So, you are thinking of launching your blog in the next few days or weeks and you are looking for a plan to launch your blog successfully.
Maybe you have read several articles or even seen bloggers talking about a blog launch announcement and you are wondering how to launch your blog like a pro.
Based on the experience of others you have a lot of blog launch ideas but you don’t know if you are doing it right or wrong.
The truth is that having a blog launch party is not absolutely necessary. In fact, you can even choose to do a soft launch and save your money for other important things.
Many bloggers start a blog without any party or announcement and they went on to become very successful bloggers.
However, if you decide that doing a blog launch is essential to your success I will go through a big list of things I did to achieve my current success.
I will even be able to supply you with a blog launch plan or checklist to ensure that you cover all aspects of your blog launch.
Why Launch Your Blog?
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph it is not absolutely necessary to do a blog launch as many bloggers don’t do it.
However, there are some bloggers who decide to launch their blog for several valid reasons. Let’s spend some time looking at these reasons.
- Drive awareness of the blog
- Existing business launching a blog
- Improve their chances of quick success
- Have an extensive break-even business plan
- Part of their marketing plan
- They need a blog launch strategy for success
It will only be fair for me to look at reasons why many bloggers don’t bother with a blog launch to keep things in balance.
- Unclear on their long-term strategy
- Unsure about their blog niche
- Started the blog as a hobby
- Need to clarify their avatar
- Brand strategy not finalized
It may be pretty obvious after looking at the two broad categories why some bloggers make a big fanfare around their blog launch and others do not.
To ensure that you have almost 100% clarity about your blog before you start blogging let’s look at the things you need to complete before launching your blog.
Blog Launch Plan – a step by step guide to launching your blog
Whether you decide to do a blog launch party, photoshoot, announcement or you just want to launch your blog like a pro here is a 75-point blog launch checklist for you to follow.
1. Establish your ‘why’
When it comes to working on any project in life the thing that drives us to take action is our “WHY”. Think about your long-term goals.
This is the key to what motivates us to start and finish a project in spite of the odds.
If you don’t believe me ask any teenager why they go to school and you would be surprised at the variety of answers.
Whatever you do don’t stop at the first why in order to get at the heart of the matter ask why 5 times to get the true answer to your question.
2. Understand your passion
Before getting involved in any project understanding your passion will really help you to be successful.
For example, I am passionate about writing, photography, teaching, videos and digital marketing.
That is the reason why I decide to start a blog on digital marketing as it always me to take advantage of all my passions.
Short on time? Grab this free blog launch checklist printable in pdf format.
Grab The Blog Launch Plan Checklist
3. Decide on your broad topic
As I mentioned already in the previous point my broad topic is digital marketing.
In case you are wondering there are some aspects of that topic that I don’t necessarily enjoy so I write about the stuff I enjoy.
4. Look at other blogs on that topic
I did spend a lot of time looking at other blogs that cover the topic of digital marketing.
Some of them I admired while others were a bit too clinical for me. Ensure you spend some time doing the same for your broad topic.
5. Decide on your niche
One of the hardest things to decide right up front is choosing a niche within that broad topic.
As a result, I had to focus on the things I really liked in digital marketing. One thing that stood out for me was website traffic which is why I wrote a book about it back in 2011.
Under that umbrella, there are so many sub-topics which helped me to focus even more. Take some time choosing a niche for your blog.
6. Understand your ideal reader or avatar
I have had so many mentors assisting me with understanding my reader. Often times these mentors contradict each other so it can be confusing.
It is so important to get an understanding of who your ideal reader is so that you can understand their journey. What is their background and what problem they are trying to solve?
7. Know the journey of your reader
Once you understand who they are then you are better equipped to answer questions around their journey.
What are they searching for? Are they even aware they have a problem? What do they expect to find on your blog?
How can your content transform their lives? The key to having success with your blog is knowing the journey of your reader.
8. Map out your reader journey
After you understand their journey it is a good idea to map out that journey.
What happens after they read your blog post on a topic? Maybe you expect them to take action by signing up to a freebie.
What happens after they sign up for the freebie? At what stage of the journey do they expect the transformation to take place? How will this be delivered to them?
9. Write down the ‘why’ for your blog
In many cases it is only after you understand your reader as well as their journey are you able to formulate the “WHY” for your blog.
The “WHY” for your blog should include the transformation for the reader as well.
10. What do you need to provide to help your reader transform?
Maybe you plan to help your reader transform in small steps or in a big bang at the end.
The transformation could be physical, mental, emotional and/or financial. It is up to you to decide what kind of transformation you will provide. In the first instance, your reader will engage with a blog post.
