So, the good news is you’ve set up your website after a lot of research, brainstorming a domain name, & finding a reliable WordPress host.
And now you’re looking forward to publishing your first blog post?
Wait! Stop, right there!
You’re missing an important part of ‘setting up a blog‘.
There are few things you need to take action on to make sure your blog gets the maximum online presence.
Here’s a list of 10 Things you need to do before you publish your first blog post.
1. Create a Contact Page
Provide your users with a contact page. Web sites with contact page are considered more professional as compared to those who don’t offer it.
Also, it provides a medium to visitors who may want to work with you after reading your posts.
I use Contact Form 7 Plugin to create contact pages on my sites.
2. Create an About or Start Here Page
About pages give your site a personal touch.
I don’t know about others but whenever I found a post helpful I will surely check out the about page learn more about the blogger.
Many times I end up following people from their about page itself.
And I am sure there would be many like me out there. So, creating an excellent about page is entirely worth your time.
There’s a very good article from Jordanna @ The House of Muses where she has expressed her thought on naming the about my page as ‘start here’.
And here are few beautiful examples of about me pages to inspire you.
3. Create Sitemap Page and Submit it to Search Engines
In future, you would be spending a lot of your time in doing SEO and ranking your pages higher.
Creating sitemap page is the very first step of SEO.
Sitemap pages contain all the links to your website which makes search engine bots easier to crawl and index your site.
You can use a simple plugin called Google XML Sitemaps for this task.
Affiliate Disclosure page is helpful if you’re planning to promote affiliate products on your site in near future.
Mention that you’re promoting affiliate products on your site for which you’ll be earning commissions.
5. Configure Your Permalink Structure
Once you’re done creating all the necessary pages, it’s time to set up your permalink structure.
Permalinks are the URL of your posts and play a significant role in SEO.
You can change it by logging into your Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks.
The two most widely used structures are post-name and category/post-name.
Choose the one which you found suitable for your blog type.
6. Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a simple tool which lets you keep track of your visitors.
It shows the total page views, users and bounce rate of your blog.
Also, it keeps track of user’s activity on your blog, how they found you, what device they are using and many more useful information.
7. Add Your URL to Google Webmaster
Google Webmaster is again a great tool for bloggers.
It keeps track of your search engine rankings; links indexed and suggested you how you can improve your website.
The first thing I do is to verify my URL and submit the sitemap of my site.
Bing and Yahoo have similar webmaster tools available too.
8. Create Social Media Profiles
Create social media pages and channels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
You can do a pre-promotion of your site on these pages too.
Don’t forget to link your website to every account and link to your social media channels on your site.
Creating accounts on every social media site is worthless. Just focus on few famous ones who have the potential to bring traffic.
9. Add Email Subscriber Widgets
Collecting email is one of the wisest things you’ll do in your blogging career.
And what’s better if you’re doing it from the day one?
You can send your affiliate products, new posts, and other events to your subscribers.
Many plugins like SumoMe, GetSiteControl allow you to add these subscriber forms for free.
10. Add Social Media Sharing Buttons
And the final thing you should do is to add social media sharing buttons.
Add them above or below the content or you can add them as floating buttons (like I use).
Adding these buttons will allow visitors to share your post across multiple social media channels.
You never know when your content can go viral.
After hitting publish button, you will be too busy promoting your first blog post and won’t get enough time to do these things.
So, it’s always better to complete these beforehand and let your visitors enjoy a comprehensive website.
That’s all for the day folks! Don’t forget to share this article with your new blogger friends.