Ultimate Blog Launch Checklist: 35 Things You Need to Do in 2021

blog launch checklistHow do you announce a blog launch

Starting a blog is an incredibly exciting opportunity to completely change your life – I know it changed mine!

This guide on how to launch your own blog features ideas in: 

  • how to choose the right blogging platform
  • things to do before your launch your blog
  • number of blog post you should have before launch
  • how to launch a blog on Instagram and Pinterest
  • new blog announcement examples
  • printable blog launch checklist PDF

Let’s get started by learning more about how the right blogging platform and hosting can affect your future success. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I could earn a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase using them.

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The Ultimate Blog Launch Checklist: 35 Things You Need to Do in 2021

Things to do before your launch your blog

  1. Choose the right blogging platform
  2. Set up hosting
  3. Choose a domain name
  4. Set up WordPress
  5. Set up SSL
  6. Create an Email Address with your domain name
  7. Set blog’s permalink structure to post name
  8. Change your username and password for WordPress
  9. Change your display name
  10. Remove unnecessary widgets
  11. Invest in a high quality theme
  12. Customize your layout
  13. Create an in page author box
  14. Remove Unnecessary Plugins
  15. Get the Plugins You Need
  16. Create a Content Schedule
  17. Design a logo
  18. Create a favicon
  19. Write your About Me page
  20. Create Legal Pages
  21. Write 5 blog posts
  22. Create a user-friendly menu
  23. Sign up for Google Analytics
  24. Sign up for Google Search Console
  25. Set up a Contact Form
  26. Create an Opt-in
  27. Start an Email List
  28. Create or Convert Pinterest Account
  29. Create at least one pin for each of your posts
  30. Sign Up for Tailwind
  31. Create or Convert Instagram Account
  32. Create a Facebook Page
  33. Create or Convert Twitter Page
  34. Add Social Sharing Buttons
  35. Announce your blog on social media
blog launch plan

1. How to choose the right blogging platform

Before switching to a self-hosted blog, I tried Wix and WordPress.com.

So take it from me when I say that you’ll wish you started with a self-hosted blog first! 

WordPress.org (what I use now) is the world’s most popular blogging platform for a few reasons: 

  • it gives you complete control over your blog
  • there are thousands of themes available (to customize the ways your blog looks)
  • there are thousands of plugins available (basically, these are apps for your website)
  • it’s search engine friendly (so people can find your website!)

What I didn’t like about Wix and WordPress.com

Wix is really limited and all of the drag and drop features that make this platform seem so appealing are available on self-hosted WordPress.org blogs (using a website builder like Elementor). 

WordPress.com is just REALLY expensive for the exact same features you’ll find on a self-hosted blog.

Want to monetize with ads? You’ll need to pay more.

Want to use plugins? You’ll need to pay more. 

The only major differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org are that on WordPress.org: 

  • YOU are responsible for backups
  • YOU are responsible for updates

And it’s not as scary as it seems – you just need to click a couple of buttons from time to time. 

I’m not even kidding! 

You’ll actually be prompted to run the updates when you log into your WordPress dashboard. 

And if you sign up for Siteground, they’ll run daily backups for you. 

Easy peasy!

I know all of this new terminology might feel overwhelming now but after a while, it will become second nature. 

Starting a blog is like starting any new job – there’s a learning curve involved but experience builds confidence and it all gets easier with time. 

2. Choose the best hosting

Siteground isn’t the cheapest blog hosting out there but remember, you get what you pay for! 

When it came to choosing between BlueHost and Siteground, I chose Siteground for the quality because I wanted to turn my website into a full-time blogging business. 

Siteground has a reputation for: 

  • great customer service – I called them almost once a week during my first year blogging and their tech support is AMAZING!
  • fast loading speeds – this can give you an edge on competitors and help you rank faster on Google

If you want to compete with top blogs (even as a new blogger) and think you might want to monetize your blog one day, go with Siteground

I want you to blog successfully from day one and avoid all of the mistakes I made because, for me, they were a waste of time and money. 

