11 steps to a successful blog launch

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You want to launch your blog and make a splash. You want to feel successful from day 1. And you want people to be seriously wowed by all that you’ve accomplished in such a short time, am I right?

It’s not just wishful thinking. You can actually pull this off. I believe in you.

That’s why I want to share 11 essential things you should do before you launch your blog. 

I’m assuming you’ve already got a domain name and hosting. If you haven’t, read my step-by-step tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog quickly and cheaply.

It also includes info on how to get a personalized email address that ends in your domain name and how to get your blog marked as secure. I won’t be covering these here but they are an absolute must.

Now try to relax! Starting a blog is easy. Many people see a bunch of new terms (like hosting, domain names and analytics), feel overwhelmed and think it’s hard. But all the steps leading to a successful blog launch are just a bunch of items on a checklist. Let’s cross them off together.

11 steps to a successful blog launch

1. Join supportive Facebook groups
2. Create an action plan
3. Customize your permalink structure
4. Write your first blog posts
5. Dress up your blog
6. Get the perfect logo
7. Launch your blog with a bang
8. Be prepared to measure your success
9. Start an email list
10. Add social sharing buttons
11. Write your legal pages

1 | Join supportive Facebook groups

Networking with other bloggers is extremely important if you want to build a successful blog.

Unfortunately, many bloggers see their peers as rivals, and instead of learning together, they prefer to keep to themselves. Not only their successes, but their struggles as well.

Rid yourself of this scarcity mentality. There’s enough for all of us.

When I created the Blog + Biz Babes Facebook group I had no idea it would grow into this amazing and highly-engaged community of women always ready to support each other.

Managing this group opened my eyes to just how valuable and generous the blogging community is, and I am grateful for every single boss lady who decides to join us.

Another thing I love about Facebook groups is that you can ask for constructive feedback.

Many bloggers are too shy to ask for help or are afraid of criticism. But feedback is one of the most powerful drivers of growth.

It really takes a village and you shouldn’t walk this blogging journey alone.

2 | Create an action plan

If you want to build a profitable blog, you need a plan.

First of all, you must figure out what you want to blog about.

Second, set long and short term goals and start tracking your progress.

The Smart Blog Planner will help you stay organized and productive. It will also give you a beautiful platform for creating an editorial calendar, planning giveaways and round up posts, all the way to creating your first product.

As soon as I started using the Smart Blog Planner I noticed an immediate change in my mindset and my income. So if you are serious about blogging and want to make this work, don’t miss out on the benefits of using a planner.

Third, brainstorm ways to make money with your blog. I recommend you start with affiliate marketing because it’s risk-free, it doesn’t cost a penny and you can already add affiliate links to your posts in preparation to your blog launch.

My favorite affiliate network is ShareASale. They have thousands of affiliate programs under one roof, which simplifies password management.

I also recommend you sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program because it works for pretty much any niche. I explain everything you need to know, from how to get your account approved to how to add and best promote Amazon products in my eBook, How to Make Money As An Amazon Affiliate.

And last but not least, you can join my affiliate program and earn up to 30% on each sale you refer.

The permalink is the full URL you see for any given blog post or page. The purpose of a permalink is to provide a unique and permanent address for each of your blog posts and pages.

For example, the permalink for this post is https://www.bylauraiancu.com/successful-blog-launch-checklist.

  • bylauraiancu.com is my domain (never changes)
  • successful-blog-launch-checklist is the slug (which is unique and identifies this particular post).

The permalink structure is the format WordPress uses when naming your individual posts or pages. By default, the year, month and day a post was published are included in the URL. This might come in handy for news or deal sites.

But if you plan to write mostly evergreen content that will be relevant for years to come, including the date in the permalink structure might:

  • Put off readers – nobody wants to waste their time with outdated advice.
  • Result in broken links shall you decide to update and republish an older post, because the date will change. If other people linked back to the original post from their site, you’ll also lose those links and the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits that come with them.

To change your permalink structure go to Settings >> Permalinks.

I use the post name option and this is the permalink structure I recommend for most blogs. Once you’ve chosen your new permalink structure, don’t forget to save the changes!

WARNING: If you’ve already started publishing posts or pages on your blog, changing the permalinks structure might result in broken links. To fix this, you’ll have to set up redirects for each and every one of your existing posts. A free plugin (I used this one in the past) will help, but depending on how many posts you’ve already published, it might take you some time.

4 | Write your first blog posts

Three good blog posts are all you need to launch your blog. Sure, if you are a super fast writer and can write really thorough, in-depth posts in record time, you can aim for more.

