How to create a 12-month blog plan and crush it

How to create a 12-month blog plan and crush it

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If you’re reading this, you’re probably curious about how to make money blogging. Or, you already have one, but you’re stuck and have no idea what your next move is. No blog plan whatsoever.

Back then, blogging was just a hobby, an online diary. As time goes, it has become a lucrative business. If you provide information and solve other people’s problems, that’s where the money comes in. 

If you choose this path as a career/business, a 12-month blog plan is a great way to start. The idea is:

To create your ultimate goal and divide it into actionable and realistic chunks.

Here are things you need to consider in creating your 12-month blog plan.

1. What is your WHY?

Why do you want to start a blog that makes money?

Mine is: 

I want to help aspiring and new bloggers monetize their website, and work from home in my pajamas. 

I have two dogs, Kuya and Bunso bringing joy and chaos into my home. They are clingy, especially Kuya. They have a short life span compared to ours. So if there’s a way for me to work and be with them all the time, I’d do it.

I provide content writing services since late 2015. It’s been my bread and butter ever since. But the essence of becoming a freelancer doesn’t start and end with offering services with clients. 

That was my wake-up call. 

I want to work with clients, and I want to be a client, too.

So, I gave birth to The Greatest (figuratively speaking). 

Therefore, do not start your 12-month blog plan, unless you are sure about your WHY?

Here are 3 questions to guide you:

What’s your purpose?

What do you want to achieve? 

What do you want to get in return?

Once you’re through answering these questions, that’s the only time you proceed with the How?

This step is crucial because you are going through a mindset shift. It will help you get through some tough times in your blogging journey.

2. Know how much money you need to run a blog

blog post important tools to run a successful blog that makes money
Paid and free tools I use to run my blog

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently shared a diagram about paid and free tools that I use to run my blog. 

Obviously, when you’re starting out, investing in paid tools is something you will have to think twice.

It’s normal to place your bet if you’re 100% sure that the odds are in your favor. 

But your mind is playing tricks with you.

What if nobody wants to read my work?  

What if blogging is not art. I want to make art. Therefore, blogging is not for me.

What if my friends and family don’t support me? 

I cannot force myself to write consistently. 

I have a full-time job. I’m not sure if I still have time to blog.

These what-ifs are roadblocks for you to start blogging to make money. 

And if these roadblocks are stopping you to think clearly and focus on your goals, it means you’re not 100% committed yet. 

But if you think you’re ready to take your 12-month blog plan very seriously, find a way to monitor your business expenses. You can try these free apps:

Spendee

Wally

Seedly

Money Lover

Or you can use the oldie but the goodie Google sheet like mine. 

Having an expenses tracker in your blog plan allows you to:

  • monitor the money that’s coming in and out of your blog
  • be aware of how much money you need to invest per month/year
  • know if you’re ready to hire people to scale your business
  • know if you’re ready to register your blog as a stand-alone business and pay taxes

Start by Investing in basic needs. And by basic, I mean a domain name, and web hosting. 

That’s it. 

3. Divide your 12-month blog plan into actionable, realistic, and specific mini-goals

blog post The Eisenhower matrix to help you create a 12-month blog plan The Greatest Digital Creatives

Sharing with you my 2020 goals for The Greatest. My IT-goal is to make at least $1000 per month by September. To achieve this, I used the Eisenhower matrix of Suzi Whitford of Start a Mom Blog to set priorities and action plans.

My 2020 goals
Blog posts Fb likes Fb follows IG follows Pinterest monthly views YouTube subscribers Fb group members Skillshare courses Website page visits
52 5,000 5,000 1000 10,000 1000 1000 12 5,000

Now that my annual goal is set, it’s time to divide it into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

Q1 Blog post Fb likes Fb follows IG follows Pinterest monthly views YouTube subscribers Skillshare courses Website page visits
January 4 2000 2000 100 1000 50 1 500
February 4 2100 2100 150 2000 60 1 600
March 5 2200 2200 200 3000 70 1 700
Weekly goals
Blog post Fb page post Fb group posts IG posts Pinterest pins YouTube videos Website page visits
1 blog post published every Thursday 5 5 5 7 1 100
Daily task management goals
Mondays Tuesdays Wednedays Thursdays Fridays Saturdays Sundays
Schedule fb page and IG posts for the whole week Proofread, edit and schedule blog post Create images for Pinterest, Fb, and IG Publish blog Schedule 1 week’s worth of Pinterest pins Schedule Fb group daily thread for next week Create an outline for next blog post
Write first draft of blog post

4. STOP

Okay, number 3 is a lot of work already.

