Blogging is not complicated if you have a plan. No, it’s not a walk in the park. Profitable blogging requires patience and persistence.
When you’re well prepared, your blogging life will be a lot easier in the days to come, guaranteed!
And precisely why I am sharing a 20-page WordPress blog launch workbook with you.
Crucial Blog Launch Plan
Disclosure: All posts may contain affiliate links. This means that I get a commision for reccommended products at no cost to you. I am adamant that I will only write well researched content not influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. Keep in mind that I will only ever link companies and products based on quality and my personal experience.The decision will always remain yours on whether you buy anything.
Start with a plan.
If you want your blog to be successful, treat it like a business right from the start. Start with a blog business plan.
Reaching your destination is easier when you know where you are going.
I have done a FREE printable as guidance. Once you have filled it out, you will have an idea of where you are going.
It will help you map out who your audience is, how you plan to monetize your blog. I wrote more in-depth about this in my step by step 5-day blog series.
Set a date.
Think of it as a shop opening.
I had two dates. I did not announce the date to anyone but having one kept me accountable. The first date was my soft launch date. It was the day that I planned to share with my friends and family.
You can then ask them for feedback, advice and if they pick up any mistakes. I also asked two people to go through each link on my blog.
The second date was the proper launch which was when I officially launched. You could also do a cool countdown for the launch on your social media. Eg. One week for my blog to go live… Just 3 more days to see what I have been working on for the last few weeks. You get the drift.
I started my blog and got it up and running for less than R100. You can do it too.
You need to register a domain name to get started. A domain name is something your readers will type in their browser to get to your website. I recommend getting your domain name and hosting from VEHOST. They are perfect for first-time bloggers.
They gave me so much support when I was building my blog. Especially, when I crashed my page.
They are local and offer chat service. Most of the international host companies are far too big to offer that kind of support.
Then you install WordPress on your domain. This step can be a little complicated for beginners, if you choose VEHOST as your web host, you can install WordPress with a single click.
Set up Your Blog Theme
Pick a theme and set up your theme. Then upload plugins that you need.
Write an about page: Introduce yourself and your blog. Tell your readers why they should come back and trust your writing.
Set up your contact page. Adding a contact form to your blog makes it easy for your visitors to contact you.
Add an SSL certificate to your blog: You need this certificate to secure your website or Google will show your site as “Not Secure”. You can get the free SSL certificate if you are using VEHOST
Sign up for Google Analytics: Google Analytics helps you track your visitors and see on what page they enter and how they behave once they are on your blog.
Sign up for Google Search Console: This will show your blog’s overall health and notify you if Google finds any errors on your blog. To sign up, go to Google Search Console.
Think about your categories and tags. In WordPress, articles are organised using categories and tags. This helps your readers to find all your content, and can also help your search engine rankings.
Just like any business, You need to have “stock”. Write at least 10-20 posts, including two post-launch blog posts that you can schedule to go live in the two weeks after you launch.
If you want people to take you seriously then you want them to get a feel for what you will be offering them.
Unless you are writing a story with serious cliff hangers that would make people come back to read to hear the end of the story.
I would start with a few pillar posts. Blogging according to what’s happening right now all the time is EXHAUSTING. When I started blogging I was burnt out after my first year because to keep my traffic flowing I had to post 3-5 posts a week and that did not include all the marketing that I would need to do for each post.
Its do-able but I think its a lot smarter to start with a few posts that will stay relevant for a long time. Make them meaty posts. Eg. A detailed How-to crochet post may take a long time to make but you can circle back to edit/maintain those post continually.
Each time you publish a new post or make a new update to a pillar post, you spread the word.
You could even add a cool printable for these bumper posts to grow your mailing list.
I would suggest learning how to write for SEO (search engine optimization ) from your very first post. This means that when people search for posts on a certain topic, yours can be found.
Optimize your blog posts for keywords: Use Google Keyword Planner to do your keyword research and once you have the list use them in your blog posts wherever it makes sense.
I took this beginners course for under R200 on Udemy much later and I wish I had done it earlier.
If you are looking for some content ideas, I use three methods:
Check out other bloggers in my genre – Its a great source of inspiration. You can choose an article and then see how you can add a spin on it.
Pinterest – Pinterest is great for getting all sorts of ideas. Search under your keyword, you will be infinitely inspired.
Answer the public – This website is a great tool for generating content ideas. It works by analyzing data collected from search engines like Google. You enter the keyword you want to use and that’s it: the tool will indicate the phrases most searched by the audience that includes the keyword.
Set up social Media Pages.
Choose the right social media platform(s) for your blog. Don’t try to master them all. I decided on two. Facebook and Pinterest will be my main focus for now but I am planning on eventually having a Youtube channel when it makes sense.
I would suggest checking if social media names exist already and if not claim as many as you can even if you are only using one or two.
Don’t forget to add these links to your blog so your readers know where else they can find you.
Start building your list.
Start your subscriber list as soon as possible. Your list is the best way to build a more intimate loyal fan base. You can then email them whenever you launch something new or your new blog post.
You could start with a Coming soon page. You could ask people to sign up if they are interested in whatever niche you have decided on.
Add a quick blurb of what your blog will be about and a subscriber sign up box. Tell them exactly why they should opt-in. Eg Sign up if you want to be informed about the highest paying work from home jobs in South Africa.
Consider adding an opt-in incentive. It can be a simple cheat sheet, checklist or worksheet. Eg. If you are a Christian blogger, you could do My go-to scriptures to help me through anxiety.
Don’t create anything too extravagant at this initial stage. Instead, create something small and easy to put together. You still do not know your audience too well at this point; anything you create can be a hit or a miss. So, you don’t want to spend too much time and effort. Eventually, when you have more experience and you know what works with your audience best, you can create more elaborate opt-in freebies. But to begin with, keep things simple.
Finally, check your site speed and you are ready to go.
Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspired you or that you found it helpful. If you have any specific questions please comment below and I will assist you as best I can.