Everything You Need to Do After You Start a New Blog

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You’ve finally got your blog all set up.

Now, it’s time to start writing content, right?

Not so fast…

As much as we’d all like to think that installing your website software makes your blog reader-ready, it isn’t as easy as that. 

There are a few other things you need to get together before “opening its doors” to visitors.

Just like a brick and mortar shop, you need to do some branding, fix your blog’s design and make it ready to interact with potential readers.

Of course, let’s not forget security, accessibility and performance as well. 

You don’t want your new site to be slow…

… and, you want to allow visitors from anywhere in the world to have access to it 24/7, 365 days a year.

Sounds overwhelming?

Fear not, it isn’t. At least not if you know each of the steps you need to do.

In this article, I’ll guide you through each of the things you need to immediately do right after starting your blog. This will ensure that your website is able to give your readers the best possible online experience it can.

Are you ready?

Then let’s get started.

How to Start a Blog (If You Haven’t Done These Yet)

In case you haven’t set up your blog yet, here’s a quick recap of what you need to do get started. 

The good news is, getting your site up and running takes about 15 minutes. 

And, it’s very easy to do…

Gone are the days when you need to know any coding or HTML just to create a website. Today, almost everything is “one-click”. Just press the “install” button and enter a few settings along with some information. 

And you’re done.

If you’ve already chosen your niche and set up your blog, then you can skip ahead to the next section where you can get your blog ready for launch.

In the meantime, let’s get to setting up your own custom website.

Choose a Niche

The most important thing to figure out before setting up your blog is to decide what it will be about.

In the blogging world, that’s called a niche. Basically, it’s the topic your site will focus on.

Some examples of niches include food, travel, personal finance, health, and parenting.

In the same way, you can opt to go with a sub-niche as well.

 Some examples include Paleo blogs, vegan blogs, and smoothie blogs. One can argue that these blogs fall under the food niche. But, by narrowing down their topic, it allows them to be more targeted towards a specific area within that niche.

The good news is, you can start from either side.

  • You can start broad, then narrow things down. Let’s say you choose the food niche. Here, you can write about foods of different cuisines, ingredients, for weight loss or healthy eating. But, over time, if you notice that one or two of these categories resound better with your audience, you can focus more on them.
  • You can likewise start with a single sub-niche, then grow outwards. For example, you start with a vegan blog focusing on creating recipes that don’t include meat or dairy. After a while, you can add a new topic, say losing weight with the vegan diet. Later on, you can expand further into helping people adjust to the vegan lifestyle.

That said, when it comes to choosing your niche, you want to focus on 3 things.

  • Something that you like or are interested in. If you’re passionate about something, that’s awesome. But, I wouldn’t go that far saying you need to be very passionate about your niche to succeed in it. The important thing is, you need to be able to see yourself writing, learning and still be excited about that topic 5 or more years from now. That’s it.
  • There’s a market for it. That means there are enough people and interest on the topic. More importantly, there are people willing to pay for products or services. Otherwise, the potential for making money or creating a profitable blog can be challenging. This is very important! Don’t skip it.
  • Choose a topic you know, have experience with or are willing to learn about. You don’t need to be an expert. Let me say that again, you don’t need to be an expert to succeed in your niche. All it takes is the willingness and interest to learn about it. If you’re an expert or have done it for a living, that’s great. You can come in as a guru and teach people. But, if you’re learning about the niche, you can take the approach of an explorer or a student. That is, take your readers on a journey with you as you learn and experiment to understand more about the niche. After a few years when you “know your stuff”, you’ll suddenly realize you’ve graduated to become an expert.

Set Up Your Site

Once you’ve chosen a niche, the next step is to sign up for hosting.

Your web host is where all your blog’s files are saved.

Hosting services are set up so your blog can be accessed through the internet by anyone. No matter where they are in the world, 24/7, and 365 days a year.

Here, I recommend BlueHost.

From all the web hosting services I’ve tried, this is the one I highly suggest beginners start with.

It’s easy to set up and use. 

