BLOG IT // 7 things before you launch

I’m back with the second installment of BLOG IT, a checklist blogging series on starting and growing a blog. To see what each part of the series will be, check out the first post

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So you’ve done your homework from last week right? You’ve picked your five words and your five blogs? Great, now lets get started with some logistics. By the end of today’s checklist you’ll have published your first post and officially started your blog!



  • Pick a platform. I use blogger powered by google and have purchased my own domain through them. Because I bought a personal domain through blogger I pay around $10 a year and don’t have to worry about any hosting issues. WordPress is really great as well, and someday when I have the time to learn how to use it, I’ll make the switch. WordPress lets you customize more things than blogger, but for the meantime I find blogger easier to use. Decide which one you want to use (as friends, I’ll suggest blogger just so I can help you out but in reality, go with whatever you want).
  • Have a clean, professional layout. You don’t have to pay a designer (but I’d recommend it and I’ll talk more about this later in the series). Look at the five blogs you loved from your second assignment and figure out what they have in common. This is great to have if you’re designing yourself; Play around with colors, fonts, and layout till you find something you like so you aren’t changing it every week. Or, if you’re hiring a designer, show her your list so she has a better idea of what you’re looking for.
  • Essential Elements for your blog: Have an about page, a contact page, and links to your top categories (mine are style and recipes). Have a picture of yourself on your sidebar and have links to your social media accounts.
  • Pick a posting schedule. You don’t have to post twice a day, but choose how often you’re going to post and be consistent. Consistency is vital. Ideally, pick a time you will always post too so your readers can know when to expect new content.
  • Use an editorial calendar. I didn’t for the first year. I should have. An editorial calendar is basically where you plan out your posts in advance so you know what you will be posting about when and you can get a head start writing the posts. It helps you stay organized online and offline. It also makes sure you have balanced content coming to your readers. I love when I’m about a week ahead (meaning all my posts for the next week are done and I’m working on the ones for the following week) – but this is rare.
  • Sync Social Media. I’m a big believer that all your social media handles should be the same (mine is @bellatheblog on twitter, instagram, facebook, and pinterest). Find something that is available and use it. It can be your name, your blog name, whatever, but keep it consistent. Also, I’ve found it useful to use the same picture on all my social media accounts. It helps people recognize me. When I change one I try and change all of them.
  • Instal Google Analytics. Please, please, just do it. Do not just use blogger’s analytics. Google analytics gives you much more information (and supposedly is much more accurate).
  • Start Posting: You’re nervous about your first post, I know. You feel like you need to explain why you’ve started the blog. You feel like once it goes online, everyone will see it. You feel like its the most important post you’ll write. Stop it! Just post. If you want, share an introduction and your reasons for blogging (you could go ahead and share your three reasons and your five words). Personally, I’d start with just a regular post. If you’re starting a beauty blog, share your top 10 beauty tips. If you’re starting a fashion blog, share your go-to look. If you’re staring a personal blog, share pictures of what you did last weekend. Share your favorite recipe. Just start posting.



Your Assignments (from above^^):

  • Launch your blog! This involves picking your platform, getting a blog design, and writing your first post.
  • Install google analytics on your blog.
  • Set up your editiorial calendar and decide how often you’ll post.
  • register for all the social media accounts you’ll use with the same handle (I recommend instagram, twitter, pinterest, and Facebook)
Looking for more?
Check out last week’s BLOG IT post on starting a blog.
Or this recent post on monetizing your blog.
Coming in the next few days: Photography Tips

Other bloggers, what would you add to this list?

6 Comments

  1. I haven't tried out Google Analytics, but based on what you said I think I will! Great insights, thanks for sharing!
    dancingannielynn.blogspot.com

  2. What a coincidental post! I just finished a mock-up of a new and cleaner blog design and installed google analytics. Hopefully I can figure out how to get it all working the way it should 🙂

    Lovin' Lee Life

  3. How do you add categories to the top? I know how to adda page, but not how to make it automatically hAve all posts with the same label.

  4. help! I signed up for Google Analytics, but can't figure out how to add the code to my page (I am soo not technologically talented!!)

  5. Thanks to you I added my "about me" to my blog. Still trying to make my design exactly how I want it, but it's getting there I think!

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