Before I started this blog in early 2018, I knew NOTHING about blogging!
I researched for weeks, trying to find out every detail of how to properly launch a blog. I kept a paper and notebook close at hand, writing down every piece of valuable information I found. I also wrote down any questions that I had, so I could find answers to prepare myself for each step of the process.
I read dozens of articles called, “10 Steps To Successfully Launch A Blog”. But they were all the same – worthless lists of how to find your niche, choose a blog name, create a WordPress account, purchase hosting, and purchase an overly-priced blogging course. No added value and packed with affiliate links – just another way to earn some money from their readers.
Although some of these facts are valuable to know, they are only surface-level blogging facts that will be useless after Day#1.
When I started the blog, my goal was to have at least 30,000 monthly page views in 6 months.
I set very reasonable goals for the blog because I knew how disappointing it would be to never reach them.
Yes, I read plenty of success stories from bloggers who got to 1 million page views in just a few months, but that is very unrealistic! (Do yourself a favor and set attainable goals. If you blow them out of the water, you can be very proud of yourself!)
My reason for starting the blog was to replace my Corporate America income with my blogging income. Yes, I started the blog for money!
Don’t believe the people out there who say not to start your blog for money! There is nothing like money to make you want to work harder.
However, I wanted to earn the money fairly. If they clicked on one of my blog posts, I wanted to add some value to their life! No cheap, worthless posts!
Below, I’ll give you some information that I wish I would have known back before I started. I had no idea this type of traffic was possible so quickly! Yes, it took a ton of work and dedication – but it was totally worth it!
1.) Write 30 – 50 Articles Before Launching Your Blog
This was one of the most valuable things I did before launching the blog! Yes it was annoying and tiresome, but it helped us hit the ground running!
I launched the blog with 35 published articles.
From Day #1, if anyone clicked on Trading Average, they would have assumed that it was a well-established blog.
I also had 15 blog posts that were not yet published. It is always a good idea to have a few unpublished articles on hand, as an extra cushion of security in case you cannot create some content for a while.
There are so many articles out there that will tell you that you can launch a blog with only 1 or 2 posts. That is true if you do not want to scale your blog quickly!
If you only want your Mom and your Aunt Barb to read your blog posts for the next few months, go ahead and start with this strategy. *Sarcasm Intended*
Unless you plan on writing and publishing a lot of articles in the first month after launching, it is always best to already have a blog with an arsenal of previously published posts.
You may think, “But how will I market and advertise all these blog posts in the beginning? That will take so much time!”
Sorry, starting a successful blog isn’t going to be easy and it is going to take a lot of behind-the-scene work – especially in the beginning! (I’ll talk more about this in Step #3 below)
One of the top goals of every blog is to try to keep their visitors on the website as long as possible. When you have a lot of articles already published, you can link these articles to each other – creating additional page views.
In the end, launching the blog with 30-50 articles will show visitors that you are an established and therefore credible source of information.
2.) Recreate Content That Already Works
Although you may want to create unique content, you need to recognize that there are very few truly unique ideas left out there. Whatever you write, someone has probably already written something on the same topic.
NO – this does not mean you should plagiarize other blogger’s content! However, if you see another blogger having great success with a certain topic, write an article on the same topic. Just try to make it better!
I first heard about this concept from marketing guru, Neil Patel. He used the illustration that if you see a successful article called “15 Brilliant SEO Tips”, then you should write an article called “35 Brilliant SEO Tips”. Same topic – better information.
(Check out his Youtube channel. He puts out a lot of valuable website content.)
3.) Have A Pinterest Plan
According to marketing expert, Neil Patel, it may take your website 6 months to 1 year to rank in Google through SEO techniques. (Some sources say 3-6 months, however I tend to trust the experts.)
This means that you have to work hard to drive traffic to your website. By far, Pinterest is the #1 page view generator for every blogger! Without Pinterest, my current blog success would have never happened.
I created an aggressive strategy to build up my Pinterest Account in just a few months. (I plan on writing an article regarding my Pinterest strategy soon.)
