A lot of people start a blog for any number of reasons. They might be interested in exploring blogging as a creative outlet, or they want to share their knowledge with others on a topic they’re passionate about. Maybe they see it as a way to connect with others, or, maybe they want to eventually turn their blog into a money-making side-hustle, and possibly full-time income!
Regardless of what the reason is, there are a few things you should think about before you launch your blog.
Choose Your Niche
The most successful blogs typically have a very specific niche. What you choose as your niche doesn’t exactly matter so much as that you just choose one, at least to start.
One of my favourite blogs to follow is Cattitude & Co, which is largely about feminism. Tara, the blogger behind Cattitude & Co, eventually introduced other topics like veganism and entrepreneurship.
This is just one example of how, once you’ve niched down and built a following, you can introduce other topics you’re passionate about.
Not sure how to pick just one niche to start? Try writing out a list of all the things you love and begin narrowing it down to just a few. From there, the answer should become obvious!
Think Up a Sweet Blog Name
Knowing what you’re going to write about will make choosing a blog name much easier. So now that you have an idea of which topics you want to cover, it’s time to pick a sweet blog name!
A lot of people start blogging without putting a lot of thought into their name. I know I have! And while that’s okay, it makes it easier in the long run if you truly love your blog name and stick with it!
For a lot of people, like myself, just using your first and last name is a great option! This is a good idea if you want to build a following as a writer, artist or authority in your field and want people to know you by your actual name.
Check Name Availability On Social Media
If you have a good blog name chosen, you should check to see if it’s available on social media, as well as the domain. For both of my blogs – Cole Nemeth and SheMonster Media – not only were the domains available but so were the usernames on every social media channel!
That’s not always the case though. So see what’s out there and if your preferred name is a possibility!
If it is, you should snap them up quick! Before someone else does. Do this before you even purchase the domain, because you can always change your usernames for social media after you buy a domain if the domain you want isn’t available.
Purchase the Domain
There are a lot of different options when it comes to purchasing a domain for your blog, if you choose to have a self-hosted blog. I use WordPress, so part of the setup process is purchasing a domain through them.
While a lot of successful bloggers still use free hosting services, it’s always a good idea to consider purchasing hosting services for your blog! Especially if you plan to make your blog into a business and grow it.
I’ve used Bluehost* for my hosting services for several years now and I love them! I tried two other hosting services before making the switch, and both were awful! Constantly shutting down on me, and having to call in every time! But I haven’t had one single problem with Bluehost. One time I even accidentally erased everything from my blog, and they were able to revive it!
Follow Leaders in Your Niche
Chances are you already follow a bunch of people you admire online, whether they’re artists or social media gurus! When you decide to start blogging and using social media for purposes other than personal enjoyment, it’s a good idea to start following leaders in your niche.
Start connecting with them, sharing their valuable content, and learning from them.
I also suggest following other people in your niche, the ones who don’t have tens of thousands of followers.
Create a Mood Board
When I was planning this blog, I created a mood board to get a better sense of what I wanted for my brand.
Your mood board can be made using a template in Photoshop or Canva, or it can even be created on Pinterest. I chose to start on Pinterest by gathering different images and colour swatches to see what really jumped out at me, and then I created a mood board using Photoshop.
Check out my Pinterest mood board here:
When I was looking for pictures, I considered my own personality and interests. I like punk culture, art, plants and the colours purple and yellow. That was a good starting off point, and a good way for you to get started!
Check out my mood board here:
Want to create your own mood board? Sign up to the SheMonster Media newsletter and get free access!
Gather Gorgeous Photos
A blog without gorgeous photos is pretty blah. If you want your blog to stand out, and get noticed, then you’re going to have to add some pictures!
I suggest creating a stock photo folder on your computer and start gathering some images that match your brand. On top of that, you should have some nice pictures of yourself to include. It would be nice to have some professional portraits, but selfies work, too. Or you can set up a tripod and get clicking!
Check out this post for a list of 10 places for beautiful free stock photography!
Write a Month’s Worth of Blog Posts
I know from experience that once you have your blog idea and the initial design all ready to go, it can be tempting to hurry up and publish that first post! I’ve done it, and that’s totally okay if you want to do it that way, too!
However, I found it a lot easier to have a month’s worth of blog posts written, formatted and ready to go! That way, if I got busy with life, I could still put our a new blog post on time!
Schedule Social Media Posts
Another great habit to get into when starting a blog is scheduling social media posts.
In all honesty, I haven’t been keeping up with this for my own blogs, but scheduling a week, or even a month, of posts on social media before you publish your first post, will help you once things get busy.
Ready to launch?
Please note that these are all just suggestions! In the end, the best way to launch your blog is to just get started!
A lot of the biggest bloggers started without a plan in place, but considering these few things can definitely help.