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. Namely:
- 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 band 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, Google Plus, 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.
The Bottom Line At This Point?
Now that you’ve accepted that paid traffic is a necessary part of marketing and growing a successful blog quickly, you have lots of options online as to where you get your traffic including Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram among many others. Make your choice and get started. But before you do so, read the second part of this blog post so that you get the whole picture before you begin.
This Does Not End Here!
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