7 Steps to Creating Your Blogging Business Plan! Guest Post by Livy Lynn

Did you know there’s a vast variety of ways you can earn income from blogging? 

If you spend much time on Pintrest I’m sure you’ve seen the flashy articles claiming to teach you the secrets of six-figure blogging, or how to explode your web traffic. While the sparkly titles sound promising, the content is usually disappointing as you discover you’re either going to have to: 

  1. Buy something 
  2. Become a full time, 7 day a week blogger. Or
  3. Devote the rest of your life to mastering the algorithms of Pinterest!  

And while learning that you you might have to spend the rest of your life on Pinterest isn’t necessarily a bad thing (can’t get enough of those cute puppies and stellar shoes! Hehehe,) there
 is a better way to go about this.

The truth is, you can develop a plan to slowly start earning income on your blog even if you’re not a full time blogger. Isn’t that exciting?!  

And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this post! Today, I’m going to walk you through the 7 steps of Creating your Blogging Business Plan! 

Deciding What Works Best for You

One of the dangers in attempting copy-and-paste formulas from Pinterest, is it doesn’t give you room to do you. Every blogger is different, with a vast variety of goals, dreams, and ideas of what they’d like to get in return for all their hard work.

I think it’s important for each blogger to have personalized plan, something that works within their time restraints and truly helps launch them toward their goals. That’s why as much as I love writing articles about this topic my favorite thing to do is sit down, one-on-one with authors and bloggers, and ask them where they’re at right now, where they’d like to be in the future, then create a customized Game Plan, a road map to help them achieve their goals! My amazing friend Bella and I do this with our Cheerleader Sessions via Skype (we’re giving away a FREE session at the end of the post, so keep reading!) and if you’re really serious about developing a business plan for your blog, I’d highly recommend that. 

But, even if you never do a session with us, I’d invite you to grab a pen and pad of paper as we dive into these 7 Steps! 

Step #1. Examine Your Foundation 

The truth is, not every blogging platform is ideal for earning income. With my clients, I usually I recommend using WordPress. I know there are like a million options; Square Space, Wix, Weebly, Blogger and while those options aren’t necessarily bad, they’re not always ideal if you want to earn income from blogging. Is it impossible to earn income on those sites? No, not at all! But I will say that WordPress is going to make things a lot easier for you, depending on what your goals are. 

Throughout this post, I’m going to ask you a few questions, so be sure to jot them down and take time answering as thoughts come to your mind! 

My first question is: would you like to host ads on your website?  

This option can include both Google adsense ads, and self-hosted ads, where you sell space on your side bar, or create sponsored content for a client. 

Bloggers have mixed opinions about Google ads. Some LOVE the fact that you can earn passive income, and others get frustrated with the idea of messing up their pretty aesthetic with flashy ads. That’s why, just like I mentioned above, you have to do you! If the idea of having Google ads on your blog makes you shudder: then no worries! Skip this idea, and write a big fat NO, when answering that question! 

But, if you love the idea of earning passive income without having to do, well, pretty much anything other than continuing to create amazing content on your site, then Google ads might be perfect for you! 

Keep in mind that if you desire to implement Google Ads into your blogging business plan you have to have your own domain name. Google won’t allow you to place their ads on a website with a sub-domain, such as livylynn.wix.com or livylynn.blogger.com, livylynn.squarespace.com, etc. This is why it’s important to re-examine your foundation and make sure you’re using the right platform. 

Another option for hosting ads on your website, is to sell banner space, sidebar ads, or sponsored posts, working exclusively with clients that you pick and choose. This option works with any platform that allows you to customize your website and it gives you full control over what your readers will see! I believe that any blogger can implement self-hosted ads into their blogging business plan, if they so desire! If you’re interested in learning more about this option, I would love to talk to you more about it!

2. Think about Brands and Companies You’d Like to Work With   

One of my favorite monetization options is the Amazon Affiliate Program. As you know, Amazon.com boasts millions of products. It’s a popular, well trusted website that nearly everyone shops from! They sell books, movies, CD’s, toys, and even adorable little clothes for your puppy dog. Basically, they have something for everyone. They also have something for every website. Whether your unique niche is focused on raising the perfect puppy, Bible journaling, or Christian music reviews, you can find a way to earn some extra income with Amazon! 

I would challenge you to write down 5 Brands or Companies you’d like to work with. Is there a product you use on the daily, that you’d love to be a spokesperson for? Do you have a favorite clothing brand, makeup company, or Bible-Journaling maker that you’d love to rave about and earn some extra income while you’re at it?

Make your list of your top 5, 10, or even 20 brands you’d like to support, then find out if they have an Affiliate Program, or if their products are listed on Amazon. 

I’d recommend applying for the Amazon Affiliate program before experimenting with any others, because they’re far less picky about who they allow into their program, and if your blog is still super small, it’s not likely you’ll be accepted into other programs right away. Affiliate marketing is something you have to grow into, but you can totally do it!    

4. Physical Products 

Here’s another question. Do you desire to earn all your income strictly through digital, online means, or would you like to create and distribute physical products?   

