This is an ultimate blog launch checklist that you’ll need to set your blog up for success.
This list contains 64 small tasks.
If you’re going to start your blogging journey, make sure you have completed all of these tasks before making your blog live online.
It’ll make your blogging life a lot easier in the coming days. I promise!
In case you’ve already launched your blog, it’s still a good idea to run your blog through this list and check if you’ve got everything covered.
Better late than never. Right?
In this post, I’ve given a detailed instruction to complete all of these 64 tasks. So that you don’t need to search online for tutorials.
Then let’s find out what we actually need to do before starting a successful blog…
Blog Launch Checklist: 64 Essential Tasks To Do Before You Launch
(DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.)
It’s the flexibility of blogging.
No one will ask you why you’re doing this or why you’re not doing this.
No one will force you to do this thing or that thing.
This is the beauty of blogging.
If you’re a hobby blogger I don’t have anything to say.
But if you consider your blog as a business, complete the following tasks as soon as possible.
1. Be Clear About Your Personal Reason For Blogging
I don’t know why you’re going to start your blogging journey.
There can be various reasons people start blogging. Harsh accumulated 15 reasons people start blogging for (ShoutMeLoud).
What’s your personal reason?
Knowing this will help you to:
- Set your blogging strategy
- Find your writing voice
- Choose your target audience
- Monetize your blog
All of these are very important.
As you read through this post you’ll find more about this.
But for now, be clear about your reasons for blogging.
2. Get The Right Mindset For Success
Do you know why most newbie bloggers fail to build a successful blog?
It’s not their lack of talent.
It’s the lack of right blogging mindsets.
Because the things of blogging are changing continuously. What you’ve learned may not work in the future.
So you have to have the right blogging mindset to evolve with the changes.
3. Write Your Blog’s Mission Statement
I’ve written a mission statement on the first page of my blog planner.
It helps me to:
- Find my blogging direction
- Stay motivated during tough times
- Develop monetization strategies
In a nutshell, a mission statement is a roadmap for my blogging journey.
So, write your blogging mission statement and keep in a place where you can see that every day.
If you don’t know how to write a blog mission statement read my post 4 Questions To Write A Better Blog Mission Statement.
4. Choose Your Blog Topic Wisely
What do you want to blog about?
That is your blog topic.
Most of the newbie bloggers make mistakes in this step.
They see some bloggers are successful in a specific niche and pick that niche as their blog topic.
But I should tell you that that is a big mistake.
Instead, choose a topic that-
- Interest you most
- Solves people’s problem
- Helps people to overcome fears
- Entertain people
- You can write about constantly
- You want to learn about
- People are interested in
Here are four steps to help you find your desired blog topic –
- List down all the topics that you want to blog about
- Sort out the list based on your blogging goals
- Further, narrow down the list bases on your interest
- Finally, check the popularity of the topics on your list
I hope, with these four steps you’ve found your desired blog topic.
If you’re still struggling, read the following two posts:
- How To Choose A Niche For Your Blog (bloggingwizard)
With the blog topic in mind, determine…
5. Who Your Target Audience Is
The target audience is your ideal blog reader.
Anyone can read your blog. But when you write you should write for that one person, for your ideal reader.
Once you can define your ideal reader, it’ll be easy for you to craft the right content for him/her.
So, how can you define your target audience?
You just need to define the following traits:
- Economic status
- Social status
- Pain points
- Struggles, etc.
You don’t need to define all these traits at the initial try.
Just try to do as much as possible.
As you go through your blogging way, you can refine those traits and can define a perfect image of your target audience.
With this, now it’s time to…
6. Set Long Term Blogging Goals
It’s said that successful people start their journey with end goals in mind.
Long-term blogging goals are those that you want to achieve from your blog in the long run.
And they normally require two to five years to achieve.
My long-term goal with this blog is to build a one-stop resource for beginner bloggers who want to build a successful blogging business without being overwhelmed.
I know this goal will require a long time to achieve.
But I’ll do that.
And it inspires me in my tough times.
So, set one or two long term goals that will inspire you to blog consistently.