11. How will you help the reader to transform?
The next stage of the transformation process can be a one to one mentoring session, a course, a webinar, workshop or even a retreat.
Take some time to really consider this as it affects all aspects of your blog.
12. Write out a tagline for your blog that includes reader transformation
If you have done all the exercises properly you will have no problem coming up with a tagline for your blog.
Here are two great examples of taglines; Nike – Just do it and Apple – Think Differently.
There is no need to rush this exercise so spend some time thinking of your reader and his\her transformation and formulate a tagline based on this knowledge.
13. Decide how you will monetize the blog
Now that you have all this work completed it gets a bit easier from here. You will need to decide how you plan to generate an income from your blog.
The top 5 ways that many bloggers make money blogging includes; Ads networks, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, product or service sales and consulting.
You can decide to do something completely different but here are 30+ ways to monetize your blog.
14. Write a 12-month goal for your blog
Now is a good time to write down a big goal for your blog to achieve after one year.
It could be a financial goal like generating $1,000 a month. That goal will help you to understand what you need to do achieve it in a realistic manner.
15. Take the 12-month goal and break it into 6-monthly, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals.
If for example, you decided to have your blog generating $1,000 a month in the next 12 months you now need to ask yourself how you can achieve that goal.
It could be that the money is made from a combination of income streams as opposed to a single source.
16. Write out your goals for the next 12 weeks
Once you have clarity on the goals, mini goals and actions that needs to happen it is time to create goals and tasks for the first 12 weeks of blogging.
For example, you may need to write 12 articles and promote them hard using 2-3 social media platforms.
Or you may have a big scary goal like speaking at the next TED event. Whatever it takes to write down the goals and tasks then take action.
17. Decide on the blog posts that line up with those goals
A very important point to note is that the goals for the first 12 weeks should incorporate all aspects of your “WHY” as well as the user journey.
It would not make sense to write down goals that are not aligned to your big goal or even the reader.
For example, I would like to get 150 people on my email list that are at stage 1 of the transformation journey.
18. Write out 20 blog posts titles that match your goals for the first 12 weeks.
Once you know what you want to achieve for the first 12 weeks you can now create quality content to help you achieve that goal.
If I want 150 sign-ups, then I need at least 5 blog post titles that speak to the reader’s problem with a view to offering them stage 1 of the solution.
19. Ensure that those blog post titles align with the reader journey
It is very possible that you will have 5 blog posts to represent each stage or each potential problem or scenario that a user is in although the solution will be the same for each scenario.
For example, you may have 5 people wanting a sewing pattern for a cushion cover but their reason for wanting the pattern is varied.
One person wants it to sew a cushion for their Mother, but they have a little budget, another wants it because they want to make a handmade item for their wife.
Another wants it for their Aunt who can only use special fabric because of allergies, etc. As you can see the problems are all different, but the solution is the same.
20. Assign 5-6 blog post titles for each stage of your reader’s journey
After creating the content you need to assign the 5-6 pieces of content to each stage of the reader’s journey or their specific problem.
One clear reason for doing this is that you don’t want your reader to find part of the solution on your blog then letting them leave with unanswered questions.
You want to be able to take them from general awareness to the solution on your blog.
21. Choose a blog name
After completing all these steps you are now ready to give your blog a name.
If you had chosen a name before you understood the reader and their journey you may discover that the name did not suit the blog.
22. Buy your domain name (blog name) and hosting
You may notice that you have a shortlist of 5-7 blog names.
Go with your gut feel and buy the one that best describes the reader as well as their transformation or results.
23. Set up your business email address
24. Decide on brand colours
Ensure that it matches the overall mood of the blog for the reader.
Now that you have an intimate understanding of the reader as well as their end goal you are better able to choose brand colours.
25. Choose fonts that align closely with the brand mood
This is not essential, but some bloggers prefer to have special fonts that match their brand as opposed to using standard fonts.
26. Get a logo created that matches the why and transformation experience
If you have graphic design experience you can now create a logo that matches your brand.
Even if you need to outsource this job you can do so confidently because you have an in-depth understanding of the reader and their journey.
27. Create a brand board
A great time saver for any blogger is having a brand board created. I use a third party tool like Canva to create mine as the process is quite straightforward.
Before creating a brand board, I had my brand colours (hexadecimal numbers) written down on bits of paper. Now that I have it created, I can just refer to it on Canva.
28. Research possible themes that match the ethos of your brand
With so many themes available on the market place my advice to you is to choose a premium theme that is in the $39 to $79 price range. Shortlist the ones that are lite and fast.
