Is your blog ready to to be seen by eager readers? We’re going to take a look 10 items on the to-do list before you can hit “publish” on your first blog post and launch to the world!
By the way, this post may contain some affiliate links. I only recommend products or services I use and stand behind 100%!
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on deciding to start a new blog! You’ve made an awesome choice and it will definitely bring you some major success.
If you’re still on the fence about starting a blog or need a little extra info, check out my guide here.
But, the big question is:
how do you know when your blog is ready to launch?
Does it look ok? Will anyone read your first blog post? Are you missing anything?
Here are some rules to follow before your hit “publish” on your first blog post and launch your new blog to the world!
1. Do You Have Enough Posts?
When you launch your blog, it can seem hard enough writing that first blog post; but what about 50 blog posts?
The whole idea behind blogging is to build up a readership. To do this, people need to see enough content from you to know if a) you’re helpful and b) they actually like you!
You don’t need to launch with 50 blog posts already on your website, but you DEFINITELY need to have at least 20-30 posts written and ready to be published during that first week or month.
It’s better to post that content consistently throughout the month (3-5 times per week) rather than launching with all those posts at once, only to find you’re stuck coming up with ideas a few weeks later.
2. Plan Your Content
It’s no secret that blogging is a long-term game. Like, YEARS kinda long-term.
The last thing you want to do is run out of ideas for content OR push so hard in the beginning that you burn yourself out.
It’s SOOOOO important that before you publish your first blog post, you have a plan for the rest of your blog content months in advance!
When you’re just starting out with a new blog, you need to focus on really high quality, detailed, long-form content.
This will be your “foundational” content that will help your readers (and Google) fall in love with you.
There are tons of software options to help you out like Trello or Airtable, but you can also just create your own Word document, spreadsheet, or journal to map out your content for the next few months!
I also love Meera Kothand’s blog content strategy.
3. What are Your Goals?
Ok, I know goal setting has become “trendy”, but if you’re going to build your blog into a profitable business, you have to get SUPER clear on your goals.
You need to set all sorts of goals for your blog:
how many readers do you want? How many people do you want on your subscriber list? Do you want to create a product? How much money do you want to be making? What are your timelines?
These are questions you’ll need to ask, (and you need to give yourself some honest answers!).
Having clear, achievable goals will help you push through the rough times of being a blogger!
4. Start Search Engine Optimization ASAP!
I’ll let you in on a secret…
One of my BIGGEST blogging mistakes when I started out was not thinking about search engine optimization.
I’ve written hundreds of blog posts and I’m ashamed to say that lots of those posts were written without any focus on SEO!
Last year, I had to go back through every single post and optimize them properly.
The best thing you can do is start thinking about keywords right off the bat.
Use free tools like Google Keyword Planner or Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest to help you find high-volume, low-competition keywords that can get you ranking on Google.
Once you have some keywords and phrases, make sure to optimize every post so Google can find you!
5. Set Up Your Social Media Sites
Setting up social media is definitely something you want to do before launching your first blog post!
Your social media is an extension of your brand and a way your new audience can feel connected to you. It’s a super important part of building some loyal fans!
What social media is the MOST important?
In my opinion, the number one social media site for bloggers in any niche is Pinterest! If used correctly, Pinterest will skyrocket your traffic.
The second social media site I recommend is Facebook. Although I’m only starting Facebook now for this blog, I’ve used it in the past for my other blogs and had huge success!
If you’re feeling brave, my third recommendation is Instagram. It can be an amazing source of traffic for you.
I know because I grew my Instagram from 0 – 1000 in 4 weeks! Check out how I did it.
6. Design Graphics For ALL Social Media
Having eye-catching, beautiful graphics can really set your new blog apart from the rest!
But, you can’t design just one and call it a day!
For every blog post, you need different sized graphics for your blog and all your social media platforms.
I design all my graphics in Canva and when you upgrade to Canva for work, there is a “magic resize” tool. I can design my blog graphic for Pinterest and Canva will automatically resize it so I can share on Instagram, Facebook, or even YouTube!
7. Promote a Freebie/Email Opt-in Incentive
Another thing you should start doing right from the get-go is offering a freebie in exchange for email signups.
Growing your email list is EVERYTHING (especially if you want to sell your own products down the line).
You can design a super professional looking freebie using Canva: check out my tutorial here.
What kind of freebie can you offer? Lots! Here are some examples:
- a cheatsheet
- a mini course
- bonus content
- an eBook
- a checklist
- access to a resource library
Once you have your freebie, you’ll need a way to capture those email addresses.
If you’re just starting out, software like Mailchimp and Mailerlite are great because they’re free for smaller groups of subscribers.
As my blog grew, I switched to Convertkit and I’m absolutely loving it!!
8. Can People Comment?
Using the comment section of your blog strategically is a really undervalued way to build relationships and grow your blog audience!
(By “strategically” I mean actually caring what people have to say about your content!).
I LOVE getting comments on my posts and I always click back to people’s blogs to see what type of people are reading my content and where they are in their journey.
Setting up your comment section is crucial, and I always recommend a plugin called CommentLuv because it allows people to link back to their website or latest blog post for a little extra love and promotion.
9. Can People Connect With You?
This is MEGA-important! Before launching your new blog, make sure that all you social media sites are set up and visible on your website!
It’s totally ok if you’re only on a few sites, but just make sure your readers have a place to follow you and connect with you if they love your content.
The best places to display your social media icons are:
- on the homepage
- along the sidebar
- at the bottom of every post or at the beginning of the footer
10. Done is Better Than Perfect!
Seriously, perfectionism is the fastest way to KILL your blog or online business! Building a blog takes a ton of time and it’s a HUGE learning curve. If you’re waiting to publish your first blog post until your website is perfect, you’re missing out on the opportunity to learn!
When you’re new to blogging, you need to be publishing content regularly (at least once a week but ideally 2-3 times a week). There’s no time to worry about perfecting your header or crafting the “perfect” headline!
You need to get your content out there ASAP and start to learn what works and what doesn’t.
If you find yourself stalling because you want your blog to be “perfect”, you need to launch your new blog NOW (like, TODAY!).
I hope you guys find these tips helpful!
Are you having any struggles launching your new blog? Let me know in the comments below 🙂