If you’re still trying to work out how to launch your blog, this 15-step blog launch plan will give you the step by step process on how it works in today’s world.
The internet has changed, and only those who are willing to adapt their methods will succeed in Internet marketing.
So how exactly do you go about launching a new blog these days and ensure that it doesn’t flop?
By not doing what everyone else is doing.
- Setting some far off date for the blog launch (like building a blog takes so long…)
- Forever tweaking and changing the look and feel of your blog trying to get it perfect
- Writing a whole lot of pillar articles, blogging like there’s no tomorrow
- Then letting the blog go live and waiting for the masses to flock to your site
Only, they never come. You wait, and hope, and pray but those visitor stats barely get off zero.
You maybe get one visitor – your mom – and soon after that you give up and decide that this whole online marketing thing is an elaborate scam.
The Reality of Launching a Blog Today
The truth is that no one is waiting for your blog. The Internet is becoming more and more clogged with new sites popping up every day.
So how do you make yourself heard above the noise?
How do you launch your blog into the world and gain exposure in a quick and effective way?
Let’s get to answering those questions, shall we?
Most blogs remain unnoticed and their traffic is continually flat-lined because their creators don’t know how to launch a blog the right way. After the launch, most bloggers then begin to blog their little hearts out.
They share their content on social media, blog a little more, share it again, blog, then share some more, and blog, and share…
Maybe they take part in some social media groups, write some guest posts, spend hours trying to get their SEO right, and then blog some more. That’s their traffic strategy.
While this can work (eventually), it’s slow going.
Most bloggers don’t even get to see the fruits of all that labor because they get frustrated and give up even before the results start showing.
Today the Internet is far busier than it ever was. There is a lot more noise on the social media platforms. The quality of content being posted online has increased significantly. Whatever you’re looking for online you can get in abundance.
Knowing that, how do you get your new blog to be noticed?
By acknowledging the pay-to-play nature of the internet today.
Traffic is Everywhere!
But in the beginning, you may have to pay to get some to your blog.
There isn’t a shortage of traffic. It’s a commodity that is available in abundance, and just like any other commodity such as vegetables or beef, you can go out and buy it whenever you need it.
There are plenty of places that will sell you affordable traffic such as Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Trying to get a steady flow of traffic to a new blog using methods such as blogging and SEO alone is like trying to grow your own vegetables and raise your own cattle so you can eat.
Sure, you’ll get there eventually, but if you’re smart, then you not only grow the stuff so you can eat in the future, but you also go and buy yourself some of the food so you can eat right now.
I know this is bursting a lot of people’s bubbles, but it’s the reality in today’s world.
You have to be willing to buy traffic. Yes everyone wants to build a successful blog in a completely organic way, spend nothing on it, monetize it and make loads of money off of it, but how many people have actually been successful by doing that?
If you want to be one of the successful people in Internet marketing, then you have to embrace the reality. The good news is that you won’t just be throwing money at your blog and getting nothing in return. The money you spend on traffic will literally fund your growth.
As long as you have a funnel in place it means that the money that you spend on traffic helps to build your email list and also to generate sales.
When done the right way, you won’t just be spending money, but you will either break even or make some profit, all the while growing your blog. Also, it’s important to remember that you don’t need a huge budget to accomplish this.
I know people who have grown their blogs into successful traffic generating machines on budgets as low as $1 per day (but $5 a day would be a better budget to grow your blog).
And trust me, when you start making money with your blog, you won’t have a problem spending more to make more.
Now, on to the important stuff:
The 15-Step Plan To Launch Your Blog The Right Way
1. Pick A Niche
This isn’t really your specific topic, but just what you intend to blog about.
At this stage, you’re searching for a market and the goal is to find a product/market fit.
Rather than focusing on the blogging stuff first, you need to find a market of people that are actively searching for a solution to what you offer.
Then, you must create an offer that is designed to cater to that hungry market. Make sure that your offer is proven in the way of actual sales. Once you have that, it’s time to build a killer blog around that offer.
2. Get a Domain and ‘Real’ Web Hosting
If you have plans of making any real money with your blog then don’t even bother with free hosting sites like WordPress.com or Blogger.
This is an absolute waste of valuable time. You need internet real estate that you can control. A land where you own everything and can do whatever you want.
In order to do that, you have to be willing to pay for a hosting account.
There are a lot of great hosting services out there, but some of the most popular that I know of include Bluehost, Hostgator and SiteGround. The all-in-one solution I recommend however, is Wealthy Affiliate.
This site provides everything you need, including hosting, tools, community support and education for less money than hosting alone elsewhere.
3. Get A Landing Page Builder
Your launch strategy is very targeted so it’s not about jumping into setting up your blog at this time. That is not the right sequence of actions.
What you need to do first is to start testing your product/market fit using a few landing pages.
