Do You Have a Blog Business Plan?

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I was flipping through my little pink notebook (every serious writer should have a little pink notebook:) when I found my list of blog post ideas that I’d abandoned. I also saw a note in the margins: finish blog business plan.

Sigh. You guys, I have a confession to make: I have not been the best at “planning” my blog lately. I pretty much just blog about whatever comes to mind. I view my blog as my safe place where I can connect with other writers and get free therapy. But I know that I can be doing a better job of at least being somewhat strategic, so here’s what I cooked up.

Now, I took this from the $100 Startup One-Page Business Plan but switched it up for a blog and added some other questions. I’m just going to go through and answer the questions.

What will you blog about?

All things writerly: craft, publishing, marketing.

What is the goal of your blog?

To connect with others.  

Who is your target audience?

Other writers.

*side note: I’ve seen the “should you target readers or writers” debate when it comes to writers’ blogs and here’s my two cents: target readers if you’re going to post regular snippets of your work. Otherwise, readers may not care about your process or how you plan to market your work. They’ll only care about when that next book is coming and might even view your blog as taking away from your writing time.

Here’s another two cents: Writers are also readers (duh, right?) and I think that connecting with other writers is the way to go because they are the people who are going to be your betas, help you promote your work, and be your sounding board for a variety of issues that non-writing readers just may not give a hoot about. *

Why should people want to read your blog?

Because I’m awesome. Because I will either write about things that other writers will find useful or of interest. Useful: things about marketing and SEO. Of interest: different aspects of the writing process that I might be struggling through that they may be able to have a solution for (because my writer friends are awesome).

How will people learn about your blog?

I will spam them. I will visit other, similar blogs and comment and promote my posts on Twitter, She Writes, Google+, and Facebook. 

How will your blog help people?

It will provide useful information. It will also show writers who may not have a supportive network at home that they are not alone.

How can you encourage referrals?

By bribing with food. Being nice to people. Also, when I see a blogger with a specific problem, offer up a helpful solution just because, not expecting anything in return.

How will you measure success? For instance, finish this sentence “My blog will be successful when _____________.”

Okay, so, for my blog, I measure success through the connections that I build. Not every visitor is going to be a lifelong visitor, and that’s okay. I don’t focus on numbers but I think that making genuine connections is the key for me.

Obstacles/Challenges/Specific Questions

  • Specific concern or question #1

Time. I have a young daughter and I am pursuing a writing career and building a business.

Proposed solution to concern #1

Time management/adhering to a schedule, planning out my blog posts in advance and being consistent with the day that I post.

So that’s it! Anything anyone would like to add? Do you have a blog business plan? And if you’re feeling especially daring, fill out your plan in the comments.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


26 thoughts on “Do You Have a Blog Business Plan?

  1. I’ve never written down a blog plan, but I’ve done a lot of similar thinking. Because, you know, that’s what marketing people suggest to do, and honestly, having a plan has helped me being constant and consistant. I think a plan helps giving a form to your blog and people feel more confortable when they can recognise a form, what your blog is about.

    Well, just my idea 😉
    JazzFeathers recently posted..Thursday Quotables – Street SceneMy Profile

  2. …wow. You’ve put a lot more thought into this than I have. >_< I only got a blog started because I knew it was a good way to connect with other writers and there was a contest I was entering that required a place to post my entry. (Ye gods, that was more than three years ago.) And I only really started connecting with other writers when I participated in "Follow Fest" the next year.

    But I like the list you have going here – I'll have to remember this when I need to make my blog a little more professional and a little less "these are my writerly-type thoughts for this week".
    Mason T. Matchak recently posted..Character Matters.My Profile

  3. So, um…”I have not been the best at “planning” my blog lately. I pretty much just blog about whatever comes to mind.”

    Do people PLAN their blog posts?

    Sigh. I so don’t do that. The ironic thing is that in every other part of my life, I am a planner. I like to be prepared and organized (there’s the Virgo rising in my chart…) and I tend to work best when I plot stuff out on advance. But with my blog, it’s the exact opposite. It’s like the one place in my life where I’m a big mess. I admire your plan and your specificity. Maybe someday, I’ll do that same! Or maybe I’ll just let my blog be the place I let loose. I’m sure it would be much better for my readers if I planned, alas. We’ll see… 🙂
    Liz Blocker (@lizblocker) recently posted..This Is What Addiction Looks Like: Game of ThronesMy Profile

    • Nothing wrong with that! My blog is a combination of things: a place where I’m building my platform and a place where I can just be myself. I started paying attention to what I blogged about when I started noticing what people searched for to land here. It’s a great tool to get people interested in what you have to say, and as a result of that, curious about what you write.
      Quanie recently posted..Do You Have a Blog Business Plan?My Profile

