Since you’ve landed on this blog post I’m going to assume that you’re considering launching a brand new blog or you just started a blog and need a few tips on what to do before you go live. First off, great decision on starting a blog. Blogging is my favourite way to make money and it’s a ton of fun for me and I’m happy to have you be part of the community. Second, I really hope this blog post helps you in your blogging journey!
When I started this blog I learned everything very very slowly. I found myself missing steps and missing major things that could skyrocket my growth and I don’t want that fate for you! Make sure you get all of these 9 ducks in a row before you launch for maximum success!
9 Things You Must Do Before You Launch a New Blog
Choose a Great Host
If you’ve never had your own website before, you probably don’t even understand what a website host is but it is one of the most important things you need to start your blog. A lot of people start a blog on a website like Blogger or WordPress.com and this is not the way you want to go if you’re looking to get a profit from your blog. Free websites that host your blog for you actually own all of the content you post and they could completely delete your website at any time. That’s scary stuff, right? It’s also incredibly hard for you to monetize a free website because it doesn’t have as many capabilities as a self-hosted WordPress website.
So, how do you get a self-hosted website that you own and can monetize however you want? You must pay for hosting. So, what the heck is blog hosting? Hosting is essentially just the power behind your website. Your blog host is like a host at a good dinner party, they make sure everything runs nice and smooth and your blog is up and running at all times.
My recommendation for blog hosting for a brand new blogger will always be Bluehost, why? Because Bluehost works amazingly with WordPress which is the best way to run and a blog, and bluehost is less than $4 a month when you go through my link. One awesome thing about blogging with Bluehost is their awesome customer service, they have answered every stupid question I’ve asked in the last year and they do it quickly and without making me feel silly. Start your new blog for less than $4 a month with bluehost today!
Pick a Great Theme
A good theme for your new blog is what your readers are going to see, it’s all about design and if you have a bad design people will click off your website faster than you can say hello! When you’re a new blogger you don’t want to pay for someone to design your website and most of the time even getting a premium WordPress theme is hard because money is tight. I’ve compiled a short list of some of my favourite options for free WordPress themes that are beautiful and run well that I’ve used myself.
Decide on a Niche
The niche of your blog is what you’re going to be talking about, for example, the website Making Sense of Cents is in the Personal Finance niche and the website Create and Go is in the blogging niche. Deciding on a niche is important because having a no-niche blog is hard. Trust me, I know. It’s a lot easier to gather a devoted audience if they care a lot about the topic you write about. If you’re writing a blog that has a lot of articles about parenting but then you throw in an article about cars, your devoted readers are going to be a bit turned off by it.
So, how do you choose a niche? There are two real factors that go into picking your blog niche, the first would be passion and the second would be profitability.
Let’s dig into #2 first. If you’re starting a blog to create a business you may not want to go into a very random niche that won’t have a large audience because it’s going to be a lot harder to make money. That’s not me saying that you won’t make money in a super specific subject but it will be harder. Some of the most profitable blog niches include: finance, health & fitness, blogging, and parenting.
Now let’s talk a bit about passion. It’s really important that when you decide on a niche it’s something that you actually enjoy writing about. Could you imagine writing at least one post a week on a topic that you chose only because you know it could make money? That sounds awful. Chances are you’ll run out of topics in a few weeks and your blog will fall into the dark abyss of the internet to never be seen again.
Activate Your Social Media
Social Media is the best way to get your blog out there for almost no money! A really good thing to do before your blog is launched is to secure your @ names on all the important social media channels (i.e., Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc). Unfortunately, there are people who will register accounts with @ names that correspond with popular websites that don’t yet have a social media presence. They do this because sometimes they can convince the owner of the website to actually pay them for the @ handle. Crazy stuff, right? It’s a little ridiculous but it happens. Try to get your social media accounts up and running before you launch the new website.