Right now you can save over 60% off Siteground hosting plans when you use this link

New bloggers should choose the StartUp plan – it’s the cheapest option and you can upgrade any time you want after you start getting blog traffic. 

3. Choose a domain name

Your blog name should be: 

  • easy to remember
  • two to three words long
  • a “.com” domain

Related: How to Choose an Amazing Blog Name in 15 Minutes or Less

4. Set up WordPress

Installing WordPress on Siteground is easy! 

Just run the Website Setup Wizard. 

After you sign up for website hosting, click the orange Set Up Site button in the center of the page. 

Click the Select button below Start New Website. 

Choose WordPress and click Continue. 

If you’d like, select enhancements for your site (you don’t need to choose any). 

Click Finish. 

You’re done! 

5. Set up SSL

See the little padlock beside URL in your address bar? 

It means your visit to my website is secure! 

Adding a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate adds an extra layer of security to your blog and is super easy to do with Siteground. 

SSL certificates encrypt all blog traffic and protect your readers’ sensitive information (passwords, credit card numbers, personal information, etc). 

Let’s Encrypt SSL Certification is included with Siteground blog hosting and can be activated through Site Tools > Security > SSL Manager. 

From the Install New SSL window, just Select your Domain, SSL type, and click Get. 

Once you’ve activated your SSL Certificate, head over to your WordPress dashboard and select the SG Optimizer plugin. 

Click the  Environment Optimization tab and press the button to Enable HTTPS

That’s it! 

All your site traffic will go through HTTPS. 

6. Create an Email Address with your Domain Name

An email address that uses your domain name looks more professional than a Gmail or iCloud email address! 

It says that you’re serious about blogging. 

To create an email address for your blog on Siteground, visit Client Area > Websites and head to Site Tools > Email > Accounts

Enter the information you want before the “@” and choose a strong password (ideally, a different one from your WordPress and Siteground Login details). 

Consider the following options: 

  • hello
  • contact
  • your name

i.e. your email address could be something like hello@pancakesandprada.com

Don’t worry too much about this – if you change your mind later, you can easily create a new email address for your blog! 

Once you have something you like, click Create to get your new email address. 

Set Up Siteground Email on Mobile Device or Computer

To set up your email on your phone or laptop, head over to the Actions menu (next to your email account) and click Mail Configuration

Click Manual Configuration and have a look at your Email Settings to see all of the details you need to configure your email on your favorite devices. 

On an iPhone, you’ll need to click Settings to access Mail and Add Account

Choose Other and Add Mail Account to fill in the details from the details listed in your Email Settings

7. Select Permalink Structure to Post Name

Permalinks are pretty important for ranking in Google. 

Although it’s not impossible to rank with non-ideal URLs, setting yourself up for success from the beginning will make getting blog traffic THAT MUCH easier. 

When Google sees your blog, it analyzes everything about it to figure out what your website is about. 

So, for example, if you create a post on vegan chocolate chip pancakes, your permalink should read:

yourblog.com/vegan-chocolate-chip-pancakes 

This gives Google another clue as to what your post (and blog!) are about. 

To change your Permalink Structure to Post Name, open your WordPress dashboard and visit Settings > Permalinks. 

From Common Settings, select Post name and click Save Changes. 

blog launch strategy

8. Change your username and password for WordPress

Using a default WordPress username like admin is a major security risk – hackers already have half of the information they need to access your account! 

Instead, change your username and password to something different than your Siteground login and email address password. 

Yes, having several passwords can feel frustrating but writing them down on a piece of paper and hanging it in your office could be the difference between keeping your website safe and losing all of your hard work. 

