I’ve been there. I read an article on a blog and suddenly I’m like YES, this is the answer to all my prayers. I’ll just put together some nice looking pages, write a little content and whazoom, I’ll have a successful biz. But starting a blog-based business takes a little more then that!
If this sounds like you, I’m going to make you back up a moment, not to crush your dreams, but to help you grow them by being realistic about your business. Building a blog-based business is hard work. It’s just as much work as any other type of business, even if the tasks seem a little more enjoyable or a little less daunting.
And just like any other entrepreneur, you will find yourself challenged, disillusioned, hopeful, strengthened, scared, excited and oh so many more things. If you understand this from the beginning, you will be able to handle the inevitable ebb and flow that starting a business creates in your life.
So why be realistic when starting a blog-based business? Two reasons. One, you need to plan and you just aren’t going to plan very well if you think building this type of business is simple. Number Two? And this is the most important thing – I don’t want you to give up before you have given your idea the chance to flourish.
Creating A Realistic Plan For Your Business
Blog-based businesses require a lot more then good content and pretty pictures. Make sure you have taken into consideration the following areas when starting one. I’ve listed a few questions for each to get you started.
7 Things To Consider When Planning Your Blog Based Business
What platform are you going to build your blog on?
What tools and technology will you need to use that you already know?
What will you need to learn or outsource?
How will you get users to your site?
If you advertise, where will you place ads?
How will you build your social media audiences and what platforms will work best for your topic?
How will you build your email list
What products will you sell?
Where can you reach potential customers?
What will your sale process look like (will you do outreach or rely on people coming to you?
What kind of content will you write that will help your business grow?
How will you get more people to read your content?
5. Data Analysis
How will you use data to help you make decisions?
What are your plans for tracking user interactions on your site?
What are the goals you need to track?
What are your brand colors and font?
What type of images will be consistent with your brand?
How will you ensure consistency across your site & all your marketing materials?
Don’t Give Up Before You’ve Given Your Business A Chance
We’ve all heard success stories from bloggers who seem to start a blog-based business overnight. Their success seems easy. Add a few affiliate links, tweet a few times & suddenly they have a biz. It’s just not true. Building a business takes time. It requires you to be accepting of the fact that you are going to make mistakes. There are times when you will feel like there is no hope and other times where you will feel optimistic. If you have over-inflated expectations of where you will be in a month or a year, it’s very possible that you will quit before your business ever has a chance to be successful.
I like to think of it in stages. First you put a foundation down. Then you learn how to bring people to what you’ve built. Then you learn how to sell your products or offerings. Then you adjust based on what you learn.
So the next time you feel frustrated or worried about the success of your blog-based business, take a step back and try to evaluate it from the step you are at. If you are just building the foundation, you can’t expect massive sales. Even when you first learn how to sell your products or services, you might only be selling a few and that is okay. Take your successes and build upon them, no matter how small they are.
Take the time to evaluate the expectations you have for your business. Are they realistic? Are you putting too much pressure on yourself to succeed too quickly? How will your measurements of success change along the way?
Create a roadmap for your business. Detail each major stage you feel your business will go through and create realistic goals for each. For example, if you are planning your foundational stage an example goal may be launching your website. If you are planning your early sales stage, an example goal may be getting your first sale.