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A Realistic New Blog Checklist

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Launching a blog is so exciting, right!? Sure is, but dang, starting a new blog can feel overwhelming. Fear not! Proper preparation can make the process smoother and more rewarding. Before you hit the 'Publish' button and share your blog with the world, let's go through a realistic checklist to ensure your blog has a solid foundation for success and profitability. Below is a new blog checklist to make sure you have everything ready to launch a successful blog!

A Realistic New Blog Checklist

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Identify Your Niche

Before you even think about the design and layout, it's vital to identify your niche. This will be the main theme or subject matter of your blog. Aim for a niche that excites you and one where you can provide unique value to your readers. Are you a Disney lover? Maybe a mom who loves to share simple and kid-approved recipes? Perhaps you're a fitness guru that loves to share tips and tricks. You will want t think about these things when developing your niche. Let's break it down more.

  1. Follow Your Passion: Ideally, your niche should align with something you're passionate about. Blogging is a long-term commitment; passion can keep you going when motivation wanes.

  2. Assess Your Expertise: Are you particularly knowledgeable about a certain topic? Expertise can give you credibility and help you stand out in a crowded field.

  3. Research Market Demand: Use tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner, or SEMRush to see if people search for content within your prospective niche.

  4. Consider Profitability: If you intend to monetize your blog, choose a niche that offers income opportunities, be it through affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, selling products, etc.

  5. Niche Down: In some cases, targeting a specific subset of a broader topic might be beneficial to reduce competition and attract a highly engaged audience. I recommend writing two 3-5 of your passions and 3-5 of your expertise areas. Once you have gathered your other research, narrow down your niche.

Understand Your Target Audience

Understanding who you're writing for is just as important as what you're writing about. Knowing your target audience will guide your content creation and marketing strategy. Consider their interests, problems, and how your blog can provide solutions. I always like creating an avatar.

For example, My avatar's name is Lacy. She's a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom of 2 under 2 living in the Midwest. Lacy is looking for ways to generate passive income to contribute financially to her household while having a creative outlet and without taking away too much time from her family. She is interested in entrepreneurship and loves designing things through Canva and using her Cricut. Lacy is a problem-solver and go-getter!

I even put a face to the name. Meet my avatar, Lacy! 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

New Blog Checklist - Avatar

Now, I want you to make an avatar! Use the information below to build yours!

  1. Define Demographics: Start with basic information about your audience, such as age, gender, location, occupation, and income level.

  2. Understand Their Interests: What hobbies and activities does your audience engage in? What social media platforms do they use most?

  3. Identify Their Needs and Challenges: What problems is your audience facing that your blog can help solve? What questions are they asking?

  4. Use Analytics: If you already have an online presence, use analytic tools to glean more information about your audience. Tools like Google Analytics can provide valuable insight.

  5. Engage Directly: Surveys, polls, and direct conversations via social media or email can provide first-hand insight into your audience's preferences and needs.

Remember, your niche and audience may evolve over time, and that's okay. Flexibility and adaptability are important qualities for any successful blogger.

Choose a Blogging Platform

Your blogging platform is where your blog will live. WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace are popular choices, each with benefits and drawbacks. Your choice should reflect your blog's functionality, scalability, and budget needs. My personal favorite is SquareSpace. It's user friendly, super sleek, and modern. I also like Wix because even a beginner can quickly set up a new website! It also helps guide you through SEO on each of your posts. There are a lot of perks to WordPress, as well, but just know there is a learning curve to it. Okay, now let's dive deeper.

  1. Evaluate Your Needs: Different blogging platforms have different strengths and weaknesses. If you're looking for something simple and user-friendly, platforms like SquareSpace or Wix might suit you. If you want something more powerful and customizable, you might consider WordPress.

  2. Consider Your Budget: Some blogging platforms are free, while others have costs associated with them. Remember that even free platforms often have associated costs like hosting and domain registration. If you are serious about blogging, budget for at least your domain, a hosting service, and a website platform.

  3. Think About Scalability: If your blog grows in popularity, you may want to add new features or functionalities. Make sure the platform you choose can grow with you. For instance, if you want to sell on your website later on, you would need the capability to sell items on your site, like setting up a WooCommerce page.

Pick a Domain Name and Hosting Service

Your domain name is your blog's address on the internet. Aim for a unique, memorable, and relevant name for your niche. Also, invest in a reliable hosting service to ensure your blog is accessible around the clock.

  1. Choose a Unique, Memorable Name: Your domain name should be easy to remember, short, and related to your niche.

  2. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers: Hyphens and numbers can make a domain name harder to remember and more prone to typos.

  3. Consider SEO: Including keywords related to your niche in your domain name can help with SEO. For instance, if you are a Disney mom blogger, you could go with something like

  4. Choose Reliable Hosting: Your hosting service keeps your blog accessible online. Look for a service with good uptime, strong customer support, and the ability to handle growth in your website traffic. Bluehost is a fantastic place to start. If you want detailed information about Bluehost, come check out my full review! 👇🏻

New Blog Checklist - bluehost pin

Design Your Blog

The design of your blog plays a pivotal role in retaining visitors. Prioritize a clean, user-friendly design. Remember, your blog's aesthetics should complement your content, not distract from it.

Pro Hack: This may only be for Canva Pro users, but if you go into Canva and type in "brand board". From there, you can actually select already-generated brand aesthetics! This will save you so much time!