I have several friends who are bloggers that also love sewing, crafting, and making adorable Etsy-worthy stuff. Using their blog as a platform to market their goods is an amazing way to earn income! 

If the answer to the question above is no, I have another thought for you. 

Do you desire to create a brand of your own where you could sell physical products such as mugs, phone cases, notebooks, etc. with your logo on them? 

Creating print-on-demand, physical products is another possible avenue for income.  

4. Are You an Author? 

Are you an author, or do you aspire to be one? (Even if you’re not an author, don’t skip to #5, because you ARE a writer, if you’re a blogger! ;)) 

Another highly lucrative idea, is to write ebooks. 

“What? E-books?” I hear you question, “How can someone possibly earn money off of e-books when they’re only selling for .99 cents?!”  

Many authors have been successful with selling e-books, but I’d like to invite you to think beyond these small price points, into something bigger. Something much, much bigger, which applies to you, even if you’re not a fiction author. 

Creating a non-fiction e-book chock full of valuable information which your blog readers are already craving, can be marketed and sold with huge profit margins. I teach bloggers how to do this in my online course, Fire Starter: Launching a Blog that Blazes! 

Ask yourself, Is this idea appealing, or not?

Creating and launching a successful, high-profit, non-fiction e-book might sound overwhelming, but it’s actually easier than you may think! Especially because, you have everything you already need. I would love to talk to you about how to look at the topics you’re already blogging about and design a plan to recycle that information, package it together in an amazing book, and serve it to your niche audience! 

5. Take Stock of What You Have 

I believe that what you have to say, matters. And so do your readers! They’re following you for a reason. They love your heart, believe what you have to say is helpful, and desire more of your wisdom! 

What are five topics my readers have enjoyed the most about my blog, or asked for more of? Take a few minutes to think about your most popular posts, what topic/s you’ve gotten the most responses on, or certain questions your readers ask you. 

For me, when I did this, I realized that everyone was asking about how I started my blog and wanted advice on how to grow theirs. Perhaps for you, your readers ask questions about growing closer to God, how to have Christ-centered relationships, or how to organize their room the way you do! 

If you’re not sure what your readers are enjoying the most and benefiting from, consider sending them an email survey, or even posting it directly on your site, so you can find out what they’re enjoying and would like to see more of in the future. 

Then, ask yourself. Based on my data from previous posts, and my audiences responses, should I consider creating an Online Course or Profitable Ebook to invite readers to dive in deeper on the topic?  

In today’s day and age, so much of our learning happens online. You can learn pretty much anything on the internet! Creating an online course for your blog followers is a great way to package everything you wish to share, for those who desire to dig deeper into your content, and this has very large profit margins as well! 

The next question to ask yourself is: 

What is it that you’re really, really good it? (Designing web pages? Editing or offering feedback on the writing of others? Creating recipes with yummy organic foods? Helping your family get organized? Painting? Interior design? Crafting? Writing songs?)

Your special, unique giftings are needed by the people who read your blog! The more you can zero in on ways you can offer helpful, unique, valuable services to your readers, the closer you are to earning some more income!

7. Formulate Your Plan 

Based on the answers to the questions above, it’s time to formulate your plan. 

If you have an organized mind and enjoy setting goals for yourself, you’ll be ready to dive in and set this plan in motion!

But if you’re like the rest of us, you might need a little help thinking through things, and deciding exactly where to begin. Setting goals are so important and sometimes it can be hard to know what they should be, how long of a time frame we should allow ourselves to get there, and how to keep ourselves accountable along the way.  

If you’re serious about making your blogging dreams become a reality, I would encourage you to enter our giveaway for a free Cheerleader Session! (Don’t worry, if you’re camera shy, we can totally do it via email.)  

Bella and I know that growing an online platform takes work and patience. But we also know that when you have a clear roadmap with consistent, daily steps, you CAN accomplish your goals and dreams!

Entering for a chance to win is super simple! Just hop on over to my blog and sign up for my free email updates (and I’ll throw in a free e-book, just to say thanks!) and you’re all set! Link: https://livylynnblog.us14.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=52a89184eecb2e965d9ddfa27&id=4e615b60ba 

Or, if you don’t want to wait until March 1st to discover who the winner of the Giveaway is, feel free to reserve a Cheerleader Session for yourself, right now!

Good luck! Bella and I can’t wait to meet you and help create your Game Plan! 

Or, if you’re a blogger who’s looking for a pre-made Game Plan, we have that too! 

I’m SO excited to share my 20 Day video series for bloggers! It’s called Fire Starter: Launching a Blog that Blazes! This interactive course teaches bloggers (both old and new) how to create their dream blog or website, monetize their site, AND give them all the tools, encouragement, and support needed to be truly successful on their journey! 

You can check that out here: https://www.livylynnblog.com/2018/08/21/fire-starter-launching-a-blog-that-blazes/ 

I hope this post has been an encouragement to you and that you’ll follow through with grabbing your Game Plan by either entering the Giveaway above, booking a Cheerleader Session, or checking Fire Starter out! 

Love and blessings to you all! 

