In my last post, The Business of Blogging: Think Like a Boss, I talked a lot about defining your why and keeping it top of mind in everything you do for your business. Once you are clear about your why, you can start putting together the what and the how of your overall business plan. In this post I want to explore how to align your why with your blogging strategy.
Define Your Why
In order to create a successful business strategy, you need to have your why defined. Head back to the Think Like a Boss blog post and our SLC Mastermind discussion before moving on to the other steps in this post.
Read This: How to Find Your Expertise as a Blogger
What is Your Version of Success?
A lot of people think success means making a lot of money, driving an expensive car, having the biggest house on the street, and affording luxury items. There’s nothing wrong with that . . . but that is not everyone’s version of success. Once you know your why, think about what would make you feel successful. Is it a certain amount of income? Is it the freedom to design your day? Is it the freedom to work from anywhere? What does success look like for YOU?
Action Plan: Give yourself some quiet time to answer the following questions:
- How much money do you need to make each month in order to feel comfortable?
- What does your “perfect scenario” day in the life look like?
Create a Monetization Strategy
I often hear bloggers say they are running ads, doing affiliates sales, applying for sponsored campaigns, and some are even working on their own products. When I dig a little deeper and ask them why they’re focusing on these monetization strategies, they don’t really know why. They just know that these are ways for bloggers to make money, but they haven’t always connected that to their “why” and created a strategic plan for their business.
Your monetization strategy should be built with your why and definition of success in mind. For example, let’s say that your version of success means having flexibility in your schedule to volunteer at a shelter and spend more time with your family. In that scenario trading your time for money with an income stream like coaching or consulting wouldn’t align with your why. Creating a passive income stream like an eCourse or eBook would align with your goals of having more time to spend with family or volunteering.
Action Plan: As a blogger, you should have multiple income streams, but you don’t need to have all of them. What are three income streams that align with your why and your definition of success?
Create a Content Plan
One you’re clear about your why, have defined your success goals, and created your monetization strategy, it’s time to do the work. Your blog itself is not a business. It is a vehicle to drive your business. In this next step, you’ll need to create a content marketing plan that helps to drive your monetization goals.
For example: Let’s say you want affiliate marketing to be your number one source of income. That means you need to work really hard on building pageviews and traffic. You’ll also need to write targeted content that promotes the affiliate products you’re selling. This content can be in the form of blog posts, videos, emails, lead magnets, and more!
If I’m trying to become a social media consultant, then I need to create a content marketing plan that positions me as the expert in that area. That means creating blog posts that are SEO friendly and teach readers how to effectively use social media marketing. Another component to that content plan is guest posting with other experts in the field, appearing on podcasts, etc.
Think of your content plan in terms of ALL the content that helps to support your business goals. Think outside of just a blog post.
Action Plan: Do a content marketing brainstorm by answering the following questions:
- What are 10 blog posts that you can write to help promote your business?
- List three relevant blogs where you can contribute a guest post.
- Are there any podcasts that you can attend as a guest speaker?
- What other content can you create to help promote your business?
Create a Social Media Marketing Plan
Now that you’ve created a content plan, you need to amplify it and get found! An effective social media marketing plan will help with this. You don’t need to be on every single network. Select at least two networks to master and build your audience.
Then create a unique marketing plan for each network. What you share on Facebook should be different from Instagram. Give your followers a reason to follow you on different platforms.
Action Plan: Which two social media networks are you going to focus on? What type of content will you create for each? How do each of these networks connect to your why and success goals?
It’s not enough to wish and pray for your dreams. There’s a lot of chatter out there telling you that once you know your life purpose everything will fall in place. That’s true . . . but only if you do the work and get intentional about your blogging strategy.
Now what? Join the SLC Mastermind Discussion!
All month long, we’re going to be talking the business of blogging in the Social Learning Community. Not yet a member? Sign up! Or, if you’re already part of the community, head over to the Courses page and look for The Business of Blogging course.
Aimee Beltran is the Director of Community Education for BlogPaws. She also writes two blogs, Irresistible Icing and Irresistible Pets with her Chihuahua, Chuy. Aimee is passionate about her mission, “create an irresistible life you can’t resist!” She loves anything with glitter, kayaking, and spending time at the beach.