Starting a blog can change your life and it doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need is a blog launch checklist, and this guide will give you just that!
This blog post is the ultimate guide to starting your own blog. Whether you’re a beginner looking to start your first blog or an experienced blogger who wants some fresh ideas on how to improve your blog’s performance, we have you covered.
Disclosure; This post probably contains affiliate links. We only recommend products we use and love and all opinions expressed here are our own.
The Ultimate Blog Launch Checklist
Have you ever been dreaming about having a remote job where you can work from anywhere? If you start and grow a successful blog this can be possible for you.
This is what I did a few years ago when I ditched my 9-5 job to travel the world while starting my own business. Today I’m a mom of two toddlers and being a blogger has helped me to grow my business while being able to stay at home with my kids.
Blogging can give you the freedom and flexibility that you never imagined possible. You can write blog posts from anywhere! The possibilities are really endless…
If starting a blog is something that has been on your mind for some time now, I want to show you how easy it is and encourage you to finally take the first step today. To help get started we have created a blog launch checklist which you can download below.
Is Blogging Something For You?
The first step is to think about if blogging is for you. Are you willing to spend some time on it? It’s not a way to make easy money, blog readers are interested in high-quality content and that takes some time and effort to create.
If you’re looking for a quick “make-money overnight” solution then blogging might not be for you. If however, this sounds like something you would love doing every day then keep on reading.
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Blogger?
Actually, you don’t need any specific skills to start a blog. The most important thing you need is your passion and an idea that will make people want to read what you have to say day after day!
You also need to stay committed because blog success takes time. Starting a blog is similar to starting any new job; there’s a learning curve, but with time, confidence builds and it all gets easier.
Blog Launch Checklist
Regardless of your expertise, creating a blog is way easier than you might think. When you’re just getting started with a blog, you’re more likely to make numerous beginner mistakes. Let us help you to avoid that!
1. Choose a Niche
It’s easier to rank your blog posts on Google if you are not all over the place and write about everything that you are interested in. You might have heard the saying “Try to appeal to everyone and you will appeal to no one.”
By choosing a blog niche, your blog is more likely to get found by people who are looking for that specific topic. This way it’s easier for you to build a loyal readership and eventually grow your blog into a business because of the targeted traffic coming from Google search results!
2. Choose a Blog Name
Now it’s time to choose a domain name you want for your blog (e.g: blogname.com). Make a list of possible blog names that you can use to identify your blog. You might want to choose a blog name that is easy to remember, catchy, and also reflects your blog topic.
I highly recommend you to choose a “.com” domain. Having a .com is better for SEO and gives you more credibility.
You can use a domain name generator tool like this one to come up with blog names that are available for you to register.
3. Choosing a Web Host
Your blog needs a home on the internet. You need to sign up with a blog hosting company. In my opinion, Bluehost is the best when you’re a new blogger. They are easy to use and really affordable.
Choosing the right web host is important because it will affect how fast your blog loads, and whether you have access to WordPress which we recommend that you install. Bluehost is an officially recommended host by WordPress.org.
4. Install WordPress
WordPress.org is the world’s most popular blogging platform and I can definitely see why:
- It’s easy to use.
- It allows you to have complete control of your blog.
- You have access to thousands of beautiful themes you can customize.
- There are tones of plugins available.
- And it’s optimized for search engines (SEO) so it makes it easier for people to find your blog
Bluehost makes the installation of WordPress really easy. With a single click of a button, you can install it on your blog.
5. Change Username and Password for WordPress
Using the default username (admin) is not a good idea because it’s easier for hackers to guess.
You can change your WordPress username by logging in to your WordPress account and click ‘Users’ and then ‘Add new’.
6. Set up SSL
Have you noticed the small padlock to the left of the URL in your address bar? This symbol means that your website is seen as secure and has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate. Adding an SSL Certificate to your blog adds extra protection to your blog and will make it look more trustworthy and professional.
SSL certificates encrypt the information that is being sent between your blog and the visitors. This means that hackers won’t be able to steal any data you or your blog visitors type in, such as passwords, etc.
When choosing BlueHost as your blog host an SSL Certificate is included.
It’s a small effort to add an SSL Certificate, but this is going to give you peace of mind knowing that all the data transferred between your blog and its readers are encrypted.
7. Create an E-mail Adress With Your Domain Name
Bluehost includes a free email domain with their web hosting plans. An e-mail address that ends with your domain name + .com looks so much more professional than using a Gmail address.
Enter a word of your choice like “contact”, “hello” or “your name” before the “@” and choose a strong password.
ie. your e-mail address could look like this: firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Change Permalink Structure
Permalinks are important for your SEO to rank on Google. Basically, the permalink structure on your site is the blog URL. The default structure for a blog is to have the date in front of it which means that all your blog posts will look something like this:
This isn’t very appealing and you need to change it so people can scan through your blog more easily. By changing the blog URL structure to have the blog post title in it you will make your blog posts look cleaner which is more appealing for readers.
For example, if I was going to write a blog about my favorite recipes I would change my permalink structure from this:
To change your permalink structure to blog post name go to your WordPress dashboard and click ‘Settings’ and then ‘Permalinks’. Select ‘Post Name’ under ‘Common settings’ and click ‘Save changes.
9. Install a Theme
A blog theme is basically the design of your blog. It gives you an opportunity to make your blog look exactly how you want it and even reflect yourself! WordPress themes are usually available for free, but some cost a little bit of money.
The blog theme you choose is very important as it will affect how your blog looks, which affects the overall user experience and trustworthiness of your blog.
When choosing a blog theme make sure to check if it’s mobile responsive so that people who view your blog on a mobile device or tablet don’t have any problems.
If you’d like a feminine look I highly recommend checking out Bluhchic themes or Pix & Hue themes. Their themes are really beautiful, easy to use, and very customizable. They have great tech support and their themes have fast loading speed.
10. Customize Your Layout
Using Elementor page builder can help you build landing pages or if you want to build your blog homepage by yourself from scratch it’s great to combine with the free Astra theme. It’s so easy to use with drag and drop elements for blog posts, blog post sliders, or any other element you may need.
11. Pick a Font That’s Easy to Read
Your blog’s font is very important for your blog. It needs to be easy to read but also look good when using different elements on the blog page like buttons, titles, etc.
The most popular fonts are Helvetica Neue and Open Sans.
12. Add Blog Categories
Categories are the topics of your blog posts which you can group together. For example, if I was going to write a blog about recipes it would be useful for me to create different food-related categories like ‘cakes’, ‘pies’ or ‘soups’. This way visitors can easily find blog posts about their favorite food.
The blog categories you choose should be the topics that your blog is mainly focused on and therefore it’s a good idea to group them together in certain sections of your blog. For example, I have my blog divided into four main parts: Remote Jobs, Social Media and Blogging.
13. Install Plugins
Plugins are extra features you can add to your blog. They help with SEO, security and more on top of the standard blog functionality. You can find thousands of free WordPress plugins on wordpress.org or premium ones on CodeCanyon.
For example, if I was starting a food blog my must-have plugin would be a recipe plugin.
Some basic plugins all blogs should have:
- SEO-plugin like Yoast SEO or Rank Math to optimize your blog posts for SEO.
- Social sharing
- Caching and speed optimization
But remember to not install too many plugins! It can slow down your blog and affect the user experience. Ditch the ones that use a lot of server resources.
14. Add Google Analytics
Google Analytics helps you track your visitors and see on what page they enter and how they behave once they are on your blog.
15. Sign Up For Google Search Console
Google Search Console helps you keep track of the organic search traffic and see what keywords people are entering in their searches that led them to your blog.
Search Console will also keep track of your blog’s overall health and speed score and it will notify you if Google finds any errors.
In Search Console you will also be able to connect your site map structure to be able to index your content on Google.
16. Install a Blog Comment System
The blog comment system is important because you can encourage people to interact with your blog and each other by adding comments underneath the blog posts. Blogs that allow readers to leave their thoughts, ideas, or questions are much more appealing for visitors as they feel like part of the blogging community.