If possible, get a dedicated landing page solution for this.
You will need to create about 3 pages and standard WordPress themes are not suited for that, so you have to get a landing page creator such as Leadpages, OptimizePress, or the one from Thrive Themes: Thrive Content Builder or any other similar one.
They are easy to use and require no coding skills whatsoever to create beautiful, professional-looking landing pages.
4. Do Some Market Research
Now it’s time to conduct your market research.
This is more than just some simple item on your to-do list. And it’s not just about keyword research either. Real market research involves surfing the internet, asking lots of questions, and talking to people.
Find out things such as:
- Where your target audience is hanging out
- The blogs or books they are reading
- The questions they are asking
- The solutions they are looking for
- The products they are buying
- Their basic demographics, and so on
You will learn all this by checking out the summary data on different sites as well as by reading and interacting with that market directly.
This is important because it will help you to create the kind of lead magnet that will attract your ideal audience to your email list.
(Notice how we haven’t written a single blog post yet?)
5. Set Up A Funnel For Acquiring Leads
Your email list is your main leverage when it comes to building and growing your blog business.
It will give your blog momentum and help you depend less on paid advertising. Get an email list provider such as GetResponse, Aweber, or MailChimp.
Next, create an effective lead magnet using the information that you gathered on your ideal audience. Offer them something that they are searching for.
Make your lead magnet short and easy to digest. The next step is to create two landing pages.
The first one is a squeeze page that you will offer your lead magnet on, and the second one is a ‘thank you’ page that they will see after opting in. For the time being, your domain’s home page will be the squeeze page.
Still no blog at this point.
But, if you already have a blog in place, then that’s fine too, but it’s not really necessary right now. If your blog is your home page, then your squeeze page can be on any page on your site and that’s where you will send the traffic to.
6. Set Up Tracking Scripts For Your Blog
The next step is to sign up for a free Google Analytics account and then set the code up throughout your entire site.
For the tech-challenged among us, if this seems too hard, use MonsterInsights plugin. It’s free and it can make the whole process a breeze.
The aim here is to see some real metrics to help you make judgment calls.
You won’t be able to do this if you’re flying blind without any tracking. Also, install Facebook tags on your site so you can start to build a retargeting audience. This is another way to maximize all returns on paid traffic sent to your site.
7. Get Your Social Accounts Set Up
Now it’s time to set up your social accounts. While this may seem like it’s a side-step, it’s still a good idea to have your brand name reserved early on social media.
Set up a page for your new business on Facebook, reserve your Twitter handle, do the same on Instagram, and anywhere else that you think you may be active in the future.
There really isn’t much else you need to do at this point. Just ensure that you have the names you want, that’s all.
8. Time For Your First Ad
Now comes the fun part: Turning on the traffic.
But, rather than let it be a slow trickle to your blog that is scattered in an uncontrolled way, you must laser-focus the traffic. The beauty of paid traffic is that you can send it exactly where you want it to go (which is the 2-step funnel in this case).
So after you set up your first paid ad, your visitors are going to go right to your squeeze page after clicking the ad, and they will be offered your new lead magnet.
Where you get your traffic from is entirely up to you, but I’m a little partial to Facebook ads myself.
Remember all that data you collected from your market research?
This is where it comes in. It will help you determine how to target your audience. Depending on the market that you’re in, Google Adwords may be better because it’s search-driven, but this you will have to decide for yourself.
Start with a small budget. You don’t have a strategy to monetize your blog in place yet.
The point at this level is to test your lead magnet to ensure that it converts. Run at least a few hundred people through your squeeze page then turn it off if you like.
Being able to turn the traffic on and off can help you to speed up the testing process significantly.
9. Test and Tweak Your Opt-In Form
Now that you have traffic flowing to your squeeze page whenever you want it, and since you can turn the traffic valve on and off, it’s time to focus on your conversion rate.
This is the percentage of people you send to your squeeze page that actually opt in to get your lead magnet.
The figure that you are shooting for is around 30 to 40 percent conversion rate on the opt-in.
This may seem a little high to some people, but it’s actually an easy figure to achieve if you manage to target the right audience and offer them the right lead magnet for their needs. You will have to tweak and adjust until you get the target conversion rates.
Once you achieve that, it means that you now have a predictable way to acquire leads.
That’s huge! If, however, your lead magnet fails to reach that threshold, you must continue to make changes until it does.
If you’re seeing some action but you’re failing to hit that 30% mark then just keep changing stuff like creating a better headline, better copy on your squeeze page, or change the title of your lead magnet to make it a little more interesting.
But, if the figure is way off, then there’s obviously a mismatch, and it probably means that you need to go back to the beginning and consider the people that you are targeting.
Does the lead magnet really make sense for them?