Okay! You are now fully prepared to…
7. Buy A Domain Name
A domain name is an address of a blog including the extension.
For example, sharpblogger(dot)com is a domain name.
I bought all of my domains from Godaddy.
Here are some tips to choose a perfect domain name.
But wait. Don’t buy your domain name just now.
Because some hosting service providers offer a free domain with their package.
8. Get A Web Hosting
A web hosting is a server space where all the files, themes, plugins, settings reside.
You can buy your domain and hosting space from the same company or from two companies.
I prefer to buy a domain and hosting from two separate companies. That provides an extra level of security.
But if you are on a tight budget you can get a free domain when buying a hosting package from Bluehost.
They offer a free domain for the first year for a first-time customer.
For some reason If you don’t want to go with Bluehost, I would recommend going with Hostgator.
I found a good web service provider for Bangladeshi bloggers. That is Exonhost. They provide excellent customer service.
In fact, they transferred my blogs from another hosting service provider free of cost.
After buying a hosting package, the next step is to…
9. Install WordPress Blogging Platform
There are many blogging platforms. In those, WordPress is the best so far.
Most of the hosting service providers offer a one-click WordPress installing button.
You just need to click on the button to install WordPress.
Easy. Isn’t it!
10. Update WordPress Version
The WordPress version you’ve just installed may not the latest version.
If so, you’ll get a notification in your WordPress dashboard to update the version.
Just click on the update link to update to the latest version.
11. Get An SSL Certificate
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
Without this Google shows a red alert saying the blog isn’t secure.
Some hosting companies offer free SSL certificates. Such as Bluehost and Exonhost.
If your hosting company doesn’t offer, you need to buy one.
12. Get A Professional WordPress Theme
WordPress comes with default themes.
You can use them.
But they don’t look professional.
There are some professional-looking free themes available.
Both themes are popular.
Related: How to install WordPress themes?
13. Delete Unused Themes
WordPress comes with some default themes with its installation.
Having many themes will eat your server space and slow down your blog to load.
So delete themes that you’re not using.
Deleting a theme is simple.
First, go to WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes.
Next, click on the theme details
Finally, click on the delete button at the right-bottom corner.
Pro tip: Keep one default WordPress theme undeleted. So that your blog can remain alive if your current theme is failed for some reason.
14. Delete Unused Plugins
Like default themes, WordPress also comes with some default plugins with its installation.
Delete those plugins.
First, go to WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Installed Plugins
It’ll show you all the installed plugins.
Next, deactivate the plugin that you want to delete.
You’ll see a delete link.
Finally, click on the Delete link.
15. Filter Spam Comments
When you publish posts on your blog you’ll get comments from your readers. This is the symbol of engaged readers.
But you’ll also get spam comments.
Going through all the comments to justify if it’s real or spam is a time-consuming task.
And it’s a big headache.
But you can filter those spam comments with a plugin.
Both are free.
You can use any one of them.
Currently, I’m using Antispam Bee.
If you don’t know how to install a WordPress plugin read my step by step guide here.
16. Secure Your Blog From The Bad Guys
If your blog is hacked by some bad guys you may lose all your hard works, Even your blog completely.
So, protect your blog before this happens.
I use Jetpack for this purpose. It’s a free WordPress plugin.
Here are some excellent features of jetpack (WPexplorer)
If you’re having trouble configuring the jetpack setting read this post (Kinsta)
To secure your blog more…
17. Change The Default WordPress Username
The default WordPress username is ADMIN which is vulnerable to hackers.
So, personalize the username.
Just go to your WordPress Dashboard > User > Profile
And change the username.
If you need a step by step walkthrough, have a look at this post that I published before.
18. Change The WordPress Login Password
You can do this in the same window where you’ve changed the username.
19. Install An SEO Plugin
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important thing for a blog.
Over time, you’ll find that most of your blog traffic is from search engines.
So, set your blog up for search engines from the beginning.
Install the Yoast SEO plugin.
This plugin has both a free and a premium version.
You can use the free version.
20. Speed Up Your Blog With A Cache Plugin
To help your blog load faster a cache plugin is very important.
I use WP Supercache for this purpose. It’s a free WordPress plugin.
