You’ve launched your new blog…now what?
You want to share your ideas with the world. You want to make a name for yourself. You want to stand out. You want to have some fun too, learn a bit and leverage blogging in other aspects of your life (both personal and business.) All true? Then get ready…
Here’s a list of 10 things to do after you launch your blog:
- Write 10 Posts. Before you really start promoting your blog, write at least 10 posts. You should have launched with at least 3-5, so you’ve only got a handful more to go. By writing 10 or more posts at the beginning, you’ve created a rich enough content experience to keep someone interested. Plus, you’ve given Google a chance to find you, and some blog directories won’t add you without that amount of content. It will feel like you’re blogging into a vacuum, but don’t worry about it. Get 10 quality posts out the door, then keep going through this list.
- Link Smartly. In the early stages of your blog you should be linking to people to grab their attention. Target people you want to connect with. Find blogs in your field of interest and link to them heavily. Don’t worry about getting links from the uber-popular blogs or A-listers – there are a million bloggers out there that will be happy to check out your stuff and link back. You need that foundation of reciprocal links to grow your blog’s popularity.
- Add Your Blog To Site/RSS/Blog Directories. There’s a huge (and constantly updated) list at RSSTop55 Best Blog Directory and RSS Submission Sites but that list is completely overwhelming. A much smaller list can be found in this blog post The 23 Most Critical URLs Where You Should Submit Your Blog or Feed. I would also suggest Blog Catalog.
You don’t need to go crazy adding your site to a million places – but it can’t hurt. Do 10 a day, every couple of days, for a few weeks as the blog develops. More important, make sure you’ve got a sitemap and it’s submitted to Google Webmasters, since Google rules the day and having your content easily found via search is critical.
- Get Out And Comment. You might have already been commenting on other blogs, but more than likely you stayed in lurker mode, without a blog of your own to point people to. That’s now changed. Increase the amount you comment – leave intelligent, meaningful comments on blogs you’ve targeted for attention – and you’ll start to create a powerful spiderweb of contacts.
- Setup TheGoodBlogs Widget. This is a great widget for your sidebar. It’s a dynamic blogroll of related content from other blogs. In the early stages of your blog it’s a great way of finding worthwhile, relevant content. You want to find that stuff so you can check it out and interact with other bloggers. Visit TheGoodBlogs for more details.
- Setup MyBlogLog Widget. MyBlogLog is a popular blog community where you can promote your blog through a network of contacts. It’s easy to setup and has a few worthwhile features. First, it shows you which other MyBlogLog members are visiting your site (which is fun + interesting.) It also has some basic stats (such as visits / popular clicks on your site) and will help drive traffic. MyBlogLog is a useful way of connecting with people online, so it’s worth doing when you launch your blog.
- Change Your Email Signature. Make sure your email signature includes your blog address. If you’re using FeedBurner you can use their Headline Animator to produce a cool little graphic at the end of your emails. It looks like this:
- Learn About Social Bookmarking Sites. Early on, the most effective social bookmarking/news sites will be StumbleUpon. It’s less important to write great linkbait for StumbleUpon users, and although you may not get thousands upon thousands of visitors instantly, with a bit of work you could see a few hundred per day quite quickly. Tamar Weinberg has some worthwhile instructions on StumbleUpon – How to Use StumbleUpon for Your Business: The Definitive Guide.
Digg is the king of social bookmarking sites. Make it to the front page of Digg and you’re looking at 10-60,000 unique visitors. But getting there isn’t so easy. And until you’re really comfortable writing (and writing great linkbait) it’s not worth the effort.
- Get People To Comment On Your Blog. A blog looks so much more alive when people are commenting on it. This is a big reason why you see “Most Recent Comments” promoted so heavily at the top of sidebars – people like to see other people commenting. There are some ways to write blog posts to get more comments, but you’ll also want to encourage your friends and contacts to participate. Get your buddies out of lurker status quickly and others will follow.
- Learn How To Improve Your Blogging. Being a blogger means you’re always learning and improving. There’s no end to the road, it just keeps on winding along. There’s no shortage of high quality blogs out there about blogging. You’ll want to check these religiously. You’ll probably print quite a few posts out and pin them up near your desk.
Part of learning is experimenting. Don’t be afraid to try new things quickly. Mix up your style of posts, test out new headlines, write lists, move things around in the sidebar. The beauty of blogging is that you can make so many changes – and if something doesn’t work, change it back.
It doesn’t matter where your blog starts. It will be a bumpy few months as you get a handle on what you’re doing, experiment, and connect with your growing community. Everyone looks back at their start in blogging and chuckles at all the blog mistakes they made.
Don’t stress out about stats. It’s not worth it, and although it’ll be tempting to obsess over them at the beginning, it can also be demoralizing to see less visitors than you expected. Traffic will always go up and down, you’ll see big spikes and maybe even big drops. Since there’s no end to the blogging game, the fluctuations at any given time in your traffic numbers aren’t important – it’s the trend that matters. And since you just started there’s no real trend. So don’t worry about it.
Have fun and be prepared for a significant emotional and time investment. Blogging is easy. Blogging successfully is another story. It takes a time investment to blog successfully. As your blog gains popularity, your brand develops and you find your voice, you’ll think nothing of the time you’re investing, it will make complete sense and be totally worthwhile. You’ll have fallen into the Blogger Mindset. But initially it may seem frustrating and odd to devote so much time. Get ready to open your mind and jump in.