17. Install a Plugin for Social Sharing
There are so many blog plugins out there to help you optimize your blog for sharing on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The most popular ones are Shareaholic, Social Wayfarer, and Grow by Mediavine which is free with premium upgrades available later on if needed.
18. Design a Logo
A blog logo is a great way to brand your blog. It’s important as it will help readers recognize you. It also serves as an ‘online business card’ if someone finds one of your blog posts via social media or other blogs!
You can easily design a logo for yourself in Canva. Personally I use Canva pro to get access to all amazing features like stock photos, beautiful fonts and other design elements.
19. Create a Favicon
A favicon is a little picture that represents your blog or website. It’s the icon you see on browser tabs and bookmarks.
Just upload any image as a .png file for best results with no white space around it, and make sure to upload it to the root directory of your blog.
20. Write a Tagline for Your Blog
A blog’s tagline is a small sentence that describes your blog. It should be short and snappy to catch people’s attention but also provide some information about what they can expect from you blog.
21. Create an About Me Page
The blog about me page is important because it helps people understand who you are, what credentials you have and what blog they’re reading. It’s also a good way to connect with blog readers on a more personal level.
If you have been featured anywhere you can include this here as well.
22. Create a Contact Me Page
Just like the blog about me page, it’s important to have a blog contact page. It gives readers an easy way of contacting you if they are interested in advertising on your blog or collaborating with you!
With Elementor you can design contact forms that look clean and professional.
23. Create Legal Pages
The legal pages you need on your blog are:
- Contact Page
- Terms of Service
I highly recommend you to grab this genius Legal Bundle that was created for bloggers by a lawyer! It comes with blog-friendly templates that you can easily edit. It’s really important to get this right from the start.
24. Create Blog Sidebar Content
To have a sidebar or not is a personal choice. If you choose to have one it can include your contact information, social media profiles (or links), blog categories, latest blog posts, and your ‘about me’ page.
25. Create The Primary Menu Bar
Your blog menu bar should include the pages you want to give your visitors easy access to.
- Blog Posts – where they can find all of your blog posts in reverse chronological order, meaning newest blog posts are at the top.
- Categories – if you have a lot of blog post categories make sure it’s clear how readers can get to them.
- Archives – blog post archive, where blog posts are organized by month and year for easy access to older blog content that may be of interest to your visitors or blog readers.
- About Us – including the all important ‘about me’ page!
- Contact page – let your blog readers know how they can contact you if they have blog questions, comments or general enquiries
- Resource page – this is where you share your favorite products or blog resources. Remember to write an affiliate disclaimer if your resource page includes any affiliate links.
26. Install a Blog Widget Into Your Sidebar
Blog widgets are great for including blog post previews, social media updates, or blog category feeds into your blog sidebar. You can also use them to add email subscription boxes as another way of capturing emails from potential subscribers!
27. Create a Newsletter Subscribe Form
Having an email list is important because you can connect with people who are interested in what you have to say and give them more personal updates by sending blog post previews, giveaways, or other useful blog tips via emails. Email marketing is also another way for bloggers to make money!
Creating a blog newsletter subscription form is simple to do and you can add it in blog posts or put it on your blog homepage. I use Convertkit for my blog, but there are plenty of other plugins available depending on what functionality you’re looking for.
28. Create an Opt-In / Freebie Page
A blog opt-in page is where you can give away free blog content in exchange for the email address of your blog readers. Create a freebie you could offer your readers f they sign up to your e-mail list. It’s a great way to build trust with new visitors and subscribers, plus it also builds up an email list that you can market to in future blog posts or via marketing emails!
Here are some ideas of opt-ins you can create:
29. Sign Up For A Pinterest Account
Pinterest is a blog traffic must-have! To start ranking on Pinterest you don’t need to have an established authority. Sign up, create your profile and follow relevant boards that you can curate blog content from to include on your blog homepage or blog posts.
This is a great way of getting traffic back to your blog, but also has the added benefit of helping you build an email list!
Personally, I’m a member of Style Stock Society where I get both beautiful and unique stock photos for my pins and blog posts as well as Pin templates to use in Canva when I design my pins. This membership has honestly made my pinning so much faster and easier.
