Launching a blog can be like going to the gym. You go for about 2 weeks, and you never go again because you’re unorganized, and you don’t have a strategy. Before my agency was acquired, I personally witnessed this happen to different companies and agencies for over a decade. That’s why I’m sharing my insight on how to launch a blog.
These 5 steps work whether you’re a one-person team, agency, small business or a big company. Just follow these 5 steps and I promise you’ll get through one year of successful blogging. Then, simply do the exact same thing next year. Remember, nothing looks worse on a blog than seeing your last blog post dated 2 years ago.
1. Schedule a team meeting
This initial step is important for two reasons. First, this should be a team effort. Second, this step is necessary if you want to accomplish steps 2-5. This only works if you dedicate at least a few hours of time to discuss the strategy of the blog. An entire morning or afternoon should work fine. But it’s critical you meet as a team for the next 4 steps to work. If possible, have a giant whiteboard and a designated note-taker.
2. Create a slogan or mantra
I hope you noticed how I skipped right over the name of the blog, and am focusing on the slogan. That’s because your mantra or slogan is more important than your blog’s name. It should be no more than one sentence long and describe your blog perfectly, for anyone who’s considering subscribing. The least amount of words the better.
Start by discussing who the target audience is and how your blog can help them.
Here are a few random slogan and/or mantra examples:
- The Best Wedding Dresses Around the World!.
- 100% Organic Meals
- Landing Page Tips, Tricks, and Strategies
- WordPress Tips and Tricks
- A Blog for Chicago Foodies
Keep in mind, your blog’s mantra or slogan should go in the header or sidebar, so every single visitor will see it no matter which page they enter your blog through. It should also serve as a constant reminder and a way for your bloggers to stay focused on the target audience and overall direction of the blog.
3. Brainstorm all your topics
Now that you have a mantra or mission statement, you need to brainstorm topics. Topics can be similar to headlines, but obviously you’ll need to fine tune your headline later, when you’re actually writing the post.
On the whiteboard, start writing every idea/topic/headline that comes to mind. Let your team members just blurt them out. When you’re done, cross off the ones that do not fit the mantra or slogan. Try to come up with at least 25 -50 topics. That should be more than enough to get you through the year.
4. Find leverage
Another huge key to blogging is finding resourceful people who can do things faster, cheaper, or better than you can. You may not realize it, but most of your time when blogging often comes down to small tedious tasks that anyone else can do just as well as you can, or better.
- Maybe they can do the research for your blogs topics.
- Maybe they can find people for you to interview.
- Maybe they can wireframe infographics.
- Maybe it’s a graphic designer who creates an infographic.
- Maybe it’s someone who takes your word documents and formats them on WordPress.
This will allow you to focus your time on the article’s content strategy and communication. If you don’t have an inside resource or assistant then I recommend trying elance.com to find your leverage.
5. Schedule all of your posts
The big trick here is to get ahead of schedule; and to not bite off more than you can chew. If you’re just getting started, then take it slow. You can always add more posts later. I recommend aiming for 12 or 24 blog posts for the year. So, let’s say you’re going to schedule one post a month; 12 total posts for the year. Then try to get all 12 blog posts written in the first month or so, then schedule them to be released through out the year. Dedicate an entire week or two to getting those 12 awesome posts done.
The best time to schedule a blog post is on Monday at 11 a.m.
WordPress allows you to easily schedule all of your posts from your dashboard. Once you set them you can forget them. They will post on their own. However, know when they post, so you can respond to comments and engage on social media about your blog.
Now you’re ready to start blogging!
Never just start blogging. For the vast majority of people, it’s just not that simple. In fact, it’s almost a sure guarantee you will fail. These 5 steps will save you the time and the embarrassment of only starting a blog.
It’s time to schedule your team meeting and get the ball rolling. Good luck.