Congratulations! You probably have decided or considered starting your own blog. It’s scary and exciting at the same time, but anything worth doing in life should be, right?
Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge to other people, to inspire them and to have a creative outlet. As a mom, it has been so rewarding to be able to use my blog to connect with likeminded women, share my talents and make friends. Starting a blog has been one of my favorite things ever!
Blogging is also a great way to earn and to be an entrepreneur with little investment upfront. You can work from your own home and be able to work at your own pace. Perfect for mamas like us!
For your blog to become successful, it will take a lot of time and dedication. It is not an overnight success sort of thing, but don’t worry!
Here are ten things you need to do before you launch your blog.
1. Decide what you want to blog about
What are you passionate about? What are you interested in? What can you talk about hours on end? These are questions you should ask yourself before deciding on a niche for your blog.
It doesn’t have to be something popular like food or fashion. You shouldn't copy a successful blogger you admire. You should blog about a topic that means something to you, no matter how different your idea may be.
2. Study your market
In any business, you should know who your market is and understand what they want. Yes, some may argue that a blog is something that you start first and foremost for yourself and that statement may be right, but why stop there?
If you want you can earn a steady income from blogging and profit from your passion. There’s nothing better than doing something you love while earning from it at the same time.
Learn what your target market wants and what they need.
Ask yourself if there is something you can offer them that others haven’t?
How can you reach out to these people and how can you get their attention?
3. Create a business strategy
You need a plan to get your blog off the ground. You can’t just launch your blog and hope that it will gain some momentum. You need a strategy!
Make a list of what you need to do before launching and in the first few months before launching. Then after launching your blog, continue making these plans as you execute your first set of plans. In blogging, you always need to look forward and to always learn new ways to grow your business.
4. Create your branding and theme
Once you’ve got all the planning down, it’s time for the fun part and deciding the look of your brand. Choose a name that best describes your blog. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be straight to the point or you can even use your own name. Then check to see if the domain name is available.
Decide what colors, styles, themes and the overall feeling of your blog. You have to be consistent with this so that your blog will look whole and professional. Stick to it
5. Build your website
You don’t have to hire someone to build your website. You can teach yourself to use a website host. I’ve personally had or have worked on blogs on Blogger, WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Wix, Shopify and SquareSpace. For the most part, they are all user-friendly and there are tons of resources online that will help you customize your site!
I personally recommend doing a blog on WordPress.org. It gives you more customization and is very inexpensive to start. I have a full tutorial on how you can set up your blog on WordPress.org over here.
6. Optimize your social media
As a blogger, social media is a must! Have a plan and idea of what you want to post on these platforms. If your blog relies a lot on images then it would be good to focus on Instagram and Pinterest for example. Find out which kind of social media platform is popular in your country. These could be Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube. Learn how to properly use each platform for your business.
In the beginning, I recommend doing two things.
- Saving the names on each social channel that corresponds with your blog. So for example, my blog is Moms Make Cents so I saved the twitter handle @momsmakecents.
- Choose which TWO platforms you want to focus on. If you try to be present on all of the platforms when you are starting out, you will get overwhelmed fast! For all bloggers, I recommend using Pinterest and then depending on your niche choose between Facebook or Instagram.
7. Collaborate and connect
Even before launching your blog, start making connections with other bloggers in your niche. Follow them on social media, reply to one of their emails or leave a thoughtful comment on your blog. This is a great way to build friendships and connect. Warming up your contacts first will increase their receptiveness of requests for participation in roundups, sharing your content and collaborating in the future.
Not all bloggers will want to connect and that is 100% okay! We all have a ton going on. Just remember to be genuine. Overall, the blogging community is very friendly and is built on the mentality of collaboration over competition.
8. Create hype and do promotions
You know your target market, so start creating hype and get their attention. Build your presence on social media so you will have a group of loyal followers before you even launch your blog!
One to two weeks before your launch make your blog reveal feel like a big event. Share sneak peeks of your content, what you are working on behind the scenes. You can also create an opt-in or freebie so you can start building your email list before your launch!
9. Write your posts
Think of your blog as a new boutique launching in your city. If you showed up and they only had one outfit you’d be a little disappointed right? Same with your blog.
When a reader comes to your blog they need more than one post to look at.
I recommend having five posts up on your blog before you launch. This will encourage the reader to stick around longer. Also, make sure that you have written an about me page and have a place where readers can contact you.
10. Have a friend review your blog
Between all the hard work and busy schedules before your launch, it’s a good idea to take a break and talk to a friend or relative about your progress. Have them take a look at your blog with a pair of fresh eyes. They may spot a typo or a broken link that you might now have caught!
Don’t be afraid to share those first posts! It can be nerve-wracking but the best way to learn is to do!
Now that you are ready, head over to this post where I show you how to set up your blog in 10 minutes or less!