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Starting out on a blog can be crazy, stressful, and overwhelming. But, if you stay organized and have a game plan, it doesn’t have to be.
If you still need to get your blog set up, follow our step-by-step photo instructions right here and you’ll be up and running in a matter of minutes!
Here are the things that we recommend every beginner blogger do:
#1: Come up with a GAMEPLAN.
What is your goal with blogging? Where do you want to be in 3 months? 6 months? A year?
Do you want to make money? How are you going to do that?
How much time do you have to spend each day on your blog?
How many posts per week will you be creating and posting?
I love the idea of using a planner or a checklist to make that happen – here’s an AWESOME FREE DAILY CHECKLIST to help breakdown your daily responsibilities. And here is a great FREE BLOGGING CALENDAR to help you plan ahead for the year.
Also, if you want to see how one blogger planned out her year and made $40,000 in the first 12 months of blogging, be sure to check out HER EBOOK – she basically walks you through step-by-step how she made each dollar. It’s a great resource!
#2: Have a great BLOG DESIGN
One of the most crucial parts of blogging is having a website design that is user-friendly, clean, and easy to navigate. While I love producing content, I am horrible at the tech side of blogging. If you know HTML coding and have an eye for design, you might be able to design your own, but if not, I highly recommend hiring someone to help you out.
Blog design doesn’t have to be expensive. One of our favorite companies is Template Express – they seriously have a design for any type of blog and are priced at about $39. Another great choice is Designer Blogs – they have a ton of different designs that can easily be installed on your blog for about $50. There are also a couple of free themes on WordPress that might help you also.
#3: Set up ALL your SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
Even if you aren’t planning on using each social media channel, we recommend signing up for all of them with your blog name so that if you ever decide to use it, you own it. We had a couple of friends who didn’t sign up for Instagram or Facebook when they first started their blogs and someone else came in and registered their name. They had to spend a lot of money to purchase those accounts with their name attached to it, so save yourself the hassle in the future and save them now!
#4. Brainstorm CONTENT IDEAS for posts
This goes hand-in-hand with having a game plan, but it helps so much to have a whole list of ideas that you can blog about when you are having a brain fart (those happen a lot in the blogging world). I LOVED this post about How To Brainstorm a Year’s Worth of Blog Topics in less than 1 hour – some great ideas to get your creative juices flowing! This is also a great post about simple ways to brainstorm blog post ideas.
#5. Follow other SUCCESSFUL BLOGGERS
I feel that following other successful bloggers, especially ones in your niche, is important for so many reasons . . . they are obviously doing something right, so try to figure out how you can emulate that on your own blog. How often do they post? After they post on their blog, how do they promote it? How do they interact with their community? What topics do they cover on their blog?
Also, start to comment, like, and share their content – interacting with bloggers is a great way to network!
#6. Start writing CONTENT
At the beginning of your blog, having content is everything! You can’t drive traffic to your website without having quality content to share, so these first dozen posts or so are crucial. Start sharing all those ideas that are running around wild in your head!
#7. PROMOTE your content
Now that you have some posts to share, it’s SO IMPORTANT that you share them!
Three of my favorite ways to promote blog content are:
1. Join some link parties (here is a list of link parties happening right now!) and link some of your posts up those.
2. Share your blog posts on your social media channels (you know, the ones that you set up in step #3!). If you want a great tool for having consistent pins on Pinterest, we highly recommend ViralTag.
3. Send an email to your email subscribers*.
*Don’t have email subscribers? Well, it’s time to change that! We recommend getting set up with a company like AWeber that focuses on email marketing for bloggers and then once or twice a week, send an email out to people who have subscribed to your blog to share with them the latest and greatest. Email is still one of the most effective ways of getting in front of people. To get more people to sign up for your newsletter, we recommend using OptinMonster for your pop-up. Our conversion rate quadrupled when we started using a pop-up from them . . . it’s been awesome and they are easy to use!