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The Ultimate Blog Startup Checklist for New Bloggers

Looking for the ultimate blog startup checklist? You’re in the right place! 

ultimate blog startup checklist

Did you recently start a new blog?

I remember when I started my first blog (way back in 2014), and it was confusing and intimidating! I really didn’t know what to do.

Since then, I’ve started several other blogs. I have blog startup almost down to an art.

So if you’re in that confused stage of starting a new blog, I’m here to help! (If you need help with blog setup like getting hosted and installing WordPress, this post is for you.)

Honestly, there are so many things that need to be done when you start a blog. Different bloggers will tell you different things, but if you’re new, a little direction can’t hurt.

Regardless of the advice you get, blog startup doesn’t have to be an ugly, frustrating process – it’s actually quite fun!

I’ve found that whether you’re brand new or you’ve been at it for a few months, there are always more things to be done in the blogging world.

The list I have brought to you today is full of things that should be done as soon as you can after your blog startup.  Actually, many of them should be done before you officially launch your blog (go public and start promoting), but some can be done as you go.

However, don’t think that you should do them all in one day. Pick 2-3 to work on per day (or even per week) and work your way through. (The blog startup list is is no particular order.)

These tasks will help you get started on your blogging journey, but remember that you may not need to do all of them. You may even add others that aren’t here.

I think that each of these tasks are important for blog startup, but you may have different goals than I do. (Make money?)

P.S. Some of these tasks assume that you use WordPress for your blog. If you use SquareSpace or another blogging platform, some of these might not apply to you.

The Ultimate Blog Startup Checklist

  1. Install a theme to help customize your blog. I love themes from Restored 316. (The theme you see here is called Create.)
  2. Change your permalinks to “custom” or “post name.” (Find in WordPress settings.) This will help with SEO and make your URLs a bit prettier.
  3. Install the Yoast SEO plugin to help you learn search engine optimization.
  4. Set up a Pinterest business account for your blog. Then find out how to optimize it with this post.
  5. Change your comment settings in WordPress. Choose when to get notifications and when to approve comments.
  6. Set up an email account just for your blog. A Gmail works but I personally have an official website email that forwards to a Gmail account. Your web host will provide email options.
  7. Add a Gravatar to customize the user experience. This will show up when you respond to comments.
  8. Add a logo. If you can’t buy a professional logo then keep it simple by making one with PicMonkey. Here’s a tutorial for that.
  9. Set up Instagram account for your blog.
  10. Sign up for free services like Buffer and RoundTeam to automate your social media.
  11. Change your time zone in WordPress if you will be on a strategic posting schedule.
  12. Activate the Akismet plugin to block spammers.
  13. Set up a Flipboard account for your blog. (Follow me here and find out how to use it in this post!)
  14. Create a FB page & group for your blog if appropriate. You can find my fitness blog one here.
  15. Set up Youtube channel if you’re planning on supplementing your blog with videos.
  16. Make a Twitter account for your blog. Here’s mine.
  17. Make cover images for Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook. I use Canva to make mine.
  18. Make a favicon / icon for your site. This will show up in web browser tabs!
  19. Upload a professional photo for your social media accounts.
  20. Fill out your “about me” page.
  21. Create a contact form.
  22. Make a privacy policy/disclosure/legal page.
  23. Sign up for an email service. I use MailerLite.
  24. Create an email freebie (optin) to send newsletter subscribers.
  25. Sign up for Google Analytics to help you learn how people are getting to your site.
  26. Add the SumoMe plugin to your site for easy sharing & signups.
  27. Make your site mobile-ready with a plugin if it’s not already optimized for phones and tablets.
  28. Create categories for your blog posts.
  29. Submit your site to major search engines.
  30. Sign up for a StumbleUpon account. (No longer!)
  31. Write 5+ posts before going “live” and beginning to promote your site.
  32. Decided what widgets to put in your sidebar (if any).
  33. Put social media “follow” buttons on your site.
  34. Apply for “rich” pins using Pinterest’s rich pin validator.
  35. Ask to join Pinterest group boards with the help of Pin Groupie.
  36. Sign up for Tailwind to start automating your Pins and scheduling Instagram posts.
  37. Sign up for ShareASale to start selling as an affiliate on your blog.
  38. Create 10+ boards on Pinterest that are related to your blog topics. Fill them with relevant pins. Don’t forget to give each board a description!
  39. Plan relevant social media posts.
  40. Make a blog post schedule.
  41. Brainstorm blog post topics.
  42. Do research on what ad network you may want to use on your blog. I am lucky enough to be with Mediavine for my fitness site, but that takes some work!
  43. Find other bloggers in your niche and write them down or follow them on social media.
  44. Set goals you want to reach by the one-year mark.
  45. Keep a notebook on the things you do and learn.
  46. Take a free social media marketing course like one from Summer Tannhauser.
  47. Completely fill out your profiles using relevant keywords on social media.
  48. Fill out the descriptions on your Pinterest boards, too.
  49. Start commenting on other blogs in your niche regularly. Make connections!
  50. Read a few blog posts about how to get started making money with your blog.

Did I miss anything? What would you add to this list? If this blog startup checklist was helpful to you, let me know in the comments!

Talk soon,

Chantal

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