the backbone of your brand. Your why moves you forward, your vision gives you an end point, but your mission tells what your blog is all about.

It helps you in making decisions for your blog and allows you the guidelines to know what is in line or out of line for your blogging business.

Is it helping new moms overcome overwhelm?
Is it teaching others how to cook healthy meals on the cheap?

What’s the transformation that you’re trying to provide with your blog?

 

STEP TWO: The Branding for Your Business

So you have a vague idea for a blog, but let’s dig deeper.

To make sure this is a profitable business idea we have to do some research.
We need to determine if our idea is a legitimately profitable idea by doing an analysis of your customer and your competitors.

After that we can move on to the fun stuff.

Be careful in this section. You can go into full-blown analysis paralysis because of imposter syndrome.

Don’t let this section take you for a ride. Instead, this section can be the most fun! You get to pick and choose a style for your brand and talk in the language of design to convey your message to your audience. Oh yeah, and you get to choose your audience, too!

PASSION

PROFIT

NEEDS

To validate your idea, we need to make sure that your niche has three requirements before we spend all this time and money on the wrong business idea.

 

First, you must have passion for it.
What can you talk about for hours on end without running out of things to talk about?
What is it that gets you really excited to tell people about?
What is something you find yourself doing on the weekends or in free time?

Second, you need to make sure the niche is profitable. Do people have books out about this topic? Are there podcasts, blogs, courses or products that people are selling within that niche?

Thirdly, is it needed? Are there people searching for this topic? You can take a look at Google Trends to see what people are searching for. If you see an upward trend of various keywords in your niche, like ‘keto’ is, then you’ve got a winner!

Make sure that this is something that you know people love or are interested in, and that you know a lot about. It wouldn’t do well to be very excited about gardening if you didn’t know enough to answer the questions people had for you. Make sure you know enough about the topic or are willing to learn quickly.

If you want to learn more about how to choose the perfect profitable niche for your blog, read this post!

AUDIENCE ANALYSIS:

Choosing an Avatar to Serve

Next up is choosing a customer, or an avatar to serve.

Businesses use this technique to identify what their customers needs and wants are, to create the right product for them.

By using demographics of your current site traffic, or of your ideal customer, you can connect with them through your content and free products, which overall ends with them purchasing your paid products.

If you don’t have any traffic yet (this is a startup guide after all) don’t worry. Just go with the person you are trying to serve, and who that mission statement is about.

  • You can consider their goals in life.
  • You can think about what they dream of or aspire to be.
  • Also consider what their biggest struggles are, and what they are having a hard time achieving.
  • Consider what their favorite things are to read, what their interests are, and what their life might look like.

 

Obviously, this will vary drastically from person to person, but we’re wanting to narrow down your reader to make it easier to help them on a One on One basis, rather than trying to talk to everyone.

Consider their problems in life, what their fears are, and what they wish they could change about their lives.

This is where you come in!

You’ll take that information and make a commitment to your readers.

What is the transformation that you’re trying to help them with that aligns with your mission, and your vision?

Here’s a great fill in the blank format you can use:

I help [bloggers] by [teaching them to start their businesses] so that they can [meet their lifes full potential] and [make more income].

Knowing who your competitors are, along with what their products and prices are, is going to play a huge part in the future of your blogs business plan.

  • What are they good at?
  • What are they seemingly bad at?
  • What do you like or dislike about their websites, content, design, brand, etc?

After you do this step – you aren’t allowed to visit your competitors websites again.
I mean it! *wags finger at you*.

In all lovingness, it’s because you can get discouraged, overwhelmed, and start to feel unworthy before you even have a chance to start!

If you’re having thoughts of “I’ll never be as good as they will” or “I have nothing to add” then it’s time to close this section.

If you need to skip it for now, that’s fine. Come back to it at a later date.

The goal is simply to find out what content of theirs is working, what social platforms they’re using, and what products they sell at what prices.

COMPETITOR

ANALYSIS

CHOOSING

YOUR

BRAND

IDENTITY

What sets you apart from those other blogs?
What is your unique value proposition to offer audiences?
Why are you different from your competitors?

The things you disliked in your competitor analysis might be things that you could improve or do better on your own website. Or, perhaps that gives you an idea of what you want to steer clear of.

Your brand identity helps draw your dream avatar towards you and pushes those ones away who aren’t into your same mission.

That’s okay! Not everyone will be your #1 customer. You don’t want everyone to be your customer, either.

