Marketing plans are the way to go if you want to increase blog traffic and make money from your blog, then you need to think of your blog as a business.  Successful businesses develop marketing plans that describe the current state of the market where they do business, information about products offered, competitors, and audiences. Marketing plans also identify goals and provide a written roadmap for how those goals will be achieved.

You can create the same type of marketing plan for your blog to make sure you stay on track to reach your goals.  Following is an overview of the key parts of a marketing plan, which you should try to include in your blog marketing plan.

Product is Key

Your product is your blog content and the experience people have when they visit. It includes the comments and conversation, videos, links, images, and every other part and piece that adds value to the time they spend on your blog. type of content will you publish? How can your content help people or make their lives easier or better?

The Market

Describe the marketplace where you’ll do business. What is the current blogging environment? Are people looking for what can deliver better than any other blog or website?  What is your blog niche and how is your content positioned against competitors?

Your Competitors

Identify your competitors for eyeballs and advertising revenue.  Keep in mind, competitors could be direct such as other blogs and websites, or indirectly such as Twitter profiles. Competition can also come from offline sources.  What are your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?  How are they getting visitors?  What kind of content are they publishing?  Are there any gaps or opportunities that competitors aren’t already fulfilling?

The Right Audience

Who is your target audience?  What kind of content do they like or engage with? Where do they already spend time online?  What are they passionate about?  What don’t they like? Spend time listening to learn what their needs are and then create content and experiences to meet those needs.  Also, look for opportunities to create perceived needs and then fill those perceived needs through your content.

Your Brand

What does your blog promise people?  What is its unique value proposition? How is it positioned relative to competitive blogs and websites?  Use the answers to these questions to identify your brand image, message, voice, and personality.  Together, these elements make up your brand promise, and everything you do related to your blog (from content to promotion and everything in between) should consistently communicate that promise.  Consistency helps build expectations, reduce confusion, and increase loyalty.

How to Price

Will your content and blog features be offered for free or will you offer premium content available through memberships, ebooks, and so on as well?

Distribution

Where will your blog content be available?  You can syndicate your blog through online and offline services. You can also display your feed on other blogs and websites or feed it to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles.

Sales Strategy

How will you find new readers and how will you convert those readers?  How will you sell advertising space on your blog?

Marketing Strategy

How will you promote your blog in order to drive traffic to it?  You can increase your distribution channels, write guest posts on other blogs, diversify your content and online presence, share your content through social bookmarking and social networking, and more.  Search engine optimization could also fit into the marketing strategy section of your blog marketing plan.

Your Budget

Do you have any money available to invest in your blog to help it grow?  For example, you can pay writers to create additional content for you or you could hire a search engine optimization company to help you write better content and build incoming links.  You may want to hire social media experts to help you with blogger outreach and other publicity campaigns.

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