There has never been a better time to start a blog. Gone are the days when blogging was just a fun way to share your thoughts publicly with the World Wide Web. No, in today’s world, blogging is less like a social media account and instead more like a lucrative small business opportunity—especially when done right.
There are lots of reasons YOU specifically should write a blog, but before you do, there are a lot of boxes to check. Everything from your website to the vibe of your content needs to be totally nailed down before you launch your blog. At least, this is true if you want your blog to turn into your career!
One of the most important things to have finished before you start a blog is a backlog of posts that are all ready to be uploaded. Consistent uploading is SO IMPORTANT for growing your blog, so if you have a good head start, your blog won’t be hindered if you don’t have time to write for a week or two.
But, what’s the magic number? How many blog posts should you have before you launch your brand? We’ll answer that question today and also give you step-by-step instructions on how to start a blog. This is everything you need to know:
How Many Blog Posts Do You Need Before Launching Your Blog?
We recommend you have 15 blog posts locked and loaded. This gives you almost a 4-month head start while you develop a new routine and work out the kinks of your blog (assuming you’re uploading once a week). Of course, you shouldn’t avoid writing at all until your 15 blog posts are used up, but instead, you should try to stay as far ahead as possible in case you have a week when you’re sick or suffer from some serious writer’s block.
Could you get away with having fewer ready-to-go? Sure. The number of blog posts you have ready is really up to you and your schedule. You could get away with 4-10 posts if you’re going to be really disciplined or have a lot of experience pumping out content quickly. However, we really think 15 is the perfect number.
What To Do Before Launching A New Blog
Step 1: Develop your brand.
The first thing to do when you’re starting your blog is to decide your topic, name, and vibe—all things that make up your brand. There are lots of things to blog about, but we recommend keeping your content focused on a certain target audience. If you need help, here’s a post to help you determine what your blog should be about.
Once you know who you’re writing for, name your blog and refine your voice. Finally, create a brand kit with your colors, fonts, and logo for your web design and image creation. This will help you keep everything consistent and oh-so aesthetic from the start.
Step 2: Choose a web host and register your domain.
Next, it’s time to establish everything you need for your website. A blogging platform to build your website is a must, so first choose that. We have a post on the best blog platforms, but we’ll give you the skinny: WordPress is our fave.
Through your website platform, you can usually purchase your domain. This is your unique web address. On that platform too, you normally have the option to buy an SSL certificate. Enhanced security will help boost the popularity and accessibility of your blog, so we highly recommend you get one! Learn more about SSL certificates in our post: HTTP vs HTTPS.
Once you decide on WordPress (or another platform) to build your website and you’ve purchased all the necessary add-ons, it’s time to select a hosting service that’s actually going to be responsible for making your website available to internet users everywhere.
Step 3: Refine your niche and perspective.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, take some time to more deeply consider your niche and POV. Niching down is one of the best ways you can capture an audience early on, so focus your niche even further and really define who your target audience is. Then, hone in on your unique perspective. Basically, ask yourself what you’ll bring to the table for your followers. What will make your content stand out?
Here’s more on how to find a niche!
Step 4: Make social media accounts.
After your audience is totally defined and you’re 100% decided on your branding, it’s time to make your social accounts. We don’t recommend investing time and creating an account for your blog on every single social media platform out there. It’ll just be way too much to manage!
Instead, consider where your audience might be and what social channels you’re most familiar with, and go with those. Maybe juggle 2 or 3 max when you’re starting out. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest are all great places to start! (Especially Pinterest.)
Step 5: Develop a content calendar.
Finally, it’s time to actually plan your blog posts! First, determine the posting schedule. You should be uploading 1-5 blog posts per week to get your blog to the masses. Once you have that schedule, open Excel or Google Sheets, and create a content calendar. Essentially, it’s an editorial calendar that lists all of your upcoming blog posts, their “due dates,” and any other important information. We recommend planning 1-3 months in advance.
Step 6: Research search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is your key to blog success. SEO is when you format and craft your blog posts intentionally to populate Google’s search results pages. Of course, if your content sits higher on the results pages, it’s way more likely to get clicked. With more clicks comes more followers, monetization avenues, and brand opportunities.
There are a lot of nuances to SEO. We’ve dedicated our whole website to helping bloggers (or soon-to-be bloggers) like you learn about SEO and hit all your big blogging goals. Here’s our crash course in SEO best practices, but we also recommend you browse the entire SEO section of our blog for all the must-have info.
Step 7: Write your first 15 optimized blog posts.
Now, you can get to writing! With some understanding of SEO, your brand, and your vision, you should be able to pump out 15 pieces of high-quality content in no time. Remember that your posts need to follow all the SEO rules laid out on the blog, so carefully consider your blog title, include keywords in your text, and make sure the content length is right. This will help your posts actually rank!
If this is all a little overwhelming, as you’re starting out, consider outsourcing the blog writing process. You can still be the voice and face of your brand without physically typing out the posts. There’s nothing wrong with that at all!