Below is a comparison of my Pinterest Account in March and June. Three months can make a big difference! (Note: As you can see, Pinterest loves changing up their design!)
So far, my Pinterest success can be attributed to creating an attractive profile, creating Pinterest boards that were relevant to the topics that I wrote about, creating visually attractive pins, and joining quality group boards.
4.) Join Quality Pinterest Group Boards
…and I mean join a LOT of them!
I spent days upon days joining Pinterest Group Boards because they are the main key to getting a lot of viewers. If you do not know what a Pinterest Group Board is, it is simply a board owned by someone who has to invite you to be able to contribute your pins to their board.
If you get invited to join a group board, you gain access to all the people who follow that board! Meaning, if that board has 10,000 followers, your pins have the potential to be viewed by that many new people. See why group boards are so vital to your blog’s success!?
You can always spot a group board because there will be a circle on the board with several account profile’s in it. When you click on the board, there should be some “Board Rules” listed under the name.
They should let you know how to join the board: email them, message them on Pinterest, or fill out a form on their website. If there are no rules at the top of the page, you can simply message them on Pinterest or go to their website and contact them there.
Compile a list of group boards that you would like to join. You can find these by looking at the Pinterest Accounts of people who are successful in your niche. You can also use PinGroupie.com and search for group boards centered around the topics you would like to write about.
In the beginning, you should count on being invited to join 1 group board for every 10 you request to join.
As time goes by and your Pinterest profile becomes more established, you should be added to more group boards more quickly.
Now, as you join these group boards, you absolutely need to keep track of the boards you join!
I created the form below, so that I could keep track of all the boards I joined and record when I was added, declined, or never responded to.
I highly recommend you use a spreadsheet similar to this. I applied to well over 100 group boards and it would have been very difficult to ever keep track of all of them!
Requested Access = Yellow, Denied = Blue, Accepted = Pink. Knock your socks off color coding!
List the board that you requested to join, the category in which it belongs, the date you applied, and any comments you may want to include. This way, you will know which boards to go back and re-request once you have more articles and your Pinterest account looks more established!
PRO TIP: When requesting to join a group board, always introduce yourself in a polite and professional way! Let them know that you would love to join their group board, that you write content that applies to the group board theme, and that you will follow the rules and won’t spam. In addition, make your request clear and concise: clearly state the group board(s) you want to join and give them the link to your Pinterest Account and Website, so they can see that you are a legitimate blogger. If possible, ALWAYS use their name! If their Pinterest account doesn’t show it, click on their website and search for it. You should make it a priority to make the email as personal as possible! If you see something on their site that you enjoyed, let them know about it! In the blogging world, a personal connection is valuable!
5.) Create Amazing Pins
Your blog’s success is driven by this rule: 20% content & 80% marketing.
In other words, you can write amazing content, but it will never be read unless you market it in a way that makes people want to click and read! We live in a visual world, where people typically read things if the titles are catchy and the pictures are visually pleasant.
There are hundreds of pin styles out there! You will have to find the style that best fits you – and one that you enjoy designing (because you will be doing it a lot!)
It took me a LOT of trial and error to find some pin styles that I loved creating! You probably won’t find the perfect style right away, but that is OK! The first few months of blogging is all about finding what works for you. In the end, your goal should be to find a pin style that represents your brand.
This means that your pin designs shouldn’t be all over the place! They should be similar in design: font, colors, and size. This way, you are telling your reader that it is your pin instead of someone else’s.
If Photoshop isn’t your thing, there are a lot of online programs to help you design your pins!
I do 100% of my pin designs on PicMonkey. It is a free online picture editing site! However, I upgraded to the $5.99 USD/month or $71.88 annual fee because it has some premium features that I love to use. If you need to learn how to use it, you can find some in-depth tutorials on YouTube.
Many other bloggers use Canva because they find it easier to create pins. Although I haven’t used this editing site very much, I have found that you don’t have to do as much hands-on editing with your images. I LOVE design and could spend hours creating pretty pins, so I prefer PicMonkey. Give both of these sites a try and find out which one you prefer!