4 Essential Things to Do Before Launching Your Blog + Free Checklist

4 Essential Things to Do Before Launching Your Blog + Free Checklist

Launching a blog is…stressful.

Time-consuming.

Expensive.

It makes you doubt your abilities.

Can I really make money blogging?

Is this a waste of my time and money?

What the hell am I DOING?!

I get it. I’ve been there, especially when starting my first blog – a spirituality and lifestyle blog. I kept wondering…can I actually be consistent? I’ve always had problems with consistency, but then I pushed through, started seeing results, and ever since it feels like I’ve been on a “blogging high”.

I might not be one of those big-time success stories yet, but I know that one day I will be.

And you could, too.

All you have to do is start.

Important note: Haven’t set up your blog yet? Check out this post on how to set up your blog with SiteGround.

1. Niche + target audience

The first step is to choose your niche. You can use this free guide of 500+ niches to choose from, from broad to super-niched down ideas to choose from.

You also need to research your niche and start to identify who your target audience is. One thing that I hear the most about this is to look at yourself, especially if you are writing about your passion.

2. Create an action plan

This next step may sound a bit overwhelming – or exciting – depending on you, but it’s pretty simple.

  1. Decide how you are going to launch
  2. Create blogging goals
  3. Choose which methods you are going to use for monetization
  4. And choose which promotional methods to focus on

How are you going to launch?

For this part, you’ll need to answer some questions, first;

  1. How many blog posts are you willing to post before launch?
  2. How many lead magnets – or incentives for people to sign up to your email lists – are you willing to make, if any?
  3. How often will you post content to social media?

If you are completely new to the blogging world and still a bit hesitant, make this part as easy as possible. Start off with 3-5 blog posts, 1-2 lead magnets, and choose which social media platform to use and post content as much as you are willing to or wait until launch to create your account.

If you feel more motivated and ready to take on the blogging world head-first, aim for 10-15 blog posts, 3-5 lead magnets, and attempt to start gaining a following on social media before the big launch.

Create blogging goals

The next step is to create blogging goals. Here are some examples:

  1. Pinterest followers: 100 in 1 month (starting from 0)
  2. Instagram followers: 300 in 1 month
  3. Email subscribers: 100 in 1 month
  4. Traffic: 1000 pageviews in 1 month
  5. etc.

Of course, this all depends on your experience within blogging and these social media (or search engine, for pinterest) platforms.

Monetization methods

There are plenty of monetization methods you can choose from, and your success depends on the niche you choose and how much traffic you get.

For broader niches, you are more likely to get more traffic – therefore, selling ad space can get you more money. But with a narrowed-down niche, you are more likely to be seen as the expert in your field and be able to sell digital products such as ebooks and courses, as well as services such as consulting or virtual assistant services better and earn a better income through these methods.

Here are some monetization methods to choose to focus on:

  1. Selling ad space (AdSense, Mediavine, etc)
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. Digital products
  4. Services
  5. Sponsorships

Keep in mind, choosing which social media platforms and promotional methods, your niche, and monetization all ties in together.

For example, Pinterest works better with certain, broader niches. You can easily make money from selling ad space, as well as affiliate marketing, digital products, and/or services. However, smaller niches may not be successful with pinterest.

Forums, Facebook groups, Facebook ads, and other promotional methods may work better for a more narrowed-down niche, and these smaller blogs can work exceptionally well with affiliate marketing, digital products, and services.

Promotional methods

When starting out, it’s usually recommended to focus on 1-3 social media platforms to start. This way you don’t spread yourself too thin trying to master all of the platforms at once, and you’re able to get massive traffic from 1-2 platforms to drive traffic to your website.

Some promotional methods to choose from:

  1. Pinterest (visual search engine)
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Instagram (not really meant to drive traffic)
  6. Quora
  7. Medium
  8. Forums

3. Write several blog posts

Now that you’ve brainstormed an action plan, it’s time to write your first blog posts. But first…how many blog posts should you start out with?

Like I said earlier, the answer really depends on you. If you are brand new and want to take it slow, start with 3-5 blog posts. Here are some examples of different types of posts to create:

  1. Motivational posts
  2. How-to/tutorials
  3. List posts
  4. Roundup posts

Make sure you are always solving a problem in your niche, and that the solution is actionable.

If you are ready to dive head-first and launch your blog with a bang, you can start by publishing 10-15 blog posts before launch.

4. Start building your email list

Before you even hit ‘publish’, it’s important to already start building your list. You want to be able to already start building a loyal, engaged following that you can immediately send to your site when you launch, giving you comments, shares, and more engagement that can help you build a bigger audience.

That’s why it’s important to make sure to have social sharing buttons on your site – and call to actions.

Some CTA examples:

  1. pin me!
  2. Share on facebook
  3. Get your free cheat sheet (opt-in)

Also, try to end your post with a question to encourage engagements and comments.

Takeaway:

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Identify your target audience
  3. Create an action plan
    1. How are you going to launch?
    2. Set up blogging goals
    3. Identify monetization methods you will use
    4. Identify promotional methods you will use
  4. Start building your email list

Need a blogging launch checklist?

Onto you

What monetization and promotional strategies do you use or plan to use?

KirstenCrawford