Launching a blog takes a lot of work. There are so many things to do and even when you have completed those things, you may not feel ready to launch.
When I launched my blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I’m convinced that I did everything backward. There are so many things that I know now that I wish I knew when I launched.
Honestly, there is a lot to get done before launching a blog and it takes a lot of time (and maybe money). The good news is, you can get it done! I’m sure of it because I did.
In this post, I’m going to go through a list of things that I had to go back to do after I launched. I want to save you a headache, the money, and the time that I wasted.
It may be helpful to have a pen and notebook to take notes and jot down your thoughts as you’re reading.
You might find that you want to stop reading to implement things, and that’s ok. Just bookmark this page and come back to it as often as it takes. I will also be answering questions in the comments so let’s get started!
1. Determine your niche
Launching a successful blog requires you to know what you are writing about. This is very important because successful bloggers don’t just write about anything. Their posts are strategic.
When you start thinking about blogging, figure out what topic you want to write about. Is this topic sustainable? Can you write about it for months or years without running out of topics?
In the beginning, I didn’t really have a direction for my blog. I wrote about what I felt like writing that day and just hit publish. I could literally hear crickets on my blog. Nobody knew what to expect from me so nobody was interested in my random posts.
I ended up rethinking my strategy and finding my niche. My blog is now geared towards Millennials and personal finance and my traffic has increased about 100%.
I said that to say this. Don’t be like me. Find your niche before launching a blog. It will save you so much time when creating a successful blog.
2. Study your avatar
Before launching a blog, you should study your avatar. Your avatar is the person that your blog caters to. My avatar’s name is Coco and she is 26 years old and she struggles with maintaining the balance between reaching financial freedom and living a full life.
When figuring out who your avatar is, you should dig deep. What places do they like to visit? What social media platform do they prefer? Do they have children?
You have to know the answer to the hard questions. The reason why is because you don’t want to write a bunch of parenting articles if your avatar doesn’t even have children.
Take a couple of days to learn everything that you can about your avatar. When you are done, the two of you should be best friends.
3. Write out a business plan
Believe it or not, blogging is a business. You put your time and effort into the blog and expect to make a profit.
Before launching a blog, write out your business plan. Get specific about why you’re blogging, the type of blog you want to create, and how you plan to make this blog profitable.
Will you place ads on your site? What type of sponsorships will you accept? What type of sponsorships will you reject? Are you planning to join an affiliate program? Are you going to create your own products?
These are just a few things to think about while drafting your business plan. You should also think about how often you will post as well as your social media strategy.
Once you have your business plan drafted, all you have to do is follow the plan and you’re on your way to a profitable blog.
4. Determine your branding
Branding is the way that you set your blog apart from everyone else’s. It includes the colors, the name, the logo, the tagline.
You want to make your blog memorable. When someone sees your pins on Pinterest, they should recognize that these pins came from your blog quickly.
Branding can be kind of tricky because we are influenced by so many things. It’s ok to like elements from different blogs, but you need to make sure you aren’t copying someone else’s style.
You want your brand to be unique and stand out.
5. Setup your website
Setting up your website can be so intimidating if you’re not tech savvy. I went to school for information technology and it still scared me to set up my site.
When I got started and played around with different layouts it turned out to be quite simple.
Before launching a blog, find a few websites that you like. What do you like about them? Do you like the placement of the menus and sidebars? Do you enjoy the clean layout?
Write down all of the elements that you like from each of those sites that you would like to incorporate into yours.
If you don’t have a website at all, check out this post on how to start a blog for a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up your site. If you do have a website, the next step is to find a theme that has all of the elements that you like.
If you are just starting out and would like a free theme, Bluehost offers free themes to their customers. If you are looking for paid themes that are a little more intuitive, I highly recommend Restored316.
I use the Market Theme from Restored316 on this blog. Their themes are so easy to install and they look absolutely stunning! They also allow you to customize almost every element that you want.
If something is not there, tech support will help you write the code to add it!
Don’t let setting up a website intimidate you. Just be sure to read everything and ask for help when you need it.
6. Claim your social media handles
Social media is one of the main ways to promote and drive traffic with a blog. This means that social media is very important.
When you are searching for your domain name, it’s also a great idea to search for your social media handles too. You want to make sure the name that you want is available on all social media platforms. This should be done even for the platforms you don’t think you will use.
You never know what direction your blog will take in the future.
I didn’t take this advice. I purchased my domain before checking for social media availability so when I tried to claim my twitter handle, my name was too long!
My Twitter handle is @wbalancedwallet and all other channels are @wellbalancedwallet. It wasn’t really a huge issue. I just have to list Twitter separately than my other social media channels on my business cards.
Don’t be like me. Check your social media handles before launching a blog.
7. Write amazing content
A blog really only needs one thing to be successful. That thing is amazing content. People that read blogs are looking to learn things the easy way and the fast way. Your blog posts should pull the readers in, hold their attention, and teach them something each time they land on your site.
You want your blog to be like a hub. If your topic is cars, you want to be the number one source for people that need help with cars.
You need to make sure that you have a plan to cover a wide range of car topics while focusing on the things that your reader needs to know.
Link your posts together as they make sense in order to keep your readers on your site longer.
A good goal is to launch your blog with 10-12 posts. This way readers have lots of posts to click on and read. This is the one thing I wish I would have learned before I launched my blog.
8. Promote your blog
Promoting your blog might be the most important thing that you do before launching a blog.
At this point, your blog should still be in “coming soon” mode. This is the perfect time to promote.
Create interest in your topic and let people know that you are here to help.
Let your friends, family, and personal social media channels know that you are launching a blog. Give them the date and ask them to subscribe to your blog’s social media channels and for updates.
If you want to take it a step further, you could even use a service like Mailerlite to collect email addresses on you coming soon page. This is brilliant because you will start your blog with an email list!
Other ways to promote your blog is to do a Facebook live about one of the topics that you have written about. Tell everyone to head to the blog on launch day to learn more.
9. Connect with other bloggers
Before you click the launch button, try to connect with a few experienced bloggers.
When I launched my blog, I connected with Jasmine from Miss Millennia Magazine and we are still close friends to this day!
Don’t be shy about it. The blogging world contains some of the most helpful people that I have ever met.
Most bloggers will be happy to answer your questions and some will even take the time out to walk you through the things that you don’t understand.
Just the other day, a blogger in a Facebook group that I’m a part of went through her whole tripwire strategy. She didn’t get paid for the tutorial or anything!
People asked her questions about it and she made the video to help others.
My suggestion is to join a couple of blogging Facebook groups and start interacting with others. You might just meet the person that will help you take your blog to the next level.
The Bottom Line
Launching a blog can be so scary. You are literally putting yourself out there for the world to see.
Being vulnerable makes people very nervous and a lot of times holds us back from achieving our dreams.
Don’t let that stop you from launching your blog. Take some time to complete each of these steps and put your blog out there.
You never know who is waiting to read your posts.
What roadblocks are holding you back from launching a blog? Let me know in the comments.