For the past week, I have been busy planning a new website with some of my friends, and I realized that what I have done for my existing blog (dailymorningcoffee.com) has taken its course over the span of 5months to arrive at what it is today. Thinking back to what I did to achieve a certain feature in my blog has been a daunting task and made me write this post.
Do we actually need a Business Plan for laying out a new website? Is it required that we need to plan for how we will go ahead with the layout, what will be our expenses (maybe to buy a good theme, get some logos done, etc)? The longer I think about this, the stronger this thought becomes in my mind and makes me realize that any blog, however small the niche might be, will always need a certain amount of planning time.
Without a plan, your website can become obsolete with patch-up code and plugins which will look very immature and will fail to impress your set audience. If you are planning on a corporate website or a blog to feature your product or services, you may realize that without a plan the website will never be able to take a professional shape.
What are the Steps Involved in the so called “Business Plan” for a Blog?
1. Website/Blog Definition – Define what you is the intent of your new website. What are you planning to achieve by creating one? Why do you need this website and what will it mean to the audience? I know every blogger would have written an article which says “Define your niche“, you may think that your website will be one-of-a-kind, but the reality will soon settle in that there are hundreds of similar sites which are already up and running, so what would the readers see different in yours? Why should anyone even come and read what you have to say?
2. Website/Blog Content – Ask yourself whether you will be able to get something “new” to the already existing overload of information in your “planned” niche. Having a niche which will target a small audience will always be good to get valid followers and be able to build up those e-mail subscribers for your newsletters.
Personal experiences will always be accepted by your readers rather than re-forming an already existing topic in your own words. The challenge is not only to build your list of regular readers, but to make your blog content so interesting and first-hand source of information that those readers will come back with every new article of yours.
3. Website/Blog Revenue – There are already many posts out there (including in my own archives) about the numerous ways to make money from your website. I really don’t have to go into that in detail at this time. But however, this is a really important aspect to “plan” before starting a new venture.
List out all the ways that you think you can use to monetize your site, do you have any products to sell? Do you think there will be any tools/plugins that you will recommend as an affiliate? Are there related websites in your niche that sell similar services that you can affiliate to? Do you want to use Pay-Per-Click programs? Will your readers/subscribers be interested in seeing ads all over your new website?
The answers to these will by itself formulate a revenue plan for your website and you dont have to think any further, even if your website isnt oriented towards a e-commerce site, it is always advisable to think of the various options you can include in future.
4. Website/Blog Layout – The website layout is a very important decision in your planning phase, you need to decide what your home page will look like, whether you are going for a corporate website or a regular blog, whether you need a static home page or a page which will display the latest posts. It is advisable to have a blog page if you are planning for a small business website or a corporate website.
The layout will also define the various plugins and widgets that you will need to be available on every page of the website. There might be a need to make space for displaying sponsored advertisements on a sidebar or even the header/footer of your page. Planning for these will make it easier to select a theme to go with your site. If you are hiring a web designer it will make it even easier to give the proper requirements and get the job done.
What are your “Business Plans” – Are you by any chance in the same boat as me, planning for a new venture, getting stuck at the initial phase itself, thinking of what is needed and what is irrelevant? Why dont you share your experiences and all of us will benefit by learning from each other’s mistakes. Thanks for reading.
Suggested Readings: Take a chance to Gamble with Entrepreneurship
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