Thinking about launching your blog? Are you wondering what all the things that need to be done before the launch are? This blog launch checklist will help you cover everything.
Starting a blog can be overwhelming? I am just a newbie. What if I made a mistake? What if no one can find my blog? Will anyone ever like the content I'll be producing? These are real thoughts that go through every blogger in the initial stages of launching a blog.
Launching a blog is no easy task; it requires time, effort, and commitment.
The key to a successful blog launch is in preparation. This blog launch checklist will help you make sure everything is in place before you hit the publish button for the first time.
Are you ready?
I'll divide the blog launch checklist guide into four categories to simplify things and ease of understanding.
I have seen lots of bloggers focus too much on making their blog look superior that they forget one very important factor: Readability.
As a blogger, it is your responsibility to make your blog look as good as possible. However, please don't get too fixated on it.
As long as you can make your blog reader-friendly, it's done. Your audience is there to consume helpful content, not to get amazed by your blog design.
Stop wasting time and resources that you can utilize to grow your blog even further.
When designing your blog, you need to pay attention to certain things to make sure your blog launch is successful.
#1: The Readability
Why will someone visit your blog?
What's that differentiating factor that will make your blog stand out and grow?
It's not the design. It's always going to be the Content.
As a blogger, your focus should be creating a design that provides a better reading experience than how fancy it looks.
You can have an amazing looking blog with the best animation and design elements, but you'll never get any results if you are not creating helpful Content.
Focus on the readability factor and features more.
- Choose a better hosting provider (Recommended WP Engine Hosting if you plan to use WordPress as your blog CMS.)
- Create a simple design based on focuses on readability
- Go with minimal functionality initially because you would like your site to be faster to give you an edge over establish blogs.
- Have a static homepage, which focuses on some conversion strategy. (ex. Offering a free e-book, report, in exchange for the email address)
- Create a blog post listing page to showcase the list of your published blog posts.
- Include frequent Opt-In boxes to increase your subscribers
- Focus on consistent branding, colors, fonts
- Have a frequent call to actions depending on the goals you want to achieve through your blog
- Make it better for mobile readers.
- Have easy to locate social media sharing options
#2: Navigation & URL Structure
Navigation is one of the most used and important section of the blog. It's more like a guide for visitors to understand the content structure of your blog.
I highly recommend creating a better navigation structure where you prioritize certain aspects to get better visibility and engagement.
- Focus on having clean, short, and simple URL's for pages. (Use %postname% as your permalink structure.)
- Don't use too many redirects.
- Check for page or URL's with errors.
- Reduce the number of pages that are using rel=”Canonical” tag
- Don't put your most important pages to submenus.
- Don't create a HOME link in your menu, because readers are already trained to click on the logo or press the back button.
#3: Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects contributing to your blog's growth.
You can't expect your blog to be found by people automatically; you need to work for it.
You have to pay attention to certain things to optimize your blog for search engines.
- Focus on improving the page speed of your blog. (You can use tools like Google Pagespeed, GTmetrix.)
- Store your media file on CDN to improve the overall experience of your blog. (JetPack & Cloudflare provide free basic CDN.)
- If your blog is built on WordPress, make sure you set up a Cache plugin. (W3Cache & WP Super cache are a best free option)
- Add expire headers to pages – in simple words; it means that you are guiding browsers whether they should call the page from server or browser cache. (W3Cach & WP Super Cache has this feature)
- Optimize the images you use on your blog. (It's highly suggested that you use JPG and WebP images.)
- Make sure to have your 404 Error page set up properly.
- Ensure the readability of your blog is optimized for your blog.
- Integrate Google Search Console to your blog. (It will help you track your site and its behavior in Google.)
- Integrate Google Analytics to understand your website traffic and visitor data to think more strategically and smarter.
- Create a better Robots.txt file. Don't just rely on the default one created by WordPress or the server. (Custom robots.txt file will help you control what search engine bots index and what not. For example, here's a ConceptBlogger robots.txt file.)
- Setup A Preferred (www or non-www) version of your domain name. (You can set this in WordPress Setting or SEO plugins like Yoast, All In One SEO)
- Make sure your URLs are search engine friendly. (In most cases, you should use your main keywords as URL)
- Set up an SEO plugin like Yoast, All In One SEO, or RankMath(recommended).
We all are well aware of the role marketing strategies play in the growth of the blog. Without effective marketing strategies, your blog would be hardly able to stay afloat in the niche.
Note: Do you want to learn more about blog optimization tips? I've written a blog post where I've share 35 effective blog optimization tips that I have been implementing for years.
You might be thinking, what's marketing has to do with the blog launch checklist? What aspects of it can we work on before launching the blog?
The most important aspect of marketing is having a clear understanding of the USP's of your blog.
- Analyze and understand your audience – Who's likely to read your content or buy your products?
- Write the major problems or topics you are going to cover that can help your blog audience.
- Do competition research to find who you are competing with and how you can beat the competition.
- Focus on building a relationship with your audience
- Always stay alert about major trends in your niche.
- Plan your marketing efforts for at least a quarter
- Set up marketing tools that you need to track, optimize your marketing efforts, like SEMrush, Ahref, etc.
- Make smarter marketing decisions based on data.
- Setup Facebook pixel and other advertising tools
After going through the blog launch checklist, you should have gotten an idea about what you need to do to launch your blog successfully.
Most bloggers start their blog by themselves without any help from others because of the tight budget. In that case, this blog launch checklist will help you stay on track with the things that you need to plug in before you hit that launch button.
You can install WordPress, do the basic setting, and expect your blog to make a breakthrough. But, unfortunately, that's never going to happen.
When you decided to be a blogger, you jumped into a battlefield, where you have to compete and win with other bloggers.
How do you win a battle?
And a blog launch checklist will help you in your launch preparation a lot.
What challenges did you face when you were setting up your blog? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments!!