21. Change Your Site Title
The site title is your blog’s name.
Go to WordPress Dashboard > Settings > General.
And write your blog’s name into the text box that labeled Site Title.
In the same window…
22. Write Your Blog’s Tagline
A tagline is a sentence that says the whole thing about your blog.
Anyone who reads the tagline will get an idea of what you’re blogging about.
You can write your tagline into the textbox that says Tagline.
Again, in the same window…
23. Write The “WordPress Address (URL)” And “Site Address (URL)”
Both these settings are important since they control where WordPress is located.
These settings also control the display of the URL in the admin section of your page, as well as the front end, and are used throughout the WordPress code.
The “WordPress Address (URL)” setting is the address where your WordPress core files reside.
The “Site Address (URL)” setting is the address that people type in their browser to reach your blog.
So, write both URLs in the appropriate text boxes.
Pro Tip: Both settings should include the http:// part and should not have a slash “/” at the end.
24. Put “Administration Email Address”
On the same window put your email address in the text box that says “Administration Email Address”.
This email address should be the one where you want to get notification of new users of your blog.
25. Enable User Registration
By default this setting is disabled.
If you are the only man behind your blog then you don’t need to do anything.
Leave it as it was.
But if your blog is a multi-authored blog then you need this setting.
First, you need to enable the membership option by clicking on the radio button.
After that, you need to select the new user default role from the drop-down list.
Each user role has its own capabilities and permissions.
To understand user roles properly I’d suggest reading the Beginner’s Guide to WordPress User Roles and Permissions (wpbeginner).
Pro tip: Don’t allow anyone as an administrator.
Again on the same window…
26. Set Up Language, Time Zone, And Date
Set the language of your blog.
If your target readers are global then set English (us) as your blog language.
Whatever the language you want to write your blog post on just select that.
After that set your preferred time zone. So that you can schedule your post as you wish.
I’d suggest setting the time zone as EST (Eastern Standard Time) or as your local time.
Also, set the date and time format.
With this, You’ve successfully configured your WordPress General Settings.
You don’t need to complete all of these tasks in one sitting.
Download this free Blog Launch Checklist. So that you can complete all the tasks at your ease.
27. Delete The Default Post
WordPress comes with a default post with its installation titled Hello World.
You definitely don’t want this on your blog.
So delete it.
Go to WordPress Dashboard > Posts > All Posts.
And Hover the cursor over the post title and click the Trash link.
28. Get Rid Of The Default Page
WordPress also comes with a default page with its installation.
To delete the page:
Go to your WordPress Dashboard > Pages > All Pages.
And hit the trash link.
29. Delete The Default Comment
WordPress also comes with a default comment with its installation.
This comment should be delated automatically while delete the default post.
Head over to WordPress Dashboard > Comments.
And check if it’s there.
Now, it’s time to…
30. Change The Permalink Structure
A permalink is a unique URL of any webpage.
How a permalink will look is dependent on the permalink structure.
A permalink structure somehow has an impact on SEO.
WordPress offers different permalink structures to choose from.
Just go to your WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks.
And select the radio button that you want.
But the question is, which permalink structure should you select?
It depends on the type of blog.
For example, a daily news site normally uses “Date and name”.
But a monthly journal may use “Month and name”.
If you’re a blogger like me then choose the “Post name” as your permalink structure.
To help you choose the permalink structure I’ve published a post What is a Permalink and How to Use It Properly.
Pro tip: Don’t change the permalink structure if your blog is already online. It’ll break links to your blog.
31. Configure WordPress Discussion Settings
This settings basically tells WordPress to take a specific action when you link to other blog and when someone make comment on your post.
I won’t talk much about these settings.
Because these settings completely depend on personal preferences.
But I’ll show you mine.
First, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Discussion.
At the top, you’ll see “Default post settings”.
Read the three options under this setting and select as you want.
Here is mine:
At the bottom, you’ll find “Avatar setting”.
Here is mine:
Finally, click on the “Save Changes” button at the bottom.
32. Update WordPress User Profile
Have you ever noticed Author bios below posts?
