Many people would agree that starting a blog, designing and writing content are important, but there is much more to do once you go live. I think some people are under the impression that they shouldn’t prepare for what comes after publishing your content and this can be a bit scary. I’ve been in the business for eight years and still run into some barriers.
The reason is very simple: there is so much competition and things are changing drastically or quickly within such a short period of time. For example, what use to take years to accomplish can now be done within a few weeks. You have people connecting all over the world and an ability to use cool tools and marketing channels like social media. Social media is great for bloggers but also bad because it brings on enormous competition. This is why I feel you should always be prepared and should always think about what you should be doing after going live with your blog.
Here’s the good news: due to the expansion of the internet, it’s important you make use of the resources you have available. You have so many channels you can tap into for the information you need. Do a quick search in social media or Google and you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about? With that said, I’m going to go over 8 things you should be doing right away after publishing your blog. These things will help you stay prepared and will reduce the stress of a newly started blog. They will prepare with marketing channels and how to handle some traffic that starts flowing to your website.
Let’s jump right in and your feedback will be appreciated within the comment box below.
1. Keep Writing
I know this might sound simple and you didn’t expect this to be #1 on my list, but it’s true. Blogging is all about writing valuable content which people resonate to and this means you have to keep your blog updated. As long as you know your niche and are confident about your topic, you won’t have a problem writing content. I try to write two new blog posts each week which are no less than 2500 words.
Why so long?
This will help you stand out compared to your competition and allow you to add value at the same time. Keep in mind much of your competition will be writing less because they don’t understand the value of content and high quality resources. Some may even be lazy and misinformed about what matters to search engines and visitors. In the end, it’s all about value so make sure you keep writing and have valuable content for your readers always.
2. Research Competition
After publishing your blog, it’s always important to research your competition and find out as much as you can about your niche. Some of your competitors have been in the business much longer so have established themselves as an authority. This means you can learn a lot about the kind of topics you should be writing about and who your audience is. Usually this would take months and years to figure out, however study your top competitors so you can pull out the MOST information which will save you both time and money.
3. Google Webmaster Tools
It’s time to let Google know about your website so add it to Google Webmaster Tools. Do a quick search in Google for “webmaster tools” and you’ll see it popup, then simply Log in with your Gmail account. Add your domain and verify it using either of the two ways: through domain registrar or by adding a script.
Follow the suggestion’s provided by GWT which is to add a sitemap.xml, check robots.txt and check for mobile responsiveness. It’s also a good idea to make sure you check error section for any problems reading your website. By adding your site to Google Webmaster Tools, you’ll let the search engine know that you’re ready for a crawl, and you’ll later be able to see what keywords you’re ranking for. Go do this right now!
One of the best ways to get your blog known and out there is by networking with the best. For example, imagine if I joined forces with a blogger who has been in the niche for several years. This blogger will have thousands of followers on social media and can provided me with much needed guidance. Some of my best blogs come from interviewing authority bloggers within my niche. I was also able to gather awesome content idea by asking what visitors and/or readers are looking for.
Keep in the mind following: there will come a time you’ll need to enlist the help of another blogger within your niche. It’s better to start now and build that connection then later on when time is of the essence.
5. Social Media
I should have listed this as number 1 simply because social media has changed the way we interact online. I would suggest you start setting up social media accounts right before going live with your blog, but it can be done right after. Social media is an awesome way for you to build your brand because it connects people all over the world under one hub. Next, social media will allow others to do all the work for you as they start to share your content. One single “share” or “tweet” can cause a chain reaction that will build enormous momentum quickly. However, I would suggest to only setup on the main networks for now like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. This way you can start to gather followers on the top networks which have millions of users daily.
Head over to each network right now and setup an account, add profile and business description. Start to visit relevant accounts and add those followers because they are definitely going to find your account valuable too.
6. Add Social Buttons
When people come to your blog to read your content, depending on the value, they’ll want to share your work. It’s important to provide the right call-to-actions to allow them to easily engage others. This means to add social media buttons above and below your content. Don’t be alarmed because this can be done within a few minutes by pasting a code or installing a plugin. 90% of people are using WordPress when blogging so I’m sure you’ll want to install a plugin then configure where the buttons should appear. If you are not using WordPress, head over to AddThis.com, select the buttons you want, and add the code to your pages…that’s it!
Whenever I’m adding social buttons to my content, I’ll add on top or bottom because this gives the reader two chances to share my content. It’s also important to not confused them by providing too many choices so limit how many options you get. I like to provide the following:
- Google +
7. Email Marketing
One mistake that I made and I’ve regretted for a long time is NOT adding an email form to my blog fast enough. These days it’s so simple to add a form and collecting email subscribers gives me a quick way to remark to them over again. Think about it, every time I add new content I can shoot them a quick email with a link so they can be directed to it. I highly recommend that you start collecting email address from day one especially because this process is so easy now.
For example, Aweber.com easily allows you to create a list and form. All that’s left is for you to paste a code into your pages. That’s it! You’ll want to try different locations when adding form to your website. I’ve found having one in the sidebar and bottom of the content works very well. It’s also a good idea to try a popup form to see how that would encourage the readers to join your newsletter. After, you can start to try what messages work well with your readers because some will perform better than others. For example, you’ll see that certain topics and routines engage readers more than others so keep track while collecting data.
8. SEO Matters
That’s right! You can never get rid of old fashion link building because Google whole algorithm is built on the concept of inter and external linking. However, it’s important that you approach link building slowly and understand which links will actually provide your blog with value. Here’s what I’ve learned over the last few years…
First, try to find a handful of relevant websites in your niche. Google has stated numerous times that relevance will start to play a more important role as time goes on. Secondly, make sure the relevant websites you choose are high authority websites because “authority” will be more important too because this shows Google not only are you receiving links from relevant sites, but those with a strong backbone. Third, I would reach out to these websites and see if I can get a guest posting opportunity. This is a great way to drive relevant traffic to your website, but at the same time build a link too. Finally, when building links make sure you spread out the process, use targeted keywords and diversify the anchor text.
Many bloggers forget to track and analyze how these links have been helping their overall effort. I like to use tools like Ahrefs.com to give me a report on my DA, internal links, external links, and overall growth.
If you just published your blog or plan on going live shortly, then go through this list and incorporate each one. This will help you get off to a strong start and build momentum at the same time. If you have any other factors to think about when starting a blog, please list them below on the comment box.