Building a Purposeful Business Foundation. Creating a Plan for your Business: Crafting a Mission Statement, Defining Your Niche, Setting Goals, Tracking Your Growth, and my list of Must-Have Blogging Tools.
THIS POST IS LESSON TWO OF MY FREE BLOGGING AS A CREATIVE BUSINESS COURSE
For more lessons:
First of all, (before you even start putting posts up on your site if you’re starting from scratch!), it’s important to think about your business mission statement and goals. Creating a plan for your business will help define your vision and give direction as to what types of content you will produce and post.
One remarkable aspect of blogging as a business is that it doesn’t cost much to start. I didn’t want to use any credit or loans for my business. I operate on a cash-only basis in that; if I want something for my business, I only get it if I have the cash to pay for it. Otherwise, it waits until I can fit it into my budget.
Things we’ll discuss in this lesson:
- Defining Your Niche
- Creating a Mission Statement
- The Magic of Goal Setting
- My Must-Have Blogging as a Business Tools
Defining Your Niche
An essential part of Building a Purposeful Business Foundation is defining your niche. It is something you need to consider before you craft your business mission statement.
Are you going to post about a broad variety of things or pick a smaller niche?
I know successful bloggers at both ends of the spectrum, but niching down was one of the best things I ever did for my business! There is a lot less competition when you pick a smaller niche for your blog. As a result, you’re much more likely to grow faster than if you post about a bit of everything.
The hardest part about defining your niche is that there isn’t an exact science to it. On my main blog, Dawn Nicole Designs, my niche is Art + Hand-Lettering. Which it’s a small niche, it is broad enough that I can break it down into a bunch of different categories to post about that are all under that main umbrella. If I had picked just a super-niche, such as brush calligraphy, I’d feel a lot more boxed in.
Creating a Mission Statement
Treating your blog as a business is a simple yet powerful aspect of growing. Summing up your business’s purpose in a single sentence or two can take some time. I wrote a lot of phrases out in a journal before deciding on mine.
Rather than tell you how to craft a mission statement; I’ll give you some examples.
My personal mission statement: To live an intentional life filled with integrity, faith, kindness, and creativity that inspires others to do the same. And don’t suck. (My husband added that last part. He’s so helpful. ?)
My mission statement for Dawn Nicole Designs: My mission as an artist and blogger is to inspire a community of makers to get creative daily while embracing a spirit of community over competition.
Lindsey of Pretty Darn Cute Design (who designed the theme on both of my blogs): Our mission at Pretty Darn Cute Design is to empower you to take control of your website by providing you with the tools and confidence necessary to do so.
My Dawn Nicole Co mission statement: My mission at Dawn Nicole Co is to help bloggers turn their creative hobby into a profitable career they love! I believe in a spirit of community over competition and that profitability is greater than popularity. I focus on growing businesses and social media via organic, non-spammy methods.
The Magic of Goal Setting
I swear by what I call “. The Power of the Big Three” for goal setting. I had so much to say on this topic; I wrote an entire post on how to set and crush goals (with a free printable worksheet to keep you on track). Head over and read the full post here.
Pro Tip: Track Your Growth!
On the first of each month, I sit down to do a goal check-in.
I also track my income and social media.
My Favorite Blogging as a Business Tools
Here are the primary tools I currently use for blogging and content creation. I added these as my budget allowed, so don’t feel like you need all of these things to get started. All you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection.
- Dedicated Workspace. Even if it’s just a desk in the corner of a room, having a dedicated workspace is important when you work from home. It helps you get in a work-focused mindset and stay organized.
- Laptop. I currently work on a 13” MacBook Pro with Touchbar. I also have an iMac desktop, but I don’t like being tied to one spot, so I use my laptop most of the time. It’s especially handy for when I’m traveling or if I want to work from a coffee shop. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house when you work from home.
- DSLR Camera/iPhone. Since creating blog content involves a lot of photo taking, investing in a good DSLR camera is ideal. If it’s not in the budget, your phone will do. I took all my blog photos with my iPhone for over a year before getting my first DSLR (a Canon Rebel T3i) a few years ago. The Rebel line is beginner-friendly and affordable.
- This year I upgraded to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. It’s much more expensive, but it takes incredible photos. At this point in my business, I was a worthwhile investment, but it’s probably not something you need to start off.
- To learn how to use my DSLR, I took an online photography class. I’ve shot in manual ever since and it makes a huge difference in the quality of your photos.
- Planner. There’s a lot to keep track of with blogging: post dates, content ideas, dates taxes are do, sponsored work deadlines, etc. so I highly recommend using a dedicated paper planner to keep everything in one place. The Classic Sized Passion Planner is my personal favorite.
- Printer. For content creation and things like printing sponsored work contracts, you’ll need access to a printer. I use an EPSON Workforce 7610. Their latest mode is the Workforce 7710, and it is much better rated, but I have no complaints about my 7610.
- Tripod. A tripod is super handy for taking photos. I purchased the Vanguard Alta Pro on Amazon. It has an arm that allows me to make overhead lettering videos and was money well spent.
- Design Programs. For Design Work, I have a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud Programs. I regularly use Adobe Illustrator (for lettering, design work, and printables), Photoshop (for graphics and photo work), Lightroom (for photo editing), and InDesign (for eBooks and Printables). Skillshare and Brit + Co are excellent places to take classes on how to use these fantastic design programs.
- iPad Pro. I have the 12.9”, 128g iPad Pro and work nearly exclusively in the Procreate App. The main reason I have this is for lettering work. If you’re not doing hand lettering, you don’t need it. For lettering work, it speeds up my design process so much! The iPad Pro is the one thing I take to work while traveling (other than my laptop, of course). It’s pretty much like having my whole art studio condensed into one portable tablet.
Up Next: Keeping your Blog + Business Legal
We’ll talk about making sure your blog is set up to run legally as a business.
It’s not as scary as it sounds and it’s essential to do this if you’re blogging for income.