Something else you need to pay attention to is the cost-per-lead. The higher your conversion rates are, the cheaper each subscriber to your email will be.
Ensure that your ad is very compelling and that it gets a click-through rate that is decent. Your cost per lead (CPL) will make all the difference to your targets when it comes to monetizing your blog so that you don’t take a loss on this.
10. Create The Initial Offer
You now have a working lead magnet and it’s time to focus on creating an offer for your audience. Yes, this means that you are going to try to sell stuff to them and generate sales before you even attempt to blog!
But, keep in mind that you’re not expected to go out and create a huge product that is untested. I would actually encourage you to make the product a pre-sale.
This means that you are creating an offer for a product which doesn’t yet exist, and you only have to create it if it sells.
A good example of this is a ‘live class’. If they know it starts later, then they don’t expect immediate access right then.
After you make those sales, you could conduct the live class via webinar or you could prerecord and release the lessons to your audience as they are completed. That’s just one example, but there are really tons of things you could try.
Get back to all that market research you did and all your questions and interactions with the market.
Collect all the data you have about what your audience wants and needs, the issues they are struggling with, and find out what would be the most effective way to deliver the transformation that they seek.
Now sit down and create an offer which includes that. While you’re doing this, you may have to strip things down a little so that you end up with something that you actually can create.
Being able to sell a product before you’ve even made it affords you a lot of marketing flexibility and power. You will be able to make adjustments to your offer as you go in order to increase sales and get to the sweet spot.
Then, all you have to do is create a product that fits that sweet spot.
Remember that you are not limited to just classes, ebooks, and courses for this. Try to think outside of the box. Even things such as services can work.
11. Test Your Offer
The next step is to put your offer in the funnel and test it. Craft a sales page for your offer and then put that sales page into the funnel soon after the opt-in.
This means what was previously the ‘thank you’ page for your lead magnet is now the sales page. Use the landing page creator that you used to make your other sales pages.
Now, open the traffic valves, let the traffic flow to your funnel and find out what your product’s conversion rate is. An ideal figure would be a conversion rate of about 10% on the sale.
This means that 10% of all the people who opt in to your email list at the first stage of your funnel actually buy the offer at the second stage.
That number is arbitrary, and the real figure depends on your particular cost per lead since you’re looking to break even on your ad (at the very least) and recoup the cost of your ad.
If it turns out that you can still break even with conversion rates of less than 10% then that is fine.
The main goal here is to ensure that this simple funnel that you have built can attract qualified leads in a predictable way and put them on to your list without costing you money in the process.
An ideal scenario would be where you actually make some money while doing this.
12. Build The Blog
Yes, yes. We finally get to the part that most have been waiting for: Building your blog. By now, you have your email list that is growing each day and you’ve (hopefully) generated the first few sales of your product.
You are already miles ahead of the majority of bloggers on the planet who are still trying to get their first subscriber or to make their first dollar online.
Now it’s time to build your blog so that you don’t have to depend so much on paid traffic.
But now, you will be doing that with a very clear goal. You now have a lead magnet that works, and so you know what all of the opt-in forms on your blog will be offering to your readers.
You have a simple but effective funnel which sells and now your blog’s job has become clear: Send people to the funnel.
13. Time To Create Some Pillar Posts
Don’t just blog for the sake of blogging.
You need a strategy. Without one, you’re doomed to stay on the hamster wheel following a calendar and filling spots on that content calendar, publishing on time but never getting the results that you desire from all your efforts.
Rather, go the more effective route. Focus on creating great pillar posts over time. Your pillar posts should be major resources that are developed on the main topics of interest to your ideal audience.
These posts that you create won’t be like other normal blog posts that soon disappear into the archives.
They will be super posts and they will obviously take much longer to create. These are posts that will stand the test of time and you will have to circle back periodically to edit and maintain them.
Every time you publish new posts or make updates to pillar posts, spread the word.
- Send emails to those new leads you got through your funnel
- Share the posts on social media
- Create new paid ad campaigns directly to the posts
This last one is an excellent strategy. However, it means that those blog posts have to be really focused if they are going to be effective for adding people to the funnel.
In essence, you will take everything that you have already done with the funnel, and you are leading with value.
So instead of asking for their email first before you give them something cool, you will now be leading with an amazing blog post and then sending them to your lead magnet after.
Developing this strategy takes time, but soon you will have more blog posts with even more lead magnets and your blog will be a core part of your sales funnel. The best part is that it will all happen on autopilot.
You won’t have to rely on paid ads anymore, although I’m willing to bet that after you realize how effective they are, you’ll love them so much that you won’t want to turn them off.
14. Focus On Expansion
Now, your blog is launched.
Of course, you won’t be seeing the same numbers that the gurus have (not yet, anyway) but you’re on your way. While the big guys may have thousands of people on their lists, you may only have a few hundred.
