Developing a Blog Business Setup Plan
Starting and Growing an Online Business can be tough without a plan of action.
In the next 2 chapters of this Ultimate Guide, we are going to talk about how a solid plan can help you put everything together.
I'm going to show you how we take the Business Models we selected to build our Blog based business, integrate the 5 Essential Elements of a successful online business, complete our plan for our blog business, and then develop a marketing plan that allows us to put our monthly profits on autopilot.
In this guide, we are going to focus on what it takes to develop a new blog business using the Content Blogger and Product Blogger business models we discussed in the previous chapters.
Are you ready?
Let's do it.
Defining Business Success
The success or failure of any business venture, regardless of what type or what system is used, begins and ends with YOU.
In most cases, you are starting your business by yourself.
No one to tell you what to do, when to work or how hard you should work.
It can be one of the most gratifying ventures of your entire life.
It can also be one of the most stressful.
This is why with any business endeavor you embark on you must have passion for it.
You don't have to be the world foremost authority or expert, but you do have to have the ability to make it happen and an internal motivation for your business to carry you through the good times and the bad.
You won't work hard on your business if you don't have a true passion for it. That is why it is important to make sure you follow the guidelines set here before getting started.
Establishing a Plan: Have Purpose and Direction
Success can turn into failure quickly if you do not plan effectively right from the beginning.
Floundering around, trying to create multiple businesses at once, changing direction on what you want to do over and over...this all can keep you from succeeding before you ever even get started.
This is why you need a solid plan of action.
By establishing a plan, even if it is just a series of simple goals at first, you will be able to maintain focus.
If you do not focus on your business and follow a very defined series of business building steps, you are destined to never get anywhere.
By following your plan and completing each Step (each Goal) you have established for yourself; you can double your chances of success right from the outset.
Ultimately, you need to establish a Plan of Action which focuses on achieving your Primary Business Objective (PBO).
More time than not this objective is achieving sales.
When you create a plan built around how to maximize your PBO you give your business the focus it requires right from the beginning and this is a crucial part of getting started with your business.
Before you start any business online it is important to know what the Primary Goal is of the business.
Without this, you will go into your business venture blind and without focus.
We'll get into this more soon, but first...
Business success begins and ends with your Customer. In blogging and information marketing, building an audience, fans, followers, subscribers, etc.; is the foundation for success. Customers aren't random, customers are earned, cultivated, and nurtured. Focus on building an audience who love and trust what you do and you will succeed.
Establish Your Brand
When your business is easily relate-able to a specific niche or target and has identifiable focus, you also allow yourself to create a memorable Brand around it.
Branding creates name recognition.
When people recognize your Brand (Business Name) and relate it to your business, this will bring you more business then you would have otherwise.
When you try to be everything to everyone this tends to be a lot harder.
That's why we want our brand to stand out by creating a USP.
A Unique Selling Proposition: Selling YOU!
Your Business Needs a USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Some people call it a UVP (Unique Value Proposition).
Either way, when you establish your business it is always important to set yourself apart from the competition.
Even if your business is identical to other businesses.
When you make your business stand out, you also create interest, leads, and sales you might not have otherwise.
When your business is instantly recognized by just its name or your name, you have created Brand Recognition.
A big part of that is having a effective and powerful USP.
A unique selling propositions is this: An original way of offering or presenting your business or product which separates you from the competition.
There are tons of businesses who might not be that great, but their USP makes them stand out and drives buyers to them.
What can you do to make your business stand out and not just be another boring replica of acurrent business?
This is what you need to be thinking.
Think about that for awhile.
Then check out other sites in your niche and see what you can do to make your business stand out from the crowd.
I bet you have a couple great ideas already.
Check out the links below for more information.
Now let's get into the meat of this.
Your Blog Setup Plan
When setting up your blog, it is important to have a plan to know how it should be organized and structured.
This is critical because the "User Experience" of how you site visitors interact and navigate your site is not only important to you and your business, but to search engines like Google and Bing.
The link structure and organization you use can help both people and search engines find your content faster and easier and this will help you with sales and with your rankings in search.
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Installing your blog and getting it setup initially is easy. Building the structure and organizing it for the future is the hard part.
That's why I developed the Blog Setup Blueprint.
The Blog Setup Blueprint is an organization and content structure plan that will show you how to setup your blog's pages and posts.
This is how it looks:
With this blog setup, you can easily plan out your blog's structure and know exactly how to plan out your site's menus and navigation.
Everything starts at the Home Page and flows from there.
