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Blog Launch Checklist for Starting a Blog

Last updated on January 10, 2020  ∙ by Edwin Contreras10 comments
The ultimate checklist for launching your blog

I may earn a commission for purchases made through links in this post.

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.

For this blog of mine, I chose Do Six Figures and one of my other blogs is Cash The Checks.

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:

  • Facebook - Create a Facebook page for your blog.
  • Twitter - Don't forget to add a bio and your URL.
  • Pinterest - Be sure to pick a business account so you can get access to analytics.
  • YouTube - Create a YouTube channel - even if you don't plan on doing videos yet.
  • Instagram - It's notoriously difficult to get traffic from IG, but it's good for branding and awareness.

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:

  • Bluehost - A popular choice for new bloggers. As a bonus, you get a free domain name included!
  • SiteGround - This is where DoSixFigures.com is hosted. I love it here!
  • HostGator - Another good option for new bloggers with competitive pricing. I have used them before.
  • DreamHost - Another hosting provider to look at. I have blogs hosted here as well.
  • WPXHosting - This is the fastest web host and ideal if you plan to start a high-traffic 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.

To design a logo, head over to Canva and use their free logo maker.

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.

Canva

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.

Disclaimer and privacy policy pages

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.

Until next time,
Edwin, DoSixFigures.com

just a little > about me

About edwin

Edwin Contreras is the professional blogger behind Cash The Checks and Do Six Figures. Over the last 17 years, he has started over 100 profitable blogs on his way to a six-figure income as a full-time blogger. He is now obsessed with helping people just like you escape the 9 to 5 and make serious money online. You in?

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continue > the conversation

  • This is a really great guide! Wish I had read this before starting my blog!

  • Thanks 🙏🏽 for the list. I just moved my site to Siteground. Including the tip on getting your LLC was brilliant!

  • Some great tips. I agree with the catchy name and the niche. Soooo important.

    I made big mistakes with my categories (and the hierachy of my blog in general) and wish I had known about this before I started (i.e. read this blog).

    If you wouldn’t mind, I have one thing.

    I like many others fell for the bluehost marketing. I have started to read (bangs head on wall d’uh. Too late, of course) that bluehost and the way it shares the hosting is not a great option? What do you think? I guess it’s cheap and you get what you pay for?

    • The good thing about your blog hierarchy issues is that you can fix it.

      I know I’ve had issues before where I’d create way too many categories and realize there are only 1 or 2 posts in each category. And don’t get me started on sub-categories, it can turn into a real mess!

      Anyways, regarding Bluehost, yes they offer shared hosting and yes it’s cheap. But that’s the same exact business model of HostGator, SiteGround, Hostinger, etc.

      This is the only way any of these companies can offer cheap hosting: by cramming a bunch of websites onto the same server.

      So what’s the solution? You have 2 choices:

      1. Choose a cheap host (any of them, they’re all the same) and test your site speed. If it is slow, ask them to move you to another server and see if that improves site speed.

      Then just use plugins like W3 Total Cache (free), a CDN like Cloudflare (free), and optimize your images with Shortpixel or WPSmush (free). That should help with site speed.

      2. Get hosting from WPX Hosting like I do. While it is also a shared host, they do not pack it with a bunch of clients so your sites stay fast. While a dedicated host (the fastest option) may cost a few hundred bucks a month, you can get WPX for $25.

    • I’ve done this twice already for this very site and it’s not difficult.

      1. First, you buy a new domain name.
      2. After that, add the domain to your hosting account.
      3. Make a backup of your old site.
      4. Then copy the contents of one site to the other one. Your host may offer this for free so I’d ask them to do it.
      5. Finally, redirect your old site to your new site. You need to edit the .htaccess file in the root of the old domain and add this code:

      Options +FollowSymLinks
      RewriteEngine on
      RewriteRule (.*) https://www.yournewdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

      It’s definitely possible to do this with zero downtime, but I’d ask your host to do this for you.
      Hope this helps!

    • In the US, if you’re sued by someone and lose, it’s the LLC that’s on the hook for losses. Worst case scenario is bankruptcy for the LLC.

      But if you don’t have an LLC and you’re sued and lose, you are personally responsible. This means your own personal assets are at stake (house, car, etc.)

      Setting up an LLC creates a layer of protection that while it won’t protect you from criminal cases, will protect you from civil (financial) cases.

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