Speakers: Thursday Bram
Session: Business Plans for Bloggers
Date: Thursday, May 26
Location: Jacob Javits Center 1A14
It takes a matter of minutes to set up a blog — seconds if you’re not worried about hosting it yourself. But it can take years to actually see a dime from your blog if you aren’t thinking about it in terms of a business.
It’s easy enough to start writing and even to stick with putting together a post on a regular basis. But it’s just as easy to tell yourself that you’ll get around to putting up advertising later or to flounder a bit when thinking about you might sell from your blog.
Success is Not Hit or Miss
Whether you’re a big name blogger or you’re just starting out, your blog can earn money. But you have to be willing to treat it like a business. That means thinking about your blog’s future, setting goals for it and planning how you’ll reach them. For many business owners, the simplest approach to handling goals and plans is to create a straight-forward business plan.
It’s a business plan that can make the difference for a blogger, not getting on the front page of Digg or sending a guest post out to every site you’ve ever heard of.
The Right Business Plan for Your Blog
Business plans aren’t exactly a new concept — there are thousands of templates you can follow, books you can read and so on. But the part that many bloggers seem to struggle with is translating all of the information that is available on planning and operating a business into a plan that will actually work for an individual blog.
Part of the problem is that a blog isn’t exactly a typical business that someone might write a business plan for: many of those templates are focused on helping a new business owner communicate the details of her business to someone else, such as a bank offering business loans or an investor interested in getting involved. The startup costs of a new blog are such that those aren’t likely scenarios.
Rather, a blogger’s business plan has to focus on what you need to put into your site to get out the sorts of returns you want. Doing the necessary research to figure out what your target audience actually wants to see — and what they’ll buy or click on — is the most important part of your business plan. After all, if you can answer the question of how you’re planning to make money from your blog, everything else is downhill from there.
Thursday Bram has written for such sites as CNET, Lifehack and OpenForum. Her personal blog is at ThursdayBram.com