13 Things to do Before you Launch your Blog
Launching your blog is a big deal and if you do get to that stage, congratulations! However, for some people—maybe you—launching their blog is still a far-off dream.
And it’s understandable because the amount of work to do before getting to the launch phase can be daunting. But don’t be discouraged, you can do it. There are a few things you must do before you launch your blog so you don’t have any problems.
Things to do Before you Launch your Blog
1. Select a Web Host
If you decide to self-host your blog, you’ll have to find a web-host first for your site. Luckily, web hosting doesn’t have to drain your pocket especially if you don’t have a big budget. Several web hosting platforms offer shared hosting options from $3-$10 a month, and web hosting platforms are a dime a dozen. It’s important to keep your eyes peeled for the best options. It is best to choose a host that deals with WordPress websites and offers a one-click WordPress installation. Bluehost ticks those boxes.
2. Choose a Blog Theme
One of the things to do before you launch your blog is to choose a blog theme.
This is the best part of creating your blog. You can choose a theme after you install WordPress on your web host. The theme you select will change your blog’s appearance and layout.
Your theme is important because it represents your brand. There are two categories of themes: premium and free. Premium themes are unique but you have to pay for them. However, some of the free themes are just as nice as some of the premium themes, so if themes are not included in your budget, you can always choose the free ones.
3. Find your Niche
This is crucial for any blogger. Being a jack of all trades blogger is not lucrative or advisable except you’re blogging as a hobby. You need to determine what niche you want to blog about then establish yourself as an expert in that field. That way, potential readers know what they’re getting when they visit our blog, and it encourages them to seek you out when they want to know more about your niche.
Another important thing to do before you launch your blog is to get a unique Branding. Your brand is who you are; it is a representation of you, your attitude, style, passion, and interests. It speaks to people on your behalf and tells them your story.
Everything you do must be in line with your brand — from your font, theme, logo, design, and colors to your blog posts and the way you interact with your readers. Visualize your brand and make your blog align with it.
5. Create a Business Plan
It doesn’t matter if you started your blog as a hobby, you may change your mind at later on. View the blog as a business and create a plan for it. Also, make a list of things you want to blog about, your reasons for blogging, and how you plan to monetize your blog. You can look at other successful blogs for inspiration; study their business model and copy it if you have to. And most importantly, ask questions when necessary.
6. Get Busy on Social Media
Social media platforms are continually steaming with ideas, content and potential readers; you can’t afford to lose out on that. Promote your blog launch and let people anticipate it. Make it a big reveal to get your audience interested. You can drop hints, host giveaways, and give other incentives to build more excitement. Also, join groups in your niche on platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. You can interact with fellow bloggers and build an online community.
No business or blog exists in isolation. You need to network you want to make excellent connections. Reach out to other bloggers regardless of whether or not they’re in your niche because they might have something to offer. Read their posts, follow them on social media, and leave comments under their posts. Engage with them and try to make friends if possible; not only will it help you grow your audience, it could also lead to future collaborations.
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8. Prepare Posts Beforehand
When you launch your blog, you’re not going to publish only one blog post. You’ll need to publish about three to five posts so your readers know you’re serious and have more content to engage with. When you publish at least three valuable posts, you leave them wanting more from you. Also, encourage your readers to leave comments so you can get to know them and interact with them.
9. Make an Editorial Calendar
This is also about planning. An editorial calendar helps you create a big picture for your blog and stick to it. You can plan your posts weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly. When you know what posts you have scheduled for the future, running out of ideas or putting up spontaneous posts will not be a problem for you.
10. Create a Start Page
Your first-time readers would love you for this because you’ll help them easily navigate through your blog without wondering where to start from. It’s better than an ‘About’ page as it gives your readers an overview of your blog. It’s the perfect opportunity to show your readers what you’re about and what they can benefit from your blog.
11. Select an Email Software
Email Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your readers and subscribers and keep them updated about new posts. Subscribers to your newsletter also get to know about promos on your products and new content.
You’ll need to install an email software to send out newsletters. Some popular options include MailChimp, ConstantContact, Aweber, and ConvertKit.
12. Create Incentives
Opt-in incentives encourage more people to sign up for your newsletters. Make sure the opt-in you create is relevant to your readers and your niche so that interested readers will have a reason to sign up. Also, make sure your opt-in adds value so your readers are impressed and look forward to buying from you in the future.
13. Go Over Your Site
You can have a trusted friend do this for you as well. It’s essential to go over your site several times to check for problems like broken links to prevent problems for your readers and ultimately, yourself. You have to make a good first impression so readers repeatedly visit your blog and even make referrals.
Now that you’ve ticked every box on this list, launch your blog and wait for the feedback avalanche. If you do everything well, you’ll love the results!