Step 8: Design your website and download plugins.
Your blog posts have to live on a vibey, aesthetic website. Your blogging platform should make this process super easy. Just choose a theme, customize the theme, and add your branding. The website should have your colors, fonts, voice, and visuals. Of course, it also needs to be super user-friendly with an easy-to-follow main menu and readable text. You can learn more about web design essentials here.
Step 9: Consider monetization goals.
If you want to be a successful blogger, you’ve got to make a profit off your blog. Of course, you don’t need to do this right away, but you should have a goal in mind that you’re working towards. The main ways of making money off of blogs are:
- Affiliate Marketing: You share links to products and services you endorse, and when readers click your link and make a purchase, you get a cut of the profit!
- Brand Collaborations: Influencer marketing is huge right now. Since readers trust you more than traditional ads, brands will pay you to write a post specifically about their product or service.
- Ad Space: Once your website starts getting significant traffic, it becomes a lucrative place to put ads!
- Products or Services: Whether you sell t-shirts, books, courses, or printables, your blog can be monetized using your own products or services.
For more ways to make money on your blog, read our post on how to make a business out of blogging. Hopefully, it’ll help you formulate your goals!
Step 10: Create a lead magnet/call-to-action.
Even if your content is great, early followers need a reason to stick around. Offering them a freebie in exchange for their contact info will allow you to build out your email list and have lots more opportunities to “sell” to these visitors. After receiving a few emails, hopefully, they’ll become lifelong followers and big fans!
Here are some call-to-action ideas to pull readers in.
Step 11: Set up your email marketing platform.
As that email list gets bigger, you’ll need a marketing platform to manage the large contact list. Most standard email programs have a limit to the number of addresses you can send to. Plus, who wants to copy and paste that much anyway? Email marketing platforms are relatively inexpensive, and make creating and sending newsletters to your followers much easier!
Step 12: Repurpose your blog content for social media and newsletters.
When your blog launches, so should your social media channels. (Actually, you should start your socials a couple of weeks earlier to hype the blog.) To get ready for your brand launch, repurpose your 15 blog posts into social media-friendly formats.
Whether it’s a quote, a picture, a tip, a reel, or an engaging question, you should be able to pull plenty of content from your posts to engage social media users. As they gain interest in your social media posts, they’ll hopefully head straight to your blog for all the details. After these posts are all made, use Planoly or another social media post scheduler to set and forget your upload dates.
Step 13: Create a budget.
Even new blogs need a budget. Though running a blog technically could be free, it won’t have the growth potential. From website platforms to email marketing software, there are plenty of monthly charges you’ll incur as a blogger. Plus, there are initial costs like web development, logo design, equipment purchases, and more. Here are more details on blog start-up costs and monthly blog charges you should be prepared for.
With a budget, you can determine which services, tools, and products are a necessity and which will have to wait for later. This will help you with time management, goal setting, and ultimate blog domination.
Step 14: Purchase and download helpful tools.
Now that you have a budget in mind, it’s time to make purchases that’ll make blogging easier. This is different for everyone, but some tools to help you manage the business side of blogging include:
- Canva Pro for graphic design needs
- Photoshop for photo editing
- ProWritingAid for grammar and spelling help
- ConvertKit for email marketing
- QuickBooks Self-Employed App for handling taxes
- Planoly for social media posting
- Google Analytics for tracking progress and insights
- WordPress plugins like MonsterInsights, Jetpack, RealSimple SSL, WP Rocket, and Pretty Links
See what works in your budget and start downloading your helpful blogging tools!
Step 15: Hire an SEO service.
There’s one more resource you need for a successful blog: an SEO service. Though you can DIY a lot of SEO, there’s a lot to know, a lot to do, and even more to keep up with as algorithms are ever-changing. An SEO service can handle all the technical elements of SEO, so you get the most out of your content. After all, if you go to the trouble of creating it, you definitely want the world to see it!
An SEO service will bring tons of traffic to your blog, growing your followership and increasing monetization opportunities. Plus, SEO drives 1000% more organic traffic than social media marketing. Seriously! It’s that much more effective, yet it’s less expensive and less effort.
To invest in the future of your blog, enroll in an SEO service like ours! We have two package options depending on your budget, and both of them produce significant, compounding, and long-lasting results that will make you a full-time blogger in no time.
Step 16: Hype your launch and go for it!
Now, all that’s left to do is hype your launch, publish your blog posts, and get rolling! Why wait around? The blogosphere needs you and your content!
If you’ve been dreaming of launching a blog, use these steps to make a plan and get it started!
Blogging is an incredible way to speak your truth and reach an audience. Whether you have a story to tell or outfits to share, a blog can be the perfect platform for self-expression. But, it can also be a great way to start a business and build a fulfilling career.
Make sure you browse our blog for all the 411 on how to become a successful blogger and you can also follow us on Instagram. We’re experts, and we don’t gatekeep! Hopefully, soon, we’ll see you leaving your 9 to 5 for your dream career. Blogging success is seriously just around the corner!