Plus, it’s very affordable.

As your site grows and your traffic requirements increase, you will likely move on to other higher-end web hosts. 

While those blog hosts are better, they’re also more expensive. 

As such, it doesn’t make sense to spend the extra money before you actually need that extra speed and capacity.

I’d rather you use those extra bucks each month and invest it into more important things when starting your blog.

Installing WordPress

WordPress is what’s called a CMS.

That’s blog-speak for Content Management System.

Basically, it’s a system that allows you to manage your content without having to go through the hassle of learning HTML, CSS or any coding.

That’s why almost all bloggers use WordPress.

It lets you just type and format your blog posts without having to program anything… or even know programming.

This lets you focus on blogging instead of the technical side.

The good news is, BlueHost allows you to quickly install WordPress.

It literally takes just a click of a button.

… and is installed within 2 minutes.

Things You Must Do After / When You Start a Blog

In this section, you’ll go through the steps that will make your blog ready for business. I’ll take you through each step so that you’ll be able to customize everything. 

This way your website looks exactly the way you want it to be.

How to Start a Blog the Right Way 19 Critical Things You Need to Do

Write Your Blog Title & Description

The first thing you want to check is your Blog’s Title and Description.

The title is what comes out at the top of your blog.

Meanwhile, your description is its Tag Line. 

This is a brief explanation of your blog. You can likewise use a catchy motto as well for your tag line.

WordPress Blog Title

Here’s how to do it:

Go to Settings on your WordPress dashboard sidebar.

You’ll see the following items:

  • Site Title: This is the title of your website. As such, it’s a good idea to enter your blog’s name here. Try to type it out the way you would like people to write or say it. After all, it’s your brand.
  • Tagline: The tagline is a quick, catchy description of your blog.
  • WordPress Address (URL): this is the URL of your blog, leave it as is. You should have already set this up in the WordPress installation.
  • Site Address (URL): Like the WordPress Address, you can leave this URL as it is.
  • Email Address: If the email address that’s shown here isn’t the email you want to use, change it. Ideally, this should be the email you want your readers to use when trying to contact you. It’s helpful to enter one you constantly check. I suggest creating an email specifically for your blog, and not using a personal one. This will make it easier to sift through your inbox once you get more emails as your blog grows.

As a side note, in a while, you’ll be creating your brand’s logo. When you upload it, the logo will cover both the Title and Tagline texts.

But, do keep the Title intact. That’s because its presence in your blog’s HTML coding carries value in terms of keyword and SEO.

Here’s why.

As your blog grows and people start searching for your brand. Keeping your blog’s name there will help you rank at the top of the search results for your brand.

It wouldn’t look good when people search your brand and see another website on the #1 spot, would it?

Choose a Good WordPress Theme

The next step is installing your WordPress Theme. 

This is where you’ll be able to customize your blog’s design.

At the moment, if you check your homepage, it’s fairly blank.

In fact, it looks far from how your favorite blogs look. There’s nothing on the sidebars, no colors, no designs, and not much text.

That’s where your WordPress Themes comes in.

Themes allow you to change the color, choose the fonts, their sizes and even how the sidebar is positioned (if you choose to have one).

More importantly, it allows you the make these changes without having to enter one single code of HTML or know how to program.

That’s why the majority of bloggers use WordPress. 

It takes 90% of the programming out of the equation, so you can focus on blogging. The remaining 10% is for those who want to hire a designer to program any specific changes to their theme.

The thing is, there are thousands of themes created for WordPress. Each of them having their own look.

So, you’ll want to choose one that’s as close as possible to the look you want your site to have.

That said, you can opt to go with FREE or PREMIUM (PAID) WordPress themes.

Free WordPress Themes

The free theme I highly recommend is Astra

I love it because even the free version gives you a TON of customization. These aren’t available in 95% of other free themes.

Plus, it’s one of the fastest loading theme’s I’ve seen.

Astra Theme for WordPress 1

And, as your blog grows, if you want to have more flexibility in terms of customizing it, you can upgrade to the paid version as well.

