Now that you’ve started the path you choose to get your blog off the ground, there are a few things to keep in mind before launching your blog to the masses.
- Layout & Sidebar - I’ve discussed the importance on your layout and keeping it nice and clean in “Getting Started.” This will be the “face” of your blog essentially, so I suggest sticking with a look that you are truly in love with. After you’ve got the layout look down, think about what you want your sidebar to provide the blog. Check out various sidebars on some of your favorite blogs. They provide easy access to content that enhances your blog’s content. I always recommend having a section for blog post archives for a clean and easy way to old posts, labels to categorize posts, search section to easily find something on your blog, and a welcome section. This section will provide a quick look at what your blog is about/mission.
- Link to Social Media - I like to include links to all the social media accounts connect with my blog in the welcome section. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and more, provide another creative outlet to connect with you and your blog. My Twitter and Instagram are personal accounts that I like to share. I’ve connected my Facebook and Pinterest to accounts made for the blog. These sites are also a great way to connect with new readers and spread the word of your blog.
- About Me Page - I used to not care about this page at all and give it minimal time. However, from my experiences, this tends to be one of the most viewed pages on your blog. It’s a chance to get a peek at yourself, everyone loves to learn about the face behind the blog and who that person is. When writing your “About Me” sections make sure to keep it honest and you. Readers respond most to who YOU are and relate most to the real you. My favorite blogs are those where you can tell the blog is all them and not for anyone else. Another part to add is the “Mission Statement.” This is your chance to talk about your blog (I like to talk about it as a third person, my BFF). In a mission statement, you’re discussing what is your purpose with your blog and why you want to share it with the world. Again, this is a YOU section and is best received when it reflects you. (Your blog is a part of you.)
- Introduction/First Post - Just like the About Me Page, I hardly took time with an introduction post. It’s your first post, your first impression. You can keep it short and simple, especially if that’s you. But I’ve always preferred (and wanted) to write an introduction into the blog and me. Although you do this with your About Me Page, this can be a great way to get creative and share you and your blog in a fun, artistic way. This also allows you to connect with readers and give them a chance to converse with you. Just take some time to think about and organize this post.
- Spread the Word & Be Patient - Now that your blog is launched and ready to go, it’s about time to SPREAD THE WORD! It’s hard to learn about your blog if the information isn’t out there. Please know that a good, successful blog can take time. You will most likely not get a following until a few months. Get the word out on Social Media, comment on other blogs linking back to you, join blogging communities, and so on.