If you’re reading this then I am guessing that you have just started a blog, but have no idea what else to do next. I have been there too, that is why I have put out this list of 11 things to do right after starting a blog to start your blog right.
I don’t know if it’s the same with you, but when I bought my domain, hosting, set up wordpress and was ready to start my blog, all I knew about blogging was that I thought I just needed to publish blog posts and its done.
I couldn’t be more wrong!
There are some very important things you need to do immediately after starting a blog which you shouldn’t ignore if you want to start your blog the right way right from the start.
I hope this helps because I know exactly how clueless one can be as a new blogger.
Now if I have to start a new website, these are exactly the 11 things I would do immediately for a new blog after launching it. All of these are important and you shouldn’t miss even one.
11 things to do after starting a blog to start your blog the right way
Table of Contents
1.Set up google analytics first thing after starting a blog
Google analytics is a free tool that helps you gain insights about your blog.
It tells you everything about how many visitors you had on your blog, the number of pageviews, your top blog posts, where your readers are from, who is currently reading your blog, where you are gaining your traffic and just about everything.
Hence it is very very essential that you create a google analytics account right after starting your blog.
Setting up google analytics is not too difficult. Here is the easiest step by step guide I have found on how to set up google analytics
If you want to learn more about google analytics, here is a free beginner’s course on google analytics provided by Google
Once you read this guide above and once you create your google analytis account, the most important thing is to to add the tracking code to your website so that google analytics can track all the information about your website
To easily add the tracking code without any coding requirement, just add the plugin ‘GA google analytics’ by going to your dashboard> plugins > add new.
I have used this one for my website.
After that all your information about your website will start to come automatically
2. Submit sitemap to google search console
Sitemap is where all the content and information about your site is stored which gets updated to any changes you make on your website automatically.
You need to submit your sitemap to Google search console because google is the number one search engine and you want google to know about your website so that it can crawl your website and rank your website in search results.
But before you submit your sitemap to google, you need to first connect your website to google search console.
You also need Yoast SEO plugin to easily submit your website to google.
Then you need to do five things:
- Sign up for Google search console account: Create your google search console account.
When you do create it I recommend choosing the ‘Url Prefix method’ because it has a lot easier option to verify your website and with the Yoast Plugin you don’t have to do any coding and technical stuff.
For the Url Prefix method you have to add the entire url of your website which is for example my website, the entire https://vishakablone.com’ and not just vishakablone.com
- Add website to Google search Console: To add website to google search console you need to first verify your property. This is where having the Yoast SEO plugin makes it very easy.
- Verify your property: If you have yoast SEO plugin, you need to choose the ‘HTML tag’ option. Click on this option and copy the entire thing.
Now you need to login to your wordpress dashboad and go to the Yoast Seo Plugin> general>webmaster tools and then paste the entire HTML tag on the google box there. Save changes.
Then go to search console again and click verify. And you’re done! Congratulations on connecting your site to google
- Find your sitemap to submit it to Google Search console: Next you need to submit your sitemap to google search console to let Google better understand and crawl your website to rank on its search engine.
For this you need to first find your sitemap.
An easy way to find your sitemap is by another plugin called, ‘Google XML sitemap’
Once you have it installed and activated simply go to your wordpress dashboard.
Click on settings> XML sitemap. It will easily give you your sitemap index file url. For example my sitemap is https://vishakablone.com/sitemap.xml
- Submit Sitemap to Google: Now to submit your sitemap to google search console you just need to login to your search console account and click on ‘Sitemaps’ in your dashboard.
Add your sitemap url and click submit.
And You’re done. Congratulations for completing the two most important things to do after starting a blog.
Once you’ve done this, you have already done 50% of the thing to start your blog right.
Next comes other important things.
3. Set up your permalink structure
Permalinks are very very crucial and important because they are your urls to your blog posts and pages.
You cannot afford to change this time and again and hence you need to set your permalink structure the correct way right after starting a blog.
The default version that wordpress sets is the ‘plain way’ which is bad for google as well as for your readers because it does not tell you at all what the post is about.
Hence you need to change your permalink structure to ‘Post name’ so as to better your SEO and also for your readers.
Once you do this, with the Yoast SEO plugin you can easily customise your post url by changing the slug.
4. Set up your blog title and Tagline after starting a blog
Next, set up your blog title and don’t forget to add a tagline to your blog. This Tagline helps search engine and also your readers a better understanding about what your website is about.
To do this go to your wordpress dashboard and click on settings > general.
5. Upload Important Plugins for your new blog
Plugins give you extra functionability for your website without you needing to learn coding or anything. I am so thankful for plugins because they make things to easy!
Here are some important Plugins you need to install immediately after starting your blog.