To change your WordPress username and password, log into your WordPress account and visit Users > Add New

Enter: 

  • a new username 
  • email address
  • a new password

Choose Administrator from the Role menu and click Add New User

Now, log out of your current WordPress account and log in with the new credentials you just created. 

Then, navigate to Users > All Users to select your old WordPress admin account. 

Click delete next to your default WordPress user account. 

If you have any existing content created with this account, click Attribute all content to and choose your new username. 

Now, Confirm Deletion – you’re done!  

9. Change your display name

Once again, for security reasons, your display name should be different from your WordPress username. 

To change your WordPress display name, hover over the Howdy (your display name) in the top right corner of your WordPress dashboard. 

Click Edit Profile.

Enter a Nickname that you’d like displayed on your posts and dashboard. 

Choose this Nickname in the Display name publicly as drop-down menu. 

Click Update Profile

10. Remove unnecessary widgets

Removing unnecessary widgets can improve your site loading speed and the appearance of your blog, among other things. 

From the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Widgets

Browse through your Sidebars, Header, Footers, Top Bar, and Off Canvas Panel to see which widgets you can remove. 

11. Invest in a high-quality theme

Choosing a great theme from the start can provide a number of benefits: 

  • great user experience
  • fast loading speed
  • customizable layout 
  • tech support

There are millions of blogs using free themes and those same themes have very limited capabilities – from design to support.

It also means millions of potential readers have already seen these themes before so, your blog won’t stand out. 

My personal favorite theme is the Premium version of GeneratePress

It’s one of the most lightweight and fastest WordPress themes around.

Together with Siteground blog hosting, I used GeneratePress to drop my blog’s loading time from 2.7 to 1.1 seconds! 

GP Premium lets me easily customize everything from my fonts to colors and layout options. 

12. Customize your layout

Customizing your blog layout offers your website visitors a unique user experience. 

I use the Elementor page builder plugin with GeneratePress to design all of my websites. 

It’s easy to use with drag and drop elements for text, images, video, music, social media, and more! 

Just open a page and drag and drop what you want where you want it! 

13. Create an author box

I can’t tell you how much adding an author box to my blog posts has improved my social media growth. 

I get new followers every day without spending much time on Instagram and Pinterest! 

Did you know one of the most visited pages on a blog is the about me page? 

Readers want to know who and what credentials you have before they take your advice. 

So, give them a glimpse of who you are as soon as they finish reading your blog posts. 

I created my author box in Elementor to improve site speed. 

Many bloggers use Gravatar but I don’t like the fact it takes away from my page load speed

Each time a user visits your page, their browser has to retrieve your image from gravatar.com instead of loading it from your website. 

That means HTTP requests and longer load times. 

Elementor loads your image and details from your website!

It also lets you add social sharing buttons and customize your author box’s design. 

14. Remove Unnecessary Plugins

I’ll admit it – I used to have a TON of plugins on my blog! 

But I cut it down to the bare minimum to optimize my site for speed. 

Think of plugins like apps on your phone. 

When a user opens one of your blog pages, these apps are loaded. 

But if you have too many running at once, it can cause your site to slow down. 

The Instagram feed plugin was one of my worst offenders. 

It may look great but when you consider the fact that 50.48% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, you’ll realize that half of your visitors will never even see your IG feed! 

Instagram feeds tend to be placed in Sidebars and Footers – both of which are loaded at the very bottom of the page on a mobile device. 

Keep your Plugins minimal and ditch those that use a ton of server resources or make a lot of HTTP requests. 

launch your blog

15. Get the Plugins You Need

There are just some Plugins all blogs should have! 

This includes: 

  • caching and performance optimization
  • social sharing
  • analytics
  • antispam
  • SEO
  • email

16. Create a Content Schedule

When will you write? 

What will you write about? 

Brainstorm a list of blog post ideas and keep it on hand for whenever a new one comes to mind – I personally use the notes app on my phone for this. 

Next, consider when you can make time to work on your blog and treat it like a job! 

