I don’t think it’d be possible to follow how many new blogs get created each day and how rarely they actually survive for more than a month or so. Make sure your blog survives the first-month blues with these steps to take after you’ve started a blog.
You haven’t got to starting a blog just yet but are more than ready? Read this 5 step guide to creating a WordPress + Siteground website or grab my free e-book Blog Creation Simplified.
Steps to take after you’ve started a blog
PHASE #1 Initial Website setup
1. Choose and upload a theme
If you haven’t done that already, make sure to choose a good theme that’d work for your blogging needs.
Read a post on What to keep in mind when choosing a WordPress theme and then head over to the article The best WordPress theme review for bloggers.
I definitely suggest starting with something rather simple if this is your first serious blog. Focus on the content instead of the design.
It’s hard for me, as a designer, to admit it but there are SO many successful blogs that have very bad designs… So, really, just focus on matters the most to you.Make sure to focus on the content first and then worry about design details! Click To Tweet
2. Install all the necessary plugins
Having a fresh website is a magnificent feeling – it’s not cluttered, you have a plain page, ready to be updated and you can make anything out of it!
And most of the cool and useful features come from plugins. Therefore, make sure to do a decent research on what plugins your blog will need the most and install them right away. You can always eliminate what’s not necessary after all.
Here are some of the must-have WordPress plugins to grow a successful blog.
3. Make sure your Permalinks are what you want them to be
Permalinks is the system how your URLs are shown. For example, here are different permalink systems:
The most convenient system to have on your blog is therandomp.com/blog/post-name but overall it depends on your own specific preferences.
To set it up, go to Settings > Permalinks and choose Custom Structure:
Set it up at the very beginning of your blogging journey. If you decide to change it later on – all of your links will be changed so any of your shared posts won’t be relevant!
4. Write Metadata about your pages
Metadata is what will let others know what your page is all about: when you share it on social media when it’s found on search engines or in many similar cases.
How to make sure your Metadata is in all the right places?
First, go to Settings > General and make sure you have written Site Title and Tagline. It’s the very basic setup you should have setup and ready at all times.
The next step you can take is after you’ve set up Yoast SEO plugin. From there, go to Pages and click Edit for each specific page you want to upload a description for. Then, scroll down until you see Yoast SEO plugin details and fill them out!Confused what to do after you've started a new blog?! Here are the exact steps to take! Click To Tweet
PHASE #2 Website’s functionality
5. Make sure all of your Menus are working properly
Many Themes have created their custom Menus that are used for Demo themes as samples. They might lead to pages you’re not using on your website so make sure to create and use your own Menus. Also, make sure to check out not only the Main menu but also Footer, Social and other Menus your website might’ve created.
To change or update a Menu, go to Appearance > Menus and choose the Menu you want to update.
6. Check your compliance with GDPR
(and whatever else could come up next)
Jetpack plugin offers to set up a Cookie Banner and other must-have’s to comply with the recent GDPR policy.
To do this, simply add Cookie Banner to any of your page elements in Widgets – the banner will automatically popup whenever someone visits your site. Annoying but necessary!
Also, keep in mind that the world of online media is always changing and coming up with new “must-have’s”. It’s good to have your hand on the pulse and check in with these things once in a while.
The best place to put them is on your Footer. You can also make them invisible (not use in any Menus) but then the URL’s have to be obvious like yourwebsite.com/privacy-policy so everyone can check it out whenever necessary.
PHASE #3 Make your Blog worth your time
6. Create and set up an opt-in
Capture all of the people who might be interested in your future offers right from the very beginning!
For that, you’ll need to create an option and make sure to set it up properly.
First, choose an email marketing software you want to use.
Then, work on your first free opt-in. Opt-in is an additional value you give away for people emails. It should be relevant to your readers but it doesn’t have to be anything overly complicated.
It can be a checklist, e-book, online course or whatever else makes sense for you.
Then, make it all available for your audience. Read more about how to set up a profitable mailing list with MailerLite.
7. Choose Blog Monetization methods
Although many people like to get the traffic first and then start thinking about blog monetization methods, I say – the sooner, the better.
The truth is, you CAN monetize even a small dose of traffic. I started getting paid for my blogging efforts when I had around 100 readers monthly. And with platforms like Pinterest, it’s very easy to get there in no time!
It’s important to get started what feels like the best fit for you and will also get your audience’s attention.
You can check out The best ideas for your first e-product for some inspiration.
But it can just as well be any other monetization method, as long as it works for you!
And voila! Your website is set up and ready to roll. It might not be a matter of one day to set it all up and make sure it’s working but it’ll absolutely be worth your time to make this happen before your big traffic starts coming in.
Do you have any other questions about steps to take after you’ve started a blog? Or maybe you have your own tips and tricks on how to start with an ease? Let me know!