29. Focus on themes with 2 or more menus
From my experience having two or more menus as standard on your blog theme really helps.
It will also help if the theme gives you a number of templates that you can use or customize as your homepage as well as a landing page that you will need to capture emails.
30. Install WordPress.org
Yay!! Well done on getting this far on the journey. Although, the rest of this journey may involve a huge learning curve technically it is not as difficult as finding the “WHY” for your blog and deciphering the reader’s journey.
31. Buy your chosen theme
Now that you know the best themes that suit your taste and the mood or brand of your blog it is time to buy it. Just remember that a pretty theme is not necessarily a fast theme.
32. Decide on the categories that best suit your blog
This part may be easy since you already understand the journey, the reader and you wrote 20 blog posts.
33. Create the categories
Once you know what categories are suitable then go ahead and create the categories.
34. Change the permalinks
It is imperative that you change the permalinks on your site to one the is SEO friendly. So, go ahead and change them to %postname%
35. Decide on what you want to home page to look like
Now is a great time to decide on your home page. What do you want to see on your home page, what images, text and video? What is the key or overall message of the homepage?
Short on time? Grab this free blog launch checklist printable in pdf format.
Grab The Blog Launch Plan Checklist
36. Install your chosen theme
Go ahead and install your chosen theme and spend time creating the homepage.
37. Install the 5-8 most important plugins
The eight most important plugins for your WordPress blog are; Yoast SEO, Caching, Image Optimization, Security, SSL, Backup, Google Analytics, Social Sharing.
38. Research 10 most popular posts that align closely with your reader journey
Earlier on you wrote 20 blog post titles. Now is time to do the research to see which of those are popular and which can you rank for relatively easy via SEO.
39. Write your first 6 blog posts in draft mode (a minimum of 1500 words each)
Now that your research is complete, spend some time writing 6 of those blog posts and leave them in draft mode.
40. Decide which 2-3 social media platforms are best
It is time to decide which 2-3 social media platforms are best to find your potential readers.
Where are they spending time? How can you get them to see your content?
41. Sign up for those 2-3 platforms
Once you have decided then take some time to create profiles on these platforms ensuring that you complete all the descriptions and every single section as much as possible.
42. Install your SSL certificate
Take some time to install your SSL certificate with help from your hosting company.
43. Configure your Yoast SEO plugin
This will help you to optimize your content for better ranking in the search engines.
44. Set up Google Analytics for your blog
This will help you to see where your visitors are coming from as well as their journey through your site.
45. Set up Google Search Console
This will help you to see the actual terms that you rank for on Google.
46. Write a Contact us page
This page can simply be a short paragraph with your contact email address.
Write your email address like this to avoid excessive spam; email @ yourdomainname . com
47. Create an About Page
This is the task that everyone hates. Nobody likes writing about themselves, but you will need this page if you want Google to take you seriously.
You can either write it yourself or get someone else to do it.
49. Create a Copyright page
To lower the risk of the theft of your content it is best to have a copyright page.
50. Create a disclosure page
This page is an absolute must the moment you decide to offer anything for sale on your website.
You can get templates for these pages online. Just do a search.
51. Sign up for an email marketing service
If you remember I gave an example of a 12-week goal which was to get 150 signups in that time period.
The only way to capture email addresses efficiently is by using email marketing.
There are many options available but the top three are ConvertKit, Mailchimp and Mailerlite.
52. Create a welcome email sequence
As part of the user journey, it is imperative to have a welcome email sequence to help your user to understand who you are and how you can help them.
53. Write 4-14 more blog posts in draft mode
Writing blog posts can be a drag sometimes which is why I split the process into batches for you.
Now is a great time to write the next 4-14 blog posts. Ensure that you leave them in draft mode.
54. Fine tune 10-20 posts, assigning them to categories
Assign these blog posts to their relevant categories. Feel free to update the categories as needed.
55. Ensure that each post is SEO ready (Title, keyword, H2, H3 tags, Metadata)
Spend some time optimizing every single blog post to ensure that they have the best chance of ranking in Google.
Although your blog may be in the Google Sandbox for the first 3 months the last thing you want is having to go and fix them so do it right the first time.
56. Create social media images for each post
Create social media images for each post and optimize those images as well.
57. Create a featured image for each post
Your blog posts will look more pleasing if they all had an associated image depending on your chosen theme and settings.
58. Create 2 menus for your blog (navigation + main menu)
Create the much-needed menus for your blog as it will help your potential reader to find what they are looking for on your blog.
59. Activate social media sharing button
Go ahead and activate your social sharing plugin and align to the side and/or bottom of posts and pages.
