Ever launched a blog expecting to make a big splash but… nothing happened?
You were sending post after post out into the ether. No readers (not even your mom), no comments, no shares. Why?
It wasn’t that your content wasn’t good.
And it wasn’t that you weren’t blogging frequently enough. You were working your fingers to bone every day getting out another post.
Maybe you were even employing a bit of SEO and churning out awkward blog headlines like How to choosing a domain name (did I do that? oops!)
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can launch a successful blog and have readers from day 1.
First things first though, if you haven’t started a blog before, you need to read this post at the same time as my step-by-step how to start a blog tutorial found here. Just click that link to open it up in a new tab and follow along as it guides you through the tech side of starting up.
On with the show…
Why You Need To Launch Your Blog
The main benefits of doing a launch for your blog are:
- You start out with traffic to your blog. It might only be a small, but that’s better than none.
- You begin building your network of blog bff’s before you even start blogging.
- You can start making money from your blog quite quickly
A blog launch is a shortcut – you get to avoid the awkward, painful and lonely stage of blogging and skip straight to the good stuff.
So are you with me?
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The Secret Formula that Will Get You Readers, Subscribers and Affiliate Commissions the first week
I’m going to cut right to the chase here:
Pinterest is a bloggers secret weapon when it comes to launching.
There’s no barrier to entry, no sandbox, nothing like that. You don’t have to pay to play. Post and hope. Nuh uh.
Using Pinterest, I started a brand new site mid July 2017 and had 5,000 pageviews in those first two weeks… the next month my blog had over 21,000 pageviews.
If you’re an experienced blogger and you know how to monetize, that equals instant traffic to send to your money making offers. CHA-CHING!
If you’re a new blogger, that means you’ve got TRAFFIC to test out all those new things you’re learning about opt-in freebies, affiliate links and conversions.
Because if you’re blogging, you need traffic.
Preparing to Launch
There are a few things you need to do before launching your blog:
- Research Phase
- Design Foundations.
- Content, content, content.
- Your Launch Strategy.
Step 1: Research Phase
There are four parts to this one:
- Know what you’re going to blog about;
- Know your audience;
- Know your fellow bloggers; and,
- Know the type of content that does well in your niche.
What Should You Blog About?
For your Pinterest-Powered Blog Launch Plan to work, you need to choose a topic that’s popular on Pinterest.
That means you’re looking at niches like:
- DIY/Home decor
- Frugal Living
- Making money
Want to read more about choosing a niche and starting a blog from scratch? Check out my how to guide here.
Knowing Your Audience
So, this is where other blogs talk about how to workshop your perfect customer to the point where you know their name, shoe size and what they had for breakfast two days ago…
I’m a bit lazy and I prefer to just go with your ideal audience is YOU.
Done! Wasn’t that a lot quicker?
So if you are a mom, blog for moms. If you are a college student, blog for college students. If you are a retiree, blog for retirees…
(Disclaimer – this won’t necessarily work in every niche, so feel free to make up a reader persona if you like)
P.S. this step is not a huge big deal – because you’re going to be targeting Pinterest readers with your blog launch you can be a bit loose with your target audience.
- Decide if your audience is you or, make up a persona of your ideal reader.
Checking Out the Bloggers
If this is your first blog, you’re probably thinking that this is the step where you have to go size up your competition.
No way! Adjust your thinking friend – other bloggers are not your competition. They are your new best friends.
Here’s the thing – these bloggers have what you want. An audience. There are plenty of ways you can network with them for a piece of the pie.
- Interacting on social media
- Leaving comments on their blog posts
- Guest posting
So get to know who they are, what they focus on and where they are most active on social media (for our purposes, you definitely want to choose bloggers with an active Pinterest presence).
The other great thing about finding successful bloggers in your niche? That means your niche has potential! If there was no one else doing anything similar… well I’d think twice about that idea to be honest.
- Find and bookmark 10 blogs in your niche and
- Follow the bloggers on social media after setting up accounts for your blog.
