Are you thinking of launching a blog? A blog is something that can give your voice a new wing. It’s always great to have a blog but it is even better to have a well-planned blog. A small mistake can take away all the hype your blog deserves to get. Here are 9 things you need to consider before launching your first blog.
1) Choose your blogging platform wisely
When you are going to have a blog, you need a platform where your site is going to be hosted. There are dozens of blogging platforms to choose from. From them, WordPress.org, blogger.com and WordPress.com are the most popular.
It’s up to you to choose the one that suits your need. For example, if you are not in a position to invest money on hosting you can choose Google’s blogger platform (it’s free). If you want more control and power to your blog, choose WordPress.org. With WordPress.org you have full rights over your content. Here is a good guide on showing comparison between the two.
You are however not limited to these platforms only other platforms like tumblr.com also are used widely. So choose after researching your needs better.
2) Choose the right domain name
Your domain name becomes your business’s nick name in the online world. Choose a domain name that fits your topic well. Having a keyword in the domain is still great. But avoid using exact match domains (EMDs).
A .com domain is more preferred and widely clicked by people in the SERPs; however you can get country specific domains if you want to focus on a particular country. For example, if your audience is from India choose an .IN domain.
Tip: Check out my post on how to choose a perfect Domain name.
3) Register your social profiles
This is a very crucial step that comes in between buying your domain and publicly launching your blog. You have to be very fast registering your social profiles after you have bought a domain to avoid someone else from registering it. In that case it will cause a problem in branding and identity crisis.
4) Your interest
No wonder anyone can open up a blog but only the passionate people survive the first year of blogging. You have to think what your interest is and which topic can never bore you from writing.
You should also not choose a topic that has no audience or has limited scope of growth. Choose a niche that interests you and has scope of growth for the coming years.
5) Design your website
Problogger Neil Patel says design is marketing. He is absolutely right saying that. No one would like to visit a site that has a clumsy design or one that confuse the reader. Here are some tips for your website design:
a) Choose a professional theme: Don’t use premium themes by downloading them from black hat sites. These themes can contain hidden malware by which your site can be hacked.
b) Choose a clean and light weight theme: A clean and fast loading theme will not irritate your new readers. Use a theme by genesis (I use it and highly recommend it), they are fast, SEO optimized and cleanly coded.
6) Write at least 10 to 15 posts before your launch
When you launch your product with a bang, readers should not be disappointed to see only 1 or 2 posts. Instead, serve them a full meal of 10-15 posts so that they can enjoy their session. This idea is extremely helpful for newbie bloggers because:
a) Your audience can better understand you: With 10 posts your readers can understand your voice, your tone and your style of writing.
b) It will decrease bounce rates: You wouldn’t want Google Analytics, to register high bounce rates for your newly launched blog.
c) You get more time: When you are launching a site, you have tons of task to do. You need to market it on social media, comment on relevant blogs, build relationships and reply to comments on your own blog. For this you need time. And if you have some 10-15 posts you can have enough time for doing all these.
7) Include an email service to your blog
Yes, I mean it. The biggest mistake newbie bloggers make is avoiding list building till they have a so called community. That’s not true. In fact you should include an email box from the very beginning,start collecting leads right from the launch. Start with a free service like mailchimp, here is a guide to read further.
8) Improve your social skills
Blogging is nothing but a social platform revolutionized. You cannot take it to the next level if you are not social. Before even you launch your blog polish your social skills.
Start by visiting popular blogs in your niche, comment there and build a relation. This will help you in the launch of your new blog. John Morrow of Boostblogtraffic.com had built an email list of huge subscribers even before he had a blog. No surprise his blog was a smashing hit when launched. How did he do it?
He was social. He started building relationship with fellow bloggers and potential readers by guest blogging for other authority sites at first. Even if you are not up to guest blogging, you can always give your feedback on authority sites.
“You need money to run a successful blog” is the a truth. You cannot blog for long if you do not have adequate funding. So think on the monetization strategies right from the beginning.
The industry standards and my own experience says, you should not start pushing ads or affiliate posts to your audience right from the launch date. Most ad programs like AdSense, media.net etc. also don’t approve freshly launched blogs. A blog can potentially earn after 8-10 months of its launch. You should therefore, have sufficient monetary backup to support you during this period.
These were the tips that you should keep in mind before launching a blog. A clear strategy will always save you from untimely problems and embarrassment. SEO, small bits of HTML coding along with the blogging process but you cannot ignore these fundamental steps prior to launching a blog.