60. Confirm your unique selling point (USP)
Now is a good time to take a step back and confirm your USP.
Does your blog, posts, freebies, email sequence, funnel and paid product align with your USP?
You don’t need to have your paid product and funnel ready on launch day.
61. Create freebies or content upgrades
Create your freebies and/or content upgrades and configure them for download.
62. Install lead capture forms on relevant posts
Remember your goal is to have your reader to action after they read your content. If you don’t have any forms then how will they take action?
63. Interlink the posts that will go live first
It is important to link your content to each other so that you can improve your chances of ranking in the search engines for your chosen keywords.
64. Set reminders to interlink future posts
Set a reminder to interlink future posts with new posts when they go live on your blog.
This can be a laborious process if left unchecked so set a reminder to do it every week.
65. Set 5 posts to publish and schedule the rest
Once you are happy with your posts and the way you have optimized them it is time to publish 5 posts and schedule the rest.
Space them out to go live once a week or on a schedule that is convenient for you.
66. Check your site/blog across various browsers and mobile devices
Take some time to check your website across several browsers to ensure that you are happy with the look and feel.
67. Double check to home page and menus
The home page is an important page on your blog so check that the user experience is as expected and that all the links work well.
68. Create a content plan for the 12 months
Take some time out to create a content plan for the next 12 months. I have a handy blog content planner here.
Keep in mind the reader and their journey as well as the transformation that they can expect from engaging with you and your content.
69. Customise the theme to match your brand colours
Customize the theme to ensure that it fits in with your brand image or mood.
70. Assign your brand colours in your image creator
If you use Canva for creating your images then be sure to put your brand colours there to save you time and stress.
Grab The Blog Launch Plan Checklist
71. Sign up for affiliate marketing links
It is starting to get very exciting at this point as it is time to sign up as an affiliate for your chosen programs.
Your blog has content now so it is easier to get approved for affiliate programs.
72. Assign affiliate in blog posts where it makes sense
Once you get approved for programs be sure to add affiliate links to your content.
Also, you can use a plugin like Pretty Links to track if people are clicking on your affiliate links.
73. Create an irresistible freebie for your launch date (challenge)
If you are going for a big bang launch it will help you if you create a BIG freebie for the launch campaign.
74. Ready to Launch?
Announce your blog launch 2-12 weeks prior to launch.
If you already have a tribe of following it would make sense to announce your launch to them 2-12 weeks prior to launching your blog.
Even if you don’t have a following you can build momentum by doing Facebook lives, Twitter videos, YouTube videos, etc every week for 12 weeks to grow your tribe.
75. Launch your blog
This is the day you have been waiting for so go ahead and do the blog launch with fanfare or quietly.
It is really up to you on the best way to get this done.
Blog Launch Checklist Printable
A few blog launch ideas that I have not mentioned yet that may help put you in the mood and/or enhance your brand are:
- Blog launch photoshoot, this will be a great way to get professional images done for your blog.
- Your first blog post does not have to be about you and your why it could be about a very popular topic that you found during your research.
- If you went through my 75-point blog launch checklist you should not have a problem figuring out what to blog about.
- After you go live feel free to grab my daily blog checklist to help you stay on course.
- I also created a weekly blog planner printable here for your convenience to help you reduce errors.
- To help you launch your blog like a pro I have created the 75-point blog launch checklist in printable pdf format so that you can print it out.
- Would you like to learn what successful bloggers are hiding from you? Then take a look at these blogging secrets.
Grab The Blog Launch Plan Checklist
These blog launch tips will save a whole lot of time, energy and stress as it gives you everything you need to launch a brand new blog.
To help you launch a successful blog I have also created an amazing resource that offers over 200+ lifestyle blog post ideas here.
In your first month after launching it will really help you if you decide to do some guest blogging on other people’s blog which will boost your SEO efforts.
Check out these 50+ ways to promote your blog and business here as it will help you to grow your blog.
Over to you, what has been your experience in launching your blog?
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If you are just at the start of your journey where you are wondering what is possible for you in the future then take a look at these 7 books for bloggers.
Find out more about SEO and how it will work for your blog by looking at this resource for mommy bloggers here.
Steal my crucial tips to grow your blog traffic while you are waiting for the SEO to take effect on your blog.
If you are a startup or small business and you need to hire a virtual assistant to complete tasks such as social media marketing, blogging, keyword research or Pinterest account management then take a look at these packages.
Alvern is an avid blogger for 10 years and the host of the Success Unscrambled podcast.
Read Alvern’s inspiring story from her eye-opening experience 3 years ago to becoming a Blogger and Podcaster with a dream to reduce illiteracy among women.