Blog Business Plan Series Day 3
Welcome back to the third day in the Blog Business Plan Series. On Day 1 we reviewed the blog mission / vision statement, who your ideal reader is, and your blog culture or theme. We also reviewed your blog goals and objectives, methods to achieve success, and growth goals.
Day 2 we tackled your blog categories, schedule, and business tasks. We also dove into blog product ideas, services to offer, affiliates, advertising, and other ways to monetize your blog.
Today we are focusing on our personal blog market, readers, and social media.
Download Worksheets Here
Part 5.0 Market and Reader
It is not fun nor easy to do a comparison within our market. Though difficult it is essential to look at what else is on the market, what drives readers, how they arrive, and how we can capture some of that audience or one similar.
Blog Comparisons Part 5.1 & 5.2
I reviewed 5 different blogs and noted what attracted me to the blog, content, design, voice, advertising, and other features that I liked. I am not naming the specific blogs here.
+Blog A Nice design, bright colors, clean, uncluttered, nice fonts
+Blog B Great images, short posts, organized, easy to navigate, welcoming
+Blog C About at top with blogger photo, pretty header, few ads, white, clean
+Blog D Images and descriptions of older posts on the front page, easy to navigate, tidy, white
+Blog E Awesome content. Great links, printables, and how tos. Really funny. I like the writing style
I then reviewed 5 blogs in the same genre (lifestyle, DIY, and parenting) but not as popular as the above blogs. I listed the items that I think need improvement and how I would change them.
+Blog A Lots of ad, cluttered feeling, not organized [Clear out non-reproducing ads, organize ads, links, and partnership buttons in one place, organize categories for clarity]
+Blog B Large photos and images. Takes a long time for a page to load. Frustrating [size images smaller before uploading to blog]
+Blog C Do not like the background color or header. The posts are very long and wordy. I give up reading. [Use a clean and streamlined theme that is uncluttered or remove the background, redo the header to something simple – new logo and rebrand? Edit, edit, and edit posts for the best content.]
+Blog D Opposite problem of the above. Posts are really short with very little content. Not very useful information, a little boring. I think the blogger is lazy or just doesn’t know what to write. [A minimum of 300 word posts – add links and interesting information, consider adding how-to instructions or fleshing out the info.]
+Blog E Difficult to navigate and find other posts. Not sure what the blog focus is parenting? Food? Dogs? Confusing content and organization [new theme with better menus, add categories that make sense, eliminate old or underused categories; revisit Blog Business Plan Part 1.0 and 2.0 for blog vision and goals; consider dropping an unrelated topic to tighten blog focus]
Reader Benefits Part 5.3
Focus on what your blog gives the reader. We want our audience to walk away from our blogs with something either a craft project, recipe, funny story, or empowerment through inspiration. Whatever it is it must be a benefit to the reader to keep them coming back. Include what your blog provides that is different or unique from other blogs and use that in your about page.
Maison des Jeunes
+Humor, a laugh or giggle
+Beauty through art, fashion, photography, and food
+Dare to dream
+Resources for parents of special needs (autism and T1D children)
+Support for women and parents
+Lifestyle including moms, fashion for moms, scheduling and organization help, cooking, and support
Blog Traffic Goals Part 5.4
For this section I used my Google Analytics (FREE) account to look at my blogs today and calculate a reasonable growth. I highly recommend you sign up for a Google Analytics account and link your blog. It is the best analytics tool I have used thus far. It not only reveals traffic numbers but sources and what content is attracting attention. Also, to move further with affiliates, sponsors, and partners you need the analytics information.
If you would like to learn more about using Google Analytics for your site check out this post from Ekcetera.com.
This is the formula I am using (it is the accountant in me) to predict a reasonable growth. I am using examples here – if only my blog attracted this much attention!
1. Page Views Last 30 Days (September) 10000 = 50% increase over August
2. Page Views (August) 5000 = 50% increase over July
3. Page Views (July) 2500
4. Avg. monthly increase 50% increase each month = average 5833 views a month
5. Next 30 days projected 10,000 + 5833 = 15833
6. 60 days 15,833 + 5,833 = 21,666
7. 90 days 21,666 + 5,833 = 27,499
This a very simplified method to project views. Many variable will affect our blog views, a post may go viral, our social media plan may work fantastically, or it may tank and views will go down. This is just a method to predict an average growth goal. You can aim higher or be more conservative with your estimates.
Part 6.0 Social Media Plan
The social media part can be overwhelming to many bloggers. Just when you think you have a channel down it changes or a new, exciting channel opens up and everyone is racing to check it out. For the purposes of this Blog Business Plan Series focus on ONE or TWO channels. Learn the channels and gain experience before adding another. Tackling more than you are prepared for can overwhelm you and result in lackluster results.
Pinterest Part 6.1; Facebook Part 6.2; Twitter Part 6.3; YouTube Part 6.4; Google+ Part 6.5; Instagram Part 6.6
The process is the same for each channel. We will focus on Pinterest for this post.
Maison des Jeunes / Wrestlers Mom
+Pin images with blog logo; linked to blog post
+Pin good images and/or photos; attention worthy
+Images should be smaller for easy browser loading
+Consistent styling for each image and/or photo
+Pin new image with each blog post publication & repeat a new image in two days = total 2 pins per post
+ALWAYS note if the image has a copyright disclosure!
+Never use an unauthorized or unapproved image
Email List Part 6.5
Decide which service you would like to use to create an email list from interested readers. I use Mailchimp (FREE) but other services are available.
Use your email list to reach out to readers with updates, interesting information, offers, and other content that will interest them. Most email services have plugins available for your blog platform.
Guest Appearances Part 6.6
Honestly I never think I want to do a guest appearance. Right now I don’t believe I have the confidence or experience to share even my address with a group of people!
That is not to say it will never happen. So, to plan for the future I completed this section with all the naiveté a novice can have.
To remain ready (I was a Girl Scout back in the day) I did create a spreadsheet. A very simple spreadsheet.
A column labeled Company, contact name, address, phone number, email, web address, product, pitch type (snail mail letter, email, media kit, etc.), Response & date
I will use this spreadsheet to brainstorm the companies and products I think are a good fit for my blog. For instance, books for young adults and children will fit great with Wrestlers Mom.
Social Medial Guidelines Part 6.7
Bring all the parts together. You have determined what and how you will use two social media channels. Let’s tie it into one package for continuity and consistency.
+Logo on each image and/or photo
+Each image/photo links back to the post
+Post is scheduled for each channel three times a day
+All posts will include #MaisondesJeunes or #WrestlersMom or #FrenchRobin
+All posts will include #blogging, # whatever the topic of the post i.e. #food, #reading, #children, #crafts, #Halloween
Wow! We covered a lot of ground today. Take your time and consider each section. If you are not sure how or what you want to do (like Part 6.6 was for me) leave it and come back later. Slowly your business plan will grow. You will know what you want and do not want to do with your blog – for now!
See you Thursday!