This made the biggest difference for me when I was starting out. 

If you’re a busy mom like I am, working at night after your kids have gone to sleep will probably be best. 

I like to try and fit in two to three hours a day whenever I can but your content schedule might be a bit different. 

Some bloggers go as far as creating a publishing schedule but trust me, no one is going to mind if you end up releasing new content on a Thursday instead of Tuesday. 

Your content schedule is more of a tool to help YOU stay organized and focused on one post at a time. 

17. Design a logo

Your logo can be as simple as some text. 

A slogan and my blog name are what I went with! 

You can easily create a logo for your blog in Canva or Adobe Photoshop

Do keep in mind that you CANNOT trademark any designs with stock media you’ve found in Canva though. 

If you want artwork as part of your logo, design it yourself in Adobe Illustrator

18. Create a favicon

See the little images beside the website tabs you have open in your browser? 

Those are called favicons. 

You’ll want to design one for your website to give a professional appearance from the start. 

To design a great favicon for free in Canva, first, open the app on your phone or in your web browser. 

Then, select Custom Size from the right-hand side of your screen. 

Since favicons should be as small as possible, choose 40 by 40 px as your graphic size (the smallest size Canva has available). 

If you like the look of a round graphic, add a Circle from Elements

Now, add a letter or two for your blog name (white text against a bold colored background is a popular look). 

Be sure to select Transparent background when you download the file. 

If you prefer a square, simply click on the white square on your screen and select a color for it. 

Add some text, click Download and you’re done! 

Visit Appearance > Customize > Site Identity > Site Icon and click Publish to add it to your website. 

19. Write your About Me page

Your blog’s About Me page should give readers an idea of who you are and what your blog is about. 

Write this page with your ideal reader in mind and include useful resources or blog posts to help them get started with what you do. 

If your work has been featured anywhere or you’ve collaborated with brands, you can include this here as well. 

The purpose of your About Me page is to show credibility and build your reader’s trust. 

20. Create Legal Pages

To blog legally, you should have all of the following on your site: 

  • privacy policy
  • legal disclaimer
  • terms of service

This legal bundle takes the guesswork out of creating legal pages on your own and was created for bloggers by a lawyer who specializes in online business. 

So, protect yourself and your website by making this crucial investment from the start!

21. Write 5 blog posts

New bloggers often wonder the same question. 

How many blog posts should you have before launch?

I personally recommend publishing at least 5 to 10 blog posts before you launch your new blog! 

Knowing which side of this range you should aim for depends on how niche you are. 

I’d recommend that lifestyle bloggers with a wide range of content aim for around 10 posts while more niche category bloggers can write as little as five. 

Think about it this way – if all you write about is kids’ fashion, readers will happily browse your website for kids’ fashion knowing that’s what they should expect. 

However, if you’re a lifestyle blogger and write about kids’ fashion, vegan recipes, and photography (among other things) one reader may not be interested in all of those topics. 

It’s important to give readers interested in a certain category of your lifestyle blog a few options to choose from during that first visit! 

This could be the difference between a loyal reader and one that never comes back. 

blog launch new

22. Create a user-friendly menu

Once you’ve written a few blog posts, its time to organize your navigation menu. 

Consider using the Categories you’ve filed your blog posts under as tabs in your menu bar. 

This will allow readers to discover other content related to the post that brought them to your blog in the first place. 

More clicks means more views which will translate to more sales or ad views later on. 

23. Sign up for Google Analytics

Understanding your analytics is as important as creating high-quality content. 

If you have no idea what’s working, how can you decide what you should focus more on? 

To get Google Analytics, visit the marketing platform homepage and click Start for free

Sign in with an existing Gmail account or create a new one the click Next and follow the prompts.

24. Sign up for Google Search Console

To get Google Search Console, click Start now on the landing page. 
 
Sign in with an existing Gmail account or create a new one the click Next and follow the prompts.

