The 30 Day Marketing Boot Camp for Freelance Writers

How to Write a Blog Business Plan

on February 12, 2014 in Blogging

When I first went into business for myself (full-time PR firm, part-time business writing and blogging), I had a pretty standard formal business plan.

Later, and I expanded my Web publishing efforts, I started using a much simpler model -- one page versions that help me map out my plans and ideas on a project by project basis.

I've even released the templates I use here, so feel free to use them for your own short-form planning.

Free One Page Business Planning Templates

Here are the one page templates available:

While I still use these templates for new projects, I've moved back to long-form planning for my bigger blogs. And in talking to other bloggers I realized that having a blog business plan seemed to be an exception rather than a rule.

That seems silly to me given how many bloggers are hoping to make money blogging, and how few actually do. If you want it to work for you like a business, then you have to treat your blog like a business. That includes having a blog business plan in place.

I'm hoping to help you create one.

What a Blog Business Plan Should Include

A blog business plan should include much of the same information as a business plan for a traditional small business. But it can help to look at some of the sections a bit differently. Here's a list of what you might want to include -- finding your own balance between formal structures and a casual short-form plan.


This is often called an "executive summary," but just think of it as an intro to your plan for the year. It should be the last thing you write because you'll need some of the information you come up with for later sections.


In this section you'll offer basic background information about your blog. For example, you'll note whether you work as a sole proprietor, an LLC, or corporation (and you might want to note your reasons for that choice in case you want to reevaluate it later). You'd mention when the blog was launched, what the niche focus is, how many bloggers contribute (and a bit about their background), and other tid bits that might prove useful in planning or evaluations. You would also include information on your own background -- such as past blogging experience or credentials in the niche of your blog.

Revenue Streams

Want to remove these ads? Login or register now.

You don't necessarily have a product or service to sell like a traditional small business owner would. But if you're treating your blog as a business, you should have someย revenue streams in mind. Here are a few examples to point you in the right direction: site memberships, contextual ads, affiliate ads, e-book sales, and webinars. This section could also include the "4 Ps of Marketing" in a general way where appropriate.

Market Research

In this section you'll talk about your competitive position in the market. For example, you'll post statistics that show a market actually exists for your blog's specialty. You'll also identify major competitors and your strengths and weaknesses in comparison to them. You can do this using our SWOT Analysis worksheet.

Goals, Strategies, and Tactics

This is largely the marketing plan portion of your blog business plan (alongside your market research). You'll map out specific and measurable goals, your general strategies for reaching those goals, and the specific tactics ย and tools you'll use to meet the business goals you set for your blog.


In this final section of your blog business plan, you'll cover your financial plans. For example, you might set your budget for hosting, domain renewals, Web design work, advertising, file hosting for e-book sales, payments to blog contributors, or payment processor fees on the payments you receive. You'll also include financial projections noting how much you intend to earn over the year (and you can stretch that into 3-5 year projections if you want to).

These are some of the bare bone basics you'll want to include in a blog business plan of your own. Need some additional help? Download my free blog business plan template to help you plan and build a more successful, income-generating blog.

blog business plan template


Note:ย This post was originally published on December 12, 2012. Content was updated and it was re-featured on its currently-listed publication date.

Thanks for sharing!
Tweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on LinkedIn
Short URL:
The following two tabs change content below.

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. Through her company, 3 Beat Media, she operates All Indie Writers,,, and numerous other blogs.

Jenn has over 15 years experience writing for others, over 11 years experience in blogging, and 9 years experience in indie e-book publishing. She is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Subscribe to the All Indie Writers newsletter to get personal updates from Jenn in your inbox.


  1. Anne Wayman December 12, 2012 Reply

    Excellent… will work for me as a review. Thanks

  2. Amandah December 13, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for sharing! I too will use these as a review.

  3. Iulian Ionescu December 20, 2012 Reply

    This is great, but it’s always the same for me: I know it’s important, but I feel I am wasting the time doing it. So, I don’t. Then I need it and I don’t have it. So I try to patch something together. That doesn’t work, and it’s a vicious circle… But you are right. A good plan is paramount.

    Thanks for sharing,


    • Jennifer Mattern December 21, 2012 Reply

      If part of the problem is the amount of time it takes, why not start with a short-form business plan first? Near the top of this post is a link to my one page business plan template. You can fill that out in less than an hour and at least have a road map for your blog. And if you want a long-form one with more detail, I just released a blog business plan template earlier this week (linked at the bottom of the post). I used a question-based format, so all you really have to do is answer the questions there, and you’ll have a working business plan without having to start from scratch. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Kevin January 14, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for the resource. This can be a daunting task and this page simplifies it.

  5. aditya thakur February 13, 2014 Reply

    I never thought of doing this till now! Thanks for the wake up call.

  6. Tina February 15, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for this great article. I have been stuck, not knowing where to start with my plan. This has not only inspired me, but has given me the nudge that I needed.

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern February 15, 2014 Reply

      I’m glad to hear it Tina! I hope it helps you reach your blogging goals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. David Weightman March 10, 2014 Reply

    It really pays when you plan things and set expectations to your clients through a marketing plan. What’s good about it is that you’ll get yourself on track since both of your short term and long term goals are written. This would also avoid any conflicts between you and your client, since marketing assures legality of what both of you agreed on. Any way, Thanks for sharing this.

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern March 10, 2014 Reply

      This particular plan is more of a business plan for blogs of your own than just a marketing plan. But you’re right. It could certainly be used on client projects. In that case I would ask the client to provide the necessary info (as freelancer’s we’re not in a position to lay out their business plan for them without a lot of input). ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Sayali December 31, 2014 Reply

    Very Precise article. I have no blog plan, never thought that I need one … but after reading this, I would like to try to think in these subheadings.

  9. Sylvia February 5, 2015 Reply

    This is a very interesting twist on the traditional formal business plan for a blog business.The market research is especially important. Too many new bloggers believe all it takes is setting up the blog, writing some articles and your intended audience will find you.

    It takes quite a lot of martketing effort to develop your blog business.

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern February 5, 2015 Reply

      Very true Sylvia. Like with most types of writing, it’s not enough to “just write.” If you want to make money at it, you need to embrace the marketing side of things.

  10. Lucia David June 1, 2015 Reply

    So many people fail to plan their blogging adventure and that is why the blog winds up in the blogging abyss after a short while. Thanks for helping emphasize the need for proper planning and development. If people would spend the extra time up front to figure out what they want and how they are going to go about getting it, then the hurdles the come across later will be easier to overcome.

  11. Rita Itohan Idusuyi September 17, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for the free copy of your blogging business plan template and also for your insightful article. Most blogger don’t really take time to plan, they don’t realise that it’s a business model that require adequate intensive planning and implementation to be successful. I recommend to all bloggers to get this template and write their plan even before paying for the domain name.

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern September 17, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Rita. I hope the template helps you out in mapping your own blogging plan. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Rita Itohan Idusuyi September 19, 2015 Reply

    Jennifer, thanks very much. It was really helpful. Now I have a clear direction and plan for my blog

  13. Mark Smith December 20, 2015 Reply

    Great Tips! I wish it was that simple to write business plan

Add comment

By using this comment form you agree to the site's Comment Policies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *