The First Steps To Starting A Blog
There are a few things you need to do to launch a blog.
Like anything there is a general priority list that people follow when launching a blog.
Over the years I’ve seen a few common missteps that people take when launching a blog.
Here are the first steps you can take to launch your blog.
Step 1 – Write Your First Post
Too often, people start their blog by wondering what platform they should use and what theme they should choose.
Design is important, but for new blogs and new businesses it’s not essential especially if you’re on a shoestring.
A few years ago I worked on a new business launch and we had a consultant help with the naming process. We were really struggling with it and the consultant said something that was simple, but smart:
Just pick something that won’t offend anybody.
That was pretty good advice.
I think the same can work for the early stages of your blog design. Pick a free theme that won’t offend anybody and go with it to start out. You can always change it later.
But if you struggle to find the perfect design early on you’re likely to never get started.
To start, write your first blog post. It’s usually the hardest part for people and the tendency is to put it off while focusing on other things.
Step 2 – Setup WordPress With A Free Theme
We just discussed this one, but it’s now Step 2 in the process.
Setup WordPress for your blog. It’s the best blogging platform out there. It has a great community of designers, developers and writers.
I’ve used a few different ones and it’s been my preferred platform.
And go with a free theme to start. You can even go with the default theme. It will be fine as you get your start.
The default theme will keep things simple and will keep the focus on your content.
You have three options for setting up the blog for your business.
The best is to setup a sub-folder, which looks like:
The next best option is a sub-domain:
The final option is to set the blog up on a new website:
There is a fourth option if you’re really bootstrapping, which is to use the free WordPress version at WordPress.com:
That’s a last resort, but I still encourage it because it gets you started with a blog, which is a lot better than not starting a blog.
Step 3 – Create A Blogging Schedule
Something we do with every new client is setup a blogging schedule.
The schedule includes four sections:
2. Writing Due Date
3. Publish Date
These are all important. The title is a list of titles you can fill out ahead of time. By doing this ahead of time you cut out the burden of having to think of a topic when you need to write.
The writing due date is when you have to have the blog post written by.
At GBW, we like to have this ready 5-7 days before the publish date. This allows a buffer in case changes need to be made or if something else comes up.
The publish date is when you’ll schedule the post to publish, which you can do in WordPress.
The guidelines are a list of rules for the blog. We like to describe the ideal reader. Also included is the word count guideline along with some other insight into the goals for the blog and business.
The big point to take away here is that while blog design is important it’s best to start out by writing something. You can tweak the design as you go along, but getting into a regular routine of blogging will ensure that you actually get started.
Image: paul bica