Here is an example:
Set an author bio like this.
For that, Go to WordPress Dashboard > Users > Profile
33. Craft Your Blog’s “About Page”
An About Page tells readers about a blog instantly.
Here is the about page of SharpBlogger:
People want to know how they can be benefitted from your blog.
You can show them these on your about page.
To create an About page:
First, Go to WordPress Dashboard > Pages > Add New.
And then write whatever you want to show on that page.
If you need help read my post How To Write A Killer About Me page.
34. Set Up A Professional Email Address
A professional email address is,
Having a professional email address will increase your brand identity.
You can create a professional email address for free.
I’ve talked about this before in the post How To Create A Professional Email Address.
With that, you also need to…
35. Make It Easy For People To Contact You
Create a contact page.
A contact page is actually a separate page on your blog where you’ll show people how they can contact you.
You can create a contact form like this:
Or, you can just show your email address.
Here is an excellent tutorial by Ankit to create a contact page.
36. Start An Email List
It’s said, an email list is an asset of any blogger.
It’s basically a list of email addresses that people willingly give you to contact with them.
To collect and store these email addresses, you first need to sign up for an Email Marketing Platform.
As a beginner, you may don’t have a budget to spend on an email marketing platform.
You can use the Mailchimp for free up to 2000 email subscribers.
But if you’re able to spend 30 bucks a month I strongly recommend signing up for ConvertKit.
This platform is specially designed for bloggers.
Once you signed up for an email marketing platform the next step is to show a sign-up form on your blog…
…To collect email addresses.
As you started to collect personal information about people, you now have to…
It’s a legal requirement.
Create a separate page – WordPress Dashboard > Pages > Add New.
And write the statement yourself.
38. Set Up A Static Homepage
By default, WordPress shows the most recent post at the top of the home page.
As you publish more posts the old posts go down.
In a static homepage, you can show whatever you want to show.
And it’ll be there as long as you don’t move them.
It’s a good strategy to show your most important things to your readers.
First, create a new page.
Go to Your WordPress Dashboard > Pages > Add New
Write “Home” as the page title.
And, add things to the page that you want to add.
Once you finished creating the page…
Now, head over to WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Reading
And, select the A static page radio button.
Finally, select the page from the dropdown list that labeled “Homepage” and save the changes.
With this, your homepage is now live.
You can check that typing your blog URL in a browser’s address bar.
As you created a static homepage, you now need to have a page for showing your blog posts.
39. Create A Separate Blog Page
First, Go to WordPress Dashboard > Page > Add New.
Give a title to the page whatever you want – blog, article, content, etc.
Leave the page blank and publish it.
Now, Go to WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Reading.
And Select the page you’ve just created under the “Posts page”.
Don’t forget to save the changes.
[Pro Tip: Add this page to the blog menu. So that people can easily navigate to your posts.]
40. Setup Your Blog Menus
Blog menus are basically some links to the important pages of a blog.
You’ll see them at the top and/or at the bottom of a webpage.
Visitors can navigate through a blog using these menus.
To create a menu:
Go to WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Menus
41. Install Google Analytics
In short, Google Analytics helps you to understand your readers well.
With this free robust tool, you can see:
- Where your readers are coming from
- Where they are going
- Which country you are getting the most readers from
- Their demographics
- Number of visitors in a time block
- Your most popular posts, and
… Much more.
Install Google Analytics. It’s a free WordPress plugin.
If you need help, read this step by step tutorial to install Google Analytics.
42. Add A Logo To Your Blog
A logo is a brand identity for a blog.
We often see them at the top of blogs.
To design your blog logo:
You can use free online tools like Canva.
Or hire someone from fever for $5.
Relevant: How To Design A Logo For Free (bloggingjoy)
Once your logo is created, go to:
WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Customize
Then click on the Site Identity to upload your logo.
43. Upload A Favicon
A Favicon is a small icon that we see in the browser’s tab.
Not only that it’s also seen on bookmarks, browsing history, and toolbars.
It’s a nice opportunity for branding your blog.
You can use any icon as a favicon.
But using a logo as a favicon is a common practice.
Use this free online tool to create a favicon from your logo.