25. Set up a Contact Form

Want to work with brands or get paid to create sponsored posts? 

Then you’ll want to set up a contact form. 

You may also consider working with other bloggers in the future. 

Elementor makes creating a beautiful custom contact form a breeze. 

This page-building tool is incredibly powerful and essential in every part of my blogging business. 

26. Create an Opt-in

What could people who read blogs in your niche really benefit from? 

Consider a freebie you could offer them for signing up for your email list and create it with Canva

A few popular opt-in ideas you might consider include: 

  • guides
  • printables
  • ebooks
  • templates
  • email courses

27. Start an Email List

Email lists are incredibly valuable! 

In the event that your social media profile disappears or your website is down, you can still get in touch with your readers when you have their emails on hand. 

Email subscribes* are also: 

  • 3x more likely to share content on social media
  • spend 138% more than non-email subscribers

You can get a FREE $30 credit for MailChimp email marketing when you use my special link

28. Create or Convert Pinterest Account

ALL new bloggers should start with Pinterest! 

While a new domain can take up to one year to start appearing in Google Search results, you don’t need to build authority to start ranking on Pinterest. 

That means you can start making money with a new blog immediately. 

Check out my FREE online Pinterest course to start building your brand on the world’s most powerful visual search engine now. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • create or convert a Pinterest account
  • design scroll-stopping pins
  • use SEO for pins and boards
  • get your content seen by millions of viewers
launch day blog

29. Create at least one pin for each of your posts

Once you’ve written a handful of blog posts, you’ll want to start promoting them with Pinterest pins. 

After years of blogging, I find that this is still the easiest way to get traffic to a brand new blog. 

Pinterest users are on the platform for one reason – they’re looking for inspiration! 

This is what separates Pinterest from other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. 

These users want YOUR ideas. 

You can learn how to create stunning pins using my Pinterest pin design guide

30. Sign Up for Tailwind

I use this powerful marketing suite for Pinterest to stay active on the platform even when I’m insanely busy. 

Thanks to Tailwind, I run my Pinterest profile on autopilot now and have pins scheduled for the next 6 months! 

This means I get clicks to my website, new followers, and make money with Pinterest every day – even without actually opening the app on my phone! 

Tailwind is easily the BEST blogging investment I made from the beginning. 

It saves me hundreds of hours a month with scheduling and searching for new content to pin to my Pinterest account and lets me focus on other aspects of growing my blog. 

Use this special link to schedule 100 pins for free on Tailwind. 

31. Create or Convert Instagram Account

Will you be taking photos for your blog? 

Creating video content? 

If your blog will have a visual component to it, you should seriously consider using Instagram. 

Follow my guide on how to create an Instagram account for businesses to get set up in just a few minutes. 

With features like Instagram stories, guides, reels, and IGTV, there are a ton of ways you can get your content in front of a new audience. 

While less visual niches can also. do well on Instagram, I find a lot of bloggers hesitant about using social media in the first place. 

You DO NOT have to become an influencer to make it on the platform if that’s not your goal.

There are a ton of successful bloggers and small businesses killing it on Instagram. 

Check out this guide to successful craft businesses that ALL use social media in their marketing plans. 

32. Create a Facebook Page

Setting up a Facebook page for your blog is super EASY. 

From your home feed, click the + symbol near your profile picture. 

Then, choose Page

Enter your blog name as the Page name

Choose a Category

Write a short Description

Click Create Page

You can add images, contact information, and other details once your page has been created. 

33. Create or Convert Twitter Page

I am a believer in making my content work harder. 

So, while I’m not a daily Twitter user, I do reshare Instagram and blog posts here from time to time. 

I’ve also been tagged by other bloggers who have shared my content in round-up posts here so, it’s a great way to stay connected with other users who may or may not use my preferred social media platforms. 