This is why branding is so important! It speaks in a way that words cannot.

For your brands identity, consider who you already are as a person.
What some of your favorite things are and what your avatars are can have a huge overlap!

Yay! One of my favorite parts of this blog business plan is getting to design and choose branding colors and design preferences!

First, you will want to crack open that thesaurus (or just use the website LOL) and choose 3-5 words that relate to what your brand will represent. Take some time with this and use this as a jumping off point of how you will present your words and images in the future.

It’s time to open Pinterest and create a new board for your branding ideas. Start pinning images, colors, elements or textures that you want your brand to be. Consider patterns and icons, color palettes, website layouts, etc.

Next, you’ll want to create a brand board, which will allow you to place some of these images, your brand words, and your color palette all in one spot.

This helps to see it all together and see if everything is playing nicely.

Make sure to put the hex codes for the colors in your brand board, you’ll need those a lot!
I printed mine out and placed them near my computer monitor because I need them all the time.

Check out my post on how to design your brand with little to no money here! In that post I go over how to choose brand colors, logos, and all the things you need to build a brand on a budget!

CREATING

YOUR

BRANDING

& DESIGN

CHOOSING

YOUR

BLOG

CATEGORIES

You’ve established who your customer is, you’ve done some competitor research, and you’ve narrowed down what you think your brand wants to be.

Now it’s time to narrow down your blog categories.

For SEO purposes, AND for the quality of your blog, don’t choose more than 3 categories. You can always add or take away categories later, but for now you want to focus on a maximum of 3. If you can get two or one, even better!

  • What is it that you want to be known for?
  • What is it that you’re going to be writing about?
  • What was your promise to your reader above? This will help you!

Your competitor analysis will also help you determine what blog categories you want to focus on.

You want to think of your blog content as a tree. You’ve got your main purpose up top, and your topics or categories will be on your websites navigational pane, and your sub-topics are your individual blog posts.

This will more than likely evolve over time, so don’t take this as gospel, but you do want to stick within each category. If you do plan on shifting and changing it, do so strategically.

STEP THREE: The REAL Parts of Your Business
& Best Practices

A warning: this step will take a while. You can easily get stuck on this for ages, but don’t let yourself.
Give yourself a time limit for this project, so that you don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis or the “forever tweaking” that happens to all of us bloggers.

YOUR

WEBSITE

However, I encourage you to simply gather some ideas, and finish the blogging business plan workbook firstThen in your action list at the end you’ll come back to building out your website. Remember, we’re still in planning mode.

Right now, you have your brand board and brand identity to help decide what your website will look like and feel like.

You will also want to choose a website builder or theme that is within your budget, and that you feel confident in being able to build out your website yourself, because girl, website designers be pricey!

I highly recommend the Divi theme!

Also, you do NOT need to hire a web designer. I have a great horror story about spending thousands on a ‘freelance web designer’ that left this website in shambles and for absolutely nothing. Trust me. Hiring a web designer is an expensive step that you don’t need to do, yet. You can do it later. The most important thing is your content at this point – so skip the designer and find a great theme that works for you!

You will change so much after you start anyway, so don’t worry about it just yet.

In this step, I recommend spending some time gathering design ideas and colors for your website. Consider how you would like your website laid out. Just be aware that some themes don’t let you change the layout or the navigational panes.

Like I said, I recommend the Elegant Themes Divi Theme. That’s what I use on this website here, and I deleted everything that designer messed up and rebuilt it myself. I’m not a website designer, although I did watch some Divi theme tutorials. Divi is an amazing drag and drop visual website builder that I HIGHLY recommend getting!  I have some blogger friends who don’t use Divi and they struggle with their layouts and building out pieces of their websites using code.

Skip all those steps and use Divi on WordPress!

If you aren’t a tech person – this is the perfect solution for you.

Your newsletter is a vital piece of your blogging business plan. Why? Because this is where most bloggers make their money.

You would assume that bloggers made most of their money from ads, or maybe from sponsored posts from brands, but email is where most of the bloggers I know bring in most of their income.

YOUR

NEWSLETTER

Consider this: You have social media posts that draw people into your website. Once they’re on your site, they’re either not interested, or they want to hear more. If they want to hear more, they sign up for your email list.

On this email list, you nurture your audience further than you can with a blog post. You get to tell personal stories. You get to connect with them on another level. You get to build a community and talk directly to them.

And they become your biggest fans.

And then they buy from you.

“The money is in the list” isn’t a saying for nothing!

