Start Strong & Build Momentum.
Ever launched a blog expecting to make a big splash but… nothing happened?
You were sending post after post out into the ether. No readers (not even your mom), no comments, no shares. Why?
It wasn’t that your content wasn’t good.
And it wasn’t that you weren’t blogging frequently enough. You were working your fingers to bone every day getting out another post.
Maybe you were even employing a bit of SEO and churning out awkward blog headlines like How to choosing a domain name (did I do that? oops!)
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can launch a successful blog and have readers from day 1.
Why You Need To Launch Your Blog
The main benefits of doing a launch for your blog are:
- You start out with a readership. It might only be a small one, but that’s better than none.
- You begin building your network of blog bff’s before you even start blogging.
- You can start making money from your blog quite quickly
A blog launch is a shortcut – you get to avoid the awkward, painful and lonely stage of blogging and skip straight to the good stuff.
So are you with me?Skip the awkward, readerless stage of blogging by doing a launchClick To Tweet
Preparing to Launch
There are a few things you need to do before launching your blog:
- Research Phase
- Design Foundations.
- Content, content, content.
- Your Launch Strategy.
There are three parts to this one:
- Know your audience;
- Know your fellow bloggers; and,
- Know the type of content that does well in your niche.
(Psst – if you haven’t chosen a niche yet – you need to have this nailed before you launch.)
So, this is where other blogs talk about how to workshop your perfect customer to the point where you know their name, shoe size and what they had for breakfast. My time saving way to get around this is:
Your ideal audience is YOU.
Done! Wasn’t that a lot quicker?
So if you are a mom, blog for moms. If you are a college student, blog for college students. If you are a retiree, blog for retirees…
(Disclaimer – this won’t necessarily work in every niche, so feel free to make up a reader persona if you like)
- Decide if your audience is you or, make up a persona of your ideal reader.
If this is your first blog, you’re probably thinking that this is the step where you have to go size up your competition.
No way! Adjust your thinking girlfriend – other bloggers are not competition. They are your new best friends.
Here’s the thing – these bloggers have what you want. An audience. There are plenty of ways you can network with them for a piece of the pie.
- Interacting on social media
- Leaving comments on their blog posts
- Guest posting
So get to know who they are, what they focus on and where they are most active on social media.
- Find and bookmark 10 blogs in your niche and
- Follow the bloggers on social media after setting up accounts for your blog.
How do you know what content is popular in your niche? Without having a crystal ball?
Well my friend, let me introduce you to an awesome tool called BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo returns search results for your topic ranked by number of shares.
You can enter a topic or you can enter the url of one of the blogs in your niche you just found in the last step.
You probably guessed it, but yes, BuzzSumo will show you exactly what blog posts have received the most shares from that url.
No more guessing what might be popular content!
- Use Buzzsumo and make notes of the headlines and topics that are most shared in your niche.
- Read as many of the blog posts as you can. You will use this information to frame your own blog posts.
Build Your Foundation
This is where you get to go into the nitty-gritty of design and setting up your website.
Let’s be real here – design is super important. Particularly if you are trying to reach millennials. Hey, we’ve grown up with the internet and we have very high expectations of what a blog should look like.
You can have the best content in the world, but if your site looks like it just came through a time warp from the 90’s… no one will stick around and read it.
By the way – if you are a design junkie, pro tip (from experience) – set yourself a time limit on how long you’re going to play designer. You’ll get to evolve your design as your blog evolves. And, uh, keep it simple. Seriously.
- Choose your theme.
- Choose a color scheme for your site using Coolors.co.
- Choose two fonts that go well together.
- Work on your logo or header image and templates for featured images and Pinterest pins.
Crack on With Content
When you launch, you gotta have more than just one post up on your site.
These posts should be the absolute best writing you are capable of. Use the ideas you generated using BuzzSumo and consider writing a couple of extra posts so you have them up your sleeve for off weeks.
- Write a kickass about me page.
- Write at least 5 posts that you KNOW will be popular in your niche.
- Write at least one content upgrade (this is a bribe to get readers to subscribe to your email list)
The section in which we harness the power of social media to launch your blog with a bang!
I don’t want to get into a debate about social media platforms however the more ‘immediate’ platforms will be best to drive traffic for your launch. I’m focusing on Twitter and Facebook here.
For Twitter to be effective for your launch you need to have at least some followers. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get them! Twitter users tend to follow you back if you follow them, so get to following.
You can grow your following by:
- Following bloggers in your niche (and following their followers)
- Every time you read a niche related article – Tweet it out! For bonus points, personalize it by adding a comment.
- Retweet or like tweets from the bloggers you are following.
Harnessing Twitter power for launch:
- Tweet updates about you blog launch countdown;
- Generate anticipation with some teasers; and,
- On launch day, schedule different tweets to go out throughout the day announcing your launch.
If you want to read more about Twitter launch strategy, hop on over to visit Miranda Nahmias. She did a fantastic job of launching her blog and she blogged all about it here. Oh and, it’s really paid off (check out her income reports).
- Follow all the bloggers you found during the research stage, and follow some of their followers. Make it a habit to follow a few new people in your niche every day.
- Read and tweet at least one niche related article a day.
- Retweet or like at least one tweet a day.
- Start tweeting about your upcoming blog, try to build anticipation.
- Learn how to use Hootsuite to automate your tweets for launch day.
When it comes to promoting your blog, you need to get into Facebook groups. There are dozens and dozens of blogger groups, some for support, some for shares and follows or all three.
Facebook groups are a great way to promote your content after you launch too.
How does it work? Ok. Two ways:
- Introduction post – most groups invite new members to make a post introducing themselves and their blog/business.
- Actively generating interest using teasers and asking for feedback in the group.
You definitely want to keep a good relationship with your Facebook Group buddies. From now on, every time you publish a new post, you need to get involved with Facebook promotions.
- Choose 5-10 Facebook groups to join and get active.
- Let people know you’ve launched on the day!
Other Neat Ideas for Launching
There’s a lot of uncertainty in blogging and business so don’t be afraid to go off script and add to what I’ve written here. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list of all the different ways you can go about a launch.
A couple of other cool ideas that you might want to use:
- Try a giveaway (make sure your item is VERY niche specific or you will have loads of untargeted entries)
- Play a long game and kick it up a notch by setting up a landing page with an irresistible freebie opt in offer. Drive traffic back to your landing page using social media and guest posting.
Wrapping It Up
Phew! That got kind of long. I hope you’ve got some great ideas for launching your own blog. Feel free to customize this to suit you and your niche.
If you’re already blogging, did you do a blog launch? Got any tips for us?