The Ultimate Guide To Your First Month Of Blogging
The Ultimate Guide To Your First Month Of Blogging
You made the decision to start a mum blog, paid for hosting and bought your custom domain name. So what’s next? Read my ultimate guide to discover what to focus on in your first month of blogging.
Making the decision to actually start your blog is huge! So take this as my virtual high five to you for taking action.
Lots of us think about starting a blog. We dream up hundreds of potential blog post ideas. And we even let ourselves wonder what it would be like to make a living from blogging.
It is possible.
And that’s where the road to starting a blog ends for most people.
We found the courage to take that important leap and learn how to start a blog, using really useful articles like this one and this one and this one too.
Then we got busy writing that all-important first blog post and hit “publish.” It’s so exciting, and also completely nerve-racking at the same time.
You’ve crafted an epic blog post. Poured your heart and soul into it. Agonised over the words. And proof-read it several times to check for any obvious mistakes.
It’s exhilarating knowing that your words have their own space on the internet. That anyone might find and read them. And that they’ll fall in love with your blog and wait with baited breath for every new post.
But you check your blog’s dashboard and you can see there are no new comments. And you realise that you have no idea whether or not people even know your blog exists.
Then it hits you. You learned how to start a blog. But nobody told you what to do next. What you should be focussing on in your first month of blogging.
Don’t worry, busy mummy, I’ve got your back.
I’ve prepared this quick guide for you, so you know the important things to focus on during your first month of blogging.
And it includes so much more than just writing blog posts every week, which is something you should also do!
Don’t have time to read this now? Pin it for later!
I know from experience that your time is precious and you only have a limited amount of it to dedicate to your blog each day.
So I’m going to break down the important things to focus on into small, manageable chunks.
Even if you can only spend 20-30 minutes each day on your blog, you will be making important steps forward that will make a big difference later on.
Remember building a successful blog is a marathon, not a sprint.
You want to do it right the first time. So it’s worth taking your time to put these important blogging foundations in place now.
Here are some actionable steps you need to take to build your blog into a success.Building a successful blog is a marathon, not a sprint! Click To Tweet
First Month Of Blogging: Week One
There are two really important things to focus on even before you start writing and filling your blog with content during your first month of blogging.
You need to make sure your blog is legal. And then you need to get social.
So, during this first week, you want to make sure you’ve got your legal pages sorted out.
Ideally you would have done this before launching your blog. But now is a good time if your blog has been live for a while and you haven’t got your legal pages up yet.
I’ve written a handy blog post about your legal pages, which you can find here, if you’re not sure what you absolutely need to include on your blog.
Social Media Accounts
Your second priority is securing all your social media accounts.
In the early stages of blogging you’re not going to want to spend your time trying to be active in every social media platform.
BUT you do want to make sure you have all your social media accounts secured with your brand name.
AND you want to make sure that name is the same across all of the social media platforms you intend to use.
This blog, for example, is still new. And I’m not yet at the point where I want to build up my social media followers everywhere, because I just don’t have time to be consistently active everywhere.
And to build a loyal following on social media absolutely means you have to show up consistently, and actively engage with your audience.
So even though I’m not particularly active on all my social sites just yet, I have secured my brand name on all the social media platforms I plan to use in the future.
If you pop over to my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest pages, you’ll see that I’ve secured my brand name on each platform, even though I may not be actively using it.
While you’re there why not give me a follow 😉
So, in week one of your first month blogging, make sure you’ve signed up to all your chosen social media sites and at least populated the bios and profile pics for each one.
This week’s focus is going to be a bit technical. But it’s fairly straight forward and it is so important to do!
Now your blog probably isn’t getting many page views just yet. And that’s okay because your blog is brand new, and the search engines aren’t reading your pages yet. (They will, but it will take time.)
Now is the time to set up Google Analytics. Forget using any of the traffic analysis plugins that are available in WordPress. These will just slow your site down, which will negatively impact your blog.
Instead you should sign up to Google Analytics and learn as much as you can about it in the early stages of starting your blog.
This is something lots of bloggers fail to do when they start their blogging journey. But the earlier you get to grips with Google Analytics, the sooner you’ll be able to make informed decisions about your blog strategy.
Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool. It will tell you everything you need to know about your blog’s traffic. And it’s completely free!
This is the tutorial I followed to set up Google Analytics on my first blog. It walks you through the entire process in a really manageable way.
Pro Tip: it might look like you’ve had loads of traffic coming to your blog already. But that’s probably just you checking out your own site. So, to ensure you have a true picture of your blog traffic, you need to create a filter than excludes your IP address from the data. You can find out how to do this here.
The other thing you should focus on this week, during your first month of blogging, is setting up the plugins you need to help make your blog more efficient and user-friendly.
Hopefully you’ve already spent a little time familiarising yourself with the backend of your blog. The WordPress dashboard.
You’ll notice on the left-hand menu one of the options is “plugins.”
It’s likely that your chosen WordPress theme will have come pre-loaded with some plugins. But there are others that you should consider activating to make your site more efficient and user-friendly.
One of my upcoming blog posts is going to be entirely dedicated to plugins, so keep an eye out for it.
But, for now, here are a few that you should consider activating:
- Rank Math (not Yoast)
- WP Forms Lite
- Share Buttons
- Ads.txt Manager
- Askimet Anti-Spam
- Insert Headers & Footers
- Broken Link Checker
- Google XML Sitemap
- Cookie Notice
- WP Auto Terms
There are others. But you should consider the list above as your essential plugins.
Among other things this list deals with mapping your blog for search engines to find, protecting you against spammers, checking for broken links, optimising your image sizes, offering basic SEO help and creating a contact form.
First Month Of Blogging: Week Three
As well as following the actionable steps in this guide, you should also be writing and publishing at least one blog post per week during your first month of blogging.
So by now you’ll be starting to create a library of content on your blog. Plus, writing your first few posts will give you an idea of which topics you want to focus on writing about first.
It’s a good idea to nail down the core categories that your blog will cover.
This will help you organise your blog posts, making them easily searchable for your audience AND search engines.
I’d recommend starting with just two or maybe three categories. You can always add more later on, when you’ve got more content written and published.
You can set your categories as the menu on the top bar of your blog. Or you can use the categories widget and have them appear on your sidebar.
Either way, this will make it super-easy for your audience to search through your content to find more of your brilliant and highly useful content.
Anything that makes life easier for your audience is a definite win!
However, I wouldn’t link my categories with a menu until I had a good handful of blog posts for each category. That way you can avoid making your blog look too empty.
But grouping your blog posts into categories is a great way to organise your content.
And by focusing on just two or three categories when you start your blog is going to pay off in the long run, because your audience will be clear on what your blog is about and so will search engines.
In week three of your first month of blogging, you’re going to choose two social media platforms to focus on building your blog’s audience.
You’re going to use those two social media platforms to start driving traffic (visitors) to your blog.
If you followed all the steps to choosing your blog niche, then you’ll have a good idea who the target audience for your blog is.
And since you know who you’re writing for, you’ll have a good idea where they’re hanging out online. That’s where you’re going to focus your attention to start with.
Just be aware that brands favour Instagram over the other social media platforms. So, if you’re planning to monetise your blog by writing sponsored posts, you may want to include Instagram as one of your two choices.
But, a word of caution, it takes a lot of time and effort to build a loyal following on Instagram. Especially for new accounts.
And there are other social media platforms that will drive more traffic to your site than Instagram.
So weigh up the pros and cons of whether or not this is somewhere you want to spend a LOT of time, when you could actually be creating killer content for your blog….
Once you’ve decided on your two social platforms, you need to get to work finding the major players in your niche. Follow them. Check out who they follow and then follow those accounts that are relevant to you too.
Engage with their content. As well as posting your own. You need to spend time making real connections with people, including other bloggers in your niche.
Those bloggers are not your competition – they are your network! The people who will help build you up. So get friendly with them.
I’d definitely recommend signing up to Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts. You can join for free, load up your posts all at once and schedule them to drip-feed out to your social media audience.
Just remember that whichever social media platforms you choose, you need to show up everyday. Be consistent!
Plan Your Editorial Calendar
One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make is not thinking of their blog as a business.
But if you’re planning to make money from your blog, then it absolutely is a business. And, as such, you need to have a plan.
