Disclaimer! If you’re looking to launch a sweet, personal blog in which you post photos of your cat and cocktail recipes
a) please send me the link so I can read it
b) disregard this post because this ish is for Serious Small Business Blogs
With that said, here are five things you can do to make sure your business’s blog launch goes off without a hitch, gets lots of return traffic, and is professional + polished like whoa.
Before you launch your blog: create a backlog of content
Because you know that posting consistently is really important, you decided you’ll be posting twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 6 am. Before you even tell anyone about your blog, you should create the equivalent of a month’s worth of posts and backdate them appropriately. In this case, you’d write eight blog posts and backdate them for the previous Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Why? Once you announce to your friends + family + customers that you have a blog you’ll have a big ol’ traffic spike as everyone pokes around your site. And you want to make sure that there’s plenty of content for them to read. And you want them to think “My goodness but she is a reliable + professional individual! I bet if I hired her, she’d do a great job!”
Before your launch your blog: schedule a few week’s worth of content
Life happens. You might get busy or uninspired and you’ll feel so better if you know you have a bit of editorial buffer. And you want to retain the trust you’ve built with your readers by continuing to post regularly.
Before you launch your blog: make your social media profiles awesome
When you tell everyone about your blog, you’ll inevitably get new social media followers as well. Which is great! But you want to make sure you profiles are polished and professional before you point a bunch of traffic, readers, and potential clients in their direction.
A tiny checklist for you:
- Make sure all your social media handles match.
- Make sure you’re using the same headshot in all your social media profiles.
- Have the same (or similar) bio on all your social media profiles.
- Fill in the About section of your Facebook page.
- Claim your ‘vanity’ URL on Facebook (so you get www.facebook.com/yesandyesblog/ not www.facebook.com/yesandyes21877989/) .
- Have a few weeks of tweets, photos, and updates up and ready before you launch - you want to give people something to look at!
- P.S. You don’t need to be on every social media platform. It’s better to be amazing at one thing than mediocre at eight.
Before you launch your blog: introduce it to people you already know
I know it’s hard to resist the siren song of ‘BCC all’ but this is a situation where personalized emails work wonders. At the very, very, very least create a different email template for your friends + family, for professional peers, and for present/former clients. Alex Franzen includes a great script for launches in her (free!) Five Scripts To Fill Your Client Docket ebook.
Before you launch your blog: make sure your professional goals are reflected in your blog content
Well, that’s a big one, isn’t it? Before you started on this road to bloggery, surely you had a big think about what you wanted to accomplish, right? RIGHT? If you want to sell more products, write promotional posts that don’t feel gross. If you want to get hired for speaking gigs, post vlogs in which you are painfully articulate and clever. If you want to be viewed as an expert in your field, write crazy helpful tutorials.
Extra credit! Set up an email list/newsletter + entice people into signing up
You know you need a newsletter, right? It’s helps you stay in touch with prospective clients, establishes you as an expert, and if you sell infoproducts, your subscribers are exponentially more likely to buy. You get people to sign up for your newsletter by giving them something awesome in exchange for their email address. In the marketing world, we call these enticing bribes ‘opt-ins.’
A few ‘opt-in’ ideas for you:
- An ebook of extra content, journaling prompts, and checklists
- A one-time discount on their first purchase
- Free shipping
- A short video series
- Tiny bits of customized advice (I used to do this!)
- Freebies + discounts
- Newsletter-only content
Whew! I know that feels a bit overwhelming, but I totally have faith in you!
What did you do before you launched your blog? Tell us in the comments - let’s build this list!
P.S. If you’re trying to start a blog while working full time + freelancing, this post is for you
Agree very strongly on point #2
Have to be prepared well in advance 🙂
Thanks for these awesome tips, Ive had the-dame.com for two years already but I am always learning ways to improve on her. I now have a task for today to make a good twitter background and facebook app icons!
Great post Sarah, I completely agree and would recommend the same points to friends! For the second point, I think this is really important but sometimes just as hard if not more to actually execute. Writing a post would probably take me 2-3 hours, so finding the time AHEAD of time to actually get posts stacked would literally mean blogging for… say an entire 2-3 days straight (not likely!) Any tips on how to get this done?
Do you HAVE to write for your blog? Here’s a post I wrote about creating content if writing isn’t your strong suit: http://www.sarahvonbargen.com/uncategorized/how-to-blog-if-you-dont-like-writing/
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