Learning how to start a blog can be as easy as following a simple set of instructions. However, when you start your own blog there is more to do than you might think.
Sure it seems easy enough at first but then you realise there are many other things to consider. For instance you’ll need to choose a domain name, choose a topic, know your niche and create a few posts all before your tell the world about your blog. Do you really know what you need to Start a Blog?
In my free 7-Day Blog Jumpstart Course, I cover all these steps and have you up to speed with your within a week of starting.
However, today I wanted to share with you one of the most important parts of the course and it’s the Launch a Blog Checklist. That’s right, I’ve created a simple to use checklist that you can use when starting a new blog and it looks like this.
You can download it here and it’s designed for A3 paper but will print ok on A4.
Why do you need a checklist?
A checklist helps you to get organised, but most importantly it makes you accountable for a go-live date. Yes, you need to commit yourself to a Launch Date if you want to get started with a blog.
You see it’s all too easy to create a blog and then just say I’ll get back to it when I know what I want to write. That’s why I never recommend starting out with a free blog, because a free blog doesn’t cost you anything so you won’t feel any guilt if it just lies dormant.
Paying just a few dollars for web hosting from a company like iPage will ensure you keep pushing through with your blog because you’ll feel guilty paying for the hosting and then not using it. In this instance, guilt is your friend, as it’ll help you to overcome the resistance of trying something new.
Whatever your motivations for starting a blog, it’s tough writing daily for a blog that no one reads, well not at first anyway.
You’ll need all the help you can get when starting a blog and completing this checklist will prove you are serious. Plus, when you’ve finished completing all the prerequisites, you’ll actually feel like you’re a blogger and have a solid platform to continue from.
Let me explain the parts of the checklist.
Things you need to know to Start a Blog
This is obviously your blog name and your formal Internet name. Usually, people make the mistake of setting up a free blog name and then later find it’s no longer available as an Internet Domain Name. Secure your domain name from the start of your blogging adventure and avoid disappointment.
A tagline is a few words that further explains what your blog is about. This is optional.
Knowing the topic of your blog isn’t enough. For maximum effectiveness you’ll need to niche that topic down so you can target a particular group of readers. People usually search for a specific thing, so it’s your job to provide specific answers.
Here you’ll write a little about your target audience. Who they are and what they do. Referring to this regularly will help you write to that person when creating new blog posts.
What do you say to people when they ask you what your blog is about? An elevator pitch in a brief summary explaining what your blog is about and the benefits it provides. It’s good to memorise this so you can deliver a consistent message when networking.
Try to create at least 5 blog posts before you begin to tell the world about your blog. Five blog posts should be enough for you to start developing a style that you like. Plus, who want’s to visit a blog with just one post.
Think of your blog like a TV show and try to publish consistently on the same day of the week. People like to know when new content is available and might not always subscribe to your email list. Go ahead and circle the days of the week you want to post on.
TV shows don’t just prepare a show the night before you watch it, they record the shows earlier so they can deliver it consistently during the season. Similarly you’ll want to have a few blog posts in the ‘bank’ in case the unexpected happens. Yes, people get sick and you are allowed to take time off from your blog. But if you do, you can just schedule in the publishing of your backup posts. I recommend 10 backup posts but others may suggest 20.
Social Media allows you to share your message. Try choosing a couple of social media channels you like or already use, as a way for you to disseminate your blog posts. Share often and you’ll find your early blog traffic will come from word of mouth and social media links.
Yes, commit to a Launch Date or you’ll never find the courage to start. We all have those negative thoughts and self doubt replaying in our heads. Choose a realistic date and stick to it.
To Do List
Yes, this is a checklist within a checklist. Once you’ve launched your blog you’ll want to make sure you’ve
Submitted your Blog to Google’s Webmaster Tools – this will let you know of any problems associated with your blog
Setup Google Analytics – This will allow you track your site visits and reader interaction.
Add your URL to your email signature – It pays to advertise your new blog where you can
Tell your friends – Don’t be shy. Let your friends know you are blogging and they might just join you. Remember to use your elevator pitch.
Call yourself a Blogger – Yes, if you’ve completed this checklist you’ll already have a body of work behind you. You are a blogger so don’t be afraid to call yourself one.
Visit Start a Blog – Yes, this blogging website not only shows you to Start a Blog but also helps you to improve your existing blog. It’s perfect for the Beginner and Intermediate Blogger. Visit weekly for new tips and tricks or just sign up to the newsletter to be kept up to date.
So that’s the Launch a Blog – Checklist in a little more detail. Do you like it?
Are you ready to start your own blog? Let me know in the comments if you are and please share this checklist with anyone you know who is thinking of starting a blog.