Sure, you have read the importance of having your business online. You’ve also read how to use keywords to choose your niche. Now we are going to talk about 5 things you must do before creating your online presence.
There is this phrase I don’t want you saying after you setup your online platform. It is, “oh no! I have not done this. I need to quickly do that first…. And so on and so forth..”
Yeah. That’s it.
It is disheartening when you have this rush of adrenaline that assures you you’re so sure you now know enough details and have enough resources to succeed in your chosen business. And so you rush to set up your platform and launch, only to discover a few days later, when business is not working as expected, that there are certain things you did not yet put in place.
Yes, I know. Been there. Done that. And believe me, it is something you do not want because you start to freeze business activities and try to put in place all the things you missed earlier.
It’s almost like going back to the drawing board and taking time to fill in the blank spaces.
Wouldn’t you rather start your business and work towards its progress, instead of reworking things before you can even kick off properly?
It leaves your already launched business stagnant for the period you’re going back to the drawing board.
Now what are those BASIC things you need to put in place before launching your blog? See them below.
1. Research your niche/topics thoroughly
2. Blog layout
3. Opt-in form
4. Content creation
5. Promotions/ad strategies
1. Research Your Niche/Topic
There is nothing as rewarding as knowing exactly what you want to do, how others ahead of you are doing it and how you want to do it.
Hey! See this guy here. His head is big, but empty. He believes though, that he knows it all. He goes to set up his business without first looking at what his competitors are doing, or what others are researching about in that niche.
And without such research, he would have no idea how to make his own better.
Our guy insists that among Pinky and the Brain, he is the Brain. After all he truly has a big head and is planning to take over the world but is not doing enough research on how to succeed at it.
Now, fast forward to a few months later. See our dude. Hehehe… Yeah. It is that frustrating.
You would be kidding yourself if you think you’re the first person doing a particular business.
Almost all business you can think of have been taken already. There are those who are ahead of you and are actually making it.
You will be saved a lot of stress if you visit these people topping your niche. See what they are doing, how they are doing it. Also look out for what they are not doing that you know will be beneficial to the growth of your business if implemented. Then, from all you’ve gathered, draw up your strategy.
Do not just look at what your competitors are doing and copy it without first properly understanding the underlying tactics and results.
As in, seriously, if you have to even subscribe to their email list just to see what they do with email marketing, please subscribe. It helps.
2. Blog layout:
A.The following pages should be created and updated appropriately before you go live.
Each section should spell out, in clear and easy to understand English, what your business is about, what your services are and how you can be contacted.
B. That done, have a large banner at the header of your blog that tells visitors at a glance what you’re about.
The Divi theme for WordPress is mostly recommended for that. Besides, it has become a favourite for many bloggers, no matter the niche.
See examples of Divi Theme.
Also see this one used by Alex Rodrigo. Makes sense right?
But if you feel you do not want the Divi theme, or your budget doesn’t cover buying the theme, you could start with a free theme.
Check out these header banner free WordPress themes from https://d5creation.com/
I insist on themes with good header banners because blog visitors don’t usually want to waste time finding out what your blog is all about.
So you need the banner. Ensure you put on it what you are about and what services you offer, in very few words.
The first 2 minutes of a readers visit should be enough to tell them who you are or they go away.
You can see what I’ve done with mine. The theme is Awaken Pro and the banner design is intentional, nothing rosy. Just enough to pass the necessary information.
Why would I want to use a glamorous looking banner to distract my visitors? When I can give them a plain one the makes them forget about glamour and focus on the (services) I offer, freelance writing/ blogging services.
As you can see, I didn’t use the Divi theme. I just thought, well, it has become too widely used. So I stuck with Awaken Pro theme and customized it.
C. Ensure you add social media links and share buttons.
These help to boost post engagement.
If someone is done reading your post and truly enjoyed it, the natural instinct that follows is to like/or share.
You should help them to help your post go viral by adding these like and share buttons.
You can see my share buttons in this screenshot from this very blog. If you scroll to the end of the post, you will still find them there, waiting to be used.
Believe me when I say they are the eight wonder of the world.
3. Opt-in form.
The biggest mistake one who is just starting up online can make, is not to have an opt-in form.
When your blog starts to pull in readers, you will need to make them sign up so as to keep them for life.
A lot of successful bloggers attest to the fact that their growth started with an email list.
Stephanie Obi’s first workshop was empty because she had no email list. Now that she does, she has over 400 students enrolled in her ongoing workshop.
So please do not joke with this. Set up your email opt-in form.
