There’s more to launching a new blog than just choosing a name or a theme. Starting your first blog can be frustrating and a drawn-out process, without the right plan.
Reviewing the below steps will save you tons of mental energy and frustration while getting your new blog launched. You won’t have to bang your head against the computer screen over and over again as I did with launching this blog.
Below, I provide you with a fast-track plan to launch your new blog. Enjoy!
MY 10 STEP PLAN EXPLAINED
1) You Need To Start Thinking Like A Blogger
You need to start thinking like a blogger. To be a successful blogger and writer, you have to realize it’s a mental game and will require lots of motivation, passion, and commitment.
When you feel burned out or stuck, online resources are a big help to get through it.
To help stay motivated, it helps to start socializing with other bloggers that share your same topics and interests via Twitter, Facebook Groups, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and other online communities.
Don’t forget about Reddit too!
If you live in a big city, the local blogging community can be very supportive depending on where you live. Check out Meetup.com in your local area to see if any Blogging or WordPress meetups are happening. I belong to a WordPress meetup that discusses everything from supporting WordPress to doing SEO; it’s a big help.
2) The Purpose And Name Of Your Blog
The purpose of your blog is a big thing to think about. You need to figure out the purpose/topic of your blog before you can decide on a name for it.
To help, think about the following:
- Will it need to generate income?
- Will it generate leads for your small business?
- Is it for fun or a passion project?
- Will you sell products eventually?
- What about e-commerce?
- Affiliate marketing?
This is just a short list; you’ll also want to think about anything else that comes to mind.
One last thing to consider: Is your industry or niche topic super competitive?
Topics relating to Money, Health, Recipes, Online Marketing, Stock Trading, and Real Estate are extremely competitive vs. an idea for Promoting a Small Business or Brand for example. Other less competitive topics could be The Environment or Local News In Your City.
Reasons can vary a lot so make sure you have a clear understanding of why and what the purpose of your blog is. Then decide on a blog name that fits the topic/subject and theme.
A real use case for launching your own blogging site
The motivation and purpose to create a blogging site called FailedNormal were simple for Eli The Computer Guy, a YouTube content creator I follow. YouTube (and other social media platforms) can impose many restrictions on content creators. After a while, it becomes a hassle to try and make money on someone else’s platform. So, the next logical step is to start your own.
WordPress makes it easy for this to happen!
3) Register Your Domain Name; Setup Your Blog
I love setting up blogs from scratch. The process of registering a new name and configuring a platform to publish articles on never gets old for me. I always recommend self-hosting a WordPress blog with a web hosting company like SiteGround.
Why self-host might you ask? For the same reasons that some content creators migrate away from sites like YouTube. I elaborate more on this question and provide step by step instructions on starting (and setting up) a blog in the following guide: How To Start & Setup A Blog
4) Follow Bloggers And Influencers In Your Industry
It’s good to follow other bloggers in your niche, especially influencers. It allows you to see what subtopics are trending in popularity. You’ll get to interact with really great people who share your passion too!
An excellent way to find other bloggers is by:
- Searching for related hashtag topics trending on Twitter and Instagram.
- Searching for related Pins on Pinterest.
- Seek out videos on YouTube.
- Do searches with Google, Bing, or Duck Duck Go.
Be engaging and always leave high-quality comments on other blogs and social media. The more involved you are with the conversation, the more recognition you’ll get from others.
The end result?
Readers will be much more interested in following you and viewing your blog.
5) It’s Not About You; It’s About Your Audience
Think about the topics that most apply to your audience. Make sure your content goes into depth and provides information and answers relating to your niche.
Don’t just write long-form content because some online marketing guru says it will help you optimize your post for the search engines. Write your post so that it benefits the reader and keeps them engaged. If your content is too fluffy and does not keep your readers engaged, they will leave your site.
Over time you’ll be able to learn more about your audience because they’ll leave comments on your blog and ask you questions. This will help guide you to the type of content they want to read about.
You might even find out that they want to read about other lifestyle topics or opinions you have that may not even relate to your niche. This is what I love about blogging. Sometimes, it’s OK to break the rules.
6) Engage On Social Media
After thinking about your audience and what your blog is going to be about, you’ll be ready to decide which Social Media platforms to use. To start, just about every blogger I know is on Twitter, so definitely set up your blog with its own account.
Depending on the genre of your blog, you’ll also want to consider the following social networks:
- Pinterest – Used mostly as a visual search engine, many bloggers have lots of success driving traffic from Pinterest. Myself included!
- Instagram – If your into food, fashion, or anything that is highly visual, Instagram will work well.
- Facebook – Everyone is on Facebook, so it does not hurt to set up a Facebook page.
- SnapChat – Snap is strictly mobile and appeals to a younger audience. If you can get attention to your brand on Snapchat, it’s worth investing time for it.
