Have you heard that blogging is 20% writing and 80% marketing? To start a successful blog you definitely have to learn how to be awesome at marketing. BUT you still have to write awesome content.
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You can have a solid social media presence, but if your content is bad, no one will keep reading your blog.
So once you have your name chosen, hosting set up, WordPress installed, and theme running on your blog, it’s time to start writing!
Before you ever start marketing your blog, you should have at least 15 awesome blog posts written. You want your readers to be able to dig in and learn more from you right from the start!
Choose Your Categories & Sub-Categories
Choose 3 to 5 topics relating to your main theme. These will define what you write about on your blog. Then choose 2+ sub-categories to get more specific under each category.
These will be your life-lines to brainstorming post ideas.
Strategically Choose What Posts to Write First
Think about your target audience in relation to each of your chosen categories. What are they searching for? What do they need help with most? Do they have questions relating to this topic?
Take some time to brainstorm answers to these questions. Write it all down.
Once you have at least 30 post ideas, you need to make a plan.
Remember that you want to have at least 15 posts published when you start marketing your blog.
How long will it take you to write 15 posts? Some people might only be able to write 1 post per day, some will be able to do 3 per day. I’m sure there are people out there who could write 15 posts in 1 weekend!
Personally, I think 2 posts per day is a reasonable amount, and that’s what I did when I started this blog!
Set your own goals. Be realistic, but also know that it’s good to push yourself!
Once you have your 15 awesome posts written, you can move to the next step!
Make Pinterest Graphics
You will have to have professional, polished Pinterest optimized graphics for all of your posts.
Take some time to study Pins on Pinterest. Look at your favorite bloggers pins. Check out the most successful bloggers pins. Take notes on what you discover.
Best Pinterest Graphics:
- Catchy Titles
- Professional Photos
- Warm Colors
- Eye Catching Font Combinations
- Easy to Read Words
- Vertical Orientation
The best places to make Pinterest graphics are Picmonkey or Canva. Both have templates available and make it really easy for anyone to design professional looking graphics!
It’s a good idea to make 3-5 different graphics for each post. You never know which one will work best, so it’s good to give people lots of options! They don’t have to be completely different. You can use a different picture, different title, or different font combination.
Set Up an Email List
Your number 1 goal should be to get people to sign up on your email list. This gives you a direct line of communication with your readers!
Email converts WAY better than social media – that means people click through to your blog or purchase what you are promoting at a much higher rate!
You need an email list from the moment you launch your blog.
There are lots of great options for providers. Some of it will depend on what your goals are with your blog. Check out the features of the ones listed below to find the one that suits you most.
Here are some of the best Email Service Providers:
Mailchimp and Mailerlite both have free plans until you reach a certain number of subscribers. Convertkit is a bit more sophisticated though and has some great features. You can always start with one of the free ones and then move to a paid one later.
To get people to sign up for your email list, you will need to offer them something. This is called a lead magnet. This should be something valuable to your target audience, something that they want.
Start with 1 lead magnet, but eventually you’ll want to have a few so that you have multiple things that will appeal to people and get them to sign up!
Lead Magnet Ideas:
- Free Printable
- Small Workbook
- Short Ebook
- Email Course
Place your lead magnet in prominent places on your blog, and include an opt-in form in all relevant blog posts.
Market Your Blog
Now that you have at least 15 posts published, it’s time to start marketing! The best tactic is to focus on mastering one social media channel at a time.
Remember all those Pinterest Graphics you made? Now it’s time to put them to use!
I highly recommend taking the Pinterest Launch Plan course, it’s super affordable and will set you up with a plan to rock Pinterest marketing!
You’ll also want to join Tailwind to make scheduling and managing your Pinterest account so much easier!
As a blogger, Pinterest will be your best friend! Most bloggers agree that Pinterest is their number 1 traffic driver!
Rinse & Repeat
Starting a successful blog takes dedication and hard work. You will need to continue writing awesome content and marketing in order to be successful.
Make an editorial calendar. Choose which days you will post, and stick to it! This can be anywhere from 5 days a week to 2 days a week. Try to get a full month ahead on scheduled posts, so that they are ready to go and you always have fresh, stellar content to share!
Make a marketing plan. Once you have mastered Pinterest, start building a presence on Facebook and Instagram. And don’t forget SEO!
Diligently follow these steps to start a successful blog and with consistent effort and time, your blog will thrive!