Here are some guidelines to follow while creating your blog's design:

  1. Prioritize User Experience: Your blog design should make it easy for readers to find what they want. This means easy navigation, a clear menu, and a search function.

  2. Choose a Responsive Design: More and more web browsing is being done on mobile devices. A responsive design will ensure that your blog looks good and functions well, no matter what device it's viewed on.

  3. Align Design with Your Niche: Your blog's design and aesthetics should match your content's theme and tone. For instance, a blog about a minimalist lifestyle should have a clean, clutter-free design.

  4. Consider Readability: Use a font size and color that is easy to read, and ensure plenty of contrast between your text and background.

  5. Creating Branding: This should include a logo, color palette, etc. I have an entire free guide on creating your brand in Canva. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE FREE GUIDE

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New Blog Checklist - Brand with Canva

Remember, these are all important aspects of setting up your blog, but they can also be tweaked and improved over time. Your blog is dynamic and will evolve with you and your audience.

If you aren't familiar with Canva, don't worry! I have a free beginners guide to help you get started!

New Blog Checklist - beginners guide

Create a Content Strategy

Content is the heart of your blog. Plan out your first few blog posts, and consider creating a content calendar for regular posting. Remember to keep your target audience in mind and focus on providing value.

  1. Identify Key Themes: Identify key themes or topics you want to cover based on your niche and target audience.

  2. Create a Content Calendar: Plan out your posts in advance. This will help you maintain a consistent posting schedule and ensure that you have a variety of content. If you want to save time, I have one ready for you! I'll share it below :)

  3. Research Competitors: See what similar blogs in your niche are doing. This can help you identify gaps in their content that you can fill.

  4. Experiment and Adjust: Don't be afraid to try different types of content (listicles, how-to guides, opinion pieces, etc.) and see what resonates with your audience.

New Blog Checklist - content calendar

Learn Basic SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essential for increasing your blog's visibility on search engines. Understand the basics, like using keywords and meta descriptions and incorporating quality backlinks.

  1. Keywords: Use tools like Google's Keyword Planner to find keywords related to your niche. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your content to help search engines understand what your blog posts are about.

  2. Meta Descriptions: These short descriptions tell search engines (and readers) what your post is about. Make sure each blog post has a unique meta description that includes your keyword.

  3. Quality Backlinks: Links from other reputable websites to your blog can help improve your search engine ranking. Guest posting on other blogs can be a good way to earn these.

  4. Site Speed: Search engines favor websites that load quickly. Make sure your images are optimized, and consider using a caching plugin to improve load times.

Establish a Social Media Presence

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your blog and interacting with your audience. Set up profiles on the platforms where your target audience is most active, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or TikTok.

  1. Choose Platforms Wisely: You don't need to be on every social media platform. Pick one or two where your target audience spends their time. I personally use Pinterest as my outlet. I go into depth in my Leveraging Pinterest to Increase Blog Traffic post:

  2. Consistency is Key: Try to maintain a regular posting schedule and use the same profile picture and bio across different platforms for consistency. I would have 5-10 blog posts ready to go before launch. Aim for 5 blog posts per week until you get to about 30, and then anywhere from one to three per week after that is good.

  3. Engage With Your Audience: Don't just post your content; interact with your followers. Respond to comments and messages, and participate in relevant groups or chats. Engagement is key!! Don't underestimate the power of it.

  4. Promote Your Blog: Share your blog posts on your social media platforms to drive traffic to your blog. Ensure your blog link is on your bio and you are actively discussing it. Getting the word out there is so important!

Prepare an Email Marketing Strategy

Building an email list allows you to maintain direct communication with your readers. Choose an email marketing service and design your newsletter layout and welcome emails.

  1. Choose an Email Marketing Service: Mailchimp or ConvertKit offers tools to collect email addresses, send newsletters, and track performance. I recommend starting out with MailChimp, and once you grow large enough, migrate over to ConvertKit

  2. Create a Sign-Up Incentive: Offering a freebie like an eBook or a discount can encourage visitors to sign up for your email list.

  3. Segment Your List: If your blog covers different topics, segmenting your email list allows you to send targeted emails based on your readers' interests.

  4. Regularly Engage: Regularly send out valuable content to keep your subscribers engaged.

Plan for Monetization

While you might not start making money from your blog right away, it's crucial to have a monetization plan. Research and understand various methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, selling products or services, or ads.

I strongly suggest starting with affiliate marketing, and the more you grow, the more you can make your way through the list below, ultimately getting your website monetized through Mediavine. You can learn more about the best affiliate marketing programs below:

New Blog Checklist - profitable blog post

I'll talk more about everything below, starting with affiliate marketing.

  1. Affiliate Marketing: Promote products or services related to your niche and earn a commission on any sales through your referral link.

  2. Sponsored Posts: As your blog grows, companies might be willing to pay you to write a post about their product or service.

  3. Sell Products or Services: This could be an eBook, a course, or consulting services, depending on your niche.

  4. Ad Revenue: Once you have enough traffic, you can earn money by displaying ads on your blog, typically through a service like Google AdSense.

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Launching a blog is a journey. With this checklist, you're setting off on the right foot. Remember, patience and consistency are key. You may not see immediate results, but each step brings you closer to your goal.

It's important to remember that these elements will evolve over time. It's okay to start small and grow gradually, learning as you go. In fact, that's what you SHOULD be doing. Don't wait to perfect certain things. Jump in and learn as you go!

So, get ready to launch and let your voice be heard!

More AMAZING resources:


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