There are Four Phases to a Solid Business Plan for your Blog and today Marnie is sharing those with us…
Critical Thinking & Reflection
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you know the source of your revenue?
- Do you know how much you spend each month?
- Do you make real time decisions?
- Do you feel overwhelmed and know why?
- Can you identify the specific gaps in your business that would make all the difference if they were filled up?
- How much income do you want to make?
- What are your big goals?
- What are your specific goals?
Once you get a handle on the answers to these questions (you don’t have to HAVE the answers to all these questions), then you’re ready to move onto the next phase of your business planning.
Mindset & Mission
So, the first phase above gets you grounded and feeling in control of your business. You should know where you need to spend time in your business, where you stand financially, and how much money you want or need to make to grow and sustain your business.
Now you’re ready to move forward.
First is mindset: embrace the FACT that you’re a business owner. When someone asks you what you do for a living, your answer is “I own a small business”, not “I am a blogger.” Certainly blogging is part of the picture but it is a small part of the overall picture.
Next, nail down your niche & write down your mission and vision for your business.
Finally, have specific goals outlined – both specific and not so specific – so you know the path that will lead you to achieve those goals.
Step #1 should prepare you well to move into your organizational strategy. If you’re like me, I spent years doing everything on my own. Then I slowly began to outsource but still I made that decision without high level thinking. Thank goodness I have a wonderfully patient assistant but it took lots of thinking and iterations before I grasped what I needed, what I wanted to do (my strengths), and what I needed to outsource (my weaknesses).
Take another step back and identify the biggest areas of need, outline role descriptions, and hire for that role specifically.
For me, I have a project manager, a virtual assistant, a CPA, and am in the process of hiring a designer on retainer and a technology guru.
Be prepared to invest in your team. It’ll be worth every penny in the vast amount of time you’ll save spinning your wheels. Productivity will make you more money. Hiring a team will save you time and in the end grow your business in ways you didn’t realize were possible without a team.
Relationship & Product Strategy
Blogging businesses changed the face of marketing. Long gone are the days of selling. Bloggers are about community & relationship management. So, how will you grow your community? How will you reach them? How will you involve your readers in product development? How will you get to know their problems and pain points so that you can effectively address them?
Monetizing your blog is partly about advertising but it’s a small piece of the revenue puzzle. Think about an affiliate strategy and other products that can meet the needs of your audience. Involve your audience in the development of these products getting their feedback and using their language.
Of course, these four phases are only a start to getting deeper and developing strategies around social media and operations. Next, start thinking about which tools will you use to streamline and automate your business. Remember that growing your business does not require more hours. In fact, it should require less with the right tools in place.
I hope you enjoyed this article. You can find me at marniecraycroft.com and facebook.com/groups/businessplanning4bloggers. Also, download my Business Planning 4 Bloggers Workbook for 20+ Exercises to begin your journey to the next level.