Hey! So you started a blog or maybe you’re thinking about starting a blog and are wondering what should your next steps be? Maybe you’re wondering what you should do before launching a blog?
Well truth be told there is a lot! But this is a post about 12 things that I should have done before launching a blog.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, launching your blog is where you’ve finished all the fine tuning on what your blog. You’ve gotten posts written, you’re ready to build an email list, and get readers to your site!
I wish I could go back in time and listen to myself! (Is that too much? LOL) But as I write this and look back on what I could have done differently, I hope that you can learn from my mistakes!
If you haven’t started a blog check out my post here where I walk you through all the basics!
First, let’s get a few things in order
1. Understand what you are wanting from your blog.
Not everyone needs to start a blog simply because they want to make some cash off of it (That is definitely not a bad thing though!)
For me, it did begin as a plow to escape a job that I hated and create a life that I loved! This however blinded me to what I really should have been writing about.
At first, I simple threw some posts together, which were OBVISIOUSLY sloppy and were only about the green (Meaning money if that wasn’t clear….). It didn’t reflect who I am or offer any benefits for my readers.
So my question for you:
Why are you wanting to start a blog?
Is it for you? Or is it to provide inspiration, information, or just a laugh for your readers? Or is it to make money? (If it’s the last one, just remember that it has to be about your reader first! No one will show up if they don’t get something out the post.)
2. Be true to yourself.
I scoured through tons of blogs that I viewed as successful and tried to copy them as best I could.
Now while I believe that copying someone is the highest form of flattery! Part of what makes these other bloggers great is that they choose what works for them and they remain true to who they are!
Personally, I can’t function in black and white, neon colors give me a headache, and just because that font looks great on that bloggers site does not mean that it’s going to mesh well with my style.
Let me tell you something, people are so much more apt to pay attention to someone who is authentic and themselves than someone is simply trying to play a part. I had to choose a style that worked for me and would get me noticed and YOU HAVE TO DO THE SAME.
3. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
This is HUGE!!
No matter if you want to make a living blogging or just for fun, don’t look at someone who has been blogging for 10 years, 5 years, or even 2 years and think that you must be doing something horribly wrong since your current success doesn’t match theirs.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this before! I’m sure you have to and yet we still can’t seem to make ourselves stop! My two current tips to help break you (and myself) out of this bad habit are:
- Focus on your project!! Restrict yourself from going from blog to blog to a minimum! And even then only to comment something genuine onto their blog post.
- Keep physical reminders around to tell you that no matter where you are now, those great big successful blogs were in your position too!
Now that we’ve kind of gotten that out of the way, here’s what I wish I ‘d done before launching my blog. This is the stuff that I would have done after completing the basic things such as domain, hosting, and such.
Before launching a blog or really before you do anything! Take the tour and learn about the goodies! There are seriously so many tutorials on WordPress that teach you a bunch of techy aspects of running your blog.
Doing this would have saved me more than one headache about my blog.
Choosing the right theme
Remember when we talked about sticking to you!
When choosing a theme make sure that it’s appealing not only to your readers but also to you as well since you have to look at it way more often than your reader!
A couple key things to keep in mind though is that it’s easy to navigate and conveys your overall message clearly!
You don’t have to pay for a theme in the beginning if you don’t want to but I would recommend that you do, only because you’re much more limited to the design of your blog.
Do some shopping around! There are some great themes out there that don’t cost you an arm and a leg!
Do some research on what to call your categories
I tried to be very clever with my categories when I first started my blog and let me tell you, IT WAS SO CONFUSING!!
I kept loosing sight of what my readers were going to be looking for when they came to my site and instead of showing them exactly where to go.
With those weird category names, they got disinterested and left my site rather quickly!
Think of something that will tell you reader exactly where they can find what they need. Plus, your categories are part of your SEO and can be used as a keyword to help you rank higher in search engines.Before your launch your blog, check out these 12 things that you should do 🙂 Click To Tweet
Have a well edited profile pic up
A pic worth a thousand words right?? Make sure that your pic represents you, is bright, and inviting.
A selfie pulled off your phone doesn’t always cut it which what I was using before I launching a blog and well afterwards.
I once had someone tell me that they didn’t like my site because I didn’t say who I was. Sure I had some facts up about my blog but I didn’t introduce myself!
I didn’t give my name, how happy I was that they had visited, and didn’t explain my overall mission in that first little box that you can set up to tell people a little snippet of who you are.
I was really taken aback that she was that concerned with who the writer was! Don’t make that mistake!
Having at least 10 quality posts.
Like I said before, I only threw up a few posts that were half my effort put into them.
Now I wish that I had had at least 10 posts up with at least 1500 words if not 2,000!
Readers crave details!
Even when you think that no one will read a long post, think about these things:
A) It’s really not as long as you think
B) The more details that the post has the longer your reader will stay
C) A more longer and more detailed post will rank higher onto Google.
There ya go! Three key reasons to make sure that you have quality over quantity.
Create a freebie
This is something so huge!
I’m sure that you’ve snagged a few freebies from others before but here’s quick over view if you’re not sure.
A freebie is something that you design to give to your readers usually in exchange for them to sign up for your email list, it’s something that gives value to your readers. It can be anything from a checklist, ebook, video, services, a guide, or just about anything.
There are two reasons for creating these and they are to create a trusting relationship with your reader that you know have something to offer them in exchange for them to keep reading.
It’s also one of the easiest ways to build your email list!
Just remember to create something will add value to your readers!
Join more Pinterest group boards
When I started my blog I belonged to about 20 group boards. After doing more research, turns out the suggested number of group boards is 60…
That is a big difference!
Think about it if you can pin to one board 3 times a day times that by 60 and you have 180 different opportunities for your blog to get noticed!
Compare that with only 60 times and you’ll notice a huge difference!
One little tip!
When you’re applying to your group boards, make sure to be niche/topic specific!
Sometimes, when you have group boards that just for the promotion of your last blog post (Nothing wrong with that! Just sayin)
You could get lost in the jumble but when you post to a topic or niche specific board you’ll find that not only are you catering to your audience but they’ll be searching for your topic!
Sure you’ll be along side others who are writing about the same stuff but how many posts do you read about the same stuff but written by different people?
I was silly enough to think that if I wrote it and pinned it a few times then they would come!
Boy was I wrong!
One you think that you’ve the “good enough” mark, do some more!
And don’t quit there! I was afraid to tell anyone about what I was doing and that was mistake number one! I could have had word of mouth going for a couple months but I was so scared!
Then there was the whole Pinterest group board things, and finally social media (Not my thing!! I have so much anxiety about it!) but I was posting like once a day and like NNNNOOOO engagement!
I was ridiculous!
I’m still working on figuring out my social media game and that includes a lot of trial and error and research upon research!
So my advice to you is that you do the same! Do you research and just try!
Remember that the only way that you fail is if you stop trying.
To wrap things up
These are of course probably a few more things that I would add when it comes down to what I should have done before launching my blog but these are what I feel most strongly about.
It can be really tricky trying to figure out what to do that will help makre sure that you’re blog is 100% successful and I hope that this post has helped!
If you haven’t started a blog yet check out my walk through here! You can grab a copy of 371 blog post ideas to get you started!
All the best,