Go for Gold Plated Content
How do you know what content is popular in your niche? Without having a crystal ball?
Well my friend, let me introduce you to an awesome tool called BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo returns search results for your topic ranked by number of shares.
You can enter a topic or you can enter the url of one of the blogs in your niche you just found in the last step…
You probably guessed it, but yes, BuzzSumo will show you exactly what blog posts have received the most shares from that url.
No more guessing what might be popular content!
Sort by top Pinterest shares of course and you’ll see exactly what’s doing well on Pinterest in your niche.
Those are the broad topic ideas you want to write first.
Also take note what kind of posts they are. Are they list posts? How to’s? Do they have lots of images? Are they roundups? You’ll want to do similar types of content.
- Use Buzzsumo and make notes of the headlines and topics that are most shared in your niche.
- Read as many of the blog posts as you can. You’ll use this information to make your own blog posts better!
Build Your Foundation
This is where you get to go into the nitty-gritty of design and setting up your website.
Let’s be real here – design is important, but it’s not that important.
Basic is best. And you shouldn’t waste too much time on it.
Here’s your bare minimum for design:
- Go buy and install a professional WordPress theme (I recommend an Elegant Themes membership – install Divi and the Divi Builder, Bloom and Monarch and you’re good to go).
- Choose a color scheme for your site using Coolors.co.
- Choose one or two fonts to use on your site.
- Create a simple, text-based logo. (Literally, write the name of your site. You’re done.)
- Sign up for a free Canva account and download my free Pinterest templates to use for your pin graphics.
By the way – if you’re a design junkie, pro tip (from experience) – set yourself a time limit on how long you’re going to play designer. You’ll get to evolve your design as your blog evolves. And, uh, keep it simple. Seriously.
- Go get an Elegant Themes membership.
- Install Divi, Divi Builder, Bloom, and Monarch.
- Choose colors and fonts.
- Create your logo.
- Download the Pinterest templates.
Crack on With Content
When you launch, you gotta have more than just one post up on your site.
In fact, this is pretty much the key to getting a large number of views in the first week/month. You gotta give people options.
When I launched my blog in July, I was aiming for 30 posts. (I know, that’s a lot!) I only ended up finishing 24 of them… but it was still enough to catapult my pageviews.
Go back to those post ideas you researched using Buzz Sumo.
Write as many as you can stand.
Then format them, create 1-5 pin graphics for each post, and upload them into WordPress ready to publish.
- Write a kickass about me page.
- Write as many posts as you can that you KNOW will be popular in your niche.
- Create at least one opt-in freebie you can advertise in your sidebar and in your posts.
- Create 1-5 pin graphics for every post (the more you make, the more chances you get at your post/s going viral).
Your Pinterest-Powered Launch Strategy
The section in which we harness the power of social media and Pinterest to launch your blog with a bang!
Step 1: Start a Pinterest Business Account
The first thing you need to do is set up your Pinterest account for your blog.
You can find instructions on how to do that in my Ultimate Guide to Getting Started on Pinterest.
I recommend starting a new account rather than converting a personal account as Pinterest factors in your follower engagement in determining how far your content will be spread.
You’ll need to:
- start a business account
- claim your website
- set up rich pins
Step 2: Use Niche-Related Keywords in Your Profile and Boards
You can find keywords to use by searching on Pinterest.
Create at least 10 new boards for your account.
Step 3: Sign up for a Tailwind Account
You’ll ideally be pinning 10-30 times a day on Pinterest… which takes time. You can get around this by using my favorite scheduling tool, Tailwind.
It’s best if you start pinning for your account before your blog launch, so that Pinterest starts to ‘get to know you’. You might even get lucky (like I did) and have a third party pin go viral! That’ll give your board a boost for months to come.
Use Tailwind to schedule out high quality content from others in your niche to your new boards. The best thing about Tailwind is you can batch your pinning out. I recommend spending an hour or two just filling up your scheduler queue a month out from your launch.