This allows both site visitors and search engines (like Google) get to any and all of the content on your site.
You page hierarchy starts one level below the Home Page, but all pages stay on this level.
*These Pages are linked through your Home Page through your Footer Menu. DO not put these pages in your Top Level Menus.
Your Blog Page:
Your blog page is on the same level as your Essential Pages, the difference is, this is the hub for all your Blog Post Content.
This is where the flow into your most meaningful content begins and where the Blog Setup Blueprint differs from a lot of blogs on the web.
If you know you are going to have a lot of content in different subjects within your site's niche, use only as many categories as you need in your blog's content.
Less is more in this instance. Keep things simple.
A simple linking structure will help you rank better in search and make it easier for your most important content to be found (more on that coming soon).
Some modern blogs are going with the single (or no) category approach to blogging to keep their link structure as simple and straight forward as possible.
This is important, so if you can do it, I highly recommend it.
The next level is your blog posts.
Here is where things really start to get focused.
Here at the Starter Academy we use something called the Topic Focused Content Model.
There are only 4 Types of Blog Posts you should create using this model:
- Pillar Content Posts
- Supporting Content Posts
- Link Partner Focused Posts
- Guest Posts
*Note: With each "Type" listed above, you can create any type of post you want. This model dictates the "ROLE" of each post in your blog's content strategy (next chapter).
Topic Clusters and Pillar Content Posts
When planning your blog, it is essential to understand the content your Target Audience wants and needs the most.
By doing this you drive more traffic, get more social shares, and ultimately get more subscribers and sales.
Plus, Google loves it.
In the old days we used to focus on finding the single best keywords.
Now we focus on finding the best overall topics for our blog and then focus on all the keywords within that Topic.
What are Topic Clusters?
Hubspot says Topic Clusters are a model where a single “pillar” page acts as the main hub of content for a overarching topic and multiple content pages that are related to that same topic link back to the pillar page and to each other.
This linking action signals to search engines that the pillar page is an authority on the topic, and over time, the page may rank higher and higher for the topic it covers.
The topic cluster model, at its very essence, is a way of organizing a site’s content pages using a cleaner and more deliberate site architecture.
Pillar Content Posts:
So as you can see in the Blog Setup Blueprint and the graphic above, the "Pillar Content Posts" are the "Topic" focused content we are creating.
Pillar Content Posts:
A Pillar Content Post is a Post that is not only the hub of your Topic Cluster, it is the focal point of your Marketing efforts (which we will talk about more in the next Chapter).
It should be a post that is all encompassing, yet lacks the details that would make it turn into a book.
This Chapter you are reading now could be considered a Pillar Content Post.
When asked what a Pillar Content Post was, a Hubspot employee was told:
“When considering whether something should be called a pillar page or not, ask yourself this: Would this page answer every question the reader who searched X keyword had, AND is it broad enough to be an umbrella for 20-30 posts?
Supporting Post Content:
In the Blog Setup Blueprint above, the Supporting Content Posts (Related Pages) are the "Cluster" Content.
In other words, this is the content that supports the Pillar Content Post and links to the Pillar and the Pillar links back.
Supporting Content Posts are not as long as a Pillar Post would be, are short, detailed, and focused on only 1-3 keywords where a Pillar Content Post could address 20-30 potential keywords.
*The Supporting Content Posts dig deep into the Pillar Content Post's unanswered questions or add support to it by covering and supporting the keywords that support the main Topic.
If you look back at the Blog Setup Blueprint now, you can see how the Topic Cluster is built into your blog's structure and organization.
Now that you have gone through this entire Chapter, it is important to understand that this structure and organization is simply as base.
It is a starting point from where you can build and expand.
The Topic Cluster Model explained in the Blueprint here will help focus both Site Visitors and Search Engines on your site's most important content.
When you do this, your content creation and marketing becomes easier and clearer.
Want a 30 Day Plan?
Use my 30 Day Blog Blueprint Cheatsheet and start your blog the right way now.
If you take what you learned in the Blog Setup Plan and build your blog over 30, 60, or even 90 days with this Cheatsheet, you will have a Winner! Get the Cheatsheet Here Now!
When you start with a Topic that is important to your Blog's Audience, you can easily build a huge Subscriber base from even a single blog post.
Here at the Starter Academy, our 2 main Pillar Posts have generated over 10,000 Subscribers in the last year alone.
It doesn't take much.
It just takes the RIGHT content.
We will get into that and more in the Next Chapter.