On March 3rd, I launched my business blog, and in its first two days it received over 500 visits.
Most people start their blog with a whimper, but if you plan your launch right, there is no reason you can't have an audience ready and waiting. Here's how.
Plan Your Blog Before You Launch
Most people wake up one day and decide to start a blog.
Most people also never get much traffic to their blog.
See the correlation?
If you're blogging as a hobby, then that's fine, but if you're blogging as a business, you should rethink that.
You need to have a strategy to launch your blog, otherwise you will have a long, uphill road getting readers.
Additionally, the people that do come to your blog will quickly lose interest and perhaps never return because you didn't take the time to set up a good first impression.
I had been thinking about my launch for the better part of a year and seriously planning and prepping it for 3 months. It allowed me time to research my target audience, get some great content together on important subjects, make sure all the bugs were fixed on my website, and drop hints with influencers along the way.
To summarize, you are should be thinking about the following:
- What topics should I be covering?
- How can I design my blog so that it stands out?
- How many articles will I be launching with (I say at least 20)? What will be on the home page?
- Who should I be connecting with now, that I can let know when my blog launches (and ask for a share)?
I believe it is a balance between taking too long to launch and not planning enough, and I recommend taking a Minimum Viable Product approach to making sure everything is in place and that you have addressed the big questions as outlined above.
The blog doesn't need to be perfect, but it should be something people will want to return to.
Something To Rally Around
When thousands of people launch blogs everyday, you need a way to stand out.
A blog, in and of itself, might not be such a big deal.
What can help, is if you have a product, like a mega article or a free ebook that you can rally people around.
For me, I created a mega detailed guide called 500 Ways To Make Money Online which, at least in its niche, is the most comprehensive free guide you'll find.
Whenever I emailed people I made sure to mention it as something I knew people would want to read.
As a result, I was able to get awesome shares from people like Spencer of Niche Pursuits
Invite Friends And Family (Email, Facebook)
If your blog is something you're proud of then there is no reason you shouldn't tell your friends.
Two easy ways to do this our via email and Facebook.
Here is an example of an email I might send out:
Hey Pete As you know, I am starting a new business blog called SelfMadeBusinessman - which is all about my exploits online and hopefully will help others in the ways of lifehacking, entrepreneurship, and building a business online. I'd be forever gracious if you could come on by and share some of the posts on your social media profiles. There is already some great content up there such as: Switching To A Polyphasic Sleep Cycle 500 Ways To Make Money Online How I Lost $15k In The Stock Market The best way to follow along is to like my social media pages and join the newsletter! Thanks in advance!
The important things I am doing here are:
- Making it clear that I am asking for help
- Showing him some of the articles that I've written already
- Directing him to my social media and newsletter
Now Pete is a friend, so I know he's going to help, but it doesn't hurt to direct him to how I want him to help.
As well as making it easy for him, because friends can be lazy.
Additionally, Facebook has a nice “invite” feature, which allows you to invite all of your friends to like your page.
For me, this was an easy 75 likes from my 400 Facebook friends to kick the page off and also provided additional exposure to my blog from people I might not have been 100% comfortable contact via email (since I don't know them that well or hadn't spoken to them in years).
Connect With Influencers And Give Them A Reason To Share
Friends and family are great, but most of them don't have influence.
Unless your mom has a twitter following of 50k people, you're going to need to connect with people who can actually promote your stuff to their audience.
We call these people influencers.
For example, I just launched my blog, but I've been working online now for 1.5 years so I've connected with a good amount of people in and out of my niche. I wouldn't call them friends, necessarily, but they are people I feel I can turn to if I have some big news.
In order to sweeten the deal I made a concerted effort to link to some of their posts in my new posts, which gave them an extra incentive to share.
I have found if you are polite and not uber aggressive, then, with proper cause, the big guys will step up and share your stuff.
Day 1 Is Just The Beginning
You can't launch your blog every month – you only get one shot.
A successful launch provides a lot of motivation to keep going, but motivation without action isn't going to carry your blog.
In the coming days and months you need to make sure that promotion is the crux of your strategy.
Start by nailing a guest post (that was my second big spike later in the month) as your next big action item.