Step 4: Join Tailwind Tribes in Your Niche
Tailwind Tribes played a big role in my early success. Many bloggers will say group boards, group boards, group boards… but they’re SO hard to get onto as a brand new blogger.
With Tribes, you can avoid that entirely.
Get into as many as you can, and if you can swing it I recommend upgrading your account level. On the basic level, you can only join 5 Tribes and share 30 pins a month. That’s nothing. You want at least 80, preferably 200 submissions a month. And you’re going to use them all… once you’ve launched your blog of course.
Step 5: Write, Publish and Promote Your Content
Here’s where we get down to the nitty-gritty. Where you’ve got to do the hard work.
Writing blog posts is hard… and it’s pretty darn hard to write them up front.
But the pay off will be worth it once you see the pageviews rolling in.
Here’s what to do:
- Write and upload your blog posts to WordPress.
- Create 1-5 pin graphics (using those templates I gave you) per post
- Publish 5 posts a day (you can back date them so it looks better) until you’ve published them all.
- Every time you publish a post, save the pin graphics to your most relevant board on Pinterest. Then add them to your queue in Tailwind, schedule them to all your relevant boards, and hit shuffle so they mix in with your upcoming content.
- Every day, share pins in your Tailwind Tribes. You’ll get maximum results if you share different pins in each Tribe… but it’ll take longer. You find the balance for you.
Step 6: Watch It Grow
Watching your Google Analytics go up is one of the most exciting parts of blogging.
Here’s what you can do now you’ve got traffic:
- watch for your most popular posts and optimize them! Add ads, affiliate links, links to your other posts… whatever you can do to make your post better and more likely to make money. Do it!
- write more of the types of content your audience is enjoying. Turn a blog post into the start of a series and then link all the posts back together.
Step 7: Maintaining Momentum
How do you maintain momentum on your blog when you’ve just exerted phenomenal effort getting all those posts done and pins created?
Here’s an idea: instead of publishing ALL the posts you created, save four or five to keep you covered for the next few weeks. Take a break to regroup. (You probably need it!)
The thing with Pinterest is it likes fresh content. You’ll have best results if you publish consistently.
Other Social Media
And here are some ways you can get even more traffic for your launch from Twitter and Facebook:
For Twitter to be effective for your launch you need to have at least some followers. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get them! Twitter users tend to follow you back if you follow them, so get to following.
You can grow your following by:
- Following bloggers in your niche (and following their followers)
- Every time you read a niche related article – Tweet it out! For bonus points, personalize it by adding a comment.
- Retweet or like tweets from the bloggers you are following.
Harnessing Twitter power for launch:
- Tweet updates about you blog launch countdown;
- Generate anticipation with some teasers; and,
- On launch day, schedule different tweets to go out throughout the day announcing your launch.
If you want to read more about Twitter launch strategy, hop on over to visit Miranda Nahmias. She did a fantastic job of launching her blog and she blogged all about it here. Oh and, it’s really paid off (check out her income reports).
- Follow all the bloggers you found during the research stage, and follow some of their followers. Make it a habit to follow a few new people in your niche every day.
- Read and tweet at least one niche related article a day.
- Retweet or like at least one tweet a day.
- Start tweeting about your upcoming blog, try to build anticipation.
- Learn how to use Hootsuite to automate your tweets for launch day.
When it comes to promoting your blog, you need to get into Facebook groups. There are dozens and dozens of blogger groups, some for support, some for shares and follows or all three.
Facebook groups are a great way to promote your content after you launch too.
How does it work? Ok. Two ways:
- Introduction post – most groups invite new members to make a post introducing themselves and their blog/business.
- Actively generating interest using teasers and asking for feedback in the group.
You definitely want to keep a good relationship with your Facebook Group buddies. From now on, every time you publish a new post, you need to get involved with Facebook promotions.
- Choose 5-10 Facebook groups to join and get active.
- Let people know you’ve launched on the day!
That’s Such a Wrap.
Ok, so I probably let the cat outta the bag a bit too much on this post. Oops. Anyways, go forth and conquer y’all!