Launching a blog is really exciting, and is something that a lot of people are working towards today. The only problem is that some people think blogging is really easy, while the truth is that it’s incredibly difficult. There is so much that goes into every single blog post, not to mention the process of setting up the blog in the first place. Any experienced blogger will tell you that they day you make your blog live, there are a few things you need to have in place. But don’t worry – they’re easy to accomplish if you know what you’re doing!
The first thing you want to do when you are planning on starting a blog is branding. A lot of people struggle with investing in a blog when they’re just starting out, but I think it’s vital. You can read my post here on Why Investing in a Professional Design is Always Worth It.
Whether you choose to invest or DIY it yourself, you need to make sure your blog looks great when you launch. The first day someone lands on your blog, they are immediately building an impression of your brand. They will remember what they see now, so make it good. Take the time to establish a brand that you are proud of and that you can carry with you for the life of your blog. Though lots of people do rebrand, it’s always a difficult process and involves a lot of work, so instead, just build a brand that you love from the beginning.
And remember, a brand just isn’t a logo and some colours. You need to consider a lot of other things like your intended audience, your call to action, your ideal client, and much more. Read my post here on Why Your Brand is More Than Just Your Logo to get an idea of what your brand really means.
So you’re about to launch your blog, and you have a blog post set to publish on launch day. A first time reader lands on your blog, loves your first post, and then goes to browse around – but there’s no where else for them to look. So they leave, and they weren’t there long enough for you to make a real impression on them, so they forget about you a few minutes later.
That series of events SUCKS. Wouldn’t it be better if they landed on your blog for the first time, and spent hours there browsing around, and fell in love with your content and brand and became a life time reader? That’s what you want to happen, so do everything you can to make it happen.
The day you launch, you should have, in my opinion at least ten posts published. You should also have five more posts scheduled to publish periodically, and then a list of twenty more post ideas to write in future.
You need the already published posts to keep your readers intrigued while they are visiting. You need the scheduled posts because launch time is complicated and stressful, and you don’t want the added pressure of having to keep a schedule of writing posts right away. And you need the list of post ideas so that you know you have a pipeline of content waiting to be written. If you can’t think of 20 post ideas in the first place, you might have to rethink your original niche.
Open Social Channels
If a new reader lands on your blog and likes what they see, you want to make it really easy for them to follow you and keep up to date with your brand. Sign up for all the social networks that apply to your brand like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more. Use your brand colours and graphics so that when someone visits any of those profiles they know immediately that it’s yours.
Then put buttons with links to those profiles front and centre on your blog so that people can find them when they want to follow you. If you’re not selling a product or service, the step you want people to take is to follow you. You want to have a direct line to their social profiles so that you can notify them and keep them in the loop with everything you are doing.
Create a Newsletter Sign Up
Just like social networks, having a direct line to someone’s inbox is great. Even if you aren’t selling a product or service the day you launch, it’s great to have someone give you their email so that you can keep them up to date, and to keep them coming back to your site. Then, when you do decide to sell something one day, you have a loyal following, and you already have their email address so you can let them know!
Build Some Hype
Pick a launch day, make sure you’ll be ready to launch on that day, and then build some hype around it. Your launch day is a big day. It’s an event. It’s a party. Celebrate it.
Find a way to intrigue and entice people to visit. When I launched I had a contest and gave away a prize. I also had an open Ask me Anything for readers to find out about me (though to be honest I had no following yet so it didn’t work out too well). But, the contest brought me a lot of new eyes.
Start sharing and promoting your launch day a little while before your launch day. Make some attractive graphics and share them across social media, in groups, among your personal networks, everywhere you can think of.
Add a coming soon page to your blog, and add a newsletter signup box on it, with links to your social networks. Add your logo and a little bit about what your blog will focus on. And if you want to get really fancy, add a countdown clock.
If someone lands on your coming soon page they see your brand and start to get familiar with it, they know what you do, they know when you’re launch and what you’re offering. And most importantly, they know how to start following you and stay updated. Then they are actually anticipating your launch and that’s the best thing you can hope for.