Starting and launching a new blog is the hardest part of blogging. Once you’ve created a few posts and set everything up, it gets much easier! I wanted to break down the most important steps to take in the first month of starting your blog. The step by step guide will help you know exactly what to do every day to launch your blog in under a month!
Okay, let’s get to it then!
Step 1 | Deciding if Blogging is for You
While blogging is great, it simply is not for everyone. Do you like being online? Do you like networking with others and creating content? Do you have self-discipline? Are you good with time management? Are you a self learner? Blogging has a huge amount of pros, but there are a few drawbacks too.
Blogging Pros: Flexibility, You Can Blog From Anywhere, Unlimited Potential for Income, Inexpensive to start, be your own boss, Creative Outlet, Allows you to share your knowledge and help others.
Blogging Cons: DIY, Self Learning, Hard Work, Time Consuming.
Step 2 | Find your passions + Niche
What can you not stop talking about? What can you write about for years? What do you want to learn more about and become an expert in?
Download my Blogging 101 Workbook to help you figure out what to blog about:
Step 3: Name your blog
Decide on a blog name. Choose an easy to spell, generic blog name and start your blog. The more you write, the more you will find your voice and your groove.
Step 4 | Get your blog set up
It is important to go with a self-hosted blog through Siteground + WordPress.org. Do not go through wordpress.com, which is the free platform but NOT self-hosted.
When you self-host your blog, you have complete control over all of your content and you OWN your website. This means you are also able to monetize it!
When you self-host with WordPress.org and SiteGround, you have control of any advertisements you put on your site as well. If you go through a free platform, they are able to put random ad’s on your website that may have nothing to do with your niche & look ugly and out-of-place. They also do not provide YOU any benefit.
Also on the free wordpress.com platform you can’t customize your site, you can’t add plugins to supercharge your blog and your site can be taken down at any time if you violate the Terms of Service.
If you are serious about blogging, you need to go with a Self Hosted Blog!
Step 5 | Customize Your Blog & Make it Your Own
Okay, a lot of bloggers, myself included, get caught up in this step. I know when I first started, I was CONSTANTLY changing this and tweaking that. I changed my theme 50 times, and my logo even more.
Here is the deal, as long as your site is clean & easy to navigate, then move on to the next step. Don’t over think it and let it stop you from launching for months & months. You can always change things AFTER you are up and running!
Step 6 | Introduce Yourself
Somewhere on your home page, have a professional looking photo of yourself. You want people to relate to you instantly when they arrive on your blog, and seeing your face can really help with that.
Step 7 | Google Analytics
Connect google analytics to your blog. This is a must as it helps track your site traffic and is important for tracking page views, traffic sources, etc.
Step 8 | Download Plug-in’s
There are SO many plug-in’s to pick from. Some are extremely helpful and some are just for fun. Don’t go overboard! Download a few that will super charge your site and make it more effective. I recommend Yoast SEO, the Pinterest pinit button, Prettylink, and Sumo Me.
Step 9 | Create Your Blog Email
You can do this through Siteground, OR You can just create a new email account via gmail or another email service. You will need an email address though, and it is important that it is one that relates to your blog. (for example mine is firstname.lastname@example.org). You want to come off as professional.
Step 10 | Set up Your Social Media Accounts
Now, in my experience you want to use new social media accounts specifically for your blog. You don’t want a bunch of random boards on your Blog’s Pinterest account, that you have been pinning random things to for the past 10 year. You want your Pinterest to be Blog specific!
My recommendation is choosing two social media platforms to focus on in the beginning. Conquer those before moving on to anymore. I use Pinterest and Instagram mainly. Out of all the platforms though, definitely include Pinterest as one of your two.
Step 11 | Create Your About Me Page
Like I mentioned before, your reader wants to relate to you. Creating a great about me page will help with that! Include your story, why you started a blog, a little bit of fun facts, how they can contact you, and also include your social media follow links!
Step 12 | Create Your Disclosure Page
If you’re going to use affiliate links on your blog, you need to have a disclosure page and you need to disclose all affiliate links in your blog post. Here is my disclosure page.
Step 13 | Decide on a Few Great Topics to Blog About
So some research on similar blogs in your niche and see what posts and topics are popular. You can use Pinterest or Google to do this. By doing a little bit of research, you can decide what your first few posts will be about, and ensure they are hot topics that people will be interested in!
