I’m sharing my simple blogging plan for this site, as well as my general overall business plan for 2020 in this post.
Why My Blogging Business Plan Isn’t More Specific
I don’t tend to create ‘plans’ as such. I have goals, visions, and a broad outline of how I’m going to get there. Why do I not plan?
Because I know now that you can have the best, most detailed business plan available, and most of the time you probably shouldn’t be following it! Controversial for those who love planning everything out military style, I know.
But when you stick to a rigid plan, often what can happen is you end up stifling your own creativity as well as potentially missing out on other potential exciting opportunities that come your way.
For me, I find I get bored when I have to stick to one thing. I think many people do.
Worse, I stop listening to my gut instinct, following creativity and joy, and often end up stressed and even depressed.
I definitely need the freedom to be able to create whatever I want.
The Freedom Based Approach To Planning Your 2020
So, I rarely have a ‘rigid plan’, but this approach to creating a business or blogging plan in this way does take a lot of trust that you can absolutely create a business based on doing whatever you want, whenever you want, and that you don’t have to rely on a rigid structure.
We live in a society that teaches us the opposite though. Right from school everything is put on a calendar and timetable for you to follow. So it took a lot of undoing to be able to work in a way that prioritises creativity, joy, and life.
When I did used to ‘try to plan’ all that happened was that I ended up with list of things ‘to-do’. (In case you don’t know how I feel about to-do lists, you’re going to want to read this post. Discover the radical idea I replaced them with)!
All that happens with big to-do lists is that you end up feeling bad you haven’t done the things on your list yet. And it lasts longer than the buzz you get from ticking one off because you’ve done something once, but the things at the end of your list get stuck there for ages.
Guilt is not a productive emotion, and I don’t want to spend my days feeling guilty (even subconsciously) so, I don’t plan in any great detail.
At the start of every year though, I do like to sit down and vision what I want to do more of. You can call it a loose plan, if you like. But it’s definitely not structured in any way. So here’s my ‘loose blogging plan’ for 2020. The things I’m focussing on, and why. In no particular order, as they’re all of equal importance.
Why I’m Creating A Blogging Plan, From Someone Who Doesn’t Believe In Rigid Planning
In 2020 I want to write a lot more because I identified in 2019 that writing makes me really happy. I don’t think I would have coped with grief in the same way if I hadn’t been able to write.
I also have now built TWO successful sites that were both successfully sold, have had a ton of copywriting clients, and in short I realised I’ve built my whole online business around writing and blogging online, even though it didn’t start out that way.
It makes sense to get more intentional around the parts you love most about your business, yes? (what parts of your business do you love most that you want to get more intentional around)?
So for me that’s writing, specifically, which is why I created this blogging plan for 2020.
Not that it’s really a plan, more like very deliberate intentions. Here they are!
My Blogging Plan For 2020
1. Creating more SEO content.
I know! This is going to come as a surprise for those of you who know how much I’ve moaned about SEO over the years. Listen, I don’t have a problem with SEO. I have a problem with people focussing on SEO as the only way they could ever grow their visibility. Thankfully, Instagram changed all that and now I’m pretty sure most people don’t really care at all about SEO. Hence why I’m going back to SEO 😉 Well, you know. I don’t really enjoy following the crowds.
I discussed why I’m going back to SEO on this podcast episode.
Essentially, I want to maximise my chances of being found online, and social media channels no longer do that because their ultimate goal is to get people to pay to be found. I have no problem paying to be found either, everyone uses ads now, including me, so SEO isn’t going to be my only growth strategy for 2020. But for the first time in ages, I’m actually focussing on it.
The nerdy side of me really enjoys looking at analytics and data to make data-driven decisions alongside the heart-centred ones. In fact I think deciding to use SEO was actually a heart-decision in itself, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. I’ve just never seen things like keyword research or coming up with post ideas as a chore, I find it fast, easy and fun!
The goal with focussing more on SEO is to produce more valuable content which will help people – I’ll be looking to create big, comprehensive guides on the things I’m implementing in my own business and life. So far I’ve got guides planned for topics like digital nomading, unschooling, blogging, writing a book, finding more purpose, and expanding a coaching practice / mentoring service.
I know how much I love reading valuable posts, so my goal is to create them for others. Which will then help get me found in search. Everybody wins.
2. Publish More Content
Last year I was super proud to have created over 52 podcast episodes (go here if you haven’t listened yet) but I didn’t blog anywhere near as much as I would have liked. I always write every day, but I don’t publish every day. As a result I am sitting on an empire of half finished books and blog posts which are of zero use to anyone. So my goal is to publish more this year.