In this step, I want you to decide if you’re going to have an email list (It’s a no-brainer, the answer is  yes my friend!) and then I want you to choose how often you are going to email them.

You can choose however often, just be dedicated and consistent with your choice.

Some people start with 1x/month, or once every two weeks, or once a week, and there are even some savvy bloggers who email every single day. This may depend on your customer. If they are busy stay at home moms, they may only want an email once per week from you.

Check out this post on How to Start an Email List from Scratch, here! If you’re ready to start an email list and you just need to set up the software, read this post about my favorite email marketing software, Flodesk! It’s a beautiful drag and drop interface for lower than the cost of all the other paid email tools out there. Plus, as your list gets bigger, you don’t have to pay more! No price tiers!

YOUR FUTURE PRODUCTS

If I had a crystal ball that could tell the future, I would totally give you the answers right now as to what products you should make. That way you could skip all this ‘building a business’ nonsense and go straight to making a living. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as a crystal ball, so we must guess.

We are going to completely guess what products we want to create, only because we need to have some sort of a goal to aim at. This will likely be totally different once you get to this point in your business, but for now it’s important to set our sights!

What products do you see yourself creating for your business? Do you want a physical product or a digital product? Do you want to work one-on-one with services? Or do you want to sell ebooks or courses? Jot down a few thoughts about your idea and vision of your businesses money-makers.

One of the most important pieces of your business plan is your schedule and best practices for your content.

When do you plan on writing posts? When do you want to post on social media? When are you going to do all the back-end tasks? And when will you EVER SLEEP AGAIN?!

Just kidding 😉

Simply decide when you want to push out content, and put it on a calendar.

I recently wrote a post on how to create an editorial calendar from scratch. It goes over these content pieces and helps you create a best practice schedule for your business. Check it out!

YOUR

SCHEDULE

& BEST

PRACTICES

Z

Blog Posts

Most bloggers do 1 post per week. If you’re brand new and have less than 50 posts, I recommend doing 3 posts per week.

Otherwise, one post per week will take a year to reach 50! The goal is to get to 50 as quickly as possible, so that you can start getting feedback from your traffic data on what content is working. After 50, 1 post per week is likely sufficient.

Z

Social Media

There’s no set rule for this that applies to everyone, and it depends which platform you’re using.
Some people post very rarely, while others do multiple times per day.

You should ideally have a social media post for every blog post you write, so start there. You can always increase later, but it’s harder to start out with 7 posts per week. Start small and grow as you go. Write out what you’ll aim for in the beginning, and what your goal is to work up to.

Also, write out which social platforms you’re going to tackle. I recommend only ONE platform at a time.

Bloggers typically start with Pinterest, because you don’t have to wait to get out of the Google Sandbox (wait for them to trust you) before they send you traffic.
Instagram can be hard to get readers off the platform, and Facebook is similar.

I recommend starting with Pinterest. You can check out how I got up to 1 million viewers on my blog post, The Triple Threat Pinterest Strategy That Grew My Pinterest Following by 682% in 6 months! (I’m up to 1.4 million now!)

If you’re looking for help in building a social media plan, check out my post on the 3 Steps to a Powerful & Easy Social Media Plan

Z

Admin Tasks

I have a day that I do my ‘’non-negotiables’’ every week. I make sure to get them done every single week, and these are my tasks that I MUST do to keep my blogging business going forward, even if I do nothing else that week. You may not have a list yet but schedule it in each week and you’ll start to notice what your admin tasks are.

I wrote a post about how to build out your business systems and processes like a boss, which will help improve productivity, speed, and how fast you get stuff done!

Z

Learning & Education

Being a lifetime student is going to be a MUST if you plan on growing and evolving as a business owner. Information gets outdated, social media networks change seemingly faster than lightening can strike, and you grow as a person. You need to make sure that you’re carving out a corner of your time to learning these new things!

Psst – Check out my post on the best free online courses are for entrepreneurs just starting their businesses!

Z

Milestones

Alright, the last section in Best Practices is to outline what your milestones will be. You have your long-term vision and have an idea of where you’re starting out.

Can you write down in your plan a few steps that you could achieve as you grow your blogging business? Things like “reaching 50 posts” or “sending 4 emails this month” to bigger things like “having 1000 subscribers” or “doing an affiliate launch” or “creating a tripwire” are all great ideas.

Remember, the idea is to stair step your way to success!

