You have spent a great deal of time and effort getting ready to launch your blog, but do you have everything you need to be successful? Making sure you have done the right things up front will help ensure your success as you add more content and build your audience. This article is a companion piece to The Ultimate Guide to Launching Your Blog which explains in detail the things you need to think of when you are planning your new blog.
Now, onto The Ultimate Checklist for Launching Your Blog.
Social Sharing Strategy
This goes without saying, but you should have all your social accounts setup before launch so you can use them for your launch activities. I will be sure to include this step in the checklist, because it is often overlooked. Beyond parking your handles on various social media platforms, be sure your pages are properly branded and the profile is complete.
This step is so vital because it is important to make sure you are sharing your fantastic content for people to find on Social Media! There are a couple of different ways you can do this. First of all, it is important to share and promote your content on Social Media. CoShedule has a great blog on how to do this, and you can schedule it with the CoSchedule tool. Hopefully your social media follower will also interact with your content when you post it.
Another important aspect of your social sharing strategy is making sure others are sharing your content! A great way to do this is to have social media sharing buttons on your web pages. This is another way for readers to interact with your content if they have enjoyed it. Your WordPress theme may have a function like this built in. If it does not, there are WordPress plug ins available such as Shareaholic.
Multiple Pieces of Content for Related Posts
In our first Ultimate Guide, we talked about having multiple pieces of content on launch day. This is so your readers find more than one interesting thing when they come to your site for the first time. It is also so your readers receive suggestions on what other content of yours may interest them from a Related Posts feature in WordPress.
Once again, this may be part of your theme, or you may need to use a plugin to achieve this. This is important for a couple of reasons relating to SEO. Remember, SEO does not have to be difficult, and it can become a natural part of your writing. The fact of the matter is that Google loves when people stay on your site for a long time, and visit multiple pages on your site, so a simple change like this can help you drive traffic in the future.
A Word on WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are a fantastic way to bring features and functionality to your WordPress blog. However, it is important to make sure you are using the right plugin for what you are trying to accomplish. You can browse WordPress plugins by clicking Plugins on the left nagivagntion pane when you are logged into your WordPress as an administrator, or on the WordPress site here.
Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a plugin:
- Reviews – take time to look at the plugin’s ratings and reviews and make sure they are positive
- Active Installs – be sure to look at how many people are using the WordPress plugin – the more, the better!
- Last Update – Make sure the plugin you select is being updated on a regular basis!
- Compatibility – If you are browsing plugins through your WordPress site, you will see right then and there if the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress.
You can add a great deal of features and functionality to your site with WordPress plug ins. Be sure to take a look at the 24 must have plugins according to wpbeginner.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two free tools that are a must for every blogger. You also want to have them setup before you launch so you can ensure you are collecting data. If you are reading this, have a blog, and do not have Google Analytics and Google Search console set up, stop and do it! In this case it is very much late is better than never, because these tools are fantastic and will help you in the long run.
Let’s break down what these tools do.
Google Analytics is your one stop shop for everything you want to know about your audience, such as how where they come from and what pages they are visiting. Further more it is the definitive source for key metrics about your blog. Some of these key metrics are
- Bounce Rate
- Session Duration
- Page Views
There is also a real time view that shows you how many users are on your website and what they are doing. There are different ways to measure the traffic on your blog, and every metric in this list tells a different story. Setting up Google Analytics is simple, and Google provides a detailed guide. If you are ready to dive right in, Niel Patel has a great article about how to use google analytics like a pro.
Google Search Console
While Google Analytics shows you, well, all of your analytics, Google Search Console shows you your analytics from Google searches. Here you can find key information like.
- Total Clicks from Google Search
- Total Impressions
- Average CTR (Click Through Rate)
You can filter this data in a number of ways, such as by query or by page on your site. Google Search Console will become a key tool when it is time to begin optimizing your content, like Neil Patel suggests in this article. Neil’s blog is a fantastic resource you should be reading on a regular basis and Niel is an all around great guy. In the comments section of this article, I asked him how long I should wait after making changes to content to evaluate results, and he was nice enough to let me know I should wait 30 days. It is crucial that you have Google Search Console setup at launch so you can track your progress over time.
Remember, if you are reading this, and do not have these setup, do it right now! You will thank me later, I promise!
Your Content Plan and Calendar
You are going to have a natural high when you launch your blog! All of your hard work has finally paid off and your product is ready! Do not let yourself lose that momentum! It is important you have your content plain in place, and know when you will be posting and promoting this content (CoSchedule is a great tool to help with that).
Try to set a time where you can plan content for the next month. Once you get yourself in the habit of doing this, managing your content plan and content calendar will be easy. I like to sit down in the middle of the month, evaluate the last month, how this month is going, then plan for the coming month.
Are you ready to launch your blog? Great! Do not forget to download your free ultimate checklist to get you started!
These items in this blog launch checklist are crucial to your success. Remember, having a blog is a lot more involved than simply putting some words on the Internet. Using this checklist, you will be setup for your future success, and have the basics of your strategy for blogging in place. If you already have a blog, you can still make sure to check all the boxes on the checklist. Nothing in this checklist will hurt your blog or your blog traffic, it will only help you.