Get Pinterest Ready
Pinterest is going to be your best friend for blog traffic. The best thing you can do is to set up Pinterest correctly from the start. I get most of my blog traffic directly from Pinterest and it only takes me a few extra hours a week to get Pinterest going. It’s pretty amazing. When I first started out, I bought an ebook written by Carly from mommyonpurpose.com and it changed my Pinterest strategy completely. Pinteresting Strategies teaches you how to get your profile ready and how to start manual pinning to get tons of blog traffic, I highly suggest you check it out.
Create an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is one of the greatest things you can have for you to stay organized and consistent with your writing. Before I created my first editorial calendar I was writing twice a week but the topics were all over the place and I was always struggling to figure out a topic because I didn’t have a plan. An editorial calendar doesn’t need to be created 6 months in advance, one month at a time will suffice.
My favourite way to do my editorial calendar is to assign each day a different blog category. For example, this website talks about money, career, relationships, wellness, and blogging (and maybe a few other topics) so every Wednesday I write about blogging and take a topic from my list of blogging topics and add it to the Wednesday slot of my calendar. I write about other topics on Mondays and Fridays so I create my calendar in a way where it can alternate between the different categories! It’s very easy and it takes the guesswork out of writing.
Pick Your Email List Provider
Email is the most powerful tool at your disposal and my big mistake is not starting to collect subscriber emails earlier on. It took me 4 months to really understand the importance of an email list and to actually get one going.
Why is email so important? Your email list is the only way you can have your readers subscribe to you that you actually have control over and that you own. If you take your blog readers over to a social platform like Twitter, or Instagram, you never know what’s going to happen to those websites and you could lose everything overnight if their algorithm’s change or their websites close entirely. Email allows you to talk directly to your reader in their inbox weekly so they don’t forget you exist.
There are a ton of different email list providers that you can choose from most of which have a free trial depending on how many subscribers you have. My recommendation for a good email list provider for beginners is Mailerlite which I’m still using now. Mailerlite allows you to have free service for your first 1,000 subscribers and you have unlimited emails to send until that point. Eventually, I’m going to probably be transferring over to Convertkit or Drip for a more powerful email provider but that won’t be for about a year or so when I need my email campaigns to do more things at once. Check out mailerlite for free for your first 1000 subs!
Decide on a Promotional Strategy
A big mistake a lot of newbie bloggers make it assume that they can just write a blog post and then walk away and people will read it. This couldn’t be more wrong. Unless you’re a magician, I guess? Blogging is 20% writing content and 80% promoting that content.
There are a ton of different platforms you can use to promote your blog. My favourite will always be Pinterest. You can get a ton of traffic from Pinterest for FREE and it’s fairly easy to get it. People also use Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook for free promotion for their blogs. You need to have some idea of how you’re going to promote your blog posts before you ever hit publish.
Write (and Schedule) 5-10 Posts
The most important thing on a blog is … well blog posts, right? Duh! Writing posts before you hit that launch button is so important because you don’t want to launch too early. There are a ton of benefits of having more than just one blog post written when you hit live.
The first reason why it’s great to have a couple posts written is that if someone stumbles upon your blog you want to try and keep them on your website for as long as possible. This is good for your “google juice” (known by professionals as SEO or something… who wants to be a professional, I like google juice!) If someone really likes the post they landed on, you want to make sure they have the option to read something else!
The second reason why it’s good to have posts written is that you can schedule them to go out once a week for a month or so. Why is this beneficial? When you first start writing a blog it’s very confusing and very stressful and you’re going to be pulled in 100 different directions in those first few months. Having content that’s already ready to be posted will help ease a ton of stress and keep you on a consistent posting schedule!
Starting a blog doesn’t have to be scary! Just take it day by day, one step at a time. You don’t want to dig in too quickly and end up spinning in circles. If you have any questions about the basics of starting a blog, email me through our contact page and I’ll get back to you asap! Thanks so much for reading 🙂
Hey! My name is Taylor O’Halloran and I’m a huge fan of saving money any way I can.I’m obsessed with dogs and I love all kinds of cheese even though my stomach hates it. I’m a recent university graduate who just wanted to do her own thing and see what happens! Follow me on the journey!