30. Sign Up For Tailwind
To give your Pinterest visibility an extra boost I highly recommend Tailwind. It works as a pin scheduling tool but you can also join their communities where bloggers in the same niche can share each other’s pins. They also have a new cool feature where you can design beautiful pins.
Tailwind has made it so that I can run my Pinterest profile on autopilot and have pins ready for the next six months!
31. Sign Up For Instagram
Instagram is another great social media platform where you can promote your blog posts.
Check out my DIY Instagram Audit Checklist if you want to optimize your Instagram profile to attract more followers and get them to your site.
32. Learn SEO
If you want to become a successful blogger you need to learn Search engine optimization (SEO). It’s so much easier to make things the right way from the beginning than correcting your mistakes afterward.
With these two courses combined you’ll learn everything important there is to know about SEO and if you follow the steps in there you will definitely be able to grow a successful blog if you put in the effort.
33. Sign up for Jarvis
This step is optional but honestly, it will make your blogging journey so much easier. Jarvis is an ai writing assistant and it will help you write better blog posts and spend less time on content creation.
Sign up for the free trial and see if it works for you!
34. Sign up for KeySearch
Finding low competitive keywords is important especially as a new blogger if you want to rank on Google. KeySearch is the keyword research tool I use to find these keywords. This tool is so easy to use and very affordable.
They have a brainstorm function where you can search for keyword topics you’re interested in writing about and the tool will serve you with different suggestions based on what people are searching for on different platforms.
35. Create Your First Blog Post
How many blog posts you should have ready before launching your blog is a personal preference. Personally I launch my blogs when I have the first post ready. From an SEO perspective, it’s beneficial to get your content published as soon as possible to start building blog authority and some blog traffic.
36. Launch Your Blog
So how do you announce a blog launch? A great strategy is to start promoting your blog on social media sometime before you launch it to be able to grow followers. Nurture your new followers with valuable content and engage with them so they will be more likely to check out your new blog and become loyal readers.
A great tip is to create a coming soon page before you launch your blog so you can start promoting your blog on social media and collect email subscribers. Before and during launch I use a blog launch email sequence with ConverKit. It works as a blog post series where I give all the information about my blog and what kind of content you can expect from me in future blog posts.
Using Instagram is another great tip when you launch your blog. You can use different content forms like:
- An Instagram post (i.e . blog post graphic where you present yourseld and describe what your blog is about)
- A blog launch Instagram story. Talk about who you are and who you help, what your blog is about and in what way your blog will serve your readers. Save these stories in your Instagram highlights section. Use my story highlight covers to make them look more professional.
- An Instagram reel with an energizing song and you pointing around the screen on text bubbles with info about you and your blog.
Make sure to use relevant hashtags in both posts and reels when you’re announcing your blog.
If you already have an established following with over 10 000 followers you can use links in your stories to promote your blog posts.
Launching a blog on Pinterest is a great way to reach more people. Simply create some boards with relevant topics and create a few different pins with blog post information and link it to your blog.
People will see your pins when they search on Pinterest and from there they can click through to your blog – you’ll get a lot of blog traffic if this goes well.
Another great strategy is using group boards where bloggers with an established following pin their content in exchange for them doing the same.
To get your blog post seen immediately you should aim for creating at least one pin per post and pin it to the Pinterest platform. You can do this by scheduling it at an optimal time in Tailwind or pinning it directly within the Pinterest platform.
Use the new Idea Pins feature to gain more visibility. This is a similar function as Instagram stories where you can promote video content.
If you looking for a great Pinterest course I highly recommend Pinteresting Strategies.
You can also announce your blog on Facebook on a page or in a group so all of your social media followers are aware of the new blog you have launched!
37. Create A Blog Post Schedule
I highly suggest writing out an editorial blog post schedule and try to stick to it. Do keyword research with KeySearch and this should give you a good idea of what type of blog posts you need for your blog’s first month!
I hope you’ve found this blog launch checklist useful! And remember, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to build trust in the online world so don’t expect instant results after launching your blog. Create quality content that will help people solve their problems, be consistent and blog regularly. I would love to hear your thoughts on blog launch strategies in the comments below!