A sales and marketing plan for your business blog?

There’s a well-known marketer, Rick Page who wrote a book called “Hope is not a strategy”. You can’t just pick any old marketing strategy and “hope” that it will work. Trust me, I’ve tried it and I’m still waiting for it to work. If I’d had put as much energy into a real marketing plan, as I did the “hope marketing plan” then I’d be a billionaire. It’s a waste of energy.

Put hope to one side if you can’t ditch it altogether.  You’ll need to put together a detailed marketing plan where you lay out your arsenal of weapons for meeting your business blogging goals.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of daily tasks, although it’s a good starting base. It’s a breakdown of each marketing tactic you might want to use and the process you’ll put in place for its implementation.

Start With Your Business Model

Not all marketing strategies work with every business model. You’ll hear all sorts of wild ideas and “proven” tactics, but that doesn’t mean they’re the ones for you. The best one I hear all the time is how we are missing a trick by not advertising our transport business on our vans. Forget that our high-end clients want their goods delivered in unmarked vehicles, if you listened to the popular marketing conversations you’d think I was missing out.

Look at your own business model first and outline some of the characteristics of that model and your target market, including:

  •  A description of the key features of your target customers
  • Where customers will come from, such as organic search, paid search, joint ventures, offline sources, affiliates,
  • What are prospects’ buying triggers? (In other words, where or when do they usually make a purchase decision?) Do they tend to buy from a product review, a personal recommendation from an expert they trust, through surfing content sites, through email suggestions, etc.

What Are The Most Popular Marketing Strategies for Blogging?

Now, look again at your business model and the most popular marketing tactics used by your competition. How do they convert from prospect to customer?

  • Individual landing pages that lead to freebies that funnel prospects into an autoresponder series
  • Regular free teleseminars / webinars that include a special offer at the end
  • Straight SEO and traffic generation
  • Multiple joint ventures with other bloggers and  the recruiting of affiliates

Which marketing strategies will you focus on?

If you try to do several marketing campaigns at once, you may just fail at all of them. You’ll need to focus on one to start with, and keep laser focused. Test it out, see if it’s working, and then add in additional strategies. There are endless methods to pick from and by adding in extra ones you’ll work out what is working for your audience and what isn’t.

Try selecting the easiest marketing strategy so you can put it in place and get moving straight away. You should always have at least one easy tactic you can use that doesn’t require a lot of thought and planning. For example, you can create an autoresponder series that starts every time a person signs up for that list. It’s a passive form of marketing that requires very little attention. Once in place you can start  mapping out more campaigns.

Begin with the end in mind and work backwards

In order to put your marketing plan down on paper (or computer), start by looking at all the steps involved. Start with the end result (the sale) and work backwards.  What are the activities you need to complete in order to implement and maintain each strategy? What do you have in place already? What tools and techniques do you need to learn in order complete the process?

Now put those steps into a priority order and create a process you can follow.

  • Which steps are dependent on others?
  • Which ones need to be completed first?

You can even use a mindmap to lay out a visual of the process, which makes it very easy to move things around. Freemind is a great, free tool for creating mindmaps on PCs. iThoughts HD is another one that works really well on iPads. You can export any of the mindmaps to a pdf so that you can print them and post them by your computer or even use them as an ethical bribe or email in your autoresponder sequence.

Make sure you set deadlines for achieving each step in your sales and marketing plan. The success of some marketing strategies is dependent on a specific timeframe, such as the length of time between emails or follow-ups. Put it on your calendar and set those dates in stone.

Your marketing plan dictates what actual tasks you’ll need to do from day to day.

If you know that your emails need to be set up in daily intervals, then you’ll need to put the outlining and writing of those emails down on your to-do list every day. If posting and promoting blog posts is part of that strategy then add it too the list.  Just don’t make the mistake that many impatient, ambitious bloggers make by trying to do everything at once. Yeah I have been there, done that  to.

Focus on one strategy at a time, set deadlines, and implement it to success.

Sarah-Blogging-Sig

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Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first blogging challenge back in 2007, and is the author of many quick start marketing guides, turning Sark eMedia into a publishing business.

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Daniel@ccie certification - a couple of years ago

sharing some strategies which i know. your post is very interesting and informative.
The Most Popular Marketing Strategies for Blogging?
Now, look again at your business model and the most popular marketing tactics used by your competition. How do they convert from prospect to customer?
Individual landing pages that lead to freebies that funnel prospects into an autoresponder series Regular free teleseminars / webinars that include a special offer at the end Straight SEO and traffic generation
Multiple joint ventures with other bloggers and the recruiting of affiliates

Reply
    sarah - a couple of years ago

    Thanks Daniel :) some great suggestions there :)

    Reply
Gene Call - last year

Sarah–

You have states so much of what I have experienced. Everyone thinks they have the right answers for you and that theirs is the one and only way that works. I appreciate that you realize “one size does not fit all” and that we need to identify what is working and how to become more effective at doing that thing. . .
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    Sarah Arrow - last year

    Thanks Gene, not enough approaches are based on what works for one type of industry or business. It’s hard for people to get tailored advice without paying for it, and then they think that they’ve done something wrong. It’s best to get it out there that there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to blogging.
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    Reply
Anita - 10 months ago

Great thoughts to work through, Sarah. Thank you.
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silviu - 10 months ago

Hi Sarah,

Yes, I know this is a good post. Your points are clear and effective. What is really important is the subconscious message.

When you are a beginner, no matter how good you are, you need somebody to take you by the hand and show you the essential steps and what to do during each phase of your business.

I think a webinar is a good idea and I am glad you decided to do it. I watched the video because I wanted to see how you look and speak and … I ended up signing up for your webinar.

For the moment , the only thing I was able to do for you is to like the webinar page. As time goes by, I will be able to do more to promote your image on the net.

I am convinced that you are highly trained and with a lot of experience and you have something valuable to share with your readers, prospects and customers.
By the way, you look great and inspire trust.

Have a wonderful day
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marquita herald - 10 months ago

Well said Sarah. While I have to say that I think “hope” gets a bad rap – because where would we be in life if we held no hope for the future? That said, I agree that it isn’t a strategy in itself, certainly not when it comes to building a business or career. Great insights.
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Julieanne van Zyl - 10 months ago

Sarah, I couldn’t agree with you more. Every business needs to plan their marketing funnel, so they know exactly what they need to do. Otherwise, it’s like going for a trip in the car and not having a roadmap.

And your other point about trying to do too many things at once, is important also. If we stick to one strategy and give it a chance, before going onto the next.

Thanks and have a great weekend Sarah!
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Marty Diamond - 10 months ago

It’s so important to begin with the end in mind – otherwise how can you determine whether you’re achieving your goals and moving in the right direction?

Defining your goals also helps you determine whether the marketing you’re doing is giving you the results you want. I see clients focused on “getting more traffic” with the goal being more sales without understanding that less traffic that is more targeted for their business might yield more sales than the strategy they’re pursuing.
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Sarupa Shah - 10 months ago

Hope is ephemeral is a saying I often use…and indeed it is changeable, ungrounded and ironically often with the hope you wished… and plan is conviction and purposeful…great post Sarah!
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