But I find 3 to be the magic number. Your blog won’t look ‘naked’ and your first readers will have plenty of material to go through on a first visit.

What I find of essence though, is that you post more content in the following days. Two posts a week for the first two months is awesome sauce! Then you can slow down if you want to.

I wouldn’t even dream of writing more than one post a week now. There are other tasks, like writing my next email newsletter and promoting existing content that I consider far more important. Plus I also want to have a life and make self-care a priority.

To write your first post, go to your WordPress dashboard and choose Posts >> Add New in the left column.

Blog post writing checklist

  • Compose your post. You can write directly in WordPress or in a text editor and then paste it into WordPress when it’s done. Each post should give the solution to a problem. Use as many words as you NEED to get your message across. No more, no less!
  • Write short paragraphs (2-3 sentence, maximum 5 lines). Long paragraphs are intimidating.
  • Format your posts (use subheaders, bullet points, bold and italics)
  • Proofread your articles using an online grammar checker. My favorite is Grammarly
  • Add at least one Pinterest-friendly image per post
  • Link to relevant content you wrote in the past 
  • Finish with a question to spark engagement
  • Title your post something relevant people will actually search for
  • Change your post’s permalink if necessary. A shorter permalink, stripped by all unnecessary words is usually better.

5 | Dress up you blog

Once you’ve published the first couple of posts, you can get a better idea of how your blog looks like.

If you’ve installed a free theme, you might be tempted to keep it.

Nevertheless, I recommend you look for a premium theme for several reasons.

  • Many bloggers use the free themes in the WordPress repository and this means many blogs look pretty much the same. You cannot stand out if you look like everybody else.
  • Free themes lack support. A premium company like Bluchic will go as far as installing and setting up your theme for you.
  • Many free themes are not up to date. This leaves security holes in your blog that hackers can exploit. It’s not worth the risk.

When you are ready to go premium, learn how to choose a WordPress theme first. There’re lots of options, but it’s best not to go overboard and pick something that fits your needs and niche.

For example, if you run a food blog, Foodie Pro is just perfect. If you plan to monetize your blog through products and services, Refined Pro is simply gorgeous. Ascend was designed for travel bloggers. Divi is a more advanced theme but it allows you to grow in unimaginable ways.

Every business needs a unique and memorable logo and blogs are no different.

Your logo is the very first thing a reader sees when your blog loads in their browser. It’s the first thing that draws someone’s attention when you hand them your business card.

Your logo sets the tone for your brand. It has to appeal to your target audience and express your brand’s vision.

An eye-catching logo is the first step towards creating a strong brand.

If you are artistically inclined, you can create your own logo. That’s exactly what I did.

To create your own logo you can use Canva, PicMonkey, or a professional software, like Photoshop.

If graphic design is not your cup of tea and you have $5 to spare, hiring a professional designer on Fiverr is an elegant and quick solution. Most designers will have your logo ready in 48 hours and even the basic package usually comes with several revisions. I favorite logo designer is DigitalBarbie.

7 | Launch your blog with a bang

Apart from your blog, I recommend you also pick one or two social networks to be active on. For most bloggers, Pinterest and Instagram are really hot right now.

However, Instagram was not designed to help you drive traffic to your blog. And waiting for Google to send people your way might take quite a long time.

This makes Pinterest your BFF because Pinterest can explode your blog’s traffic in a very short time.

While you get your blog ready for launch, start joining relevant group boards on Pinterest. You can join my group board here, btw. Simply follow the steps in the board’s description.

Also join several active Tailwind tribes. Again, you are welcome to join my Tailwind tribe. If you are new to Tailwind, you’ll also get 100 free pins and $15 credit towards your account when you use my link.

Then on your launch day, share all your Pinterest-friendly images in all the group boards and tribes you’ve previously joined for a boost.

8 | Be prepared to measure your success

If you want to be able to measure the success of your blog launch, you need to have a way to track each and every one of your visitors.

But knowing how many people visit your blog, where they come from and your most popular posts will always come in handy. Plus these are numbers advertisers and PRs are interested in before deciding if you’re a good fit for their campaigns.

Google Analytics is the industry’s standard and it’s super easy to install.

  1. Sign up for a Google Analytics account.
  2. Look for the Admin tab and click Create new account. Set up your account by filling in your account name (it can be the same as your blog’s name), website name, URL, etc. Click Get tracking ID.
  3. Accept the terms and services.
  4. A new page will open. Copy the code under Website tracking.
  5. Install a free plugin like Insert Headers and Footers and add the tracking code to the header section.