But the advantage of going through this process is for you to identify:

  1. How much work needs to be done
  2. How much time you need to accomplish every goal
  3. To know if your goals are realistic enough 

In a recent blog post on my self-care blog, I mentioned a few career goals which have something to do with The Greatest. 

One is to revive my LinkedIn account. Turns out, my website is not really benefitting from it. So, I decided to set aside LinkedIn for now and focus on Pinterest instead.

5. Task management

For my 12-month blog plan, my weapons of choice are:

  1. Notebooks
  2. Whiteboard
  3. Post-its 
  4. Google drive
  5. Trello

These tools allow me to monitor:

  • Personal deadlines
  • Expenses
  • Scheduling of social media posts
  • Review my analytics
  • My progress and areas of improvement
blog post the true cost of starting a blog that makes money The Greatest Digital Creatives

Conclusion

Success comes with a price. So, if you’re 100% committed, this is the perfect time to manifest your goals and start shifting gears.

A 12-month blog plan is a road map for you to have a blog that makes money. Without it, you will be prone to disaster. You will lose interest, hope, and eventually, give up. 

But if you want to get jiggy with it, create a blog plan which will build a solid foundation. A skeleton that is solid as a rock. 

Lastly, do not fly too close to the sun, like Icarus. It’s okay to be ambitious. I don’t think it’s greed nor pride. But ones you get there, stay low. Be humble. 


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Cherrie Ann Balictar

Cherrie Ann Balictar is a Content Writer, Blogger, Pinterest Manager, and WordPress Developer. A frustrated singer and lipstick junkie, Cherrie shares a one-bedroom apartment with the love of her life, and is currently helping businesses and new bloggers achieve monumental growth.

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Nikki

    Thanks for all these tips! Something to consider for sure!

  2. Kay

    Wow what a great post! I need to get more organised and this looks perfect!!

    1. Cherrie Ann Balictar

      Thank you, Kay. You can do it. 🙂

  3. Jessica

    Goals! Right now I plan everything a month in advance, but getting the planning done for an entire year is on my list! I expect my daily schedule will be changing in the next few months, so I’m bookmarking this post!

    1. Cherrie Ann Balictar

      Yass. Thank you, Jessica.

  4. Jen Towkaniuk

    Loved this post and it gave me a lot of actionable steps to get my plan in place. I’ll be cheering you on this year!

    1. Cherrie Ann Balictar

      Thank you, Jen. Will do the same for you 🙂

  5. Rachael

    I thought when I read the title that you would be talking about how to be finding topics for a year. I am so glad that is not what you were doing! I really like that you have broken it down into daily and weekly tasks. While I would have to adjust it a little to suit my goals and position, I will definitely benefit from this guidance.

    1. Cherrie Ann Balictar

      Hello, Rachel. Thank you. I’m glad I was able to meet your expectations.

  6. Kari

    Breaking your tasks into quadrants is such a smart idea to see what actually produces results that move you forward is so smart!

  7. Corinne

    This is a very useful way to plan your blogging tasks for the year. I have a clingy dog, too, and sometimes it gets a bit hard to do anything. But I love my dog and I love blogging and I’m happy for both to co-exist 🙂

    1. Cherrie Ann Balictar

      Hello, Corinne. Yeah, I love balancing work, joy, and chaos with my dogs 🙂

  8. Ashley

    Thanks for the tips! I really need to sit down and focus on #3. It’s overwhelming but breaking it down like that help.

    1. Cherrie Ann Balictar

      Hello, Ashley. You’re welcome.

  9. Heather

    This is a great post that really lays things out for the newbie blogger. I love some of the points you make like knowing how to track your expenses and how much it takes to run a blog. Thanks for the great tips!

  10. Gina Abernathy

    Blogging is a lot of work. I like your planner. You look very organized.

  11. Allei

    It takes a lot of time, a lof of effort and work to be a blogger. Thank you for the tips and hoping for success to all bloggers/youtubers/vloggers/infulencers out there

  12. Maria Elsa Jose

    I hope I can organized mine just like yours. This article really helps someone like me, as overwhelmed as it can be.

  13. Kam Olivar

    I haven’t made a detailed plan for my blog yet and I think this is a great time to start. I’ll be applying the tips you have mentioned here. 🙂

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