An add-on I highly recommend installing is the Elementor Page Builder

Again, it has free and paid versions.

When starting out, you only need the free one.

This will let you use drag and drop features to design your pages, allowing your site to look more professional without having to pay for it.

  • Free Theme Recommendation: Astra Theme + Elementor Page Builder
Elementor Page Builder

Paid WordPress Theme

If you prefer just going with one component as opposed to two with a few more features, I strongly suggest the Divi Theme.

This is a premium theme, so you do need to pay for it.

Divi Theme for WordPress

Basically, it includes the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) page builder with the theme. 

Again, this lets you drag and drop components into your blog posts, so you don’t have to know how to code in order to customize the design of your site.

Installing Your Theme

  1. On the left sidebar of your WordPress Dashboard, choose Appearance and scroll over to Themes.
  2. When you click Themes, you’ll see a list of all the themes installed for your blog.
  3. Click Add New on top to pick a new theme. This will take you to the list of all FREE themes in WordPress’ theme repository.
  4. Choose a theme you like and click Install.
  5. After the theme has been installed onto your blog, click the Activate button.

Install WordPress Plugins

In addition to your theme, you’ll want to install plugins.

In WordPress, your theme allows you to personalize your blog’s design. 

Meanwhile, plugins give it extra functionality.

These include improving your site’s SEO, speed, security and creating backups. 

Similarly, plugins allow you to easily add other components like a contact form or information in your blog’s header and footer.

Like themes, there are thousands of plugins available. And, there are free and paid ones as well. But, unlike themes, you can install more than one plugin at a time.

The key is to choose which plugins you need.

While it’s okay to install tons of plugins, doing so isn’t a good idea. 

That’s because they’ll slow down your site’s load time.

Here’s a list of free plugins I recommend when starting your blog.

  • Akismet – this is an awesome plugin that filters spam from your comments and contact forms.
  • Yoast – this is an SEO Plugin. It allows you to easily optimize each post for SEO.
  • W3 Total Cache – is a caching plugin. It speeds up your blog’s load time by storing some of the data people often download.
  • Contact Form 7 – this plugin lets you add a contact form to your blog in just a few seconds.
  • Wordfence – provides firewall and malware protection to your site.

The only paid plugin I recommend when you’re starting out is Social Warfare

This plugin adds social sharing buttons to your site. 

It also shows how many shares you have for each platform. This goes a long way in terms of social proof.

To install these plugins:

  1. Click on Plugins in the left sidebar.
  2. Click on the Add New button at the top of the screen.
  3. Find the plugin you want to install by typing its name in the search bar.
  4. Then click on Install and Activate.

As your blog grows and your needs increase, you’ll install more plugins including paid ones.

Set Up Your Blog’s Settings

After you’ve installed your WordPress theme and plugins, it’s time to make sure that your blog’s settings are on point.

Check Your Permalink Structure

By default, your blog’s URLs will look something like this:

http://willblogforaliving.com/?p=123

Notice what happens after the “.com/”…

It’s a number.

While you can work with that, it’s a good idea to change your blog’s URL structure to something more readable. 

Here’s why:

  • You’ll be able to add keywords. These keywords will help boost your SEO.
  • It’s easier for your readers to remember a specific page.
  • When you’re telling other people to visit a particular blog post, it’s much easier to remember a word or phrase as opposed to a number.

So, you want to choose a Permalink Structure that sets your URL to the title of your blog post. Doing so will make it look something like this:

http://willblogforaliving.com/sample-post/

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings on the left sidebar and choose Permalinks
  2. Then, choose Post Name in the selection
  3. Finally, click on the Save Changes button to save the new setting.

And, you’re done.

WordPress Permalink

Make Sure Your Blog Can Be Seen by Search Engines

This is a very important item to check. 

It’s very simple. 

But, if it is in the wrong setting, it can make your blog invisible to Google.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings on the left sidebar and click on Reading. This will take you your blog’s Reading Settings page.
  2. Now scroll down until you reach the item, Search Engine Visibility. Make sure IT IS NOT CHECKED.
WordPress Reading Settings

If you check “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”, Google will comply by not indexing your site. 

