A successful business owes much of its success to a business plan; a road map to establish how the business will operate, its goals, and to be shown to investors when additional funding is needed.
Bloggers can use such a road map to build a successful blog.
Could you ever hit a target you do not see?
A blog plan, just like a business plan, gives you a path to follow; hope is not a strategy.
You need to know what you want, and how your blog will look like and where it’s headed one year, two years, even five years from now.
You should ask yourself these questions…
Why do you blog?
What is your blog’s purpose?
Is it a creative outlet? A way to boost your ego? A source of income? A platform to showcase your writing to the world as a method of promoting other works?
You must figure out why you are blogging. This will help to determine your goals for the future, and what needs to be done in order for your blog to achieve its main purpose.
Who are you and why are you writing this blog?
Maybe it sounds like a dumb thing to ask oneself, but a lot of bloggers are not qualified to be blogging about certain topics. Maybe because they don’t care that much about it, or maybe they do not have the expertise, the authority, the passion, the time, the energy…
If you do not know who you are, you do not know what your blog is about, and you cannot develop a writing voice.
In other words, you must know what you bring to the table.
As you grow as a blogger, as you develop your skills, you may find yourself looking back on who you used to be when you started and who you have become.
What are the topic areas this blog will discuss?
It’s best to be broad enough to have plenty to write about, but narrow enough to stay within your niche.
It’s also essential to have regular topics rather than no topics whatsoever. A road map is most useful when it’s as specific as possible.
Readers who want to read about particular topics will come back to your blog again and again. Random posts don’t build a targeted readership.
Every single day? Twice a week? Determine your posting frequency.
Of course, there are plenty other questions: is your blog a one-person blog, or a will you accept content from other bloggers? Original content or curated?
One other crucial aspect of having a plan is having an editorial calendar to plan your blog posts, not only through the week, but through the year as well.
If you want to publish guest posts, I recommend having a basic editorial calendar available so a guest blogger can see if you will be covering a subject which they may be interested in writing.
Now that you’ve answered these basic questions, it’s time to write down the your own definition of success.
If your goal is to generate an income from your blog, you will need to figure out how much money you want to earn, and how you will monetize your blog.
Some methods are considered classics, but this is an area that rewards creativity, so do not be afraid to think outside the box.
As I said in my opening lines, you cannot hit a target you do not see.
So what is yours?
How many readers do you want to have? In a year. In two years. In three. How many views?
Do you plan to blog for as long as possible, or grow your blog and then sell it?
Having your goals in mind (and on paper) will influence how you build your blog, how much time and energy you invest…
This is where most people get it wrong. They are too vague, and this means that their goals are uninspiring at best, or just non-existent.
Why would you even bother blogging in the first place if there’s nothing in it for you?
If you do not ask, the answer, by default, is no. If you do not plan for success, if you do not have goals and a clear strategy for achieving those goals, you won’t be successful as a blogger.