~Livy Lynn 

About the Author: 

Livy Lynn is a twenty-something author, singer, and songwriter. She enjoys crafting YA fiction that is pure, lovely, inspirational, and of course, entertaining! When she’s not writing, you can usually find her playing guitar, blogging, drinking peppermint tea, connecting with new friends, planning her next trip to Disney, or pinning images of Europe and Golden Retriever Puppies! 

Come get connected at www.livylynnblog.com 

The Land of Enchantment

The Land of Enchantment. New Mexico is strange. And yes, it is a part of the US. Many probably consider New Mexico a “nothing” State, while nothing could be further from the truth!

I’m going to divide this into at least two posts because I have a lot to say about my current home State!

I’ll start with one of the more well known places. Santa Fe, the capital, is a trendy city teeming with culture and amazing food and art and history. It has a richness to it’s culture few cities I’ve been to capture, and I’ve been to many.

While New Mexico is a relatively young State, Santa Fe is the oldest capital in the US. First settled in 1607 by the Spanish, it also holds some of the oldest buildings in the US. The Palace of the Governors, built in 1610, is a must see for history lovers. It’s now a museum, so you can wander around the 400+ year old building and look at artifacts that predate our country, and see how some of the first governors in North America lived!

If you’re more into food, there are top rated restaurants everywhere.

The Shed has delicious food and a cozy atmosphere that reflects the State so well. They serve New Mexican food, which is completely it’s own category. A staple of New Mexican cuisine is the chile, and you absolutely MUST try at least one dish that’s smothered in it to fully experience New Mexico. I prefer green chile, but there are many out there who prefer red. If you want to try both just ask for your burrito, enchilada, huevos rancheros, etc. “Christmas style.” You’ll get it with a bit of both kind of chiles and decide which you like best.

If you’re more into tea or coffee, this is the place to be. Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse is a must visit. On a perfect day, you could be browsing books, sipping on delicious cold brew, while live jazz is being performed, warm sunshine pouring in each of the windows and reflecting off copper accents. It’s a magical experience everyone needs to have, trust me! They have tea but if you’re looking for an eclectic loose leaf shop, ArtfulTea is your place. There are so many blends to smell and admire, and all kinds of lovely tea accessories for a true tea connoisseur. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and the service is pleasant (yes, even after you spill coffee on their floor. I’m not speaking from experience or anything…)

There are plenty of places to shop and lots of souvenirs, but beware of fake souvenirs. Please make sure if you take something home that reflects Native American culture, it’s made right here in New Mexico by people who lovingly handcrafted something that represents their beautiful and enduring culture and history. Look for tags and signs that show authenticity. And don’t forget to pick up some postcards with photos taken or art made by New Mexicans. Trust me, the authentic stuff is much more special.

By far my favorite experience in Santa Fe is the Santa Fe Farmers Market, located right by the train station at the railyard. Overflowing with local grown and made fruits, vegetables, meat, honey, flowers, bread, and so much more, it’s the essence of my happy place. Here you could also pick up a breakfast burrito (a NM staple, you’ll soon learn), a cup of coffee, a pastry, and make a morning and early afternoon out of it! I guarantee you’ll see some adorable dogs too, and maybe enjoy some live music. What’s not to love?

It’s best to experience Santa Fe on foot. My family likes to come in on the Rail Runner Express, departing Albuquerque around 8:30 Saturday morning and arriving at the Santa Fe Depot around 10am. From there it’s a short walk to the Farmers Market, and a 10 minute walk to the downtown. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to walk back to the station and get on your train on time!

Now here are some things I recommend bringing with you on your Santa Fe trip.

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses – the sun in New Mexico is intense. We’re at a higher elevation most of the time and you will feel and see a difference! Wear plenty of sunscreen (here’s my favorite kind) and reapply as the day progresses.
  • A light jacket or long sleeve button up – even if you go in the summer, the temperatures drop considerably with the sun. My Santa Fe uniform in the summer is a tee shirt with a long sleeve collared button up and shorts. I start off with the shirt unbuttoned with the sleeves rolled up and roll them down as the day progresses. It’s also helpful to protect my neck, shoulders, and back from the sun.
  • Water – you can get free water at places like Starbucks but you will definitely want to bring your own refillable bottle. New Mexico is extremely dry and you will need all the hydration you can get.
  • Lip balm – like I said, it’s dry here! Lip balm is a must have. (Read about my favorite brand here!) Reapply every few hours. This will also help protect your lips from the sun! Sunburnt lips are. the. worst. Prevent them!!!
  • Hand purifier – it’s always a good idea to protect your immunity but especially when you’re traveling! Have hand purifier on you all the time (my favorite here – it’s non toxic!) so you don’t have to pause before eating an ice cream cone to find a public restroom and wash your hands.
  • Thieves Roll-On – keep this lovely in your pocket or purse and roll it on your forearms and the back of your neck throughout the day for germ protection and an added immune boost, especially if you take public transportation!

Enjoy Santa Fe, the slow pace, the gorgeous architecture and surrounding nature, the delicious food, the unique buys, the delightful people, and the glorious sunshine!