Ready or not, 2018 is coming very soon. With just a matter of weeks to go in 2017, it is time to start planning for the new year. Sally J. Schmidt from Attorney at Work recommends an annual business development plan to give your personal marketing efforts focus. If blogging is part of that plan, here are some great ways to get started.

In “Writing Your Annual Business Development Plan” on Attorney at Work, marketing specialist Sally J. Schmidt (no relation to the author), lays out how lawyers can develop a personal marketing plan whether it is a requirement of a big law firm, or a way to make strategic marketing decisions for their small practice.

Writing out your annual business development plan allows you to focus your time and marketing efforts, be more proactive about the direction of your career or firm, and measure your marketing success. Schmidt recommends your annual business development plan include three steps:

  1. Goals. Big, aspirational goals that you probably won’t do in a year, but help give your career a direction.
  2. Objectives. Measurable, specific projects that can likely be completed within the year.
  3. Strategies and Activities. Broken down tasks and tactics you will use to accomplish your objectives and larger goals.

How Blogging May Appear On Your Annual Business Development Plan

Blogging Is Not a Goal

Blogging is not generally going to show up as a goal in your annual business development plan. That’s because an effective blog is a means to an end, rather than the end in itself. Instead, goals that may lead you toward blogging could be:

  • Becoming known as an issue expert in your niche field
  • Developing an online reputation for your geographic area
  • Building up a strong web-marketing presence including organic search and social media elements.

Writing Clear Blogging Objectives

If you don’t yet have a professional blog, it may show up as an objective toward one of those goals. Establishing a robust blog presence can be reasonably done within a year, and it is something that you will know you have accomplished.

However, if your objective is to make better use of an existing blog, it may be more difficult to know when you’ve arrived. Depending on your goal, you may want to write your objective to focus on increased readership, social media engagement, or improved quality content.

Strategies and Activities to Accomplish Your Blogging Objectives

For many new bloggers, creating a successful blog in a year may seem intimidating, if not unreasonable. Schmidt says the key is to “break your activities down into smaller, manageable steps.” This could include:

Being Proactive By Planning Your Blogging Year

One of the best reasons to do an annual business development plan is that it allows you to be proactive with your time and money. By reviewing your goals and objectives now, you can decide whether you will commit to blogging in 2018, or whether you would rather invest in ghost blogging services by a skilled writer. Because your priorities are laid out ahead of time, it can be easier to make the call and measure the returns on your investment.

Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She provides blog coaching and web content writing services to lawyers and small businesses. If blogging is part of your 2018 plan, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.