It’s one thing to know how to start a blog and another to know what to do after.
Many bloggers get and stay stuck because after starting a blog, they are clueless and that stops their growth before it has even started.
I’d like for you to get rid of the newbie title. check out these tips to help you look like a pro-blogger.
Follow these steps below every time you start a new blog and you will be way ahead of the crowd.
If you have yet to start your blog, follow this step by step guide to do so.
1. Add an about page
Don’t get stuck trying to make this perfect. What you need to know is that, even though it’s called an about page, it’s not about you.
You want to let the readers know what value you will provide them with.
If you look at my about page, you’ll see I talk about how I will help the reader, before I talk about myself.
People don’t care about you, they want to know if you can help them or not.
2. Add a contact page
Surprisingly, I’ve found blogs with no contact page.
How is anyone supposed to get in contact with you if you do not have one? How will you accept guest posts or work with sponsors?
Use the plugin contact form 7, it’s light and very easy to setup.
If someone decides to sue you, without these pages you have no legal protection.
An affiliate disclaimer is required to keep your partnerships with companies. You have to disclose to readers if you are getting paid to promote products.
I also want to mention that having these pages helps with seo. It tells uncle G you could be trusted.
If anything you can use this policy generator – they offer Attorney-level legal policies, It’s the same one I use.
4. Setup a sitemap
Every blog needs a sitemap to let Google know about your blog.
There are many plugins out there that help you create a sitemap.
I have tried, all in one seo, Google XML Sitemaps, but my favorite and the one that gives me the best results is the one created with Yoast Seo.
After setting up your sitemap, you also want to create a google webmasters account and a Bing account so you can submit it to them.
5. Setup uncle G’s (Google) Analytics
Setup analytics so you could track your visitors and where your traffic is coming from.
This can tell you what pin if you are using Pinterest for traffic (you should be), is sending you the most traffic.
Here’s a quick reason why you should be using Pinterest for traffic and the possibilities.
Pinterest updates their analytics slowly so you want to look at the red area.
At the time of uploading this image, I am actually at 4.5M reach.
I don’t have that type of time to be manually scheduling, I use Tailwinds Smartloop.
The aim is to get to 10M impressions by the end of this month so I’ll update it as I go.
To set up analytics for your blog, you’ll need to add a bit of code to the header of your site to verify Google.
6. Add your blog’s title and description.
A lot of people will miss this, but people need to be able to tell what your site is about when it’s pulled up in search or they’ll ignore it.
Take this blog for example – if you search for Entrepreneurboy (now SproutOrigin) – what will show is – “Entrepreneurboy | Get More Out Of Life” (Sprout Origin | Where Growth Begins) and under that the description.
Along with that, it is smart to target a keyword to help uncle G identify your site easier.
Because your site is new, make the length of the keyword more than two words. I explain the use of keywords here.
7. Choose a theme & setup branding
Branding your blog will help you stand out from the crowd, this includes fonts, colors, banners, etc.
Picking a good easy to use theme will make this easy, if you look at my blog, you’ll see I’ve done mild branding, but it really stands out, I use elegant themes to make it easy.
They have over 87 themes to choose from and I highly recommend them.
Keep your brand color consistent. Have it in your logo, buttons, links, highlights and more, don’t overdo it and pick the fonts that go with your blog.
I use three at the moment, one for the titles, one for the header and another for the body, but the first two fonts are from the same family, so basically two.
It’s important not to overdo it here
8. Add a Favicon
Look to the left of the tab. See that little image, that is a Favicon. Small but it plays a big role.
You’ll never visit a professional site and not see this. Facebook, Pinterest, any worthy site has this. I hate blogs that do not have this setup.
It makes it hard for me to take their advice when they are making the mistake of a newbie.
I will not read a blog that does not have this, that’s how much of a difference it makes.
9. Install plugins
One of the best things about WordPress is their plugins. They have a plugin for everything, so you can give your blog more oomph.
Need to create a contact page, collect email, optimize for SEO, you name it and there’s a plugin for it
For a more detailed look, check out the best plugins for WordPress.
10. Optimize for opt-ins
A lot of bloggers say they regret not doing this in the beginning, myself included.
You should be collecting emails from the moment you start blogging because these are the readers that will stick around and buy from you.
I run a lot of experiments, and I could tell you temporarily turning this off lowers my traffic when I put out content.
Mailchimp is great for beginners or if you have little subscribers; you can switch to Convertkit for more leverage when you have a bigger audience, or believe you will be getting plenty of traffic.
The best tool that I use to create opt-ins is Thrive leads, you can’t fail with them.
11. Secure your blog
Imagine waking up excited to get your blog going, only to find out your blog’s been hacked.
Yes, this can happen. It can take days or even years, but it will happen. That is why you want to make sure your blog is secured
Here are some simple steps to take to secure your site and avoid dealing with this.
You have a few options. You can install a security plugin like wordfence, or Ithemes.
A more advanced option that we use which also comes with a cdn to speed up your site is Sucuri. They have replaced our Cloudflare and maxcdn accounts, helping us save and better protect this site.
Oh, and don’t forget to change the default sign-in URL from wp-admin or you can block all Ip’s not whitelisted with Sucuri for another layer of protection.
12. Change your permalink structure
If you look at Entrepreneur.com, you’ll see their permalinks have numbers at the end of them. They could do that because they are a huge site.
For sites like yours and mine, it’s best to change this to something more user/SEO friendly. Do this in the beginning.
To change your permalinks, go to settings – permalinks and switch it from the default to “Post name”
I hear that WordPress’ latest updates have changed the default, so be sure that you double check just in case.
13. Claim your social accounts
You want uncle G to recognize you?
Setting up your social accounts is a great way for google to look at you as a brand instead of just another spammer.
Listen close, you need to setup your blog’s brand on all the popular social media platforms, but you only need to use three, the ones that are relevant and bring you the most traffic.
Setting up your social accounts on all these platforms is called claiming, so you are claiming your brand to let uncle G rank you better.
Here’s a small list
- Pinterest*** – Use Tailwind to automate and bring traffic.
Be sure that you use the same handle and make your social media descriptions match. You also want to link them to one another.
14. Create a list of posts
Create a list of posts that will provide value to your audience.
I recommend publishing at least ten posts to get you started. You can also use a post calendar as well to schedule your posts.
15. Promote like never before
No one will find your posts unless you put them out there for the world to see.
Some great ways to promote your blog and posts is by doing guest posts on other blogs and using social media.
The best social site that drives tones of traffic once you figured it out is Pinterest. that combined with a scheduler like Tailwind will boost your traffic and get you, subscribers.
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If you have any questions, just leave a comment.