I was kind of disappointed to see that this site only has around 75 posts on it, which actually is only about a year and half worth of blogging once per week. But yet I write all the time! I’m a writer but I feel I don’t actually have that much to show for it!
So I need to get more of my posts, and my long-awaited book, actually published and out. I will enlist my assistant to help me do that. She will most likely take care of images and SEO, and I will most likely write the posts.
3. Pin More
I love Pinterest. Like SEO, I think it’s one of those kind of overlooked strategies by a ton of business owners but it drives so much traffic to people’s sites it’s unreal. I know, because I use it a lot, especially for all things blogging, business, motivation, kids, and cooking related.
Over Christmas I FINALLY got to grips with Tailwind. Tailwind makes pinning so easy once you’ve created your pin (read this guide here to get some idea around Pinterest). I used to have an assistant that took care of my Pinning for me, but I’ve never quite found the right assistant who understands my vision and what I’m trying to achieve.
Thankfully Tailwind takes care of my pinning for me now. I literally log on for about ten minutes per week and it’s all done. Yay.
So I’ve found that Pinterest drives traffic (and subscribers) to my site, still, even now. So with the little time investment required and the potential it still has to do this, I’ll be focussing on pinning more in 2020. Pinterest loves new content, so with increased content I should be able to create more pins.
4. More Video
OMG I love video! who knew? Of course, everyone loves video now.
But I don’t love how long it takes to produce a good video. That said, because I love doing it, it’s worth suffering through adding in all the titles and my intro video etc. Of course, I’ve looked at outsourcing that, and this is something I will be trialling this year.
I’m really enjoying Youtube. Watching it more than creating. Oops. But I kinda got bored of stories and flicking mindlessly through 25697 stories mainly from people I don’t know to find something I found valuable, interesting or inspiring, and Youtube is SEARCHABLE so I can look for / it recommends to me things I really want to know about.
Which is why it’s definitely an idea to consider using it 😉
5. Multipurpose All My Content
I’ve been doing this for yearssss. I want to do more of it in 2020. So as you probably know, you take one piece of content and share the life out of it.
One video becomes a podcast becomes a transcribed blog post for SEO purposes (or for those who like to read) becomes a snippet to share on social media becomes an IGTV episode becomes a… you get the idea.
It maximises your visibility and reach, and helps increase your time available for creativity and other important things.
6. Creating More Courses
I barely launched anything in 2019.
I launched Made To Lead, my program on how to run and sell your own 1:1 VIP coaching days, 30 Days To 30Ks, and SheRises. (That’s not entirely it, I also launched my planners, a startup, 1:1 days in Italy and the UK + more). Oh, and the 2019 version of Write Her Heart, my radical journaling for a better life and business program.
Ok, maybe more than I thought. But it felt like I didn’t launch anything, maybe because I had a gap over the summer months.
My bestseller, surprisingly, was 30 Days To 30Ks. I really didn’t expect this one to sell at all because I thought the headline would probably put most people off! But I think people liked that fact they had day in, day out support. Literally everyone that joined it had 24/7 access to me.
I was in New Zealand wandering around the garden at my brother’s house on the phone to my clients most days. His neighbours actually asked him why his weird sister was always doing laps of the garden. LOL.
I also doubted whether I should launch it because it was so freaking time intensive for me. But I’m glad I did. People had good results, great results, and achieved a lot, from beyond 30K to setting up brand new income streams in that 30 days.
So I’m glad I followed the call. Always trust the things that are given to you. And this year I feel called to create more online programs and courses.
7. Guest Posting
One thing I didn’t really do last year was guest post. It’s probably been the first year I haven’t been published somewhere, joined in any online summit or event, or given a talk somewhere. Oh wait, actually I did give a presentation right here in Paphos about my startup.
Kinda terrifying as I had nothing at all prepared, arrived very late as I only found out about the event on the day, sat down and five minutes later I was asked to present. It went really well though and I was buzzing after.
Oh, wait. I also gave a talk in New Zealand about the power of following your dreams and how we ended up living in a mini chateau and travelling the world as a family.
Well anyway, those things aren’t guest posting! Guest posting and getting featured in online publications always works really well for me. It doesn’t drive huge numbers of people to your site, but people who are motivated enough to click your link are generally those who will sign up to your list and follow you for like, everrrr.
It’s also great for making friends and contacts. So I’ll be looking to guest post and appear on more podcasts in 2020. Contact me here if you want to feature me on yours, I literally say yes to everything. Lol.
