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I remember when I finally decided to start my blog, I was so excited and happy. But I really didn’t know what actually went into running a blog. I was writing and publishing posts, but that was about it. I ended up really wishing that I had done some research before I published so many posts, not knowing what I was doing.
If you’re wanting to blog seriously – as more than just a hobby – then it’s going to take work. You have to come up with branding, write a lot of different content, make graphics, figure out if you want to monetize and how you’re going to do it, come up with a social media plan, and much more. A blog launch isn’t usually something you should be able to do in a day, like I did. It can actually take some time if you’re planning it out well. But things can get confusing and stressful.
If you’re planning to launch a new blog, maybe you’re in the same boat. You probably have an idea of what you want your blog to be, but maybe you don’t know the exact steps to take to have a successful launch. And that’s what I want to talk about today.
Here’s a list of 9 things you should do before you launch a new blog. Don’t forget to download the checklist at the end of the post, too!
1- Set goals or create a business plan.
Goals are helpful for pretty much anything you’re doing in life, including starting a blog. This will help you have a clear direction and know exactly what you’re working toward. What are you trying to accomplish with your blog? Where do you want to be in six months or one year? Is your goal to use your blog as a side hustle? Do you want to make enough money to quit your current job? Maybe your goal isn’t about income at all – maybe you want to help a specific group of people. Maybe it’s about helping people and making money. Or maybe it’s something else altogether.
Whatever your goal or goals are, write them down somewhere and come up with a plan that will help you reach them. Better yet, you could create a whole blog business plan. This would include info on pretty much everything you need to know about your blog including your goals, branding, target audience, and more. You can find an awesome blog business plan template from Melyssa Griffin right here.
2- Write all of the content you’ll need.
You’re going to need a lot of content for your blog and it’s best to have it ready to go as soon as possible. You’re not only going to need blog posts, but also website content and maybe even social media posts. Here’s a list of what you might need written and ready to go for your blog:
- At least 3-5 blog posts
- An “About” page or “Start Here” page
- A contact page
- A “Work With Me” page
3- Create an editorial calendar.
This is something I wish I had done before I launched my blog. When I first started my blog, I was publishing posts very infrequently. Like once every few weeks. That does nothing to help your blog grow. It helps to publish posts more frequently and on a somewhat regular schedule, especially when you’re first starting out. An editorial calendar can really help you when it comes to staying organized and making sure that you have ideas ready to write about.
I would create an editorial calendar for at least the next month’s worth of content. I wrote an entire post about how I plan out my blog posts, along with a free printable editorial calendar. You can find that right here!
4- Create your branding.
When I first started my blog, my branding was horrible. Creating a “look” for your blog helps people get a better feel for who you are, and it makes everything look prettier. Make sure that your blog theme, color palette, logo, social media graphics, and overall feel of your blog goes well together. A mood board can help with this.
Here’s a super helpful post about how to create a consistent brand experience (with a free checklist) from Spruce Rd.
5- Set up your social media.
Social media is so important when it comes to blogging. It’s by far the best way to reach your potential audience, promote your posts, network, and more. You don’t have to be on every social media site, but it’s a good idea to choose at least three and start using them right away. But no matter what, I 1000% recommend at least being on Pinterest because that’s what’s helped me build my blog the quickest.
You might like: The Ultimate Pinterest Guide for Bloggers
It would be helpful to start building your social media before you even launch your blog. Then you can start to build up hype and when you launch, you already have an audience waiting for you. I also want to say that I would recommend focusing on just one platform at a time and trying to learn the most you can about each of them. But don’t spread yourself too thin and try to dominate all of them.
6- Decide if and how you’ll monetize.
Some people don’t even care to make money from their blog, so this step might not apply to you. But if you want to monetize your blog, it’s moste helpful to start getting into it from the beginning. There are countless ways to monetize, so this is something you’ll probably need to think about and learn more about before you get going.
If you do decide to monetize your blog, you can read this post about 7 different ways that you can do it and how to get started.
7- Have someone review your blog.
After all the hard work that you put into getting your blog ready for the launch, it’s a good idea to have someone else review it. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can notice things that we don’t. They can give you their opinion on your branding, your writing voice, and anything else that comes to mind.
This can be as simple as having a family member or friend review your blog. Or you can find someone on Fiverr that will do it for just $5 if you’d like someone with more experience. You could even ask a few bigger bloggers what they think.
8- Set up Google analytics.
Google Analytics is one of the most helpful things to me as a blogger. It will give you so much information about your blog. That’s where you’ll learn how many page views you’re getting, where your traffic is coming from, what posts people are reading, your reader demographics, and so much more. Plus, it’s free. So it’s a good idea to have it set up before you even launch your blog!
Here’s a helpful post from Beautiful Dawn Designs about how to set up Google Analytics for your blog.
9- Start an email list.
This is something I really really wish I had done sooner with my blog. It’s so helpful to build an email list as soon as possible, and I recommend creating yours before you even launch. Your email list will be filled with your people, the people who actually look forward to seeing what you’re working on.
If you want to read an in-depth post about how to start and grow an email list for your blog, check out this post here. It talks about everything from why an email list is important, how to set one up, how to get people to sign up, what to send in your emails, and more!
Are you ready to start a blog?
Check out these other posts to help you start and launch your blog the right way!
- How to Start a Successful Blog with WordPress
- How to Start and Grow an Email List for Your Blog
- 5 Things I Wish I Had Done Sooner After Starting My Blog
- 7 Ways to Make Money with Your Blog
- 11 Monthly Tasks to Keep Your Blog Running Smoothly (Free Printable)
- The 6 Best Blog Investments I’ve Made
Grab the free printable checklist!
You can get the free printable blog launch checklist by signing up for my weekly newsletter below. Just enter your name and email and it will be sent to you right away! 🙂
Is there anything else you plan to do (or wish you had done) before you launch a new blog?