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Why Your Blog Needs A Business Plan

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Blog Business Plan
The saying goes, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail” and its not that far from the truth! If you don’t have clear objectives for your Blog and Online Strategy you are basically wasting your own time. Do you have an “elevator pitch” prepared for your Blog – can you clearly explain what it is about and why you stand out in 15 seconds or less? It’s important to be able to provide a clear, quick summary of what your Blog is all about to the media, other Bloggers and even affiliate networks. Know your Business!

Here are some key points you should have written down somewhere to help you build the outline of your Blog Business Plan:

Mission Statement

What are your goals and mission for your website? This is the most important detail of your Plan

Summary (Elevator Pitch)

Here’s an example: “Mike Wayne Dot Com is a Blog that teaches Entrepreneurs how to Plan, Create, Optimize & Monetize their own Online Businesses.”

Revenue Stream(s)

How are you planning to generate revenue? Online Services, Affiliate Ads, E-Commerce, etc

Traffic Sources

Where are you going to be getting your traffic from? Twitter, Search Engines, Facebook, MySpace, Meetup.Com, Blogger, etc

Niche

What is your area of expertise? What is your Blog about? Gardening, Video Games, Politics, etc

Update Frequency

How often do you commit to updating your content? What kind of content will you offer (video, podcasts, etc)

Outposts

Which social networks will you utilize to create your online presence to drive traffic to your Blog?What are the profile URL’s?

Keys to Success / Competitive Advantage

What do you offer that other Blog’s in your niche don’t: Virtually every business has keys to success that make the difference between success and failure. This depends on who you are and what you offer: For example: “Mike Wayne Dot Com is the only site that offers Beginners a 360 approach to Blogging & Website Management – I offer tips that range from which Blogging software to use to which Affiliate Networks offer the best programs for newbies.”

Legal Structure

Are you going to be using your own Social or Tax ID? Will you be a sole proprietorship or an LLC?
Sales Plan or Sales Forecast: How much income to expect to earn monthly or yearly through you blog? Is it a realistic goal? What is your plan to hit your revenue objectives?

Marketing Plan

What tools and methods will you use to get exposure for your Blog? Will you use paid search (adwords), offline advertising or the social networks?

Staffing (if applicable)

Will you be the only person posting on your Blog or do you have a team of Bloggers? Are you all working for free or is there a payment structure in place?

Financial Plan

Expenses vs Revenue: How much are you spending on Web Hosting, Advertising or Programs associated with your Blog or Affiliate Campaigns? Is your Blog COSTING you more than it’s earning?

Hopefully these points have given you something to think about. Blogging to earn an income requires real work! Planning and tracking your progress will only help you in refining your Blog and helping you reach profitability sooner. Remember these keys steps: envision it (the blog, it’s goals, the niche), plan it (business plan) and, execute it (start blogging!), revise it (make revisions based on feedback) and then enjoy it (earns tons of money and reap the benefits of the Internet!).

Here are some good links to help you create a business plan:
http://www.bplans.com
http://www.entrepreneur.com/businessplan/
http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/index.html

I’ve also created a word doc with the Bullet points listed below for you to use as a worksheet here: [painfully outdated]. The bottom line is, your plan will be useless if you don’t actively follow and revise it. A business plan is not meant to be a bore or a chore to avoid, it’s designed to help you think through your ideas and help you succeed. So take action and begin working on your plan today!

Don’t forget to be heard and leave a comment!

About the Author Mike Wayne

Mike Wayne (me!) is a Serial Entrepreneur residing in New York City. I created this blog to provide tools, advice and tips to help Entrepreneurs understand the world of Online Business. I’m also the Founder & Lead Developer at MediaCraft Marketing, a New York Based Internet Marketing Firm that reeks of Awesomeness =)

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