34. Add Social Sharing Buttons

One of my favorite Plugins for social sharing is Social Warfare

As you’ve probably noticed, speed is a huge deciding factor in a lot of my blogging decisions and this plugin does NOT disappoint! 

See the little social icons at the bottom of your screen? 

These social sharing buttons help my content get more shares. 

All readers have to do is click their favorite social media platform logo to share you blog post with followers and friends! 

Easy peasy! 

This is easily one of the most important plugins your blog needs from day one. 

blog launch post

35. Launch your blog

How do you announce a blog launch?

Once you’ve completed steps 1 to 34, visit your blog from a desktop and mobile device. 

Click around and visit different pages to make sure that everything works the way you’d like. 

Then, visit the social media pages you’ve created to do a blog announcement. 

How to introduce a blog on Instagram and Pinterest

To announce a blog on Instagram, consider the following options: 

  • create an Instagram post (i.e. you could pop a bottle of champagne)
  • create an Instagram story (you could record a video telling your audience what your blog is about) 
  • create an Instagram reel (pick a catchy song and create a video pointing around the screen to different blog posts you’ve written) 

Be sure to include a link in your profile to either your homepage or your strongest blog post. 

If you have over 10,000 Instagram followers, be sure to promote each of your blog posts with a link over the next couple of days. 

I like to do this with my Pinterest pins. 

More ways to announce a blog: Understanding Pinterest vs Instagram: Tips for Bloggers

2. Announce a Blog on Pinterest

Announcing a blog on Pinterest is a little bit different than other social platforms.

Simply schedule 2 new pins per day and pin other related content to relevant Pinterest boards daily for best results. 

I recommend continuing to pin at least one new pin that links to one of your blog posts every day. 

There is no limit to how many different pins you can create for a blog post on Pinterest. 

New blog announcement example

Here are two examples of Instagram stories I created to announce a brand new blog as well as upcoming posts on an existing blog. 

blog launch announcement on instagram stories
blog launch example for instagram

Here are some examples of different pin styles I created for different content and blogs. 

increase blog traffic with pinterest

Keeping your designs fresh helps attract a wide-range of readers to your blog!

Related: 5 Easiest Ways to Increase Blog Traffic (How I quadrupled my page views in 30 days!)

Printable Blog Launch Checklist PDF

Visit this DropBox folder to download the printable blog launch checklist below. 

blog launch checklist pdf
5 hand drawn black hearts as a banner

To launch a blog successfully, be sure to complete the following 35 tasks in order: 

  1. Choose the right blogging platform
  2. Set up hosting
  3. Choose a domain name
  4. Set up WordPress
  5. Set up SSL
  6. Create an Email Address with your domain name
  7. Set blog’s permalink structure to post name
  8. Change your username and password for WordPress
  9. Change your display name
  10. Remove unnecessary widgets
  11. Invest in a high quality theme
  12. Customize your layout
  13. Create an in page author box
  14. Remove Unnecessary Plugins
  15. Get the Plugins You Need
  16. Create a Content Schedule
  17. Design a logo
  18. Create a favicon
  19. Write your About Me page
  20. Create Legal Pages
  21. Write 5 blog posts
  22. Create a user-friendly menu
  23. Sign up for Google Analytics
  24. Sign up for Google Search Console
  25. Set up a Contact Form
  26. Create an Opt-in
  27. Start an Email List
  28. Create or Convert Pinterest Account
  29. Create at least one pin for each of your posts
  30. Sign Up for Tailwind
  31. Create or Convert Instagram Account
  32. Create a Facebook Page
  33. Create or Convert Twitter Page
  34. Add Social Sharing Buttons
  35. Announce your blog on social media
text reads nikki xo in pink font
vancouver mom blogger nikki slivarich

Nikki Slivarich

Writer

Blessed mama of two beautiful little girls. I’m a full-time blogger and social media content creator who teaches moms and boss babes how to start an online business. Follow me on social for clever ideas to make money using the platforms you already love!

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