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Blogging is something that was on your mind for the longest time.
Finally, you decided to take the plunge and started a blog. You decided on a niche and get ready to start blogging.
You have millions of ideas on what you want to blog about.
You do lot of research on what goes into blogging.
When you get pages and pages of results, as a result of searching, “how to launch a successful blog”, or “how to make money blogging”, or “how I made thousands of dollars in the first week of blogging” it can get overwhelming.
I’d suggest at this point is to take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and read these 15 things you should do in the first month of blogging.
1. Set Goals
Any new project you undertake, setting your goals is the foremost thing you need to do. Evaluate what you want to achieve from your new venture. Here are a few things you need to ask yourself:
- What do you want to write about?
- Do you want to create a personal blog, a hobby blog or a money making blog?
- Where do you see yourself one year from now?
- How many pageviews in the first month, three months and six months do you want to accumulate?
Set realistic goals and expectations. When you go overboard with your goals, you are embracing yourself with nothing but disappointment. Stop looking at what others are doing, and how their stats are skyrocketing through the roof.
It’s nice to look at how others are doing it, but do not stress yourself with overload of such information. Just like any other business, blogging also takes some time for you to start seeing success.
You can start with organizing your blogging plans using a blog planner or write down your goals for each month in a bullet journal. All you want in the end is to have everything you want written down.
2. Create an engaging About page
Whenever I visit a new blog, I checkout their About page.
Why? Because I want to know more about the blogger and their background.
An About Me page is the most viewed page on any bog. This page is the reflection of your personality. Make it engaging, personalized and add a bit of humor.
People can relate to you much better when they know more about you, your family and your interests.
I love how Melissa’s About me page is engaging right from the beginning, explains in the first few sentences that how the readers are going to benefit from her blog, a bit about herself, what her blog is about and a strong “call to action”.
3. Create a Contact Me page
When you create a blog, your readers may have a question or two for you. Perhaps a feedback or a comment. It is important that your readers are able to get in touch with you.
So set up a contact page or your email address in the sidebar so that they can send you questions, comment or feedback about your blog.
4. Create a Hire Me Page
Do you offer any services on your blog? Create a “Hire Me” or “Work with Me” page listing your expertise and services that you provide. A Hire Me page is a great way to advertise your services and start making money from your blog.
This page is what is going to help you convert your blog into business. You are going to outline your services in this area. You can offer Freelance services, health and fitness coaching, Business Coaching or anything you are passionate about.
5. Upload a Professional Profile Picture
I picture talks a million words. Having a professional profile picture to go along with your writing voice is crucial.
Think about your favorite blogger. What comes to mind? Their photo and what they write about. Right?
If I want to hire you or recommend you, I’d like to know what you look like. I‘d be able to communicate with you better. Kathy Wilson explains why a great profile picture is a bloggers powerful tool.
I was recently approached by a blogger for guest posting. She attached her picture with her introduction. I’m normally very picky about guest posting, but I was immediately impressed with her writing voice, and knowing who I was communicating with.
So people! Post that cute picture of yours on your blog!
6. Choose a Niche
Many bloggers are unable to figure out what they want to blog about exactly. It may take some time what you really want to write about.
But sooner you figure out your niche the better. Make sure to read Amy’s post on how to choose the niche and what to blog about.
Having a narrowed down niche helps your blog in the long run. When you have new readers visiting an interesting story on your blog, and they see something unrelated in the side bar or popular posts, they are not going to stick around much.
But when you have a narrowed down niche, your readers are going to click on your interlinks or related stories leading them to more posts on your blog. This also helps with search engine optimization and the bounce rate of your blog.
7. Setup your Editorial Calendar
It may sound very tempting to create post after post in the beginning, but it can get exhausting really fast. It is always a good idea to organize your post ideas and thoughts in one place.
You can write ideas, manage content management efficiently, research and scribble down the points you want to touch on in your next blog post.