- For spam protection: Akismet anti spam
- For SEO: Yoast SEO
- For Sitemap: Google XML sitemap
- For social sharing buttons: Add to any
- For reducing image file size and improving your site load: Smush
- For backing up your website: Updraft plus
- For adding forms to collect email address: WP forms
- For regularly cleaning and improving your site speed: W3 total cache
- For adding popular post feature: WordPress popular post
6.Choose a reasonable paid theme after you start a blog
There are many free themes you can find in wordpress but free themes don’t give better customizing option for your website. I had a free theme for almost a year but until then my traffic was not good at all.
Once I bought a paid theme my traffic has also started increasing. I think this is because how your blog looks is also very important to keep your users in your site once they visit your website.
It is okay if you want to take your time to get a hang of wordpress but I totally recommend you to invest in buying a reasonable paid theme not too long after starting a blog.
The one that I have used on my website is Mia theme by 17th Avenue designs
Here are some reasonably priced paid theme (All of them beautiful)
- Pix and Hue– I love their Josephine Theme and Harlowe Theme
- Hearten Made. I love their Dainty Theme and Honeydew Theme
- Almost all themes from 17th Avenue Designs but especially Harper WordPress theme and Pippa WordPress theme
7.Set up your pages, categories and menu right after starting your blog
This is something I would recommend to be clear about before starting a blog but if you haven’t already, set it up soon.
- Pages: The first page you must create is an about me page. Get a bit personal, share your story, and mention about what others can expect from your blog. Here is a guide on writing a great about me page with examples.
- Categories: Next decide on what categories you want your blog to be about. Becoming clear on your categories right after starting a blog is the recipe for starting your blog right.
Choose atleast 3 categories you want your blog to focus on. For my blog the main categories are self improvement, lifestyle and blogging.
If you have a single niche website for example only on self improvement then your categories could be better habits, self improvement tips, motivation, productivity or anything.
You can always add more categories and sub-categories or remove later.
To add categories you just need to go to your wordpress dashboard> posts > categories. Add a new category and its done.
Once you write a post you can choose which category you want that post to go or you can add a new category from their right away.
- Menu: Next decide on your menu. A good menu is important because it helps your readers navigate your site better. Without a proper menu your readers just won’t know where to go next and they will hardly stay on your website longer.
Here is an easy youtube tutorial on how to create menus for your website
8. Create a content calendar to start your blog right
Creating a content calendar can feel daunting as a beginner blogger because apart from having only a small idea about what you want to blog about, you just don’t know how to come up with new blog post ideas and blog topics consistently.
For the longest time I didn’t have a content calendar and every week it was a struggle to come up with good blog post ideas.
But now I know how important it is and actually how easy it is.
To create a content calendar first you need to come up with many blog post ideas about each category you want your blog to be about.
I did this one time and I have me covered for the next 6 months of what I am going to post about.
Here is a screenshot of my Blog Post Ideas I have kept on ‘Notion’. For each of my categories, I have more than 40 blog post ideas already and I keep adding to it whenever I find new ones.
However I decide on my content calendar for only one month at a time by being clear on what I want to post under each category and which date.
9.Write and publish 5 pillar blog posts for each category
After you start your blog, you obviously need to have a handful of blog posts before you start promoting your blog.
You don’t want someone to come to your blog and just find two-three posts on it.
So I recommend that after coming up with blog post ideas for each of your main blog category, select 5 pillar articles you want to write about for each category.
Write them and publish them over the course of one month or so and then start promoting your blog.
10.Set up social media accounts
Decide on which social media accounts you want to focus on for your new blog- facebook, twitter, pinterest, Instagram or Linkedin. Always keep the same social media handle name and profile picture for all of your accounts page.
Don’t try to spread yourself all thin but focus on just two social media handles for your new blog.
The number one social media account you must not ignore for your blog is a Pinterest Business account.
Focus on Pinterest right from the start. Learning Pinterest is crucial for your blog as it is the number 1 source for driving traffic to your website untill you learn Google SEO.
If you want to invest in your blog, invest in a pinterest course. If you want to learn and get started with Pinterest, I highly recommend Pinteresting strategies by Carly.
It is through her course that I was able to go from less than 1k pageviews per month to 12k pageviews in just one month and from 14k to 100k monthly views in Pinterest in just one month
11.Add a favicon
Lastly after you start your new blog, don’t forget to set up your own favicon.
Favicon is the little image that is there for each website at the side of their url.
By default this favicon is set to a wordpress icon. It is a simple thing but ignoring it can make you look very unprofessional.
To avoid looking like a newbie blogger, set your own favicon. You can easily create your own favicon using Canva.
And to upload it to your website go to your wordpress dashboard:
Appearance > customize > Site Identity
So here, these were the main things you must do after you start your new blog. Once you have them done you can be rest assured that you started your blog the correct way.
Now you just need to be patient, consistent and always have the heart to learn even one thing about blogging each day.
All the best.
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