There’s more to launching and setting up a new blog than just choosing a catchy name or a fancy theme. Starting your first blog can be a frustrating and a drawn-out process, when you don’t have the right plan.
Below, we’ll review the steps required for you to get your new blog launched and ways you can monetize it.
Think of this as a fast-track plan to launching a blog!
Step 1: Start Thinking Like A Blogger – Mindset Is Everything!
You need to start thinking like a blogger. To be a successful blogger you have to realize it’s a mental game and will require lots of motivation, passion, and commitment. (I know this sounds corny, but it’s true.)
Thinking like a blogger also means, that when you feel burned out or stuck on a problem like setting up a new feature on your blog, online resources will be a big help to get through it. To find a helpful site, you’re best bet is to search Google or YouTube for help. Quora and Reddit can also a big help.
If you live in a big city, the local blogging community can be very supportive and offer training depending on where you live. Check out Meetup.com in your local area to see if any Blogging or WordPress meetups are happening. Where I live in the SF Bay Area, I belong to a WordPress meetup that discusses everything from supporting WordPress to doing SEO; it’s a big help.
The last point I want to make is this: You have to avoid comparing yourself to others success’s when blogging. As you research online and engage on social media, you’re going to see other people claiming they makes tons and tons of money. Some of it might be true, some of it may not. Don’t analyze it to much, you need to save that mind energy for building your blogging project up!
Step 2: Picking A Good Domain Name For Your Blog
The purpose of your blog is a big thing to think about. You need to figure out the purpose/topic of your blog before you can decide on a name for it.
Related post: Why Blogging For Your Business Is Important
To help, think about the following:
- Will it need to generate income?
- Will it generate leads for your small business?
- Is it for fun or a passion project?
- Will you sell products eventually?
- What about e-commerce?
- Affiliate marketing?
This is just a short list; you’ll also want to think about anything else that comes to mind based on your own experiences with your topic or business idea.
Then decide on a blog name that fits the topic/subject and theme. Keeping it on point and as short as possible. I generally don’t like to use more than 3 – 5 syllables.
Be wary of using any kind of slang talk that could be seen as profanity, I made that mistake with a blogging idea I had a few years ago. It lead to issues with affiliate programs saying the name was not professional, and Twitter shadow banning links to my site.
Step 3: Setup Self-Hosting For Your Blog And Install WordPress
I love setting up blogs from scratch. The process of registering a new name and configuring a platform to publish articles on never gets old for me. I always recommend self-hosting your own WordPress blog if you’re planning to make money with it. Or you’re going to promote your small business with it.
Why self-host might you ask? It gives you more control over your content and a lesser chance of being censored on a platform.
I recently switched to the web-hosting company SiteGround, it’s been great so far and I highly recommend it!
For a complete overview on how to setup a WordPress blog using SiteGround, please watch the below video I recently made on YouTube.
For a quick setup guide on getting a WordPress site started, check out:
Step 4: Configure Basic WordPress Settings And Plugins
Configuring the right options in WordPress can seem like a daunting task. You’ll have to setup, design, and customize things over time. The main sections to configure are already done by default. You will want to research various, themes and plugins to use.
To get started, check out my article on: My Favorite WordPress Plugins To Use
In the near future, I’ll be posting a video here to show an introduction on configuring WordPress from the WP Admin Console.
Step 5: Online Marketing For Your New Blog
To get readers and drive traffic to your blog it will not be easy unless you’ve built up a following on social media already or your an existing influence already. You’ll need an online marketing strategy using a combination of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, and Email Marketing.
Before investing any money or time promoting your blog you’ll also want to start tracking the activity and web traffic coming to it, I highly recommend using Google Analytics; Don’t worry, it’s a free web application just like Gmail.
For Starting Your SEO Marketing Do The Following:
Submit your blog’s URL to the top 3 search search engines: Google, Bing, and Duck Duck Go
- Submit your site to Google by setting up a Google Search Console account.
- Submit your site to Bing by using the following instructions: How To Submit urls to Bing.
- DuckDuckGo has no submission; it’s purely just automatic discovery with limited options.
Did you know? Even if you don’t submit the URL to the search engines, eventually all search engines will index your site automatically.
If you want more information on doing SEO for promoting your blog, check out my article: Beginners SEO Guide For WordPress Bloggers
Social Media Marketing For Your Blog
You’ll have to research which social media platforms will work best for your particular industry or business idea. You may even have to test each marketplace to see where the best response is. A great place to start learning about social media marketing are blogs like Social Media Examiner or Social Media Today.
Most people tend to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, SnapChat, and TikTok. Currently, my top 2 platforms are Twitter and YouTube. Try to master one or two social media platforms only, doing all of them can be quite overwhelming.
Consider E-mail Marketing
E-mail Marketing is an essential marketing strategy for growing your blog’s readership. Readers who sign-up and subscribe to your e-mail list will become a part of the community you’re trying to build. In a way, an e-mail list for a blog is like a client list. I recommend using the e-mail marketing service MailChimp.
Step 6: Legal Notices On Your Blog
For doing basic copyright protection most people just put the “Copyright © 2018” symbol on the footer section on their blog (that’s not legal advice btw…) Additionally, You can also write-up an official copyright notice in your Terms Of Service or on a separate page.
Optional: Learn About Graphics, HTML & CSS (Basic Web Design)
I saved this for last with a good reason; it’s totally optional but highly encouraged!
It’s a smart idea to learn some basic Image and photo editing skills, it can be a big time saver. Especially because there’s an almost 100% guarantee you’ll need to crop and resize a stock image, photo or a logo. Pluse, every blog post you publish will require at least one photo or graphic to make it interesting for the reader.
If you can learn HTML and CSS coding, it will make your life editing text on a blog or web page much, much easier. It’s a huge advantage for relieving formatting frustrations too! I recommend the following free HTML course at Code Academy.
You’re going to need to write blog posts for your new WordPress blog, check out the following articles to you get you started:
- Steps For Writing & Creating A Blog Post [short and long form]
- When To Hire A Professional Writer For Your Blog
- The Top Common Blogging Questions Answered
As you can see, setting up a blog that will make money is no easy task. It will take time, effort and commitment over the long term.