As a result, your blog posts won’t appear on its search results.

That will prevent people from being able to find your website when they search Google. 

Not good!

So, make sure the box is not checked.

Enable Comments & Comments Held for Moderation

Do you want your readers to be able to leave comments?

To see the comments settings, go to Settings on the left sidebar and click on Discussion.

Check or uncheck the box labeled “Allow people to post comments on new articles” depending on whether you want them to be able to add comments to your blog posts or not.

Then, go down to Other comment settings.

Here you can set who can leave comments and when. The default forces people to leave their name and email, which is what I recommend.

Some people like to close comments after a certain number of days. You can do that as well. Or, only allow people who’ve registered to comment.

You can leave the rest of the items as they are or change them if you wish.

Create Your Core and Legal Pages

This is one of the most BORING, yet IMPORTANT parts of setting up your site.

Well, okay, I take back the boring part, at least for the About page. 

The rest, I stand by my words… 

Boring.

Unfortunately, they’re all very important, including the legal pages.

More About Your Blog

These two pages are essential because they give readers a glimpse of who you are.

  • About page. This page introduces you to your readers. It’s a chance for you to connect with them by telling them your story, what your blog is about and why you created the blog.
  • Contact page. This page contains your contact form, which allows visitors to get in touch with you via email. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is by installing the Contact Form 7 plugin. And, do make sure that the email address you typed into your blog’s WordPress settings page is up to date because that’s the email it will use by default.

Legal Pages

This next set of pages ensures your visitors that your blog is “playing by the rules”. 

Essentially, each of the pages serves their own purpose, including informing visitors about what information it gets from them, what you do with their information and also protect yourself from lawsuits.

The best way to set these up is to hire a lawyer. 

But, if you’re looking for something more affordable or free you can search the internet for forms.

As a blogger, like most others, I’m not allowed to dispense legal information. 

So, I’m just going to stick to the basics below.

Privacy Policy

A Privacy Policy lets visitors to your site know WHAT INFORMATION you’re getting from them, specifically those personal in nature, and also HOW you’re going to use that information.

This pertains to sensitive information including their name, email, home address, credit card information and others.

It also includes the use of cookies that track their computer’s information.

Disclaimer

A disclaimer protects you from lawsuits that may arise from your blog. It prevents you from being liable in case someone follows your advice, didn’t the like the results and decides to sue you for it.

While disclaimers are a must for all blogs, some websites need to specify more information in their disclaimer than others.

This applies to blogs in the health niche, investments, and legal fronts. That’s because you can easily be sued for damages coming from medical advice, loss of money or lawsuits.

Terms & Conditions

There refer to your website’s rules. Things like your image copyrights and intellectual property rights.

Also, if you sell products, you’ll need to include guarantees as well as sales and refund policies among other things.

Amazon Associates Disclaimer

If you earn commissions as an Amazon Associates affiliate, you’ll also need to include a disclaimer identifying yourself as an Amazon Associate. 

By doing so, you’re informing visitors that you earn commissions on items they buy from Amazon when they click from links in your blog.

You want to make sure that you have this information in all your pages because Amazon strictly states it as a requirement in their Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement (section 5):

This is according to Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement, section 5:

5. Identifying Yourself as an Associate

You must clearly state the following, or any substantially similar statement previously allowed under this Agreement, on your Site or any other location where Amazon may authorize your display or other use of Program Content: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” Except for this disclosure, you will not make any public communication with respect to this Agreement or your participation in the Associates Program without our advance written permission. You will not misrepresent or embellish our relationship with you (including by expressing or implying that we support, sponsor, or endorse you), or express or imply any affiliation between us and you or any other person or entity except as expressly permitted by this Agreement.

Here’s the disclaimer they recommend. 

It’s a good idea to add it to the footer of your blog to ensure that each and every page will show it. (Note: do replace your blog’s name inside the brackets.)

