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Blogging is one of the best ways to reach your audience, teach people, connect and grow your online business.
Starting a blog is basically my JAM…
In a delicious PB & J sandwich.
Blogs have the potential to make you a full-time income from home (myself included), build an audience of raving fans and open the door to unlimited opportunities, but dang, they can be scary, daunting and downright terrifying to launch.
Launching your new blog doesn't have to be big, hairy and scary.
Let's break down the 8 essential tasks to do before launching your blog to ensure your blog is successful.
disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission if you use my link at no extra cost to you.
This is one is pretty dang obvious and is something I talk about quite frequently but it's very important.
You have to decide what it is you want to blog about, otherwise, this can leave your blog without direction, it's going to be much harder to for you to write and grow and it's not going to be great for your audience.
Okay, with all that being said, luckily it's 2019 and we don't have to reinvent the wheel.
This means we can look at the blog niches that are doing really well, meaning they're profitable, they help an audience and make a big impact.
1. How to make money
2. Lifestyle (specifically, home decor, survival, travel, organization, gardening, homesteading)
3. Food (vegan & keto)
4. Beauty and Fashion
5. Personal finance
6. Health and Fitness
7. Personal Development
As I said, all of these niches are currently making a big impact, have a devoted audience and are profitable.
But the point of any and ALL blog niches is to help your audience overcome a problem.
Now that all the niches are laid out for you, the big decision comes with choosing one.
And the easiest place to begin is with your why behind why in the heck you're starting a blog.
I realize this is a bit different but this is an important step to help you stand behind your blog and will help your audience feel a deeper connection with you.
Have you gotten yourself out of bone-chilling debt?
Write a personal finance blog.
Do you love helping people overcome their mindset and live a bigger and better life?
Start a personal development blog.
You get the idea.
Start with something you enjoy, something you know some things about and have a solid “why” behind your blog.
Don't get too caught up on this step, your niche is not set in stone.
Don't run away, I know this part sounds scary and you may be thinking you're not tech savvy but trust me, it's way easier than you think.
In order to even have a blog online, you're going to need to build your blog from the back end.
I highly, highly, highly recommend starting a WordPress blog that is self-hosted.
Self-hosted basically just means you have full control over your blog and you will have to purchase a host for your blog.
Hosting costs about $4 a month but is essential in my opinion.
The host I recommend is SiteGround, and I have used them for a few years now with multiple blogs.
I wanted to touch on naming your blog because this is another essential step before launching but it's also a place where people get stuck.
The thing to remember here is that it is harder to change your domain name so you're going to want to pick something that represents you and what your blog is about.
Key points to Remember:
WordPress is where you're going to be writing you content…so you've got to get familiar with it right away.
This is the fun part though so get excited!
There are really two big things to do before we dive into writing your content and trust me, do not skip this step.
Permalinks are basically just the name of the link of your blog post. These make it easy for people to find your blog and make it easy for Google to figure out what your post is about.
Permalinks on WordPress are always defaulted to showing the name of your post as well as the date they were written which looks like this, http://thecreativegirlbosstribe.com/2019/11/sample-post.
This is not good for search engines like Google.
We want our permalinks to look like this, https://yoursitename.com/sample-post.
To do this go to your WordPress dashboard, click “settings” on the left-hand sidebar then click “permalinks”. You will be taken to a page as shown below >>
Change your permalinks to “Post name” instead of “month and name” and click save.
Themes are one of those things that everyone has an opinion about.
In my personal opinion, you do not need a fancy, or paid theme to make a successful blog especially if you're just starting out.
WordPress has a plethora of free themes to choose from that work perfectly well.
With themes the things to remember are to find one that gives your audience a great user experience, meaning, it's easy to navigate, easy to read, the font isn't fancy and scripted and it's also easy for you to use.
All that being said, if you do want to purchase a theme right off the bat, go with the Genesis Framework and a child theme combination. This combo is recommended because it’s the cleanest looking, the most useful and overall is the best option if you choose to purchase a theme.
You can check out Genesis Framework for yourself here and even browse the theme/Genesis Framework I’ve recommended below. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the themes you can choose from so if you want to check out more themes you can do so here.
Again, you DO NOT need to purchase a theme right away to be successful.
Your blog content is literally the heart of your blog, nothing else matters without solid content.
I do want to preface this section by saying you can of course “launch” your blog with one or two pieces of content but I'm going to show you a really easy way to create content that will help build your blog right off the bat.
Blog content does one of these two things, entertains or solves a problem.
When you're first starting out I recommend only focusing on solving a problem because this is what is going to get your audience to trust you and will help build your blog from the ground up quickly.
At first, you may want to write about everything under the sun but remember, the point of your content is to serve your audience.
The easiest place to begin is to choose a topic that you can write multiple posts about.
Think of your posts like a highway, there are a few stops to make along the way (your posts) but everything flows together to get you to your end destination.
The topics you choose are going to be solely dependant on your niche.
Let's take gardening for example.
You could have a post about how to build a backyard vegetable garden.
Then your second post could be about what veggies to plant.
The third post could be about how to take care of those veggies in depth, when to harvest them, etc.
And so on for as long as you feel necessary.
Creating post clumps (I really don't know what else to call them) can help you choose one topic to hone in on and write multiple posts around.
So that by the end of your segment your audience will have all the knowledge they need to build, plant and keep a backyard veggie garden alive.
You can do this with any topic that fits your niche.
Doing this is also a fantastic way to build up trust with Google because you'll be writing and publishing multiple posts over a short period of time.
This will also ensure you always have content for your audience to read when they come to your blog.
Content is so important I've even created a blueprint for how to write your blog posts that you can use no matter your niche, read the post here.
The three scariest words in the English language to a blogger, market, market, market.
I wish I could tell you all you had to do was write amazing posts, sit back and wait for people to roll in but the internet doesn't work like that.
You're going to have to market your blog to get it out there in front of your audience.
Luckily, this won't cost you a dime.
The key with marketing is to one, focus on the platforms your audience hangs out on and two, only choose two platforms to begin marketing.
Choosing more than two becomes extremely overwhelming and can lead to blogger burnout.
The two platforms I recommend, are either Facebook or Instagram because this allows you to get personal with your audience, communicate with them and build that relationship.
And Pinterest which I'll get into more below.
This is not a drill people, Pinterest is the number one platform I recommend all bloggers to at least begin on.
This is a bold claim but dang, Pinterest works so well for driving traffic, getting your blog noticed, understanding search engines…the list could go on.
Because Pinterest is a search engine it's much easier for your audience to find your blog posts and as I said, it can teach you how to utilize a search engine without trying to figure out the oh so elusive, Google.com.
But as with anything else on the internet, Pinterest takes time and energy to get it to work, but once you have it set up, you can set it and forget it.
Whatever platforms you choose, the point is to choose platforms that will help build your audience, get your posts out there and will drive the right people back to your blog.
The point is, you can make launching your blog as complicated or as simple as you want to make it.
Make sure you have the foundational pieces set up such as a good blogging platform and host, a theme that is user-friendly, solid content that solves a problem for your audience and a way to market your blog.
These foundational pieces will help you create a successful blog, prevent blogger burnout and will help you build that online business that you've always wanted.
Now get out there and launch your blog!
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