As long as your blog delivers quality, be sure that 2 out of every 5 visitors that visit your blog will sign up to your email newsletter. The earlier you start gathering emails, the better.
I did mine in this blog, manually, as a two-step form, since Mailchimp isn’t offering that yet.
However email services you can start with include
1. Thrive Leads.
There have been so many positive reviews about Thrive Leads. It offers more options in terms of templates/template customization and two step sign up forms. It is also cheaper.
SendInBlue allows you to gather as much as 9000 emails with a free account. That’s a good thing. It is cheap too and from research, I see a lot of bloggers leaving Mailchimp for SendInBlue.
3. Mailerlite. This is another good one. And you can send unlimited emails to 10,000 subscribers for only $20. If you have no cash yet, it allows you have 1000 email list with a free account.
4. Mailchimp allows you have 2000 email list with a free account. You can also customize your theme, edit your images in the inbuilt photo editor. However, you cannot use auto respond.
There are so many email list building sites out there. I just chose to stick with these top four because they the best and have both free and paid plans. Of course, except Thrive Leads. Thrive Leads’ plan starts from $19 a month. Still reasonable.
But if you want to do real responsive email marketing, I advice you use a paid plan so that you can have all the features you need to succeed at your disposal. Then you’ll begin to feel/see the growth of your business.
Now don’t just gather emails and rest. Communicate with your subscribers at least once every week.
4. Content creation.
(After choosing your niche) and researching other blogs in that niche, you draw up your strategy. After which, start with content creation.
Your first start with content creation is to brainstorm topic ideas. Have nothing less that 50 topic ideas.
Now after brainstorming topic ideas, ensure you have at least 10-20 of them properly researched and written out as full articles.
3 out of the 10 written content will be used to launch your blog. And these 3 blog posts determines how fast you will grow. It has to be of quality, else, you’ll turn readers away.
4 out of the remaining 7 should be used as guest posts on other blogs, for a start. This helps a lot with traffic generation.
So what is guest posting?
Guest posting is simply contacting other blogs in your niche and asking for permission to have your content posted in their blog.
Before you do this, you need to be sure the article you are presenting them will benefit their readers. Else you’ll be turned away.
I know this can be pretty much overwhelming. And just to get some sanity, you might even start to entertain the thoughts that creating so much content for a start is not important. But know this, it will be terrible to launch a blog that has no content.
And if you must pull in the kind of traffic you want, you need to get involved with guest posting.
Sure, the whole process is both mind and time tasking. But it is something that will help you run fast, in terms of traffic and engagement.
That aside, having already written content to go live on your blog, gives you more time to promote your blog and its articles across your social media pages and forums or groups that you belong to.
One solid way to get topic ideas is to visit other blogs in your niche, look at their post and most especially, the comment section.
The comment section is full of questions that your competitor’s audience want answers to. If you can provide the answers to these questions before your competition does, and then drop the link in the comment section, a lot of their readers will come to you.
You can also see this post about the basic things a good article should have.
However, if you’re too tied up to create content, hit my contact, let’s discuss how I can help you produce great articles that sells you and establishes your authority.
5. Plan your promotion/ad strategies.
Plan what medium you will use for promotion. You can promote by posting on your fan page, groups with people who are your ideal audience, Twitter, instagram, or simply go for paid ads on these platforms.
When I started paid ads with my fiction Facebook fan page, with as little as $20, my ad reached a lot of people, I’m talking about from 10k to 50k people.
What I’m trying to say is, for a start, you could still invest in cheap ads as they help your blog quickly pick up, in terms of traffic.
If paid ads isn’t part of your budget, don’t sweat it. You can still get traffic by guest posting on several blogs related to your niche.
You can still engage your social media friends and if your content is great, they will help you share without you even needing to ask.
Some of the best social media sites include
After putting all the above listed in place, what next?
Think of Monetization startegy.
No one goes into a business and just hope to make money. No. You plan to make money or you don’t.
Some people might say, well, if I start monetization early, people will say I just want to make money, nothing more.
My dear, you’re running a business, not charity. And every business must make money or die.
You will only be tagged a ripper if your blog content from start to finish is salesy. E.g buy this, buy that, keep buying this and keep buying that.
It is boring and annoying.
Now what are the ways to monetize your blog?
1. Pay Per Click ads
2. Blog Banner ads/Post ads
3. Affiliate Marketing
7. Sales of ebooks
8. Sales of product/services.
However, more money can be made from selling your own products or rendering your own services.
So that’s it guys. I hope you learnt something from the post. If you have more ideas to add or a question to ask, please shoot in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you.