To take your analytics to the next level, also sign up for a Google Search Console account.

This is another free service that lets you learn a lot about your blog, add a sitemap, notifies you of site errors, and (rejoice!) won’t hold back information about the exact keywords people use to find your blog in Google.

Add and verify your blog in Google Search Console. If you know how to get to your website’s root folder, I recommend using the HTML file upload method. This way, you won’t have to worry about the verification code being deleted every time your theme gets updated.

Last but not least, connect your Google Analytics account with your Google Search Console account to get access to all those keywords I mentioned above.

9 | Start an email list

I know it might sound counterintuitive to ask people to join your email list when you’ve barely written a couple of posts and are just launching your blog.

But trust me, you don’t want to miss the opportunity of converting those first visitors into subscribers. Watching you grow and become might turn them into your biggest fans.

Plus…

  • Your list is yours. Google might change their algorithm anytime and your posts can fall out of grace. Facebook and Pinterest constantly innovate and make changes and while your status updates might reach your followers today, there’s no guarantee they will tomorrow. When someone gives you access to their inbox, you don’t have to play catch all the time.
  • It’s the easiest way to build trust. A gazillion page views per month and a million followers on Instagram are nothing but numbers until you give the people behind the accounts a reason to trust you. And let’s be honest, whom would you rather buy a product, service or course from, a stranger or somebody whom you know, trust, and admire?
  • The money is in the list because that’s where you most loyal readers are. Email builds trust even further. And trust almost always leads to more income and sales.

If you are new to email marketing, I recommend either MailerLite or ConvertKit.

With MailerLite you can grow your list for free up to 1,000 subscribers. If you need help getting started, you can read my detailed MailerLite tutorial here.

On the other hand, ConvertKit is designed to help you grow your email list as fast as possible and on autopilot. It is created by bloggers for bloggers and offers a 14-day free trial.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Pageviews are meaningless if people don’t trust you. You can’t build a relationship with a number.” quote=”Pageviews are meaningless if people don’t trust you. You can’t build a relationship with a number.” theme=”style3″]

10 | Add social sharing buttons

Every now and then I read a blog that’s so awesome, I feel compelled to share it with my followers.

So I look for some sort of floating share buttons first, then I scroll all the way up and then all the way back down again. And nothing. Depending on the social network I intended to share the content, I might give up and move on.

You should always go the extra mile and help your readers share your content. This includes adding Pinterest-friendly images as well as social sharing buttons.

Your readers are busy and adding easy-to-find sharing buttons to your blog is a matter of courtesy.

There’s an abundance of free social sharing plugins to choose from. After testing several, I finally settled for the Social Warfare plugin. It adds beautiful, responsive buttons, twitter cards, minimum counts, and so on. I trully hope it enhances your experience on my blog.

You can look like a professional blogger on your launch day and one of the ways to do it is by adding a disclosure and privacy policy. These pages are very important (otherwise they wouldn’t be legally required!) and will save your butt in the long run from any legal issues.

In your privacy policy, you should basically let your audience know that you use cookies (if you as little as accept blog post comments, you use cookies!) and that their information is safe with you (especially if you collect emails or sell products and services directly from your blog, etc.) 

To get you started, go to Settings >> Privacy. You can use the page already set up for you as a template or you can google privacy policy generator and you’ll find tons of websites that will draft one for you.

You should also notify your readers that you use cookies, as soon as they land on your blog. For this, you can use a free plugin like UK Cookie Consent.

When you start making money or decide to place affiliate links in your content (as I said, you can do this from the get-go!), you’ll also need to add a disclosure policy.

In the disclosure policy, you should explain that you get a commission whenever the reader makes a purchase through your affiliate links. If you accept sponsored posts you should state that your opinion is never influenced by the compensation you receive.

Also, if you’ve applied to become an Amazon affiliate, there’s a specific language you need to use. I actually recommend you add the Amazon disclosure text to your blog before you apply to avoid being rejected. For more on this, check out this list of Amazon affiliate mistakes and how to fix them.


If you’ve followed every step in this post, you should be ready to launch your blog with a bang! Congrats, you beautiful blogger, you!

Hungry for more? Read how to look like a professional blogger when you’re just starting out next.


ABOUT LAURA
Hey girl hey! I’m a writer, designer and the creator of I Am Unstoppable: A Journal For Winning At Life. I’m on a mission to inspire and empower women to simplify their blogs and business so they can show up for their dreams in a sustainable way. I also love to travel, play with kitties and decorate my home.