This is definitely a do as I say not as I did kind of posts. When I launched my blog, I had no clue what I was doing. So the fact that you’re doing a little research means you’re already ahead of the curve.
When my first blog went live I had nothing on it, no About page, no blog post, no nothing. But I’ve learned a lot since then and have come along way. So I thought I’d go over some of the posts and pages you should consider having ready before you actually launch your blog. Here is what to write first.
Just so you know, this post may contain affiliate links. Meaning I receive commissions for purchases made through those links, at no cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. You can read my disclosure policy for more info.
You’re definitely going to want an About page. Not only to tell your readers about yourself but also about what they can expect from your blog. Include things like how often are you going to post, what you are going to talk about, and any other way they can get in contact with all of you.
The first section should be about your site, why you started it, what it’s about, and how your take is unique.
The second section should introduce readers to you, to help them make a personal connection to you, because you are what makes your blog unique and different from other blogs out there. Be sure to include some fun facts, as well as anything that makes you an authority or expert on the topic of your site.
The examples of authority could be a degree you have, some work experience, or being published.
Even if you aren’t monetizing your site, if you are collecting emails or allowing people to comment on your site or just using Google Analytics, then you NEED a Legal Page.
Besides mentioning where people can find you on social media, you should have an actual contact page. The page should include either giving out your direct email address or more likely a form that people can submit. You can use a plugin like Contact Form 7 to get a form set up.
I’d recommend starting with at least 1 posts for each topic you plan to cover on your site. The benefit is twofold, you’ll have content for every topic and you’ll get a feel for how much you enjoy writing on the topic. If it’s something you don’t enjoy it’s easier to pivot early on rather than wait and come up with tons more content on another topic.
Additionally a post about why you started the blog, allowing you to make a personal connection with your reader would be great to start with. Let them know what inspired you to blog and how you hope to help readers. This will be similar to your about page, but it allows you to dig a little deeper to make a personal connection.
The other 2 to 4 posts should cover one of the topics you’ll be covering on your blog. So if you’re going to talk about personal finance, debt, how to earn more money, and career tips then you should have one blog post on each of those topics ready to go.
If you’re launching with all these elements, then you’re setting yourself up for success. You of course, can add a lot more to your site later on but it’s a small hurdle to help you start strong and ensure no one showing up to your blog when it’s empty. If someone ends up on your blog you want to give them more than one thing to read, watch, or do.
Blogging tools i recommend
Bluehost (hosting): When I started blogging, I hosted my blog on Bluehost as it seemed the most recommended hosting service. Bluehost worked just fine when I was starting out but I outgrew it. When I needed help I was able to get it, though it wasn't quite as personable as BigScoots, that being said Bluehost can be a great option to start.
Convertkit (Email marketing) I started with MailChimp, quickly left, went to Aweber, and finally settled on Convertkit. I love how easy it is to use. It makes confirming opt-ins and delivering content upgrades (like worksheets) a snap. I use the WordPress plugin and then just choose what form I want on each post and page.
One thing that makes Convertkit stand out from other email marketing services is that they don't count subscribers twice. Most other email marketing tools count subscribers on each form, so if a subscriber subscribed to more than one form, they are counted more than once. Since pricing is typically determined by the number of subscribers this could drive up your costs significantly.
Making Sense of Affiliate marketing (monetizing your blog): Michelle is an affiliate marketing maven. She regularly makes over $50k a month from affiliate marketing. I bought her course at the end of Nov. 2016 and mid-December 2016 while I'm still working to implement everything I've learned, I've already seen an increase in my affiliate marketing income. She really knows what she is talking about and the Facebook community that accompanies the course is a terrific resource. Learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Thrive Themes (For High converting websites): I got the Thrive Themes Membership when I decided to redesign LDMW and it’s been fantastic. It replaces Leadpages which was costing me over $400 a year. It also produced a much cleaner design with so many great tools I’m still working to implement and get the most out of everything. Just to note, Thrive Themes only works on WordPress.org sites. But if you have a WordPress site I highly recommend using Thrive Themes, I love it and have become a bit obsessed with everything it can do.
Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.