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How Much Content Should I Have Ready to Go When I Launch a Blog?

Posted By Darren Rowse 17th of May 2013 Writing Content 0 Comments

I recently had the opportunity to sit with a small group of Pre-Bloggers – people about to start their first blogs.

One of the questions I was about how much content should be written before launching a new blog.

My answer came in two parts:

  1. The Ideal Scenario
  2. What I actually have done

The reality is that what I ‘preach’ isn’t always what I ‘do’ – so let me tell you about both!

Note: we give a lot of teaching and some great exercises on this topic in ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging.

The Ideal Scenario

OK – here’s what I’d do if I was creating a strategy to launch a new blog. Following this strategy would leave you with around a month of content and content ideas ready to go!

Dreaming goals

Mark Aplet – Fotolia.com

1. Have At Least 3-5 Posts Already Published

My ideal scenario for launching a new blog is to have at least a few posts already live on the blog.

The benefit of this approach is that when you launch the blog, people arrive and see more posts than just your ‘I started a blog’ post!

These early posts should cover a range of topics within your niche and give your first readers a taste of what is to come in terms of topics, a sense of who you are and an idea about the voice that you’re writing in.

2. Have 5-10 Posts Ready to Publish in Drafts

When launching a new blog, it’s also GREAT to have a few blog posts written and saved as drafts.

The reason for this is that often, when launching a blog, you can easily get distracted by other aspects of the launch. Design tweaks, getting a server set up right, promoting the blog, setting up social media accounts etc.

While you might have a lot of this done before launch, there’s a good chance something will go wrong (it’s Murphy’s Law). If you have at least a few blog posts already written and ready to go, you’ve got a great backup.

Having posts in reserve also takes a bit of pressure off and won’t leave you with that stressed ‘what am I going to write about today’ feeling!

3. Have 20 Blog Post Ideas Brainstormed

One of the hardest parts of creating regular blog posts – particularly in the early days – is coming up with ideas of topics to write about.

As a result I highly recommend doing some brainstorming before you launch, when the pressure is off. Put aside time to come up with as many blog post ideas as possible by what ever means suits you.

I personally like to use Mind Mapping to come up with blog post ideas (I’ve written about mind mapping here and here).

Keep your post ideas handy and add to them regularly, and you’ll find you are never stuck for something to write about!

What I’ve Actually Done

OK – so the ideal theory I’ve outlined above is all good and well – but the reality is that I don’t know a whole heap of bloggers who have always stuck to their launch strategy, including myself.

My own experience is that often, when starting a new blog, excitement and adrenaline kicks in. When you’re passionate about your new project, it’s easy to be more impulsive!

Here’s the brief launch story of my two main blogs:

ProBlogger – I launched ProBlogger in September 2004 after writing about blogging tips and making money blogging on my personal blog, in a category dedicated to the topic.

When I launched ProBlogger.net, I brought all of those posts that I’d previously written so when I launched there was already 60+ posts live.

I remember doing some brainstorming of post titles but I didn’t have any posts saved as drafts. Instead, I was so excited about starting ProBlogger that I published 40 posts in the first 10 or so days!

In hindsight – that was too many. I was naive, but I was so excited!

Digital Photography School – when I launched dPS back in April 2006, I set out with a year and a half of extra experience and so I decided to take things slower.

The dPS blog was something of an experiment and I didn’t know if it was going to be much more than a hobby. But I decided to create more content before launching and went through the brainstorming exercise, with mind maps that I linked to above.

I had 20 or so post ideas mapped out and even wrote a couple of posts that I’d published before launching – but didn’t have too many posts written as drafts on launch.

My plan at launch was to only post 3 posts per week while I got going but again I got a little excited and in the first week I published 6 posts and from then on it was pretty much daily!

Can you see a theme here? I tend to get very excited with new projects and holding back and being measured isn’t always easy for me!

How About You?

I’d love to hear about your blog launching strategies? Do you publish many posts before launching or have posts ready to go? Any other tips for new bloggers?

And if you are looking to launch a new blog – check out ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging for more tips and exercises to help you get your blog launched with the right foundations!

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. It was nice reading this and finding out that I basically started my current blog using your ideal scenario. I guess I started out on the right foot! Having those posts in drafts was a huge help. I actually try to keep several posts in draft at all times in case of emergency.

  2. I agree Darren, I think when you get excited about an idea its tough to really sit down sometimes and actually draw up a great plan for your new blog. Like you were saying you just wrote 40 articles in 10 days.

    For my new blog Creating A Website Today I actually just went in at a set pace and have been writing after week or two. I know, some would say that isn’t often enough, but its my pace, and so far its been well. I enjoy that pace and it gives my time to map out articles, and branch out from ones I already have written.

    A final though: I think as the excitement to some extent wears off you start to do a better job at being more focused on writing up your plan. <——- for me at least :-)

  3. Interesting points to be ready with a few post before launching a blog. I did exactly that for the blog that we plan to launch next week. I already have a tech comm blog, but now we plan to have another blog for website design and development (primarily HTML, CSS and opensource CMS). I had lined up 3 posts absolutely ready, a few in draft, and next 5-7 titles with brief outline.

    However, I plan to post not more than 2 posts per week even during at launch. Else, users may skip a few of these. Your thoughts please?

    • I think there are a variety of things to factor into when choosing how often to publish posts. I think that at least once a week at a minimum is ideal. You can receive more traction if you publish more often, but you may also receive fewer comments as well. It really depends on what you are looking for.