Step 14 | Write Your First Posts
Your first few blog posts should be in-depth (1500 + words) and not “fluff”. You want these posts to address main problems that the readers in your niche may deal with. These first few posts lay the foundation for your blog!
Take your time with these posts and try to share valuable advice. You want people to visit your site and be so impressed that they click around or want to come back for more.
While all other steps can be done within a day, this step should take you about a week or more. You want to write 5-6 GREAT posts before you launch!
Step 15 | Interlink Your Blog Posts for Better SEO
Now that you have a few blog posts written, find ways to interlink them. It can be as simple as putting a “you may also like: LINK YOUR BLOG POST“. Interlinking not only keeps people on your blog by giving them other blog posts to click and read, but also helps your SEO!
Step 16 | Create Blog Graphics that are Pinnable
You want to create long vertical graphics for people to be able to “pin” to pinterest (and also so you can pin it to your own pinterest!). I use a great website to great my graphics called Canva. It actually has a “Pinterest Graphic” option to ensure you are getting the nice vertical size for better pinning rates! It is also free, but you can upgrade to unlock more features if you want to.
I also use Pixabay & Unsplash for free stock images that I use in my Pinterest Graphics! Using stock photo’s make your graphics much more professional looking, which results in a better pin rate.
Step 17 | Brainstorm a Freebie you can offer your readers
A freebie is something you can create to offer to your readers in exchange for them signing up to your email list. Your Freebie should be a solution to a common problem that your readers deal with. It may take some time to figure out what works for your readers, and you will probably have to create a few different ones before hitting the jackpot. Don’t be afraid to test out different ideas. Some common freebies include checklists, work sheets, printables, mini courses, etc.
Step 18 | Create Your Freebie
As I mentioned above, Canva is a great option to create graphics, checklists, printables, etc. You can download your creation as a PDF so it is easily shared with your readers.
Step 19 | Pick an Email Marketing Platform
I personally use Convertkit as my email marketing provider. If you invest in one tool for your blog, this is it. Your email list is SO important, and a large majority of your income will come from an engaged email list. Convertkit has helped me grow and manage my email list. Their automations and sequence features were a game changer for my list growth.
Step 20 | Grow Your Email List
Setup your freebie and add it to your top posts. You can add your freebie sign up form anywhere in your posts. You can even feature it on your home page or in your side bar to get more subscribers.
Step 21 | Launch Your Blog!!! ****
Today is the day! Don’t be nervous! Today, utilize your social media to launch your blog. If you have been using Instagram or Facebook, make a post that is eye-catching and write a caption about it being launch day and what your blog is all about. Include a link so people can visit and check it out. (If using Instagram, your link will need to go in your bio, so in the caption of your photo or in your Insta story, just include “link in bio” so people know they can click that to see your new blog!)
You can also pin all of your Pinnable posts to your Pinterest! I recommend creating a board JUST for your blog’s posts and pinning all your Pinnable graphics to that board.
Step 21 | Drive Your Traffic
Time to self promote! a great way to do this is to apply to relevant group boards on Pinterest. That way you can pin posts for a larger audience to see. Take the time to apply to bigger group boards that are in your niche – this will help your traffic grow majorly!
Another great tool is Board Booster. You can set it up so that it loops your pins. This is effective because the more you pin on Pinterest, the more likely your pins are to appear in front of your followers. You can also schedule pins to be pinned on group boards so that you don’t have to spend time every day strategically pinning. The best part about Board Booster is you can sign up for a FREE TRIAL to see if you like it by using this link. If you DO like it, once your trial ends it is only $5 a month!!! Board Booster has helped me grow my traffic wayyyyy faster than I could have myself.
Step 22 | Consistently Analyze and Track Your Progress
This is something I just started doing, but wish I had done it from the start!
1 month after you launch, evaluate your progress. From that, create an improvement plan for month 2
At the end of every month, sit down and really reflect on all the things you learned.
- What went well?
- What was a waste of time?
- What do you want to do next month?
If you consistently have a plan, you will succeed!!!
Want the 22 Steps compiled into an easy to use checklist? GRAB IT HERE!