I haven’t ever written a business plan for a blog before. But for a while now I have been giving some thought to a blog idea I have. One that I would start with the clear purpose of earning money with it. But also with such a topic that I would find it interesting to write for it over extended periods of time.
In addition, documenting my progress would make interesting content for this blog I think. Something others having similar ideas might find useful in their own endeavors.
I was not planning to write anything down just yet but then I was directed to this blog post about new niche site project. And it clicked so well with what I have been thinking about that I just have to write this down today.
I haven’t gone to such lengths just as the author of the linked article (yet) but they are good pointers for me to look into.
Let this post be the first version of my business plan, I trust that I need to return to this in the future.
The niche I have been thinking about is pretty common all around the world. It is not just a one-off purchase and it is readily available for example in Amazon, which I intend to be the main source of revenues. At least in the beginning.
Competition in the blogosphere in the niche is mainly hobbyist sites but even those have pretty high traffic levels. In the high 6-figures per month. And some even go over to the 7-figure territory. That being said, my site would not be directed to the hardcore hobbyist but more to a general public. And in addition I planning to aim for a sub-niche to narrow it down even more.
For a startup phase, I am planning to post a lot of product-specific posts. There is a finite number of such pages per year, but in the beginning, it would make it easy to add 1-2 posts per day in order to have a steady flow of new posts.
According to my preliminary keyword research, it would be pretty convenient to add a decent quantity of long tail listicles. Which I intend to make a regular feature on the site. The bulk of the content I intend to build around weekly regulars to make it easier to see what I need to write about each week.
Niche lends itself well to visuality and it is possible to find interesting things to post from Flickr and Pinterest. That ought to help with social shares as well.
And final major content type would be buyers guides for people not “in” the niche but who would like to purchase something to a person who is.
How I see it now, I should be able to rank with moderate effort for the searches in the sub-niche and that should bring in the bulk of the traffic.
In addition to that, I am planning for an active Facebook page to drive traffic as well. How I see it now it probably makes sense to concentrate only on Facebook and Pinterest and leave for example Twitter out from the scope.
One major part that I see were current established players are missing out is email marketing. And that is where I intend to shave out commissions as well as to bring in returning traffic. I am planning on emailing subscribers daily and how I see it at the moment there is content worth telling about each day.
Biggest income source would be Amazon commissions. But besides Amazon, there are also some related affiliate programs. These are not as big as Amazon but they wouldn’t directly compete with it either. And thus could be additional sources of income. Some of these are with recurring payments. I also need to study if it would make sense to include links to other sites selling same products as Amazon to give people option of comparing prices.
The biggest risk is personal time management risk. One of the reasons I haven’t started on this yet has been my fear of overextending myself between this current on and the new blog. As I still have a day job I am not able to dedicate full days to either of these. If (when) I start building this new blog that would have to be my top priority. At least in the beginning.
I also run the risk that I misjudge the generals public’s interest in the type of content I have been thinking about. But it is really hard to see beforehand. Searches are there, though.
The market itself is multi-billion dollar market annually. And current players draw in hundreds of thousands of visitors monthly. Products in the niche are such that most buyers buy more than one and over extended periods of time. Fast napkin calculation tells me that with CTR of 1% I would need roughly 650 000 visits monthly to earn 10 000$ per month.
Here is the first version of my first ever business plan for a blog. It feels good to have written something down. A lot easier to start refining things when there is something to build on.
I think the potential is there and risks are manageable. Now, what is left is execution.
What did I miss, where did I go wrong? Let me know in the comments!