[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com or myhabit.com)]

Set Up Your Main Navigation Menu

Once you’re done with the legal pages, it’s time to set up your main navigation menu.

This is the main menu that will sit on top of each page on your website.

The most important thing about your main menu is to figure out what topics you want to focus on.

Ideally, limiting yourself to between 3-5 main topics in your niche works well. 

This gives you a broad enough base to start with. 

You can then narrow things down to 1-2 main topics based on how your audience responds to them later on.

Here’s how to set up your Main Menu:

Go to Appearance on the left sidebar and click on Menus

WordPress Create Menu

This will let you drag and drop the main pages, posts or categories you want to see on the top navigation.

Install SSL

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a security feature that protects sensitive information that travels to and from your website.

This is important if you plan on getting sensitive customer information as well as payment data when selling products.

These include things like your visitors’ name and email address when they sign up for your email list. 

And, also their home address and credit card information if they buy something from you.

As such, it is very important to have SSL set up for security and privacy purposes.

In addition, Google considers SSL as a ranking factor as well.

So how do you know if your site has SSL encryption? 

Check the http:// in your blog’s URL.

https ssl encryption enabled

If your site shows https:// instead of http://, that means your blog has an SSL Certificate installed, ie. You’re good to go!

If not, it’s a good idea to install an SSL Certificate.

While you can pay for one, Bluehost comes with FREE SSL for your WordPress blog.

It uses AutoSSL which is one of the many free available options. This makes it easy to install and more importantly, comes at no cost to you.

Cloudflare

Remember the last time a page you wanted to check out took too long to load?

What did you do?

Odds are you pressed the back button on your browser or just went on to another website.

That’s why it’s important to have a fast loading website.

In addition, Google also considers web page load time as one of its ranking factors.

One way to get a fast loading blog is to sign up with a good web host. If you haven’t signed up with one, I highly recommend Bluehost for your blog hosting needs.

That said, no matter how fast your host is, the physical location of its servers (where your blog’s files are saved) affects loading speed.

Take for example your host is in the U.S.

When someone in the U.K. or in Asia tries to access it, the data has to first move from the states to the U.K. or Asia before going to the user’s laptop.

That extra relay increases the time it takes to load.

Cloudflare fixes that problem.

It does so by having 155 data centers around the world. That allows them to cache (save) an updated version of your blog in these data centers.

So, if your host’s servers are in the U.S. and someone in Germany wants to read it, Cloudflare will use its closest data center to or in Germany. Then, show the visitor that saved version of your blog. 

This makes your website load much faster no matter where your visitor is geographically.

Branding

In the beginning, all you need is simple branding. 

I don’t really want you to spend a ton of time doing this unless you’re sure you can drive a lot of visitors to your blog immediately.

That’s because I’d rather you focus your energy on the essentials. The reason being that you can always refine your brand’s logo and design when your blog grows.

That said, here are the few branding components your new blog should have.

Brand Colors

This first thing you want to do is choose your brand’s colors. Often brands have anywhere from 1-5 colors.

The thing is, you want to choose colors that mesh well with one another.

To do this I’ve found two very fast, yet effective ways to help you pick out your blog’s color scheme.

Option 1: BrandColors.net

This is a collection of the colors big brand names like Facebook, Amazon, Mercedes Benz, and others use. 

Because these companies have spent millions on researching the best colors, you’re sure they work well from a marketing perspective.

The only thing you need to do is choose which one you like most.

In doing so, do take into consideration the common color that some niches come with. For example, environmental and gardening blogs often use some shade of green in them.

Here’s a quick guide you can use to choose the dominant color you want to start with.

Brand-Colors screenshot

Once you’ve selected the main color of your brand, it’s time to find the remaining colors that will work well with it.

  1. To do so, go to BrandColors.net and look for brands that use your main color.
  2. From there, pick out the combination you like most.
  3. Finally, take note of the HTML codes of the entire color set. You’ll want to save a copy of these codes on something like Note Pad to make it easy to copy & paste when applying your brand colors to your site and other photos or images.

