Congratulations on starting your blog- that’s a huge step!
But now that you have your domain and your blog set up, what else do you
Sometimes building and running a blog can seem totally overwhelming! From graphics to content to social media, being a blogger is really a full-time job.
So let’s talking about the main things you need to do in your first month of blogging to set yourself up for success!
1. Invest in Your Website
If you want your blog to become your business, investing in your website is so important.
And this doesn’t mean you have to invest money! Investing your time and effort is equally as important in building a fantastic website!
I realized early on that professional WordPress themes saved me a ton of time (and looked way better than anything I could create!) so I decided to start start purchasing WordPress for all my blogs.
If you decide to go this route, check out some of my favorite WordPress themes for bloggers. The themes generally range from $30-$80 depending on the features you’re looking for.
If you don’t want to spend money on a theme- no problem! In WordPress, you have the ability to browse through literally thousands of themes and choose the one that will work best for your blog!
From your WordPress “dashboard” click on “Appearance” and “Themes“. You can browse through newest themes or most popular to see what other people are loving.
2. Write blog content
This seems pretty obvious. After all, writing content is the purpose of having a blog.
But, how many posts should you have? How long should they be? How often should you be releasing new content?
Some people launch new blogs with no posts, and others have 50 solid posts ready to go before buying a domain. So, which way is better?
The answer is: the more, the better!
I started my blog with only a few posts and worked up from there. I didn’t do a big launch or wait until I had tons of content. In retrospect, I wish I would have done 20-25 posts because it probably would have kept people on my site longer and grown my email list faster.
So, when you start your blog, your first focus should be on getting good quality content written and posted!
Aim to write 25 solid blog posts so when you start marketing your blog, people have some great info to read and a reason to stick around.
Foundational VS. Filler Content
When starting a blog, you need to have some “meaty” content to engage your audience right off the bat and give them some great information they can actually use. These posts will be your “foundational” content and they will be the ones to really define your blog, your brand, and what you’re trying to accomplish. Typically, these posts are in the form of informational, instructional or tutorial articles.
Foundational content is also going to help your rankings on Google, so you want to write as much as you possible can! Try to keep them at least over 2000 words and, ideally, 2500-3000. Google likes long form content and will rank you higher if they see you have a lot of solid information for your readers.
“Filler” content on the other hand, is a little bit faster and easier to write. These posts can be anywhere from 800-2000 words and this can be where you experiment with different styles of posting, veering away from the traditional “informational” post and trying something like an opinion, experience or a list post.
This writing can give you a boost if you’re getting overwhelmed with writing information packed, long form foundation posts and feel like you need a break!
Out of your first 25 posts, at least 15 should be foundational.
Of course the more foundational content you have the better, but having filler posts is a great way to keep people navigating around your site and it will help keep you on a more consistent posting schedule.
How often should I post?
This is a big question among new bloggers, and it’s even debated with seasoned bloggers! So, seriously, how often should you post on your blog?
The truth is, frequency doesn’t matter as much as quality and consistency.
So if you want to post 5 times a week, great! But you have to make sure the quality of the posts doesn’t suffer AND that you’re not going to burn out and stop posting all together. This is super disappointing for your audience and definitely won’t help your Google ranking.
This is why most bloggers will aim to post 2-3 times a week.
Posting 2-3 times each week is generally considered to be consistent enough to keep your audience engaged, but not so often that the quality of your posts will suffer.
Of course if you want to post more or less than 3 times a week, that’s totally fine! Just make sure your posts are well written and researched so people take you seriously and you can gain some traction and credibility.
3. Start Building an Email List
Wait, do I really need an email list?
Every blogger NEEDS an email list.
Your email list is the lifeblood of your blogging business. It’s the only thing YOU own for your business and it will never disappear (like social media followers). The people on your email list have read your content, (presumably) liked your content, and wanted to engage with you – that’s huge! The people on your email list will become your tribe, your confidants, your sales funnel, and ultimately, the reason you succeed building your blog.
I know there are tons of email automation programs out there to help bloggers, but I also know they can cost some serious money.
When you’re starting out and have under 2000 subscribers, MailChimp is totally free! You can design an opt in freebie, email sequence and manage all of your email lists for F-R-E-E! MailChimp (or anything to build up your email list) should be the number one thing you focus on while building your blog!
4. Design a Freebie
Of course no one will want to sign up for your email list without an incentive! Some bloggers are still successful by using the “sign up for a newsletter” opt-in, but I think it’s important to stand out from the competition and offer something extra to your audience!
You can offer “extra” content like a bonus blog post or content upgrade on a blog post. You can also offer a checklist, worksheet, mini course or access to a resource library.
I personally prefer the resource library idea because you can always add and edit things as you go. If you’re not sure how to set that up, I wrote a blog post on it!
5. Set Up Social Media Accounts
Advertising your new blog is something you’ll want to start doing right away! One of the best methods to do this is through social media- but not all social media is created equal! There is one platform in particular you should get a head start on (for me, it brings in 80% of my blog traffic!!!).
So what’s the social media site all new bloggers should focus on?
Pinterest is one of the best social media platforms for bloggers for a few reasons.
First, your content has a long lifespan. Unlike Twitter or Instagram where your content is posted and seen for a few minutes afterwards, content posted on Pinterest can go viral days, weeks or even a few months later! This really helps to increase the longevity of your posts.
Second, Pinterest works very much like ranking for Google. You don’t need to have a huge following on Pinterest because, unlike other social media sites, it’s not about connecting people, but rather connecting people to great content. So you can rank on Pinterest just like Google by optimizing your pins and boards using keywords. Anyone on Pinterest can find your pin whether they follow you or not!
So if you’re unsure about where to focus your social media energy, you definitely won’t go wrong with Pinterest!
Next to Pinterest, I get lots of traffic from Instagram as well. I definitely recommend setting up an Instagram account during your first month of blogging.
Not sure how to grow your Instagram account? Check out tips to get 1000 followers in 4 weeks (without using shady tricks!).
6. Design Beautiful Graphics
The last thing I want to talk about is how to design super professional looking blog graphics. You do NOT have to be an artist to come up with beautiful images for your blog and social media platforms. And, best of all, this can be done for FREE!
I use free stock photos for my images and there are a ton of great websites out there. I listed a bunch in a recent blog post.
One you have your images, the easiest place to do your designs is in Canva. It’s a super simple graphic design site that offers a ton of premium options for free. Check out my Canva tutorial here.
Of course there are other options for your blog designs like PicMonkey and Adobe, so play around with different ones and see what you’re most comfortable with!
If you’re determined to learn and dedicate yourself to blogging, you can be very successful and start a blog people will LOVE to read!
What did you think? Leave me your comments below! 🙂
7. Download Important Plugins
Now that you have your blog set up and you’re writing awesome content, you need to make sure people can share and engage with your blog posts! There are some plugins you should download in your first month of blogging to help boost your new business.
For anyone who’s new to WordPress, a plugin is a piece of software you download that works with WordPress to optimize some feature or program on your website.
Whether you want custom social media buttons, different fonts on every page or you want to start with an awesome landing page, plugins are the way to go!
I wrote a post about some must-have plugins for new bloggers while ago, so check it out to make sure you’re up to date on your blog.
I hope these tips help you grow your a mega successful blog and website! Have any other suggestions? Leave a comment below! 🙂