Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
As business owners — and if you are a blogger who wants to make a living at your craft — then you are indeed a business owner, you need to have a business plan. Don’t let the words “business plan” scare you away. A business plan doesn’t have to be as intimidating as the outlines you had to create in high school when you were doing a presentation to the class (you remember the Roman Numeral numbered reports, right?) Mary Anne Shew spoke at the BlogPaws 2014 Conference on the topic of: Build A Business, Not Just A Blog and showed how, by answering nine simple questions, you are well on your way to having a business plan in place for your blog.
Are you a pet blogger who wants to become a business owner? Do you have a business plan? If not, what’s stopping you? Mary Anne said that even though we are bloggers who work for ourselves there are still times when we “think like employees” and that we need to break out of that mindset and think like a business owner. “A vast majority of bloggers aren’t running their blog as a business and they should be,” she said.
What can you do to put together your own business plan? Mary Anne shared a simple flow chart to help the blogger put together a business plan. Here are some key questions you need to answer in order to put together your business plan:
- What do you do? What are the key activities you perform for your clients?
- Who are you and what do you have? What are your key resources, your skills, your expertise or connections.
- Who helps you? Who are your key partners? BlogPaws connections, an accountability partner?
- Who do you help? In other words, who are your customers? Pet owners, pet lovers, animal rescue organizations?
- How do you interact? This relates to your customer relationships. Do you communicate through social media? Blogging? Email? In-person contacts?
- How do your clients know you and how do you deliver? What channels do you operate through? Your blog? External links? Guests posts? Speaking engagements?
- How do you help? What is the value you provide to your clients? Do advertisers get more potential customers because they work with you? Do pets receive better care? Do rescue pets get adopted?
- What you give. What are the costs of operation? Blog fees? Attending conferences or taking writing classes to enhance your skills?
- What you get. The revenue and benefits you reap that include additions to your email subscriber list, commissions, positive reviews, selling ebooks.
Mary Anne said that if you take the time to answer these nine questions you are well on your way to a business plan. Have you taken the time to this? If not, stay tuned because we will be hosting a “blogging business plan workshop” that will kick off here on the blog and continue in the BlogPaws Community.
(Photo: Shutterstock: Puppy wearing glasses)