First, head over to the homepage of the tool and click on the tile that says Image.
Next, upload your blog logo.
It’ll instantly make icons ready for download.
Finally, click on the download button.
A zip file will be downloaded to your computer.
Once you unzipped the file, you’ll see several icons.
Now, go to:
WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Customize.
Click on the “Site Identity”.
Here you can upload a favicon.
44. Create A Gravatar
Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar.
It basically an icon that you associate with your email address.
If you use that email while commenting on some other blogs, the icon will be shown there.
Here is an example from my post (Red marked):
Not only that, the icon will follow your email address wherever you use the address.
It’s a nice thing for branding a blog.
I’ve talked about setting up a gravatar profile in this post.
45. Sign Up For Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSE) is a free SEO tool.
It’ll let you know the overall health of your blog and notify you if Google finds any error on your site.
Head over to this link to create an account on Google Search Console (GSE).
After that, read this Definitive Guide by Brian to get the most out of GSE.
46. Create A Sitemap File
A sitemap is a roadmap for search engines.
It shows search engines a way to crawl your blog. So that your blog can be found on search results.
To boost your blog’s SEO, you must submit SITEMAPs to search engines.
I’ve talked about how to submit sitemaps to various search engines here.
47. Register Your Brand Name On All Social Media Sites
You’ll use social media extensively in the future to get traffic and build your community.
Although you’re not going to use all the social media sites at a time, yet you should create profiles on all of them.
It’s a nice idea to hold your brand name on all the social media.
Some of the major social media are:
- Facebook page
- Facebook group
As you created your blog’s social profiles, now it’s time to…
48. Show Follow Buttons…
…On your blog.
If people somehow like your blog they want to get connected with you.
And you don’t want to miss that opportunity to build your reader base.
One of the many options to do that is to show social follow buttons on your blog.
You can show buttons in your blog sidebar.
And/or, at the footer section.
First, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Customize > Widgets.
Next, find out the social follow widget.
Finally, drag and drop the widget into the sidebar section.
And/or, into the footer section.
Similarly, you can…
49. Add Content To Your Blog’s Sidebar
Some of the popular sidebar widgets are:
- Blog categories
- Search box
- Recent posts
- Popular posts
- Subscription options
Add content to your blog’s sidebar which is more important to you.
50. Choose Your Blog Categories
I think you already know about categories.
Categories are actually divided-sections of your blog topic.
Each of your blog posts will go under one category (at least).
To choose your blog categories, brainstorm how you can divide your blog topic.
I have another blog where I wrote about building construction.
Here are the categories of that blog:
If you’re having trouble to figure out this, read my post:
51. Further Divide Your Categories
…that you can use as tags in your posts.
This is not a secret.
Each category can be divided further.
One of the categories of sharpblogger is “Getting Traffic”.
If I think about the ways of getting traffic, some of them will be as:
- Social media
- Blogger outreach, etc.
So brainstorm and divide your blog categories and list them all in your blog planner.
52. Research Keywords For Your Blog
Search engines will be your big traffic source overtime.
Although you’ll not get much traffic from search engines initially, you need to be prepared for that from the beginning.
Take each category of your blog and find out what people are searching for that.
Use the free tool Google Keyword planner for that.
Read More: How to use Google Keyword Planner?
53. Brainstorm And Come Up With Topic Ideas For Your Pillar Posts
Content brainstorming should be a part of your blogging strategy.
With the strategy, come up with topic ideas for your pillar posts.
If you don’t know, pillar posts are your core content.
A pillar post is a detailed guide to its topic.
Each of your blog categories should have a pillar post.
So start writing them now.
54. Make 10 Posts Ready To Be Published
You definitely don’t want people to be landed on a blank page.
It’ll leave a bad impression on your readers’ minds.
So, make at least 10 posts ready to be published before launching your blog.
55. Make It Easy For People To Share Your Post
I know you’ll share your posts on your social media once they are published.
But as a new blogger, you don’t have many social followers at this moment.
So use your readers to share your posts on their social profile.
And make it easy for them by showing social share buttons on your blog.
You can show them below post title:
And/or, below the post.