- YouTube – YouTube is great for driving traffic and building up your brand. You have to be willing to create videos though.
Currently, for my blog, Twitter and Pinterest bring me the most engagement, so my attention is mostly spent there. I love using Instagram, but it just does not perform as well. Eventually, I hope that will change.
I’m going to tap into YouTube more as I build out my podcast.
I recommend starting with just one or two Social Media platforms and see how it goes.
7) Brainstorming Keywords & SEO
If you’ve been reading other blogs in your genre or niche, you’ll have an easier time brainstorming what the main keywords are for optimizing your search strategy.
The main keywords are the obvious ones that relate to your subject matter. But, are very broad and need to be more specific to provide a user with any kind of relevance and intent.
Let’s break this down a bit.
- For this site, a few keywords are “Making Money,” “Saving Money,” and “Rebuilding Credit.”
- Often, popular search queries will start with the keywords “How To” or “Best Way.”
- An example of a real search would be “How To Save Money” or “Best Way To Make Money.” These search queries are still pretty broad though.
- Long-tail searches like “How To Save Money On Groceries” is much more useful to an end user.
- As you focus more and more on user intent, you start to notice how long tail search queries become very important for your SEO strategy!
The best advice I can offer on Search Engine Optimization is this: Focus highly on user intent. If you were searching for a specific problem to solve what kind of article would you want to read? The better your article answers a particular search query, the more engagement you’ll have. This will signal to Google that you have a great article and rank it higher in the search results without any special SEO Magic Tricks!
Check out the following ideas to research longtail keyword ideas:
- You can sign-up for Google Adwords and get access to the free Google Keyword Planner Tool.
- As you search on Google or Bing, pay close attention to the bottom section of the search page. You’ll notice some other similar search queries that contain valuable keywords.
- On Google, Bing and YouTube searches pay close to attention to what is being auto-suggested to you in the search field. You can get lots of keyword ideas there too.
- Try using SemRush.com and KwFinder.com. These are popular search research tools that I use.
Quick Note: There’s not really an accurate way to measure an exact search volume of a keyword by using a tool, they only provide a rough estimate. You’ll need to measure the actual traffic generated to your site (for real numbers) by using Google Analytics.
This is the most basic SEO strategy I can offer you and will help your blog posts get discovered in the search engines. There’s much, more to learn for SEO; I’ll create more SEO related blog posts soon. After all, we still need to discuss the best practices for On-Page SEO and Backlink Building.
One last tidbit; Submit Your Blog’s URL To The Search Engines
Submitting your blog’s URL to the search engines gives you more control and access to keyword information.
- Submit your site to Google by setting up a Google Search Console account.
- Submit your site to Bing by using the following instructions – Submit urls to Bing.
- DuckDuckGo has no submission; it’s purely just automatic with limited options.
If you don’t submit the URL, eventually all search engines will index your site automatically.
8) E-mail Marketing
E-mail Marketing is an essential marketing strategy for growing your blog’s readership. Readers who sign-up and subscribe to your e-mail list will become a part of the community you’re trying to build. In a way, an e-mail list for a blog is like a client list.
I recommend using the e-mail marketing service MailChimp. You can quickly put an email sign-up form on your homepage using their sign-up form templates. They also have an offer for a free account.
It’s easy to set up for a WordPress site too.
As your subscriber list grows, you don’t have to do anything to fancy. An occasional update for a new blog post or major announcement is good enough. As your blog matures with content, you can plan for a more official E-Mail Newsletter strategy.
BTW… I really, really like MailChimp, I tried at least three other email providers before them, and they were all very complicated and unfriendly to set up.
9) Legal Notices On Your Blog
I recently discovered a website which explains everything you need to do.
It’s called – WP and Legal Stuff.com and IT’S FANTASTIC!
The copyright is easy, just put the “Copyright © 2018” symbol by your blog’s name at the footer. (that’s not legal advice.) Additionally, You can also write-up an official copyright notice in your TOS or on a separate page.
10) Picture and Image Editing
Learning some basic Image and Photo editing skills can be a big time saver. Especially if you need to crop and resize a stock image, photo or a logo.
Every blog post requires at least one photo or some graphics to make it interesting!
If you’re using a Windows-based computer, you have to check out Paint.Net as well.
Optional: Learn About HTML & CSS
I saved this step for last with a good reason; it’s totally optional but highly encouraged!
If you can learn HTML and CSS coding, it will make your life editing text on a blog or web page much, much easier. It’s a huge advantage for relieving formatting frustrations too!
I recommend the following free HTML course at Code Academy.
There are always more questions that come up about blogging. I can’t remember how many of them I Googled when I got started. Check out my article on Blogging Questions Answered.
What are you going to start your blog about? Comment below and let me and the other readers know.