STEP FOUR: Your Marketing Strategy

We’re not going to go too deep into marketing because it is a beast in and of itself. All we’re going to do in this step is outline our ideas for marketing.

It requires a lot of knowledge to be good at marketing, and will take a lot of time, adjusting, and patience.

Heck, there’s entire college degrees about it! So we want to start small.

So where do we begin?

First, we want to decide how we are going to get traffic to our site.

Next, we’re going to choose what social platforms we want to tackle (you may have written it down earlier).

Although you can have a goal to master Search Engine Optimization at some point, and your master plans may involve social media, we want to pick one or the other right now.

SOCIAL

MEDIA

Okayyyy, we’re at social media. Social media is the best way to get free traffic to your website without paying to advertise. There’s a variety of platforms to choose from as I’m sure you know, so I’ll only say two things:

ONE | Pick ONE platform at a time

And

TWO | Master that platform before moving onto something else

When you’re a fairly new blogger, all these platforms can seem overwhelming, and there’s going to be a lot of unknowns in this area at first.

You might not have the education on how to use these platforms for marketing, which is totally okay.

Soon, you’ll be a pro, don’t worry 😉

Each platform is different and has different requirements to gain in the algorithm rankings or the types of posts the users are acclimated to seeing on that platform.

All we need to do for our business plan right now is start planning the steps we need to get there.
For example, if you know that Pinterest is going to be one of the platforms you focus on, your next steps will be to learn more about that platform.

As I mentioned, I don’t recommend tackling more than one social media platform at one time.

As a successful blogger once told me, you shouldn’t move onto another platform until you’ve got the most out of it. Otherwise, instead of doing one thing well, you will be doing two things mediocrely.

Pick which platform you’re going to focus on first and write down the first step you need to get started with that platform. For example, you might choose “Ask in Facebook groups what the best course is for Pinterest”.

If Pinterest is your goal (it’s what I recommend for new bloggers because you get immediate traffic to your site) I recommend you read my blog post for Pinterest!

In your business plan all you need to note is whether you would like to pursue ads in the future. As a newer blogger I don’t recommend you starting with ads at first, because it takes a very precise ad to be successful, which will require further training.

For now, take advantage of using the free social media platforms (really, what did they DO back in the day? I’m glad we don’t have to knock door to door for our blogs lol!)

If you want to pursue ads in the future, I would put in your blog business plan workbook the next step, which would be searching for a popular and useful course or ebook that you would like to learn from.

ADS

STEP FIVE: Monetizing Your Blog

Woohoo! It’s time to figure out how we’re going to make money with this dang thing!

There’s a few different options in blogging. The best part is that blogging has several different models you can use.

For example, you could create strictly digital products, or you could have a membership service where you provide interaction and training to handfuls of people.

Or perhaps you have a service that you want to promote – so that could be your primary method of income.

There’s quite a few options – let’s dive into them!

    Choosing a Business Model

    You may already know this from some of the previous questions – but what ways would you like to make money from your site?

    Write down which ones you want to focus on first, and this will help you make decisions in the future when it comes to making products!

    The most popular would be selling digital products, then selling affiliate products, then physical products.

    This may change as you move forward, but again, we just want to set our sights and become aware of our possible paths on our Blog Business Plan Workbook.

    Be aware, you are going to need training or a lot of education on any of the methods here.

    PRODUCTS

    Digital

    Ideally you would have the perfect product and put it up for your users to purchase. But as a new blogger, you won’t know how to write out the ideal sales page to draw those customers in, or how to attack those pain points in your product.

    It’s best to wait until you have at least 500+ subscribers that you can really hone in on and survey to find out their pain points.

    After this, you can test with little products you create or opt-ins to see what’s popular.

     

    I used to sell products on Amazon, and I can tell you, it takes a lot of work and up-front capital. It can be a very fun and rewarding experience, though. You will want to look up “white labelling” to find a business that will put your name on a product, or perhaps look into a print on demand company that will create physical products for you. Check out my post on how to buy wholesale products here!

    PRODUCTS

    Physical

    Ads

    Google Adsense
    Media.Net
    Mediavine
    AdThrive
    & More!

    Ads is going to be the easiest monetization method to start out with. You can sign up for Google Adsense here.

    Be aware it takes some time to start making any money with this. Once you have about 10,000 pageviews you can apply for Media.Net, and at 25,000 sessions you can apply to Mediavine. These are great goals to have in the future!

     

    Affiliate programs are where you link to a product somewhere and get a percentage of any purchase a customer makes with your link. I must say, it’s the easiest money you will make, but it takes a lot of time to find the right products and build your audience to trust you.

