launch a blog

 

Starting a blog may seem easy. After all, don’t you just need to design a simple website, write a few posts, and hit “publish”? Well, this strategy may be enough if you’re going to blog purely for yourself and you don’t care if anyone else reads your blog. But if you want your blog to attract lots of readers, direct traffic to your website, give you more clients, or grow your sales, there are some things you need to do before you launch your blog to set it up for success. What are they? Check out this list of the 9 most important things to do before you launch a blog.

 

Want a blog that gives you traffic, email subscribers, clients, or customers? Learn how to craft blog posts that convert.
Download my free blog post template + example.

1. Identify your audience

Many people start blogs by writing about their life, their pets, their latest vacation, or whatever else is on their mind. And if you’re blogging just for yourself, you can take this approach too. But if you want to use your blog to grow your business or earn an income, it’s important to focus on someone else: your audience. It’s the people in your audience who are going to read your posts, buy your products, click on your affiliate links, and book you for your services. That’s why your audience is who you really want to focus on when you create your blog and write your posts.

Before you launch a blog, identify your audience by thinking of your ideal reader. How old is he or she? What does he or she do for a living? What are your reader’s favourite TV shows? And what key problems is he or she trying to solve? When you know who your audience is, you can write blog posts that seem like they were written just for them (because they were). This will help you ensure that your blog posts attract the type of people you’re trying to target (instead of the people you aren’t trying to target).

You may be desperate to get any type of traffic on your blog when you first start out. But remember that if the people who land on your blog aren’t part of your audience, they’ll be less likely to buy your products, book your services, or click on your affiliate links.

Example: My audience consists of business owners and bloggers who need help producing powerful copy + content so they can make more sales, book more clients, and grow their brand. If you browse through some of my posts, you’ll see that they target these needs.

 

launch a blog

2. Set it up

Now that you know who your audience is, you can create a blog that appeals to them. This involves deciding on a theme or look, choosing a hosting provider, and actually creating your blog. If dealing with tech and the Internet makes you nervous or you’re short on time, you can hire someone to design and develop your blog for you. But with tools like WordPress and Squarespace, it’s easy to create and launch a blog yourself even if you’ve never done it before.

Example: This blog is a WordPress.org blog. Affordable and flexible, WordPress.org makes it simple to create blogs and websites that are incredibly functional and look great too.

 

3. Create an about page

Your posts aren’t the only content your audience will want to read when they land on your blog. Many of them will also want to check out your about page to learn more about you. Don’t believe it? About pages are one of the most visited pages on most websites. So before you launch a blog, take the time to write an about page. Tell readers what you’re all about and how you’ve made it a mission to help people just like them. Of course, if your blog is linked to a website that already has a solid about page, you can skip this step (woohoo!).

Related: The #1 website copywriting mistake most businesses make + free “about us” page template

Example: Check out my about page.

 

launch a blog

4. Write and publish a few posts

You don’t want to wait until after you launch a blog to begin writing and publishing your blog posts. Why? Because it’s like opening a chocolate shop and expecting people to visit an empty store. Even your very first readers should have several pieces of content to browse. This way, they’ll start to think of you as a reliable resource they can turn to when they need help with something. It’ll also keep them on your blog longer. To get the most out of your blog in its early days, I suggest writing and publishing at least 3 to 5 posts before you launch your blog.

Related: 7 quick and simple ways to improve a blog post + free checklist

 

Want a blog that gives you traffic, email subscribers, clients, or customers? Learn how to craft blog posts that convert.
Download my free blog post template + example.

 

5. Decide on a publishing schedule

When you launch a blog, it’s hard to succeed if you aren’t consistent when it comes to posting new content. If you publish 4 posts in a week and then go on a 3-month hiatus before your next one, your audience won’t know what to expect. Many of them will think you’ve peaced out forever. And even those who believe that you’ll return at some point won’t see you as a reliable resource that constantly provides fresh value.

Most people who struggle with publishing consistently do so because they try to commit to a blog writing schedule that isn’t feasible. You don’t have to publish every day to have a successful blog. In fact, you don’t even need to publish every week if that’s not feasible for you. Although it’s ideal to post new content at least a few times a month, you ultimately want to choose a publishing frequency that’s right for you. When you share new content consistently, your audience knows what to expect from you and they know when to check your blog for new stuff.

Related: How to make a blog writing schedule you can stick to + free PDF copy

Example: I typically publish a new blog post each week.

6. Develop a promotion strategy

Unfortunately, blogging isn’t as simple as writing a good post, publishing it, and waiting for readers to flock to it. When you launch a blog, you’ll realize very quickly that you can’t wait for readers to come to you (at least not in your early days). You need to take your blog to them. How do you do this? By developing a strategy for how you’re going to promote your blog posts.