It’s so important to plan out ahead of time the blog posts you intend to write. And you need to remember that your blog posts serve your audience, not you.
What does your audience want to read? What problems do they have? And how can you help solve those problems?
Only when you start thinking in this way will you be able to grow a loyal and engaged audience for your blog. And that’s exactly what you need to make money from your blog!
You might only have time to write one new blog post per week. And that’s fine. You’re still moving forward. But whatever schedule you set in the beginning you should stick with.
It’s no good posting five articles one week and then not publishing anything for the next two or three weeks. So if you start with five a week, you need to continue with five a week!
Decide on the workload you can manage comfortably, and stick with that. Do not put yourself under unnecessary pressure. And make room in your schedule for set-backs.
I plan out my content a month in advance. So I have a clear plan of what to write – and how it fits together – which means I can be more productive each day.
Doing this means I don’t sit at my computer staring at a blank page, wondering what I’m going to write about and getting nowhere fast.
Try using this brilliant tool if you’re struggling to come up with solution-based blog posts. It’s completely free to use for a limited number of daily searches.
So plan out your blog content a couple of weeks, or a month, in advance. This is called your editorial calendar. And it will boost your productivity!
By week four of your first month of blogging you’re laying the foundations for your blog’s success. And you’re getting serious about making your blog a business.
But you can’t just publish blog posts and hope people will find you. It doesn’t work that way. And your blog is too new to stand any chance of ranking highly by search engines.
So what do you do? You need to tell people about how awesome your blog is!
Now’s the time to start getting serious about your social media marketing plan. To be strategic about what you post on your social media channels and when.
Remember the two social media platforms you chose to focus on, well now’s the time to dive deep into learning how to use them for marketing.
You can use automation services – like Hootsuite I mentioned earlier – to send out your posts at scheduled times. Doing this will mean that you’re active on different platforms, even when you’re not actually on them.
So you can send out Tweets to Twitter when you’re fast asleep in bed if you really wanted to. This might bring in global traffic from different time zones. Cool hey!
But you also need to be present on your chosen social media platforms. You need to be liking, sharing and commenting on other people’s content. This will get you noticed and help build your tribe.
To do this you need to be present.
So work out your marketing plan, and be sure to make space in your daily or weekly schedule to dedicate time when you’re actively present on your social media channels.
If you show up regularly, be kind and participate in the community you will start to see an increase in your blog traffic.
Your First Month Of Blogging: Summary
There’s a whole lot to do during your first month of blogging. And I’m not gonna pretend it’s easy. It’s not!
But if you want to get serious about building a successful blog that makes money, then you’ve got to be prepared to put in the hard work.
And I know you are totally prepared to do that busy mummy!
There’s a steep learning curve to blogging. And it can sometimes feel that the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know.
And that’s a good thing! If you’re learning new things then you’re moving forward.
So let’s quickly summarise the things to work on during your first month of blogging:
- write weekly blog posts (or how many you can comfortably manage)
- set up your legal pages
- sign up to your chosen social media platforms, remembering to use a consistent brand name across them all
- sign up to Google Analytics, link it to your blog and start learning the basics
- activate essential plugins
- decide on your two or three core categories
- choose two social media channels to focus on building your followers; find out the leaders in your niche and follow them
- plan your editorial calendar for the next month
- create a marketing plan
Phew! That’s a lot of things to focus on during your first month of blogging. But, don’t worry if you don’t have time to do all these things in your first month.
Go at your own pace. But do follow these steps if you want to lay the foundations for a successful blog.
I’d love it if you joined my Facebook community of busy mummies just like you who want to start a blog.
Or if Instagram is where you prefer to hang out, you can find me there too!
Finally, if you’ve found this post useful, please take a moment to share it using the buttons below 🙂
This has been very helpful. Thank you very much for sharing.
I’m a new blogger and this list was beyond helpful and so easy to understand. I’ve read so many posts that were overwhelmeing but yours is the opposite. Thank you for putting this together!!
Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 I’m super-happy to hear that you found this post helpful. Blogging can be so very overwhelming, because there’s so much to learn. I just know how much I would have LOVED a post like this when I started out blogging.
Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like help with.
And good luck with your blog!