Note: this post was original published as POST launch blog tips. But then it hit me that these are all things you should be doing before you launch a blog, ie in that sweet spot of time after you create a WordPress blog but before the world knows about it. Anyways, deep breath, get these PRE blog launch tasks done right away and expect some actual post launch tips coming soon!
Your blog goes live and…now what?
You have a blank slate of a blog with nothing on it, yet all the potential in the world!
Lately I’ve been helping so many people with the setup part of blogging that I’ve sort of forgotten the pre-launch period.
So right here we’ll cover 10 critical tasks for you and your newly created blog. Here are some steps to do after you setup WordPress, but before you launch a blog to the world!
10 Tasks for New Blogs
Quick note: These are actual flaws I see on your new blogs and truly are things that if you do straight away really will jumpstart your blog. They apply to blogs and sites in all niches!
1) Delete the pre-made features
WordPress comes with several initial “things” in place to show you what you can create. From the “First Post” to the Sample Page, Archives, Meta, and Recent Comments sections these all look rather pointless at first. So delete them.
You can fill the space with actual pages, archives, etc once you create a few blog posts. For now, simple is best and these pre-made features will only distract people.
2) Change your theme immediately
On WordPress it’s quite easy to change the entire theme (or look, or design, whatever you want to call it) of the blog. Just go to Appearance – Themes – Install Themes – Upload, then find your theme.
You can also search for free themes by criteria, or can browse premium themes (these are paid options) at a place like Theme-Junkie.
3) Create a working title before you launch a blog
Working is the key word here!
Either just title your blog, or upload an image banner containing your title. Please do this soon, readers will run for the hills if you don’t.
4) Write a welcome message (our favorite blogging step)
A welcome message, just in MY humble opinion, should be your very first post. It tells readers why you started and gives them an idea of what’s to come.
I think you should have a blast writing one.
5) Do your best to show signs of interaction
When I wrote about the popularity contest that is social proof, I mentioned how showing interaction on a blog leads to…more interaction.
Grab a Twitter dialogue box, a simple Google Plus badge, or ask a few friends or family members to be your first commenters. This will make a huge difference going forward.
6) Create an about me page
Also in the fun category, do this literally right away.
Say I’m a reader curious about what your blog, or website covers. I’ll either read the welcome post or this about me page to find out. If it’s missing, I’m gone.
Spend about an hour making this personable, and really, really good. I know a lot of you won’t even listen, but this page really is critical. It’s good for getting subscribers and customers too.
7) Research your niche before blog launch
A big part of our guide to planning your new blog was niche research.
If you didn’t research other blogs or websites like yours before beginning you should really get on that now. Knowing what’s out there will help you tailor your content to be original, and you might even meet some helpful blogging friends along the way.
8) Put on some comfy clothing
I really could have put this up at number 2 or 3 but I’m just thinking of it now. These jeans are not broken in!
9) Get a logo
You should have a logo that explains your purpose and includes a motif or two.
You should do some preliminary research on what logos are working on people nowadays (usually Google images is good enough) then ask one of your design-savvy friends to create a working logo. Or open up Photoshop and tackle it yourself!
I say working again because it doesn’t have to be perfect! Which brings me to my last point.
10) Ditch the perfectionism
Throw it right out the window of your apartment, because being a perfectionist will really hold you back in blogging.
You have to make mistakes to learn, we know this.
But in blogging, you have to actually put yourself out there, online, and get your hands dirty. You have to learn code, try out writing styles, totally botch the design, and generally be goofy.
If you expect things to run perfectly your blog will go no wehere at all. And, the good part is nobody is judging!
The Usual Discussion
Now to the comments we go. Wonder who will be first…
- Do you agree first impressions on a blog are crucial?
- What’s the first thing you do after you make a blog? How about post-launch?
- Did you just start a blog and find this useful?
Post your thoughts today right below.