    I encourage you not to throw out random links hoping for a sale. You will lose trust in your customers. Instead, be truthful, and strategic about which programs you promote. Your business is at stake here!

    AFFILIATES

    Any product, course, or software that you use and love – that helps your audience!

    PARTNERSHIPS

    Sponsored posts, reviews, working with brands, etc

    Partnerships are a great way to get free products, brand recognition, and future connections with brands.

    You are expected to perform a particular task in exchange for money or products, which can be hard to come by as a beginner.

    These are what social media influencers are most often a part of. A fantastic book about learning to work with brands is a book called Influencer by Brittany Hennessy

    If products aren’t your thang, or you want to start making money right away, you can look into a service.

    Are you really good at something?
    Maybe you have friends and family who often ask you to help them with projects. This would be a great way to get started in your business, and you can go from $0 to a lot very quickly this way!

    Word of mouth can be beneficial for your business, so stay relevant in Facebook groups or social media posts on the topic you specialize in. Build a page on your website and start taking discovery calls.
    You can do this girl!

    SERVICES

    Are you good at something? You can start making money right away if you offer your services to someone! (Not those kind silly 😂)

    MEMBERSHIPS

    OR SUBSCRIPTIONS

    Highly scalable yet more labor intensive up front

    Some more advanced monetizing techniques are to offer a membership service or a subscription service for your readers.

    There are bloggers out there who have created a mastermind group that you must pay to be in, and successful entrepreneurs who spout gospel from their weekly online meet ups.

    Maybe you want to build a software (if you’ve got the skill) or have some sort of subscription idea that you want to sell. Totally doable, and very scalable!

    STEP SIX: Finances

    Now now, don’t give me that terrified deer-in-headlights look. This won’t be that bad, I promise!

    Whether you’re a money master or you’re terrified of the words “budget”, you must learn that your businesses health entirely relies on the backbone – which is money.

    As a blogger, you are very lucky to have stumbled upon a business model that doesn’t require very much startup money to get going. Often times this isn’t the case, as entrepreneurs have to pitch their idea to investors, knock on doors, and do all the scary things to get money to even start their businesses.

    Instead of that, we bloggers can literally start with very few dollars, very quickly.

    But then we must manage the money coming in, and to grow your business you have to spend money. I hate to say it, but it’s true. If you want to grow and scale your business to make more money, you must spend some of it.

    Oh – you will also need a separate business account. Even if it’s not a business account which requires an EIN number from the IRS, you should have a separate unused personal account. By the way I’m not an accountant and I can’t give advice, so ask your accountant what is best 😊

    BEGINNING BUDGET

    What sort of money do you have available to put into this?

    I list the bare minimum expenses below, but the more you can put in, the more you’ll get out of it. I recommend setting some money aside for later, because there WILL be things you want to purchase. Don’t buy everything now even if you have the money. Do it as you go, and save the rest!

    STARTUP EXPENSES

    So what all do we need to start our blogging business?

    First, you will need to get set up with:

    • A website
    • A hosting company
    • A domain
    • An email service provider (check out my review on Flodesk, it’s only $19/month for lifetime if you sign up through their early beta!)
    • MAYBE a website theme (remember I recommend Divi, it’s worth the price in the beginning to not have to change it later, AND no coding or hiring a website designer which would be thousands!)

    That’s IT!

    If you want to purchase software, plugins, social media schedulers, etc, that can come later. For now, these will be your startup expenses.

    When you start making money is when you need to file with your state that you are doing business.

    This isn’t as hard as you might expect – and you don’t have to hire anyone to do this for you. It’s actually really simple and I did mine myself. You can check out my blog post here – the Ultimate Guide to Starting your Online Business with more in depth details on this!

    MONTHLY EXPENSES

    Depending on if your software or hosting companies require monthly or yearly purchases, you’ll want to be aware of what is coming out of your account.

    Make sure you don’t end up with several monthly costs that you don’t even use often enough to justify having.

    I recommend tracking these in a spreadsheet or something like Airtable (it’s free)

    MONTHLY REVENUE STREAMS

    You’ve already identified what products you want to sell, but it will likely be a while before you get there. Make sure you have a spot for the income streams within your budgeting financial spreadsheets to track incoming money!

    YOUR TIME

    How much is your time worth? Better yet, how much are you currently getting paid for your time?

