Many people come to this site in order to improve their blogs and, ultimately, monetize. But, I've made no secret of the fact that...
A blog doesn't make any money at all. A BUSINESS is what makes money.
What most people do (mistakenly) is simply launch into their blog without any thought whatsoever of where they intend to take it. Perhaps they have some vague ideas - or hopes. But, nothing with any specifics. And very rarely have they thought about any of what can ultimately result in having an actual business.
And so... they build a blog which has little to no real prospects. No path forward other than just churning out content with little to no recognition for the effort.
You Need A Business Plan. But, Not The Boring Kind.
Most of the time, when you hear the phrase "business plan", it is some dry, boring document full of guesswork that you might give to a bank for a loan or something.
Those are useless. A total waste of time.
Instead, what we do is create something called the lean canvas. It is a concept coming originally from the Business Model Canvas, as outlined by Ash Maurya discussed in his book Lean Startup. (great book, BTW).
And by all means, feel free to go out and research the lean canvas on your own. You can even find templates and go to town on your own.
However, I found that many of my students found it helpful to go through this exercise in a way which is far more specific to online businesses, solopreneurs and bloggers.
A Simple Walkthrough And Process For Focusing On The Core Business
The One Page Online Business Plan was created so that I could personally walk my students through every single section of the Lean Canvas.
We focus right on the problem you are solving... and your proposed solution. We focus on how you will find your prospects... and who they might be. We'll talk about your positioning and, ultimately, what will form the very foundation of your branding.
The idea is to take a bird's eye view of what you intend to build to set forth the strategy. Because building something without a strategy is simply a recipe for wasted time and effort.
This business plan sets the stage for incremental tests and decisions that allow you to build your business in stages, without a lot of risked time and capital.
And it gives a lot of clarity - especially in the beginning phases of your online business.