I love to use Trello or Google Sheets to manage content creation and schedule my to-do tasks in my calendar. It helps to visually see how your content creating has been for every month.
8. Social Media Presence
For a blog you foresee as a future brand, you need to set the foundation right away. Social Media presence is one of the crucial parts of blog and business.
That’s why when you first start a blog; make sure to secure the same handle name as your domain name for your social media accounts.
When you have the consistent name across the internet, people are more likely to recognize you and further your brand.
9. Build a Community
Right from beginning, start building a community. It is important to find like minded people who you can build relationship with. Many people start networking even before creating a blog.
Facebook Groups are one of the most popular places for bloggers to hangout. Google Communities and Twitter Chats, Pinterest Group Boards are fast becoming popular places to find bloggers in similar niche.
Become part of these social communities and start participating in the threads. You will be surprised at how people are so supportive and ready to help you with technical or other blogging issues.
10. Setup your Newsletter
Email Marketing is still the most powerful marketing strategy. As soon as you are done setting up your blog, hop on over to one of the email hosting providers, and sign up. I wish I knew about the importance of list building when I started blogging, but I’m telling you now.
Start building your email list from the beginning. You will see an increase in your subscribers with time. No matter how huge your social following is, if you do not have an email list, you will be losing out on the most profitable aspect of blogging.
How to gain subscribers? Create a lead magnet, and have people subscribe to your newsletter. Your email list is your most loyal following and wants to hear from you often.
I use the combination of Mailchimp and Optinmonster to build my list. I use Convertkit for some of my blogs as well. There is a learning curve in the beginning and it costs $29/month for 1,000 subscribers.
11. Consistent Quality Content
I am sure you have heard this numerous times since starting your new blog.
High quality, unique and consistent content creation is the key to running a successful blog. You can post once or twice a week, as long as you post every week.
When you post consistently, search engines look at your blog favorably, hence giving you better rankings. Looking for blog post ideas? Buffer has some good suggestions for you.
12. Create Pinnable Images
Images have been an integral part of blogging. Pinterest and Instagram are popular social media platform where you can gain tremendous amount of traffic. If you create images that reflect the general idea behind your blog post, people are bound to click through to your blog post.
Create vertical and tall images that stand out from others. Pinterest has been a great source of traffic for my blogs, so I make sure to pay extra attention to creating images. Picmonkey and Canva are some of the software that I use.
13. Learn about SEO
SEO or search engine optimization helps your blog rank well in the search engine results. Keyword research before outlining a draft for your blog is important.
To optimize your posts, make sure to check the meta data description like title, meta description and keywords. I use Yoast SEO plugin to optimize my blog posts. I make sure to double check my checklist before I publish my blog post.
14. Setup Google Analytics
Start monitoring the performance of your blog right from the beginning. When I first started blogging, I had no intention of monetizing, so I did not bother to install the analytics code. Later on when I wanted to make money from blogging, I had no data to check the stats and track the performance of my blog.
There are many tools to help you monitor your blog stats, I use Google Analytics. It can help you check how your blog is performing in terms of traffic and analyse which of your blog posts are performing the best, the bounce rate, geographic location, gender and age of your targeted audience – everything can be determined with Google Analytics.
15. Do not Start Promoting Immediately.
I know it can be exciting to start a blog and an urge to start telling people about your new venture. But hold on. Hold on for some more time. Know why? if you want people to visit you and stick around, you want to have lot of related content on your blog. If you have only 3 – 4 posts, they have no reason to stay.
Are you wondering when should I start promoting? Once you have created at least 15 – 20 posts, even more, before starting to promote. Here are some more things to do before you start promoting your brand new blog!
Did you recently start a blog? What were the first few things that you did to your blog? I’d love to hear from you!
If you want to start a blog yourself, make sure to read through my step by step tutorial on how to start a blog where I walk you through the whole process of money making blog. If you sign up using my link, you will be able to get hosting at discount rate through Bluehost for only $3.95 per month. You will also be able to get a FREE Domain.