    Blogging is a very heavy time investment up front, but as you grow, your income grows larger and faster (in my experience). You’ll always be negative in the beginning, but it’s important to periodically calculate your hourly rate to see how far off you are from your goals.

    In your blogging business plan, you should write down what your goal is for income per hour.

    YOUR MONTHLY ROUTINE

    Don’t overcomplicate this as it’s likely to change over time. Right now for our business plan, we don’t need to go into the nitty gritty of what we do each month. Instead, we just want to outline an overall financial plan for our blog.

    Perhaps you want to make a certain amount each year.
    Maybe you have goals to work with brands by the end of next year.
    Perhaps you want to start making your own product within this year.

    What are your financial goals for your blog?

    Here’s what I recommend:

    1. Pulling your bank statement from your business only account
    2. Matching up the transactions to each affiliate purchase or brand deal that you’ve done over the last month
    3. Make sure you enter in your expenses as well
    4. Balance at the end.
    5. Make new goals for the next month – how can you increase your income per subscriber, or your ad rate?

    STEP SEVEN: Growth & Goals

    These are my final thoughts on creating a business plan!
    You’re almost done!

    ONE

    Learning & Education

    Set aside costs and time to continually educate yourself.

    TWO

    Networking & Building a Community

    Make an effort to connect with bloggers on social media AND in real life at conferences and trade shows.
    Make sure you are nurturing your audience on social media AND through your newsletter.
    Connect with them in your own way, with your own words, and your own personality. Help them grow and reach their goals. Help them make that transformation. Build a community of friends and readers that you love.

    THREE

    Exit Strategy

    Decide what your exit strategy might be. Some people build blogs over and over and sell them. Some people end up keeping their blogs and get book deals, TV show bookings, podcast bookings, and more.  What’s the end game?

    FOUR

    Analyze, Tweak, Repeat

    If you aren’t sure, just keep testing and pushing through. You can take all the courses in your life about how to do something, but no one can tell you the exact right answer for YOUR situation. Everyones situation and growth looks different. Keep tweaking, testing, and repeat.

    FIVE

    Don’t Quit in the Messy Middle!

    Seth Godin wrote a book called The Dip, which talks about how the messy middle is the hardest part of the journey. This is where everyone quits. Good for you, not so good for them. Don’t quit. Keep going. Surround yourself with support and fellow bloggers who understand what you’re going through.

    SIX

    Hire People & Outsource ASAP!

    The fastest way to success is to fire yourself. That’s your ultimate goal. Build until you can fire yourself from the job of creating blog posts, posting on social media, scheduling things, or creating funnels. Your job is to write the content and be the inspiration. You can hire virtual assistants for relatively low prices which will impact your business in a positive way, giving you back your time. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Hiring, Managing and Firing Virtual Assistants here!

    SEVEN

    Come Back to Your Biz Plan Every Year!

    Lastly, I want you to set calendar appointments right now for 6 months and another for 1 year from now. You should look at your business plan 6 months during this beginner phase of your business, to remind you of your direction and ideas.

    A year from now, you will be even further along, and you can see how far you’ve come, adjust your ideas and reaim, fire!

    EIGHT

    Create Systems As Quickly As Possible!

    The easiest way to gain traction in your business is to start creating systems and checklists. Sounds boring, but it’s not.

    Eliminate decision fatigue by creating checklists you can follow so you don’t forget how you did that one thing a year ago.

    This is my ultimate secret I can give you.
    Create systems, create processes.
    Rinse and repeat.

    That’s what the game is, ultimately, is rinsing and repeating over and over. Most people aren’t willing to do the rinse and repeat game. But you are!

    Your Next Steps for Building Your Blogs Business Plan

    Snag the Workbook

    Create a Plan

    Follow this post and the workbook prompts (it’s free!).
    After this, you’ll want to create a Next Steps list. By having your next steps planned out, you are more likely to take action on those, rather than staring at this long path feeling overwhelmed.

    Start with one step at a time. Just take the next step.
    Remember that a river cuts through rock not because of its strength, but because of its persistence.

     

    You will get organized as you go along. You will figure out the moving parts as you grow and move forward. Don’t let yourself stop yourself because things aren’t perfect. There’s no such thing as perfect, girl!

    You can do this!

    You ARE ready!

    You have everything within you right now to start today.

    And I’m here to support you in any way possible. Comment below with what you’re stuck with and I can help or email me at hello@thesuccessmountain.com!

    If you haven’t already, snag the workbook for creating your Blogging Business Plan.

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