We all fall into a similar trap when getting started with a new blog. We look around at what experienced bloggers are doing and think we need to do it all. Blog multiple times per week, have a newsletter, be on every social media platform, have a product and service created, and more right when we launch.
But that’s not the way it should be. In fact, doing it that way will likely lead you to overwhelm and quitting before you really give it a good shot, simply because you’ve set super high expectations and can’t keep up.
Remember, those of us who’ve been around a while aren’t doing it alone – we’ve got amazing assistants helping us out behind the scenes!
If you feel like you need to do everything at once, this one’s for you! In this post, we’ll go over the four (and only four) things I believe every blogger should focus on right away.
I had two blogs before this one and with both I made the mistake of thinking I could do everything at once. I was overwhelmed, felt like I wasn’t making progress, and was spread too thin to actually make progress on anything.
On my current blog, I started with blogging consistently, growing my list, and focusing on Twitter. Those were the only three things I focused on before my launch and for the first month. It went way better. I was seeing consistent progress and I felt like I knew what I was doing (for the most part).
I’ve been able to see first-hand how narrowing in on a few select things can help you make progress more quickly. So let’s dive in to 4 things you should focus on when you’re getting started.
1. Grow an email list
List building really is as important as everyone claims. You don’t want to go through the work of launching a blog and business without having something to do with the people that find you right away. You want to be able to keep those people around and your email list is the way to do that.
When my blog launched, I had a free course up and ready to go as well as a content upgrade on a blog post. I didn’t get crazy results, but the 1 or 2 opt-ins I was getting each day was better than 0.
You don’t have to wait for your website to launch before you start building your list. After you launch, you’re going to feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions, even if you do focus only on the 4 things we talk about today. Having your list up and ready to go ahead of time will make for one less thing for you to worry about.
I have a post right here about how you can set up a Coming Soon page without any extra costs (for WordPress users) to start building your list before you even launch.
You can then direct people to your website before you launch through social media or word of mouth.
This Coming Soon page is a great way to make a quick introduction and give out a workbook, checklist, or something simple that will provide value to your ideal audience.
2. Create content consistently
After your list is up and running, start to focus on publishing content consistently. Creating content really is a habit you have to get into, so starting right away will make that process a whole lot easier.
I did something with my content that took a whole lot of pressure off in those first couple of weeks. That was to write 5 posts before I even launched. When I did launch, I published 3 of those posts right away and saved the others to publish over the next two weeks.
That way, I didn’t have to worry about writing new content in those first couple of weeks while I was trying to learn the ropes. It really took a lot of pressure off!
With those 5 posts you’ll be able to gauge what you like writing about and see what your audience is in to.
3. Choose 1 social media platform
Yep, just one. A big mistake is trying to launch with a presence on all of the big platforms. I’ve tried doing it this way before and I can tell you first-hand that it doesn’t work.
While I do think you should get your accounts created on each platform to reserve your username, you don’t want to try to grow each one right from the start. This is something else that can lead you to feel like you aren’t making progress anywhere since you can’t give any of your accounts enough attention.
When choosing which platform to start with, think about where your audience will be. If you’re into health and wellness you might want to try Pinterest, photographers might want to start on Instagram or Facebook, and business bloggers might want to start out on Twitter. It really depends on your industry and niche.
Once you’ve got the hang of your first platform and it’s growing organically, you can start adding in others, one at a time.
When my blog launched, my main focus was Twitter. After a couple of months I took a great Pinterest course and focused on Pinterest for a few months. Then I added in Instagram…and learned that I hated it and stopped. 🙂
Be sure that your first platform is one that your audience will have a presence on and is one that you enjoy. Remember, it shouldn’t feel like a chore!
4. Create a website strategy!
If you’ve read many of my posts, this one doesn’t come as a surprise to you. A strategy isn’t something I had when I launched and if you’re in the same boat, get on it!
I can see how not having a strategy held me back in the first few months of my blog. If I would have had goals to focus my blog around, I would be a lot farther along in my business.
If you haven’t launched, this is the perfect time to get a strategy going. That means less re-work for you later, you’ll be all set from the beginning.
Basically, a website strategy means that everything on your site is focused on your goals – nothing is there “just because”. You’ll be able to decide what’s in your sidebar, what pages are in your menu, what calls to action you use, and what you include on your homepage.
Time to get to work!
You’ll find that focusing on list-building, consistent content, one social platform, and creating a website strategy will keep you moving ahead more consistently than focusing on everything from the beginning would.