… by Thursday Bram
Business plans can be a scary topic to bring up with bloggers: many of us have very clear ideas on how we want to make money with our sites and the consideration that there are numbers change the ball game can be terrifying.
I knew this going into my session at BlogWorld Expo in New York. I honestly wasn’t sure how many people would be interested in talking about the nuts and bolts of running a blogging business. But I was pleasantly surprised — and I think the audience was, too. We got to talk about what really makes sense, in terms of monetizing a blog, as well as the mechanics of actually putting together a business plan.
The Surprise of My Session
My audience more than managed to surprise me. I expected to attract a crowd that was familiar with blogging as a platform but were newer to the idea of a blog as a business. There were certainly a few folks in that boat, but there quite a few people who had actually already experimented with different strategies to make money from their blogs.
Now, I’m personally a fan of running the numbers on a new project before I get started. I have several blogs (at different levels of success or even starting), but for each of them, I have an informal business plan.
At the same time, though, I didn’t have business plans of any sort for the first couple of blogs I launched. A few of those died quiet deaths and the rest got business plans after the fact. It is more than acceptable to write a business plan even after you’ve been in business for a while; in fact it’s often necessary. With some more traditional models, the only time a business plan goes beyond the informal stage is when the owner wants to sell it!
If you’re in the position of working on the business end of your blog after the site has been up for a good while, that’s perfectly fine. It happens to a lot of us. But, just as I said at #BWENY, it’s important to sit down and write out a plan for that business. If you’re working with a written document, no matter how informal, you’re far more likely to actually get the numbers necessary to help you figure out how much your blog might earn, as well as address the potential barriers to increasing your blog’s income.