Starting a blog can be done in as easy as 3 easy steps these days. You buy a domain, via a service like GoDaddy or NameCheap, purchasing hosting through a company like Bluehost (which you can also buy a domain through too), install a free (or paid) theme, and you’re set to go. From there it’s adding your branding, customizing the theme to your liking, and creating the content for your site. Simple right? Yep!
Listen to the accompanying podcast episode to this post:
Launch Your Content, Not Your Blog
Honestly, it really is that simple and the number one reason I believe that you should never wait to “launch” your blog. It will never be perfect, despite the platform you’re on, you will always want to make changes. If you continue to wait and wait and wait until you think you have a perfect site, it will never go live. In addition, when you launch your blog, you’re not launching the actual blog, you’re launching your content.
Being completely frank, nobody really cares about the actual website, as much as they care about the content. My fellow creative friend, Maya, mentioned this very thing on Periscope a while back and I couldn’t have agreed more with her. She went on to explain that your blog in a content marketing tool, used to show your expertise and how you should not hold off on sharing it, but to just do it! Her point resonated so much with me that I was inspired to draft this post, giving my reasoning for why I agree so much with what she said.
If you have a pretty clean and straightforward design and awesome, value-driven content, the lack of bells and whistles won’t matter as much. Moreover, people appreciate a design free of distraction and more content focused anyhow, so there is no reason to waste so much time on a “perfect” design. Don’t get me wrong, a good design will always be appreciated, but a good or even great design still isn’t perfect. You can always add to or take away, or completely revamp your design, but your content should stand alone.
Start With Creating Epic Content
If content creation is the thing that is holding you back from hitting the live button on your blog, then you most likely need to backtrack and define your why and purpose. When you know why you’re creating content and have a clear purpose behind it, the flow of ideas for content will come naturally. That’s not to say that content creation will always be easy. I’m very confident in my why and purpose, but creating content, even for a seasoned blogger like myself, is still hard sometimes. To be more specific,
I’m very confident in my why and purpose, but creating content, even for a seasoned blogger like myself, is still hard sometimes. To be more specific, it’s not so much that its hard to create the content, but the amount of work it takes to create it. This is why you have to be passionate and well-versed about whatever content you choose to share.
Even when you know a lot about a particular topic you still have to do a lot of research and preparation to produce good, high-quality content that your ideal audience will resonate and connect with. Before you start to even think of blogging, no matter the reason you do it for, I highly recommend you brainstorm on the content you plan to share. When you try to blog on a whim, you usually end up running out of ideas. Planning is key and use of a content calendar can be crucial to the success and consistency of your blogging.
Okay, so back to this launching business that we’re actually talking about here! When you launch something, you want to be able to build excitement around for a certain amount of time, however, you have to give your audience a frame of reference first. Well, actually let’s backtrack…you need to have an audience to even be able to launch to before you just “launch”. If you launch to no one, you’ve wasted time and haven’t done your homework to define your ideal reader or target audience.
There are some crucial things you can be doing for your blog in the time you’re either creating content for when it goes live or waiting on the design to be completed.
Here’s a few of them:
1. Set up a landing page with an opt-in to build your list and give people an idea of the type of content your site will contain.
• | This will give them a reason to come back once your site is live and you’re also showing them that your site will be a giving one, and not a taking one.
Related reading: Triple Your Readership & Following By Having a Newsletter
2. Become active on social media and start to establish your presence.
• | Get on Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, and Pinterest are start interacting and building your following. When you put yourself out there, people get to know you, become interested in you, and follow you. In doing this, you’re still able to provide value and position yourself as an expert without a site.
3. Join Facebook, Slack, and other networking groups.
• | Joining such groups allows you to interact with others in your niche and make connections with them. Being a part of these groups can present opportunities for you to collaborate, set up guest post opportunities, and learn about educational opportunities, such as courses and webinars.
Related reading: 5 Social Media Tools You Should Be Using for Your Business
4. Go to in-person networking events, such as meetups or conferences.
• | Very similar to networking online, networking in person and getting your name out there is crucial. You have the opportunity to get face time with those in your industry or niche and make a lasting impression. A great thing to do is to bring a business card with your social media handles on it to pass out to those you connect with. This leads us to the next tip!
5. Get your collateral branding in order.
• | At this point you already have your main branding established, so having collateral branded items created is super easy. A simple business card for starters is a great place to start because you can pass it out as you make connections with others and it makes you appear professional, despite not yet having a site. You can include the url of your site on your business card and let those you give it out to know when your site will be live.
Related reading: Why Your Brand Collateral Is So Important (+ free checklist)
Start Today, Not Tomorrow…or next week or year!
You can wait and wait and wait, but that will never get you anywhere when it comes to reaching your goals. I’ve been there, and I’m there now with some of the things I have on my agenda for Bliss & Faith that I want to release or put out. The thing I have to remember, and strongly encourage you to do so as well, is that there will never be a perfect time to “launch” anything.
At a certain point, we have to dive in head first and after we do the work, and put ourselves out there. Someone needs our information, insight, and tips and tricks like yesterday…at the latest today, not tomorrow or next week or next year.
As long as you plan on putting on valuable and quality content, you don’t need to everything with it to be perfect. There will always be time to improve upon it, make it more robust, and even more epic than it already is.
Tip of the day: Let your ideas and content propel you forward, not repel you back!