If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog but putting it off because it seems like a lot of work, I’ve got a challenge for you.
Launch your blog this weekend.
If you’re any kind of strategist or perfectionist, the sound of this will make you feel like you are on pins and needles.
Trust me. Follow these steps now and worry about the specifics later.
Choose a Name
The goal is to find something simple that people can remember. Don’t think about optimizing keywords here. You want to create more of a brand than check a box in an SEO task list.
To read more on choosing a domain name, head over to the post about choosing an awesome domain name.
You can either buy your domain name and hosting package together (domains are usually free with purchasing a year of hosting) or keep them separated so you get the best reliability and performance.
Check out my recommended hosting solutions based on your level.
Don’t want to deal with all this? I recommend you start with WordPress but if you don’t want to that’s no problem. Just use Blogger by Google. You most likely already have a Google account anyway.
Besides, you can always migrate from Blogger to WordPress later.
Write and Publish 5 Blog Posts
You’ve got a message to get out to the world. Show them why they need to read your material.
Start with 5 blog posts. Longer is better but for now make them about 1,000 words. Don't worry if that sounds like a lot. You will be getting a lot of practice. Besides, if you separate your blog post into 5 sections, that's only 200 words a section. That makes your posts more than manageable.
Pretty soon you will be writing 2K words without even breaking a sweat.
Make your content helpful and something that people are searching for. This is not the place to write opinion pieces. No one is searching for your opinion on Google.
Use images within your posts as needed, crazy designs and fancy colors can come much later. Focus on content first.
Getting Pages Up
You’ll need a home page, an about page, and a contact page.
Just have your home page display your blog posts. You can change it later to have your home page be separate and display whatever landing type content you want.
Having it display your blog posts means you don’t have to create a separate blog page.
This is not where you talk about your life, universe, and everything important to you.
You want to introduce yourself, give a brief story on why you setup your website, and tell your future readers what you have in store for them. Even though this page is YOUR about page, the goal is to focus on your readers.
Just get a contact page up.
It can be a page with your contact information listed or a simple contact form where they submit a form and it automatically emails you.
It doesn’t really matter what’s on this page in the beginning.
It’s understandable that you want readers so you can eventually turn some of them into customers. Even if you know what type of product you will serve, don’t have products right out of the gate.
You’re going to want to build a relationship with your readers. To do that, you’ll need to build a relationship with other content creators so you can serve their readers.
The main goal when starting out is to have a clear and simple message. Reach out to others on social media and offer you best content to content creators within a similar or complementary field as yours.
So your homework is to reach out to 5 blogs, groups, or other content creators. Don’t be surprised if most if not all say no. The only goal for this weekend is to reach out.
You eventually do want to land a connection though so don’t get too comfortable.
You can totally do this in a day, but I know how intimidating it can be to start out doing a bunch of stuff you don’t normally do. This is especially true when you’re still piecing together information from your trusted sources.
So I’ll give you an extra day! Get your humble blog up this weekend. That’s right do these steps in 2 days.
But Roy, you may ask, you mentioned other necessary pages in a post last year. What about:
- A logo
- A email service provider
- A terms and conditions page
- A theme or color palate
- SEO settings
- Social media integration
- A billion other technical things
There are many things to do when developing your web presence. Don’t worry, there will be a time when all that stuff gets sorted out.
You don’t need to worry about your terms page when you are not collecting information from your non-existent user base. The same thing applies to spending $30 a month on an email service provider with an empty email list.
Content is king so start there. Make it a priority to server others first.
This may seem crazy. It took me a long time to understand this. I promise that building out your website is much more fun when you have people who can’t wait to see what you produce next.
More content will be coming to help you with your website questions. Let me know what you’d like to see and what you think of this type of bootstrapping weekend plan in the comments below.
Now get out there and help somebody!