They’ll likewise be useful when you hire a designer. This will let them incorporate your brand colors into their designs.

Option 2: Pick the Colors Yourself

If you’re a designer or have an eye for design, you can choose the colors yourself.

One quick way to go about it is using the Adobe Color Wheel.

Adobe Color Wheel

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Choose a base color

Basically, you start with a base color. This will be the dominant color of your blog.

Step 2: Select a Color Harmony

Basically, there are 6 different types of color combinations that have been proven to look good together. These are the color harmonies.

A couple of examples are:

  • Complementary color combinations: where the colors complement one another. These are colors that are opposite one another in the color wheel. For example, blue and orange, or red and green.
  • Monochromatic color combinations: different shades of one color. For example, you can have a base color of gray, and use different shades of gray ranging from very light gray to charcoal.

Step 3: Add another color if you wish

If you want to use a particular color, you can add it here. But, before you do so, make sure you know what you’re doing.

The risk of introducing your own color can affect the harmony of the entire set. So, I don’t suggest doing so unless you have a good eye for design.

Step 4: Get the color scheme

Copy down the HTML color codes so you can insert them into your WordPress theme’s customization settings.

If you want to read up on color psychology and its role in marketing, here’s a useful guide you can take inspiration from.

Brand Logo

When it comes to logos, you can go one of three ways.

Option 1: Make a text logo

This is the simplest logo around. 

But, it works.

If you noticed, many big brands often use the text or abbreviated version of their names as their logo.

Some examples include Google, NASA, FedEx and Coca-Cola.

This makes it easier for you to create your own logo.

All you need to do is:

  1. Decide on a font
  2. Choose the color or colors
  3. Decide its layout or how it appears

All of these you can easily do in Canva, which is free.

Option 2: Create the logo yourself on Canva or Photoshop

If you want a more illustrative logo, then you’ll need to create one yourself. 

This takes more time and effort. 

As such, I do suggest doing it only if you have at least some basic design training.

Option 3: Hire a designer from Fiverr

I recommend Fiverr here because it’s simple, quick and inexpensive. At this point, there’s no need to spend a ton of time and money for your logo.

You’re better off focusing on building your blog and creating content.

Brand Fonts

The next part of your branding is your fonts.

By fonts, I’m referring to the look and size of the text in your blog.

This includes the fonts of the blog post title, sub-headings, and main content. It also includes the fonts and sizes in the sidebar, menus, and footers.

Like colors, you can go a lot of ways when it comes to fonts.

That means you may end up spending a lot of time here. 

Don’t do that.

Make it quick, keep it simple.

The goal here is to make your fonts visually appealing, nothing too cute or clever. It should be easy to read and readily available in most digital devices.

Font-Pair screenshot

Here’s how.

  1. Go to FontPair.co
  2. Choose from the font combinations that appear on the screen.
  3. For each of the font pairs, the site shows you how they look as the sub-heading and content text. From there, you can pick the font and note down their names to use in your blog.
  4. If you don’t find anything you like on the first page, go to the top menu and select from the different available font style combinations. This will show you more font family pairings you can choose from.

Create & Set Up Your Favicon

Another small but useful component of your blog’s branding comes in the form of your faviconThis is the small icon that appears on the left side of your browser’s tab.

Favicon

While it may not look like much, all respectable blogs and websites have it.

Without knowing it, you probably take note of these icons yourself. That’s because they help you bounce back and forth between all your open browser tabs.

You can create a simple icon using Faviconer or make one yourself in Canva.

The ideal size is 16×16 pixels or 32×32 pixels. 

But, do start with a larger square image when creating it so that the icon looks crisp. Then just reduce the size down to fit the 32×32 px size when you’re done.

WordPress favicon image upload

How to Upload Your Favicon to Your Blog

  1. Go to Appearance in the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard
  2. Click on Customize, which will allow you to personalize your theme’s design. 
  3. Look for a Layout option and under Site Identity. (Note that different themes will have different options in their Customization menu, so you’ll need to explore a little to find it.)
  4. Inside Site Identity, look for the section labeled Site Icon. This will be your favicon.
  5. Finally click on the change image to upload the favicon you created.

