Starting a new blog (and business) is an exciting time. But before you launch your blog, make sure you're ready!
Use this blog launch checklist to to see what you need to have ready before you launch your blog.
Choose the right niche from the start
Before you ever start a blog, make sure and choose a niche that is profitable. If you choose the wrong niche, you're going to struggle with how to monetize your blog.
You also want to choose a niche that is popular. If you don't choose a popular niche, you will forever struggle with trying to get traffic to your website.
So step 1 - before anything - is to choose a popular & profitable niche.
Pick a catchy blog name
You shouldn't take forever picking a blog name. Seriously, it's not the most important thing in the world. There are countless successful bloggers with bad blog names and vice versa. Ultimately, it's the quality of your content that will matter.
With that said, you want to pick a catchy blog name that is easy to remember.
Register your domain name
Check to see if your blog name is available as a dot com.
You can search for a domain name below.
I prefer dot com domains without numbers or hyphens. Just keep it simple and don't worry if it's too long. The most important thing you should worry about is if it is easy to say, easy to spell and hard to forget!
You can look at my guide on how to choose a domain name here.
Register your blog name on social media
Let's scoop up your blog name across social media - before anyone else does. You're going to want to create accounts specifically for your blog - don't use your personal account.
I recommend these social media networks:
Get blog hosting
If you're serious about making money with your blog, don't start on a free blog host. Luckily it only costs a few bucks a month to get hosting for your website.
Here are your options for hosting your blog:
Start a blog with WordPress
Now that you have a domain and hosting set up, we need a way to create your website. One of the easiest ways to get a website (or blog) set up is by using the WordPress content management system.
Most hosting companies have a one-click WordPress install so it's incredibly simple to get WordPress set up in seconds.
Once you're in WordPress, familiarize yourself with how the admin works because you're going to be spending a lot of time here.
Install important WordPress plugins
Plugins add extra functionality to your blog. We're going to need an anti comment spam plugin, a backup plugin and a security plugin.
Go here for a list of WordPress plugins to install on your new blog.
Choose a blog theme
Now we're going to design your blog. The good news is you don't need to be a web designer to design your own blog.
I recommend using the Divi theme to design your blog. With Divi, you can design your entire blog yourself using their drag and drop visual builder.
The reason why I avoid recommending free themes is that they severely limit what edits you can make and are only built to get you to upgrade to the paid version anyway.
You can definitely start with a free blog theme. Just keep in mind that you will have to switch out to a pro theme later, which may be a headache.
Design a logo and choose your brand colors
This step is the branding step. When you launch a blog, you're building a brand and a business.
Another part of your brand are your brand colors. I chose a shade of blue as my only brand color to keep it simple.
You also want to choose a font or two that you will use throughout your website. I chose Montserrat for my blog posts.
I use Canva to design all of my blog images. This includes the social media images, Pinterest pins, and even the launch-your-blog checklist printable.
Design the main pages of your blog
Before you start creating blog posts, you need to create the main pages of your website first.
Rather than just build a blog, I recommend and teach in my course to build a business. That means that you are building an entire website where the blog is just a section of your website.
The pages I have on my blog are the homepage, the blog page, an about me page and my courses page.
I wrote an article here on how to design your WordPress blog.
Identify your ideal reader
Before you start writing blog posts, you need to identify who it is you are writing to. When you create content, you are going to write it with them in mind.
Choose your blog categories
Create a few categories for your blog. Don't have too many blog categories, as there needs to be enough content within each category.
I have 4 categories on this blog: start a blog, grow your blog, get more traffic and make money blogging.
On my finance blog, Cash The Checks, I have just 3 categories: save money, make money and get out of debt.
Publish your first blog post
Okay, you are now finally ready to publish your first blog post.
Don't overthink this step. You don't have an audience and nobody is reading it. The most important part of this is to just get this post published.
I wrote a guide on what to write for your first blog post here.
Write your about me page
Your about me page is going to be one of the most (if not the most) important page of your website. It's on this page that readers determine whether you are the person who can help them solve their problem.
For help writing your about me page, look at my about page template here.
These two pages are required. Additionally, you want to add an affiliate disclosure at the top of each of your blog posts.
You can get a pre-made template of these pages created by a real lawyer here.
Set up an LLC
Setting up an LLC (if you're in the US) can add a layer of legal protection you otherwise would not have.
When you run your business as an LLC, you are personally not liable for things like debt and lawsuits - the LLC is. Disclaimer: I'm no lawyer!
There may also be tax advantages to setting up an LLC too.
You can create an LLC here.
There you have it, your blog launch checklist!
If you've found this post helpful, I'd appreciate it if you could save this checklist on Pinterest below.