There are lots of different ways to promote your blog posts, but one of the most common ways is to share your posts on social media. For example, many bloggers and business owners share content that teases their newest post on their social platforms.

Although you may be tempted to promote your posts on every major platform, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin if you do this. So aim to focus on 1 or 2 platforms instead. Which ones should you prioritize? Every blog is different, but in general, these 5 social media platforms tend to work best. And out of all of them, I recommend making Pinterest a priority because of the massive traffic it can generate for you. Learn more about why Pinterest is so powerful for growing a blog or business.

Related: 10 Pinterest tips that boost your traffic, leads, and sales + free Pinterest SEO cheat sheet

Example: I use Pinterest to generate traffic on my blog posts.

Note that you don’t have to be the only person sharing your blog content on social media. You can also add social sharing buttons to your blog to encourage your readers to share your content with their networks. On my blog, I use the Social Warfare plugin. It lets you add scrolling social sharing buttons that also display social proof by noting the total number of times a post has been shared. Pretty cool, right?

 

launch a blog

7. Build some buzz

When you launch a blog, you don’t have to keep it a secret until it officially goes live. This isn’t a murder mystery, after all. Instead, it’s strategic to build buzz for your blog before your launch it. This way, you’ll have an audience for your posts right away. If you’re starting a blog for an existing business, you can build buzz by sharing sneak peeks of your blog on social media and sending teasers in email campaigns. Starting a standalone blog instead? Build a following on social media and share sneak peeks of your blog to generate hype and engagement.

Related: How to drive traffic to a new blog + free blog post template and example

8. Get ready to build an email list right away

What’s one thing most veteran bloggers and business owners wish they had done from Day 1? Build an email list. If you’re getting ready to launch a blog, building an email list may not seem like a priority. But there are 2 key reasons why building an email list is oh so valuable: (1) Email converts better than social media and paid ads do and (2) You own your email list.

It isn’t a bad thing to get traffic from search engines and social media. But remember that search and social algorithms change constantly, sometimes in ways that can produce a massive drop in blog traffic. And your social accounts can get shut down without warning. With email, you own the list and can choose when and how to interact with your subscribers (as long as it’s legal). You can use it to promote your new blog posts, tell your subscribers about a webinar you’re hosting, and pitch products and services.

Before you launch a blog, make sure you’re ready to grow your email list from the day your blog goes live. How do you do this? Create a lead magnet (also known as an opt-in incentive) that you can give away in exchange for collecting an email address. This can be any type of free resource, such as a checklist, template, or ebook. Once you’ve created your lead magnet, set up an opt-in form that will collect a reader’s name and email address and then send him or her the lead magnet. Place links to your opt-in form in multiple places on your blog, including your navigation menu, sidebar, and even in your posts.

Once you’re ready, you can turbocharge your email list by adding content upgrades, post-specific lead magnets, to your blog posts.

Related: How to use Pinterest to grow your email list + free Pinterest profile cheat sheet

Example: This welcome email series copy template is an example of a lead magnet on my blog.

 

launch a blog

9. Learn the basics of SEO

What’s one of the best ways to create a consistent source of traffic to your blog? Search engine optimization (SEO). This is how you get people to find your blog when they Google information online. Although full SEO can get pretty complex, there are basic SEO principles you can implement to get great results for your blog posts. These involve optimizing your headline and subheadings, adding the right links to your posts, and integrating keywords into your posts appropriately. Don’t have a tech bone in your body? You can learn and apply basic blog SEO skills without knowing anything about code. Ready to master the basics? Download my free SEO Basics for Blog Posts ebook.

Related: 5 blog post SEO tips you need to know

Example: I use the Yoast WordPress plugin to implement SEO basics in my blog posts.

 

launch a blog

 

Take the time to prepare before you launch a blog

Deciding to launch a blog can feel daunting. You’re getting ready to share your expertise, put yourself out there, and build an audience. And you have no idea of what you’re doing! The good news is that you can set yourself up for success by taking the time to prepare before you launch a blog. Use the steps I’ve outlined above to build a blog that appeals to your audience, create a following before you go live, and develop a foundation for taking your blog to the next level. It may take some extra work now, but it’ll pay off down the road.

 

Want a blog that gives you traffic, email subscribers, clients, or customers? Learn how to craft blog posts that convert.
Download my free blog post template + example.

Send me the template




 

 

 

launch a blog

 

 

9 things to do before you launch a blog + free blog post template & example
250 Shares

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.