The Quick and Dirty Guide to Launching Your New Blog
Are you preparing to launch a new blog? Perhaps you have been putting this task off, expecting that it will take the better part of the day to get it set up. Certainly, your first batch of articles and pages will take time to write, but once you have your foundational content ready, you can launch your new blog within just one hour. Read on and we will discuss how.
1. Your domain name. Does your domain name make sense? Specifically, is it related to what your site is all about?
Your domain is also your brand and it should be name that you use freely with everything including your offline advertising. It should also be a name that can allow you to dominate for its keywords. Avoid a long domain name and one that has more than one hyphen present.
2. Use WordPress. There are several blog platforms out there including Blogger, Tumblr, Type Pad and Live Journal. For the biggest impact, not one of these can match WordPress in scale.
WordPress is free and comes with many built-in SEO advantages, an infinite number of plug-ins and ready-to-use themes galore. WordPress has worked out its kinks and makes it easy for bloggers to “set it and forget it” when it comes to platform management. Download it for free at WordPress.com or through your web hosting company.
3. Work your dashboard. You will spend more time with your administrator dashboard later on, but initially there are several things you can do to launch your blog quickly.
First, you’ll want to ensure maximum visibility for your blog. That means going to your “setting” tab and filling out the general settings. List your blog’s name, its tagline, the domain name and check the box to allow anyone to register. Identify your time zone and set up your time and date formats.
Second, you will want to visit the “reading” sub-tab under “setting,” a step that will help you identify the number of blog pages to show at a time and whether you will feature the full text or its summary. You can also choose whether to show your most recent posts or a static page. While you areadjusting these settings, work on your syndication feed too.
Third, encouraging discussion is essential for any blog. Visit the “discussion” settings and check the appropriate boxes for allowing and moderating comments. For maximum participation, make it easy for people to leave comments with plans to quickly approve them when a comment enters the moderation queue.
4. Load a sitemap. Plan to have a sitemap in place the same time you publish your site. This is important as a sitemap will make it much easier for the search engines to crawl your site. When your pages are indexed, visitors will find your site. Use a WordPress plugin such as XML Sitemap Generator that will automatically build an update your sitemap. Once your blog is launched, list it with Google Webmaster Tools and include Google Analytics.
Launch it Fast
You will also need to have your blog hosted. Some bloggers choose WordPress.com, enjoying a free platform. Free, however, means that your content is at the mercy of someone else. Theoretically, you can publish most anything other than adult and so-called “hate” material. If someone complains about your site, WordPress might take it down. Quite frankly, it is better to pay a few dollars each month for shared hosting to keep control of your content. Top shared hosting sites include GoDaddy, Host Gator, Just Host, 1&1, Blue Host and Fat Cow. Compare plans and use one of these hosts to quickly launch your blog.
Follow these steps and your blog will be launched within in an hour. You will tweak it once it goes live and make other updates on a regular basis.