8. More Adventures In The Beetroot Fields
One thing I LOVED doing towards second half of the year was experimenting in business. Trying new things not only keeps me challenged and motivated, but I figure I can bring you the results so you can see what might work for you.
I created a new digital product, set up a new ecommerce store, and even built an online store with my kids. (It’s a horse and pony shop. Toooo cute).
I’ve been testing Tailwind, Youtube SEO, Etsy SEO, Instagram Ads, Pinterest Ads. And of course, together with my team, we started our startup.
I’m never going to be an expert at those things, and don’t want to be. I’ll leave that to the experts 🙂 but I’ve loved being a business guinea pig. It’s definitely been really interesting to see the results, all of which I’ll be sharing with you.
I’ve also built a new content site in a niche I’m super passionate about – any ideas? 😉 which I’ll be sharing the results of as I go, along with my planners.
I love the freedom that relatively passive income gives you, and I wanted to be able to share the actual journey of how I’m building them with you, so that you can see for yourself how easy / or hard it is to build and grow your own, especially maybe in an area you hadn’t considered before.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a blogger, coach, photographer, mother or 9-5er, everyone should have some sort of relatively passive income stream! You never know when something might happen to your main business, or you, or someone in your family and you become unable to work. That income stream will continue to flow for months or even years after, with relatively little involvement from you.
Obviously fear isn’t a reason to create anything at all. But extra income might be 🙂
(I say relatively passive because obviously these things are never entirely passive. I think I found a winner though. Keep an eye on my posts to find out what it is)!
9. More 5am Club.
I could talk at length about this (and have, over on this podcast episode) but all you need to know is in Robin Sharma’s book The 5am Club.
I wanted to dislike this book as I don’t really like books telling me the obvious, but it’s not at all obvious and the story is beautiful. Even last night, I was telling Rob that it made my top 5 books list. It’s the reason why I’m here writing this to you now at 6.50am. And why I was doing weights and yoga at 5.
If you want to create better habits this year, start with this book. It’s really great. This habit is going to be a foundational one that shifts my entire business – as always, success is nothing to do with what you do, but who you are.
10. Speak Out More
I’ve been kind of quiet on the ‘speak out about things that matter’ front. Mainly because I think there are very deliberate agendas that are being put in place in society right now that are designed to divide us. I shared a post on this yesterday on my Facebook, about why people should stop saying Ok Boomer.
(If there is anything I truly value, it would be the elder generation. We have so much to learn from our elders).
More agendas as well as Young Vs Old are the political, feminist, freedom of movement, and faith-based agendas. Slightly less common ones are education, vaccines, and so on.
I’m not speaking out because the only stand I am truly for is love for all. Idealistic and romantic and outdated, entirely, but it’s who I am. I refuse to use my platform for agendas.
But in 2020 I want my blog to open up to becoming a tool for good. I’m not sure how that will unfold yet. We shall see. I need to journal more around it.
11. Spend More Time Working.
Said nobody ever. Lol. But seriously, other than my intensive burst of work during the summer, I barely worked in 2019, or it feels that way anyway.
I did a lot of journaling and reading which I guess is my work, but some days I wasn’t even at my desk for an hour.
I took most of December off. I’m sure I sent less than 20 emails in the whole of last year.
But I really missed it! I love writing, creating, sharing. And really I had to face the truth that the reason my business stagnated – even though it ultimately was exactly what was needed at the time, thank you Universe – I’d rather it didn’t stagnate for another year.
Not that you have to ‘hustle for it’ or any other of that busyness and scarcity mindset type belief, but you know. I have to give God a helping hand. We are co-creators of this thing called life.
So I plan to spend more time cultivating a beautiful one doing more of the work I love, which brings me on to the next point.
12. Buy More Flowers.
I’m typical for not celebrating achievements enough. I always kind of feel guilty about it, or forget about it. But actually celebrating achievements has been proven to keep your motivation and happiness running. Which is reason to do it.
But also, do it because you deserve it. Being in business isn’t always all roses. Well, it can be, but then life happens, as I learned in 2019. So even though I had a beautiful year, really, my heart was heavy with grief for much of it.
Celebrating even the small things is worth it just for the sake of celebration itself. You don’t even need to make it about an achievement or a win.
Just about the fact that you’re here, even contemplating blogging, business, self-employment is a beautiful thing.
I’m definitely celebrating that, as I head into the start of 2020.
Of course this is just my blogging plan. My goals are very different, and MUCH more specific! I’ll share those soon.
What are your plans for your business in 2020? Do you prefer having a structured plan, or does it suit you to work more loosely?
Leave me a comment, I’d love to know what you’re focusing on.