A big problem with people starting serious blogs is that they don’t spend enough time looking through all of the details of starting a blog and planning their venture for the future.
In this post, I would like to discuss how to plan your blog much like you would plan a business, looking into every little detail so that you make sure you’re always one step ahead of your competition.
Now, before we move on I would like to talk about what I mean by a ‘serious’ blog. Many people start a blog because they just want a blog, somewhere to write their thoughts and give their input to the world. These are of course important blogs and can become massive over time, but the people I’m really trying to point this post towards are the ones who decide they want to have a blog that people will actually read, instead of a blog which is more for self fulfilment.
Why Should You Plan?
Since I started learning about how businesses work and then later on when I started learning about how successful blogs work, I’ve always been interested in trying to join the two together. One of the mistakes I see around the internet is that people don’t see making websites and blogging as a big risk; it isn’t really if you look at the costs, but despite this you still need to think about planning so that you can eliminate even the smallest of risks.
As well as this, planning will allow you to be much more efficient in running your blog. It will allow you to save time in the long-run and use this time to concentrate on aspects which will improve the blog further and hopefully bring in more traffic.
What Do I Need to Plan?
This is the part where many people fall down on. They plan out the obvious things; what the blogs name will be, where to get the domain, where to host the website and a simple idea of what to write content about. However, you need to dig deeper than this, think about how much traffic you would like to have in a month and plan out how much money you would be willing to use to market your website. The following list illustrates these points in a more thorough way.
- Outline Your Blog – Firstly you need to put down the name, domain, hosting company. A simple paragraph explaining what your blog is about will give you something you can look back at in the future if you are going a bit off-target.
- Objective – Setting out short-term, medium-term and long-term objectives will give you something to concentrate on and something to motivate when you are starting to fall behind. Short-term objectives should be quite simple, such as; post # of articles in the every week and get # comments each week. These are quite simple to reach and therefore you will always feel like you are achieving something, boasting your motivation. Medium-term objectives should be similar but based on longer time periods, say a month, as this will give you an extra set of objectives to look at and analyse how you are doing. Long-term objectives should be quite difficult to achieve, so that you are always striving for more, but still need to be achievable. These could be such objectives as; make £# in the first year and have # more people guest posting on the blog in a year. Whatever your objectives are just make sure that you can achieve them, but not too easily as you need something which actually makes you proud when you achieve them.
- Marketing Plan – This is the one people skip over quite a lot because they assume marketing means spending money. It doesn’t. In this section of the plan you can plan out how you will use social media to market your blog, plan which blogs you will start commenting and where you would like to guest post. If you do want to spend a bit of money this section can also include a plan of which advertising companies to use to get your website and brand into peoples memories.
- Financial Forecasts – A very important one if you would like to start making money online. In this section you need to write down how much you have spent and then how much you think will be coming in over the time your blog is open. Making a rough estimate for the first year is a good idea, as this, even if it is far out, can make you work for something and give you more reason to carry on when it isn’t going to plan. As well as putting in what you want to make, if you have some money to spend you will need to add them here with budgets and then incorporate this with the money coming in so that you can make sure you aren’t losing too much money.
- Time Management – Time is a very important aspect of blogging, without enough of it you won’t be able to keep up with what’s going on and with too much you might overdo it. When first planning your blog make a small plan about how much time each day you will sit down, write posts, respond to comments/Twitter/emails and how much time you will spend marketing your blog. It’s important that you give yourself enough time to do all of this so that you stay ahead of competitors and in the public eye.
- Long-term Plans – Finally you need to look at where you want your blog to be in a couple of years. This is also the time to look at whether you will be able to write about your topic for a couple of years, or whether you will become board of it.
Even if you have already created your blog and feel that you have missed out on doing all of the above, don’t worry because it’s never too late to plan!