There’s more to launching and setting up 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 social media and other online communities such as Reddit. (we’ll cover more on this later!)
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? It gives you more control over your content and a lesser chance of being censored on a platform.
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.
Everyone on social media is competing for social attention. The more time you spend providing value to your audience, the better it will work for you. Using hashtags, high-quality photos, and good quality comments all provide value to your followers. This will help grow your audience!
(Over time, you’ll prioritize your social media platforms by where you get the most engagement with your followers and which ones send the most referral traffic to your blog.)
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 also going to tap into YouTube more as I build out my podcast: The ScottyB Show.
Starting out, I recommend starting with just one or two Social Media platforms and see how it goes.
7) Submit Your Blog’s URL To The Search Engines & Setup Google Analytics
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.
You’ll also want to start tracking the activity and web traffic on your blog, I highly recommend using Google Analytics; Don’t worry, it’s a free web application just like Gmail.
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.
Also, check out my post on Writing and Creating A Blog Post
What are you going to start your blog about? Comment below.