  4. You needn’t worry about followers. As stated above, you attract folks like moths to a flame – it comes easy for you. Lucky duck. Sheesh I thought you did have a plan; All Things Writerly! And it sure worked for me as far as keeping me interested 🙂
    I was sort of ‘shot out of a canon’ before I tried Arlee’s A to Z Blogger Challenge. Talk about applying the heat-seekers! I found the easiest (and safest) thing to do was write what you know or love or both- whenever possible:-) Surely I can’t be the only living soul who adores little people, nature and living in Arizona. Besides, as opposed to a website, blogging seems a more sure-fire platform for promoting your work (and that of others) with the added benefit of connecting with others! Can’t wait to see (read) what you do next, Quanie:-)
    P.S. I was reading “It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy” while in the mountains for a week. Scared off more than a couple birds and squirrels with sudden outbursts of laughter! Even mi vida raised an eyebrow a time or two – ha!
    diedre recently posted..Prosperity and Perdition Beneath a Vulture’s GazeMy Profile

    • Ha! I’m so sorry, Deidre. You really shouldn’t read that book in public, lol! I appreciate the support:) You know, I think you’re on the right track with the direction you’ve been taking your blog. This might be a lofty goal, but you might even be able to monetize it by targeting travelers or people who really like spooky stuff: “Spooky places you’ve gotta see in Arizona” or something similar but with a better name. Get a couple of articles in targeted magazines to boost your profile, and bam. You’re off and running. Another thing that might help is really taking advantage of search engine optimization by switching to a self-hosted WordPress site and really targeting interested folks with key words. It might be worth a shot! There’s a huge audience of folks interested in that kind of stuff. Go get ’em!
      Quanie recently posted..Do You Have a Blog Business Plan?My Profile

  5. bribing with food, ha!! I used to have a plan but I find I work better when I let go and have fun. I have a tendency to be WAY too Sheldon Cooper with everything from daily life routines to writing and blogging, so if I can eliminate that in any way, I find I’m way more “me”! One thing I always ALWAYS swore I’d do is only post once a week, unless I have a guest post. I know myself and any more than that and I’d have a nervous breakdown and/or never get ANY writing done on my MSs!

  6. I didn’t have a blog plan before. I just blogged whatever came to mind. Nowadays, my blog content is more focused on updates about my work in progress novels, informing writers of creative events, contests, issues, etc of interest for example #PitMad and #SFFpit. Writing tips and advice on writing, time management, in particular, writing when you’re a working parent. And now that I’ve moved over to WordPress.com, I also started sharing more of my writing. And plan to add readings of my poems using Sound Cloud. I understand the whole blog debate, but like you said writers are readers too. So as you can see, my blog is a way to connect and get feedback with other writers and writer-readers. But at the same time, I still try to write content that’ll interest reader-readers.
    Lidy recently posted..Science Fiction & Fantasy Authors Rejoice- #SFFpit is Coming!My Profile

  7. Your post has me thinking a bit. I am pretty haphazard in my blogging, and I guess I need to think more about if I want more out of my blog or not. I will definitely tell you that my absolute favorite thing about you is how you do make connections – I think it is a huge asset of yours, and I would never lose that part of you!
    Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings recently posted..Book Review – Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne LaqueurMy Profile

  8. Hi Quanie,

    Thank you so much! This was awesome advice. I have been reexamining my blog lately, making changes to it and trying to decide what I want to accomplish with it. Like Faith Simone, I typically blog as part of my schedule and blogging weekly is part of my writer’s resolutions for the year, every year. I definitely plan to use the template that you provided to look at what I want to accomplish via my blog.
    PS-my notebook is black.

    • Ha! I have a black notebook as well. You know what? I think you have to just find out what works best for you. Even if you just blogged once a month, as long as your readers knew to expect that from you, they wouldn’t mind. Good luck to you! And keep me posted:)
      Quanie recently posted..Do You Have a Blog Business Plan?My Profile

  9. I don’t have a blog business plan, but I did put myself on a schedule to make my writing life more manageable. When I first started I blogged at random a few times a week. Then I transitioned to a twice a week schedule. Then, once my book dropped and I had to take time to focus on marketing, I moved to posting once per week. I’m comfortable there. I post on Wednesdays because that day gives me the opportunity to come up with a post on Monday or Tuesday. My weekends are devoted to writing my novel. Posting only 4-5 times per month gives me the consistency I want for my blog, without the pressure of constantly coming up with new content.

    Your focus on genuine connections is the way to go! It makes all of it fun rather than a chore. I love visiting your blog because of the great info and opportunity to connect with other writers.
    Faith Simone recently posted..Book Marketing for DummiesMy Profile

    • Faith, I’m with you on the once a week thing. It just works best for me. Initially, I had planned on blogging three times a week but I realized that I didn’t have anything to say three times a week, lol. And love blogging on Mondays to catch the #MondayBlogs folks.
      Quanie recently posted..Do You Have a Blog Business Plan?My Profile

  10. AS of now I probably have a pretty loose business plan as far as my blog goes. My approach these days is kind of the equivalent of throwing handfuls of spaghetti against the wall to see how much sticks. I kind of blog blindly partly for fun and partly for some ambiguous undefined plan for the future.

    But I’m having fun with it and that’s part of the plan right now so I guess that’s good. If I’m blogging for content then I guess I’m succeeding as far as sheer volume goes.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Arlee Bird recently posted..La Negra Tomasa (BOTB)My Profile

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