Set up Relevant Social Media Accounts

Next up, it’s time to set up your social media accounts.

For most blogs, the basic social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. 

Instagram is likewise an option if you take a lot of photos. It’s also a good place to let your loyal readers see your more personal side.

If you create a lot of videos, then add your YouTube channel as well.

Add Social Sharing Buttons on Your Site

I’ve already mentioned this above in the plugins section. 

But, it’s worth mentioning again because social media will play a big role in your blog’s growth.

Basically, social sharing buttons make it easy for readers to share one of your posts to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other platforms.

Sadly, most themes don’t have these buttons already set up.

The good news is, it’s easy to do so. And, you’ll be able to choose which style of buttons you want.

Social Sharing Buttons Plugins

Like in all cases, I’ll show you FREE and PAID options

This will let you save money while starting out. And, decide later if you want to upgrade because you need the extra features the paid versions offer.

Here are the plugins I recommend:

Social Warfare Plugin stats

Social Warfare is well worth the money because it offers more features than the free versions. 

The things I like most are:

  • They look more professional. Prettier too!
  • It’s easy to position them anywhere in your blog
  • They have minimum counts. That is, they won’t show the number of shares below a certain level. This allows you to show off your social proof only when it’s beneficial to you.
  • It has analytics which allows you to analyze your sharing data.
  • It lets you load all your images for a post. This lets people choose which image they want to show when they share the post on their social media channels.

Pin It Button

If you’re using Pinterest, then I highly recommend installing the jQuery Pin It button.

This plugin lets readers pin any image on your blog post with a press of a button. It’s specially created for Pinterest which helps you get more shares on that platform.

Set up Google Analytics for Your Website

Google Analytics is a website tool you can use to track your blog’s traffic. 

It’s the top tool out there for doing this. And, best of all it’s FREE.

All you have to do is set it up. 

If you already have a Google Account or Gmail for your blog, you’ll be able to use that same account to set up Google Analytics.

Again, I strongly suggest that you have a separate email account for your blog. 

This lets you set up your email list and things like Google Analytics there instead of mixing it in with your personal email.

That said, Google Analytics does more than track how many visitors your site gets. It also lets you:

  • See where the traffic is coming from
  • What kind of traffic your blog is getting
  • How long they stay on your site
  • Where your visitors are coming from
  • Which blog posts are popular and which aren’t getting many visitors

All of this data allows you to optimize your blog in order to increase traffic to it.

Set Up Google Search Console

Another useful free service is Google Search Console. 

This used to be named Google Webmaster Tools, just to clear up any possible confusion should you search for more information.

Google Search Console allows you to see how Google views your site. 

That is, it gives you information about errors and problems that may affect your blog. It also offers tips on how to improve your website’s rankings.

Brainstorm Your First 5 Blog Posts, Write and Publish Them

Finally, it’s time to start brainstorming blog post ideas.

You’ve gotten through all the setup and installations.

Now, it’s time to start thinking of what to write and get down to creating amazing content your readers will love.

The most important thing to remember when coming up with blog post ideas is to ask yourself two things.

  • Is my target audience interested in this?
  • How will it help them?

If your idea checks both of these criteria, you can start the outline and research process.

In case you want a step-by-step guide on how to write your first blog post, here’s a very comprehensive one I wrote that covers everything you need to know from start to finish.

Conclusion

Starting a blog is easier than ever.

… but, getting started the right way isn’t always as easy.

Knowing what to do and what not to do not only saves you time, it also prevents you from sabotaging your online business from the get-go.

The steps laid out in this post ensure that you don’t do that.

Instead, you’ll be able to set everything up to optimize your blog’s design, performance, security and branding.

This makes it visitor-ready so you can focus on what’s important… growing your blog.

What part about starting a blog do you want to know more about? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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