Install Shared Counts.
It’s a free social sharing plugin.
Once you completed all the above tasks of this blog launch checklist, you can now…
56. Launch Your Blog With Boom!
And welcome to the blogging world.
With this task, you’re now an upcoming ProBlogger.
And I’m really happy about this and wish you won’t quit too early.
I definitely want you to be in that position.
57. Set Your Post Publishing Schedule
In the beginning, you should focus on creating as much content as possible.
When I first started this blog, my posting schedule was three in a week.
After that, one in a week.
Now, I publish one super-quality post in a month.
Whatever your posting schedule just be consistent with that.
58. Make Your Daily Blog Routine
A blog routine will help you to be consistent in blogging.
So, make this now.
To do that:
First, figure out how much time you’re able to dedicate to blogging.
Next, list all the blogging tasks that you need to do every day.
To help you get ideas, some of the tasks are:
- Writing posts
- Promoting posts
- Checking and replying to emails
- Interacting with readers
- Backend blogging tasks, etc.
Finally, set time blocks for each of these tasks.
59. Set Short-term Blogging Goals
Setting short-term goals will help you schedule your blogging tasks.
So Set some short-term goals with the specific deadline and outcomes.
- Getting 1000 email subscribers in 6 months
- Increasing page views to 10000/month in 6 months
- Getting 1000 Pinterest followers in 2 months, etc.
You can also break down your long-term goals into short-term goals.
Based on your goals…
60. Create A Blogging Strategy
How do you want to achieve your goals?
Suppose, your goal is to get 1000 email subscribers in 6 months.
For that, you need to create a strategy. That includes:
- Displaying signup forms in your blog’s prime locations
- Creating awesome content that will encourage your readers to subscribe
- Offering something free to email subscribers
- Optimizing your social profiles for list building, etc.
61. Start Learning To Create Awesome Content
Whatever you do, without quality content your blog will go nowhere.
The old saying is, content is the king.
To create content that your readers are eager for, First, create a content strategy for your blog.
Then follow these tips to write great posts.
My secrete strategy:
Have a close look at popular bloggers and observe how they create content. Learn from them. This is a quick way to learn.
62. Connect With Influencer
In the blogging world, your competitors aren’t actually your competitor.
They are your friends.
So, connect with them.
This is a shortcut way to blogging success.
What do you need to do?
First, make a format in your blog planner like this:
Next, find top bloggers in your niche.
A quick Google search will help you with that.
Then, collect information about them in your blog planner.
Finally, engage with them.
- Follow them on social media
- Subscribe to their email list
- Comment on their post
- Share their posts on your social media
- Ask help
63. Be Willing To Learn New Things
This is very important for blogging success.
In blogging, you need to learn many new things.
This can make you overwhelm sometimes.
Keep in mind that everyone goes through this process. If you want to be a successful blogger you also need to go through the process.
Don’t make this overwhelming thing let you down.
My recommendation is not to try learning all things at once. Take a thing. After learning that take another. Your readers will not go anywhere.
Just keep yourself prepared for the opportunity and you are good to go.
64. Start Exploring Income Opportunities
There are many ways to make money blogging.
As a beginner, start with affiliate marketing and displaying ads.
In the beginning, you may not earn much. The point is you need to learn various ways of making money blogging and how to use them.
Start small and grow from there.
I know there is a question that is raising in your mind at this moment.
Do I need to complete all these tasks in this list for launching a blog?
No. You don’t need to.
But today or tomorrow, you have to complete all these tasks to build a successful blog.
Then why not today!
The benefit of completing these tasks during the launching period of your blog is you don’t have to look back.
You can fully focus on creating content and serving your readers.
But letting some tasks unfinished in this list will take much time later.
So, complete all the tasks in this blog launch checklist during your launching period.
Have I missed anything to include in this blog launch checklist?
Do you want to add any task in this checklist that you think is important to do during launching a blog?
Do you want to eliminate any task from this blog launch checklist that you think is less important?
I want to make the blog launching as simple as possible for a beginner. So please suggest what to add and what to eliminate.
Give your suggestions in the comments below…