And while they are making thousands of dollars each month, if you’re making a few hundred right now, it’s OK.
That’s how it all starts.
And that money is enough to pay for your ads and continue to grow your blog. The main thing here is that your product/market fit is proven. You know that it’s working. All that’s left for you to worry about is scaling.
15. Your Next Steps
- Continue to create new posts for your blog.
- Craft new lead magnets.
- Make new offers.
- Build more funnels so that your entire business isn’t based on the original one.
- Create more autoresponder followup emails to put everything on autopilot.
Now you know everything you need to launch a new blog successfully, but I’m sure you’re wondering:
How long does all of this take?
As you’ve seen from this 15-step method, it’s a process. This isn’t something that happens overnight.
For those who have lots of time and an unlimited budget, you could probably get through these steps in no time at all because the more money you throw at your ads the more traffic you will get which means that you can test that much faster.
It all comes down to how much time and money you’re willing to put into it. Create new paid ad campaigns directly to the posts
You could probably have this process done in about a week or two if you have ample time and a few hundred dollars to put into it. And remember, the sequence is very important.
Even if you work a full time job and only have a few hours to dedicate to building your online business each week, you will still be able to make significant headway as long as you focus on the correct things.
Of course, doing it this way will take a lot longer but you will still get results much sooner than someone who isn’t following the right plan for launching their blog.
No matter how busy you are, once you get everything set up, and once the traffic is flowing, the whole thing can now run on automatic even while you’re sleeping or at work.
Ready to get started?
I hope you have found immense value in this post. And I also sincerely hope that you will act on what you’ve learned, unlike a lot of other people who will just read and enjoy this post but will never bother implementing any of it.
If you need more details and more guidance along the way, our blog is packed full of articles on each of the topics mentioned in this article and you will find all the information you need there.
Now go out there and launch and grow your very own high-traffic online marketing business and blog.
Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!
Updated: Originally published May 30th 2018
This Post Has 10 Comments
This is an awesome article – I love how you’ve laid out the process in order. I do agree with you that paid traffic is inevitable and necessary these days. There is so much high-quality competition, and getting your content in front of people’s eyes is more challenging than ever. However, I definitely don’t think that should discourage anyone! While it may be necessary to stick to paid traffic for some time, once that audience realizes the quality of your content, they will come back and share it with their networks on their own. The key is still quality content!
Quality content is the main key to any kind of content marketing. It is possible to succeed without ever paying for traffic, but it takes months of soul crushing patience. Depending on your niche, it can take more than 6 months to get organic traffic from Google. Blah! Some paid traffic helps you get a handle on how your content is received and can assist you fine tuning your information before the free traffic rolls in.
So, you’re right, some paid traffic is a good idea in the beginning but you certainly don’t have to go crazy and spend everything on it.
Thanks for the comment Leah!
Thanks for the practical article. You really do a great job of breaking down the blog building practice and showing how to use paid ads. I have tried to use paid ads before, but send the traffic directly to my “money page” which was a bad idea because it costs more and didn’t convert as well as I hoped. It seems like a good idea to have some sort of funnel in place when using paid ads. Thanks again for the info! I will definitely put it to some use!
Paid traffic is tricky with blog type sites. It seems counter productive to point paid traffic to an article, instead of a money page. Keep in mind that paid traffic can be about gaining a following, not just conversions. It usually takes a few visits to a site before enough trust is gained to make a sale.
Ours is a business of subtlety. We don’t make sales directly, first we gain trust, sales come second to providing value. Once the trust is there the sales come easy though!
Thanks for the input asmithxu!
Wow! This is such a helpful article. I absolutely love the way in which you have mentioned all the aspects related to blog-building. Paid ads sure are helpful but can be tricky especially for beginners. But, with the competition being so high, it’s best to learn than to get left behind. Thanks for the detailed information.
I’m glad you got good information from the article.
Thanks for the comment Sauray!
I definitely agree with you, that if there isn’t a strategy in place, that it can take a very very long time to see any results with a blog. Which is why it is important to start the right way by getting some training on the topic.
I have done most of what you suggested but I really want to learn how to build a landing page. Do you have any training for that, which I can go through?
I don’t currently have anything dedicated to landing pages but I will keep it in mind for an article going forward. There is quite a bit of material available in Google on the subject if you do a quick search.
Thanks for the comment Reyhana!
I am new to blogging and found your post very helpful. I have actually bookmarked it so that I can reference it later.
I didn’t realize all of the little details involved in setting up a blog. It may take longer than expected but I’m sure I can make it work by following your steps.
It’s nice to have a blueprint of sorts to keep the details straight. By knowing some of the details in advance, you have a leg up on the competition and can hit the ground running.
Thanks for the comment MrC!