Are you ready to join the thousands of bloggers on the web but not sure how to launch your blog? Where do you begin? What steps do you need for a successful blog launch?
Starting a blog doesn’t have to be scary or stressful. In fact, it can be a lot of fun. To make things less stressful and rock your blog launch like a pro, follow the steps below.
Pick a Niche
Start by picking a blog niche. Are you wanting to write about your hobby, make money, or share your latest beauty tips? Sometimes it’s difficult to pick a niche right away. Maybe it’s something you need to figure out as you go.
Are you hoping to quit your day job to blog full-time? If you’re looking to make money check out my previous article, Best Blog Niche to Make Money.
Buy a Domain
Next, you will need to purchase a domain. I recommend GoDaddy.com for domain purposes. They make it super easy to purchase a domain.
In the search area type in your domain name of choice to see if it’s available to purchase. If it’s available, simply follow the instructions to purchase the domain.
If you’re not sure what domain name you wish to buy here is a few Tips to Picking the Perfect Domain Name for Your Blog.
There are quite a few hosting companies to chose from. I would recommend doing your homework before picking a hosting package.
You’ll need to decide if you’re going to use a free or paid hosting plan. Blogger and WordPress.com are free but they do have their limitations. My first blog, Scrapality.com, was hosted on Blogger prior to transferring to GoDaddy. I still use GoDaddy for all of my hosting and domain needs.
If you’re seriously considering making money from blogging you would be better off starting off with a paid hosting plan rather than a free plan. Transfering your blog isn’t really difficult, but it’s a process I wish I didn’t have to deal with as a first time blogger.
- Add WordPress Application
After adding hosting to your domain you will need software for your blog. WordPress software is widely used in the blogging world. I personally think WordPress is super easy to use and to modify using plugins.
You don’t have to be a tech genius to make your blog look and work the way you want to. Simply install the plugin, activate, and complete a few settings is all it takes. In no time your blog will be up and running.
- Pick a Theme
After installing WordPress you’ll need a theme to dress up your new blog. WordPress comes with a few free themes like Twenty Fifteen, Twenty Sixteen, and Twenty Seventeen. If those themes aren’t what you’re looking for you can search for other free themes available on WordPress.org.
Also, you can find many themes sold by web designers simply by searching. I’ve purchased and used a few themes by Lindsey at Pretty Darn Cute Designs. She offers easy to follow setup instructions and paid installation if needed. I love her designs they’re pretty darn cute.
- Set Your Permalinks & Settings
This step is super important. You will need to fill out each of the settings in WordPress. You’ll want to set your time zone, email address, and language under General Settings. Under Permalinks, select post name. This is super important.
Permalinks are the links to any given page/post. You want your links to read with your blog name first followed by the post name. It’s cleaner and less to remember compared to the other choices. For instance, when using Blogger, the Permalinks consist of blog name followed by the year, the month, and then the post name. The date isn’t necessary and makes the link harder to remember.
Permalinks are a huge reason why I wish I would’ve started out in WordPress instead of Blogger.
- Security Plugins
You’ll need a security plugin to protect your blog from hackers. Even brand new blogs need to be protected.
I currently use the Sucuri Security plugin for all of my blogs. So far it hasn’t let me down and it’s easy to navigate. Plus it’s free.
- Spam Filter
Yes, blogs are constantly under attack not only by hackers but also spammers. By adding a simple spam filter to your blog it’ll save you a lot of time by keeping the spam out of your comments on your blog allowing only the real comments from your followers to publish. There are plenty to chose from but I use Anti-spam by Webvitaly. It’s free and works great!
- Pinterest Pin Buttons
Pinterest is a huge search engine that’s widely used in the blogging community. You’ll want to provide a Pinterest button to make it easy for your readers to pin your content. Pinned images drive traffic to your blog.
75% of the traffic to Scrapality.com comes from Pinterest. It’s that important.
Pick a Pinterest Pin plugin and install it. The plugin is easy to install and setup is very simple.
- Add contact page
All blogs need a contact page. A contact page makes it simple for your readers to contact you. I currently use WP Forms for my contact pages. You simply Install and activate the plugin. Next, create a new form and the form to a new page in your menu. When a visitor wants to contact you all they have to do is submit their name and email address with a message sent straight to you.
- About Me Page
About Me, pages are my weakness but they’re necessary. They tell your readers who you are and what you have to offer them as a reader. Why should they follow you?
With the new rules in place, it’s super important to provide a policy statement. Are you collecting their information and how you’re storing it?
- Newsletter Plugin
Growing your email list is very important.
- Google Analytics
Sign up for Google Analytics to start tracking your blog. It provides details regarding your traffic, content, and who your readers are.
I know that’s a lot to remember and bounce back and forth between your blog and this site so I made this really cool Rock Your Blog Checklist for you to follow along.
Print the free checklist out and follow along. After following these steps you’ll rock your blog launch like a pro!
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