So, you want to blog? Now that you have an idea, you need a plan. It has to be a badass plan for your badass blog. Duh!
The biggest part of your plan will be content. Content is this. Look around. It’s the stuff you write, the subjects you talk about, and the info you’re putting out there. Unless you’re heading down the lifestyle blog path where you detail your day to day, you’ll likely need to plan out your content. That’s not the same as planning your blog posts, just so you know.
When I say “planning blog content” I mean gathering up topics & information to write about. If you’re planning an informational type blog, you might need to plan for research, too. The planning your posts part is more like scheduling your posts once you have the content written.
Other parts of your plan should include your brand and your future website.
The first part of your plan should be a brain dump. This’ll probably occur over a time span, and not one single sit-down session. When I say “brain dump,” I mean that you should jot down all of your ideas for your blog, no matter what it’s about. I would suggest dividing your dump into a few different sections: content ideas, brand + website ideas, and other possibilities.
I write down ideas that I have ALL the time. Most of my ideas go into my Notes app. Since I use Apple products, I can add them to my phone on the go, my desktop machine as I’m working, my laptop as I’m blogging, or on my iPad if I’m using it. They all sync up, so I have the same notes no matter where I go.
I also use my Limelife Planner. Sometimes, as I’m working through my day’s to-do list, I’ll have a stroke of genius that I need to scrawl out, or put onto my schedule. Writing down your ideas will be key, even after you’ve done your brain dump. Don’t just write down one or two words about your idea. Give a little detail and depth so that you don’t forget where you were headed with it.
After you’ve let your various ideas simmer, it’s time to refine things. What fits, and what doesn’t? What should you let go of? Are these ideas you’re letting go of still great ideas you can incorporate later?
Vision + Mission Statement
Most businesses have a vision and a mission statement. Well, at least, they should have those things! In the simplest terms possible, a vision is the goal, and the mission statement is the plan to execute. Your blog should have a vision and a mission statement, too!
It could look something like this:
The goal of Autumn Lane Paperie’s blog is to empower and connect with other like-minded business owners (vision) by providing easy to digest information and experiences in a down-to-earth, relatable manner (mission).
What I’ve Done So Far
My blog content planning was pretty willy-nilly and all over the place at first. I’ve been rolling around the idea of blogging for years. I actually started a few times, but it sort of dropped off because life happened, or because I wasn’t entirely certain that I wanted to open up all areas of my personal life. (The blogs were definitely more of a lifestyle/family type of blog, and I think my kids should have privacy, so I sort of just stopped blogging and telling stories.) I thought that a business-related personal-ish blog was a great solution, but it turns out, we really want to provide information to people and help them with their business ventures. So, Autumn Lane’s blog is really the best avenue for that!
Once I started to realize the type of blog I would enjoy writing, I realized that a lot of it was business-heavy. We (my husband and I) have a great deal of experience in the business world with both failed and successful businesses, a ton of combined experiences to share, and we’re also regular people working to feed a family and have fun.
I want to share those experiences as a mom + wife, a family person, a student, and business woman. I want to share experiences and recommendations with people, and also have a way to look back on some memories made, connect with others over them, and so on.
In addition to the business related posts that I knew I would have, I realized I would also have a lot of great insight on branding. It is what I do everyday, after all! Some of the other things I want to write about include things that make my life easier (who doesn’t like that type of info?), organization, and food + travel.
As I realized the type of things I wanted to write about, I realized my blog was beginning to take shape as a business + lifestyle blog. I have a ton to say about running a business, but I say it from a busy mom’s perspective. Autumn Lane was born because I wanted to be there for & provide for my family.
I also really love the idea of being able to show that there are real people behind what we do at Autumn Lane Paperie. Sometimes, business takes on a much-too-professional and sterile feel, and that’s just not me! While we do provide professional level services and products, we’re pretty casual people over here. I connect better with my clients when I’m communicating like *myself* and not someone trying to *sound* professional. Creating better connections leads to better brands, plain & simple!
In the next So, You Want to Blog? series, we’ll be taking a look at making the actual *badass blog* happen! We’ll touch on the website and branding aspect of your future blog!