If you are planning on starting a new blog for your business, you are probably anxious to launch it. Blogging is a great way to keep your market informed, increase your search rankings and enhance your online marketing. But, before you publish your new blog, use this checklist to make sure the launch will be successful and your blog will get off to a good start.
Create a Branded Design
First, make sure your blog’s design matches your brand. If it is part of your company website, it should flow with the rest of the site. Use colours, styles and visual elements that match your brand’s tone so that when people visit your blog they will know immediately that it is part of your business.
Write a Search Engine Optimised “About” Page
The “about” page on your blog will tell your readers what your blog is all about and what they can expect. But, it can do much more than that. If you optimise it with proper keywords it could help your blog rank for those keywords, which could help you get more traffic and readers. Do keyword research and choose the best words for your blog and company, and then use them naturally throughout your “about” page copy.
Add Social Media Following Buttons
If you use social media marketing (if you aren’t, you should consider it), you must add social media following buttons to your blog. These buttons make it so your readers can “like” you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter or connect with you on any other social network you use. Put the buttons in a place where readers will see them and make sure you keep your accounts updated.
Set up a Subscription Form
One of the best ways to market your blog and business is to build an email list, which you can do by adding a subscription form to your website. You can choose to update your readers every time you publish a new post, once a week, once a month or even just once in a while when you have news or a special offer to share.
To get the most out of your blog, you will likely want to enable comments. Doing this will allow your readers to have conversations about your content, allow you to respond to them and will help you turn your blog into a thriving online community. Building an active audience like this can help you with other marketing tactics and build your business.
Set Up a “Contact” Page
Setting up a “contact” page will make it easy for your readers to contact you. You can use a form that asks for the person’s name, email address and message, or you can simply publish your email address and allow your readers to email you directly.
Display Related Posts
When you display related posts at the end of each of your blog posts, you are giving your readers more content and a reason to stay on your site longer. In general, people who stay on your site longer are more likely to respond to calls to action, subscribe to your emails and even become customers.
Add Social Media Sharing Buttons
Let your audience help you promote your content and your blog by adding social media sharing buttons on all your posts. This way your readers can share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn or another social media network. This strategy can help you get more traffic and more readers.
Publish at Least Five Posts
It’s generally a bad idea to launch a blog without any content. The whole purpose for setting up a blog is to share content, so make sure you have at least five posts published before you launch. This will make your blog look alive and will attract readers, since it will give visitors a chance to see what kind of content they can expect on your blog.
Make a 3-Month Editorial Calendar
One of the most challenging aspects of blogging is publishing new content on a regular basis. Keep yourself on track and your blog updated by making an editorial calendar for the next three months. You can plan topics for each day or actually write headlines that you will use.
Of course, you will need to be somewhat flexible to accommodate current events, spontaneous ideas and to cater to the needs and wants of your audience. But, setting up a calendar will help you stay on track and can help eliminate writer’s block, since you won’t have to come up with blog ideas on the spot every day.
Before you launch your new blog, make sure these 10 features are in place so that it will be successful from day one.