  4. Dear All,

    I started my blog http://www.techalpine.com with around 20 posts ready. As my blog is on software technologies, I tried to concentrate on new technology area and written on some good topics. I am an application architect, so I tried to put my real life technical experience on my blog posts. I always try to give some value addition to my readers. So I do not have any fixed plan like posting 5 posts/ week etc. But I try to add posting on regular interval on GOOD and NEW topics.

    Have a look at my BLOG : http://www.techalpine.com


  5. First will be to find aged, authority and high pagerank domain with natural backlinks.

    Second will be to perform indepth keyword research.

    Thirst will be create a complete list of long tail keywords in your niche.

    Then you will need to spend some time in crafting and developing some great informative articles. And as you said 10 to 15 articles as draft.

    Finally you should have a complete linkbuilding strategy and you must follow some basic SEO guidelines.

  6. When we started our blog three years ago, we posted a couple short blog posts to populate the space – it was more about getting a visual sense of what the blog would look like. Reading those blog posts now makes me shudder! We’re doing better now, I promise.

    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

  7. I actually started a Blogger blog for my family history, decided it was pretty cool and added a couple more Bloger blogs. A couple weeks later, I decided to go to self-hosted WordPress. I did have a number of posts to load right away. I have posted 5 days a week most weeks but feel the content is a little too broad. I may split the site into two sites in the future.. Thanks for the tips.

    • I had the same problem with my primary (and first) blog. Be careful when you split off though. When I did, I found that I didn’t have enough posts to really keep going. It was frustrating.

      • Totally agree Dan! Three blogs later and I’m going back to my original and concentrating on it. I do not post enough, but I’ve come to the conclusion that reinventing the wheel is futile. By that I mean, I kept (keep?) thinking each post had to be about an as-yet-never-posted-about type post. Since then I’ve come to my senses thanks to the help of some wonderful folks (including this blog).

        The other one (of three) I want to keep since I can do whatever I want. The problem is the domain name (not the one associated with this comment). THAT I’d change in a heartbeat (and still might since it would make my life easier).

        You do need to be in it for the long haul and have a strategy (or mind map) so I’m loving this post!

        Time to bring my brain out of its dormant state :)

  8. I’ve done a variation of your ideal scenario with a couple of blogs. I’ve started with 3-5 posts ready to go when the blog is launched and usually 15-20 ideas for future posts. The step that I’ve skipped over is #2, though it’s a great idea to have a few posts ready to publish. I should try that in the future!

  9. I started my personal blog with no posts, just a few ideas. It took me a long time before I had very many visitors (still don’t have that many…).

    My business site started with 3 posts and when I launched it, I had a goal of publishing a post every weekday for 3 months. In the early days, it wasn’t that hard but other times, it was like pulling teeth to come up with ideas (mainly for a weekly video series I published on Fridays)

    When I launch another site, I think I’m going to start with about a month’s worth of posts ready to go (scheduled) and 2 weeks already published. That will provide enough room to write without feeling forced to write.

  10. I so wish I had read this post before launching my new blog that I recently released. I did so many mistakes – No content ready, got busy in the first few weeks etc. Since I had a very less starting budget, I had to handle a lot of design aspects myself and believe me, it is like a desert storm – you cannot see or do anything else and can waste long hours everyday doing design and tech works only. Take my advice, either hire a tech guy if you have money or test blog design aspects on a local server like WAMP well before launching impulsively.

    One thing that works in my favor though is that I have been there and done this and have failed quite a few times and that has taught me to always hold on to a clear vision for the blog, which I have for webpreneur.in. Having a long term vision for your blog will always help you break the writer’s block.

    Thanks Darren, this advice is for keeps.

  11. What I have done when I started my first Blog I had nothing except the idea and plenty of time to post everyday (only for 10 days :) ), Now when I was supposed to start another Blog I prepared my self and wrote some 5 articles beofore getting started, and what happened.

    I forgot and just hit with a crazy idea sitting alone and started a new blog with on another topic and that all those post written are still out there somewhere never used.

  12. I believe that there should be at least 8-10 posts online when you launch a blog. These posts must give a fair idea of the topics you are going to cover in the initial days of blogging. And of course, having a few drafts at this point is a must as it will help to update the blog in a day or two from the launch date till a week or two.

    For the further stages, having a well-planned editorial calender is important as it will help to manage the flow, or may be create a flow of posts. A few posts can be put up in different parts to hook the visitors for the next update.

  13. I wish I could say that I started with such a well-thought-out plan, but not so much. My primary blog has gone through several changes and relaunches and continues to cause me stress as I try to figure out what to do with it. I want to cover so much, but end up going days (weeks?) sometimes without a post. It started off well enough, with the key posts, but that was years ago. It’s not starting the blog I’m having trouble with…it’s keeping it going! So it goes.

  14. I planned on creating one great post for each of my categories. For the most part I stuck to this plan. I found out the hard way why it’s a great idea to have posts in draft mode on stand by. I wish I would have read this before launching my site.

    Great informative post!

  15. Hi Darren,

    Once I hear about launching strategy I am always remember about article pillars. Create our pillar content is essential. Create 5-10 really killer pieces of very valuable content for our new blog. This is our showcase of our best stuff so as to “sell” our blog to new readers when they arrive. Since nobody is yet reading our blog, just publish each piece of content as soon as we finish it is a good bet.

  16. I think that the more material that you have prepared from the start the more likely that it is that your blog will hit the ground running. It is also a good idea to have a variety of different kinds of posts to set the groundwork for the style of blogging that you intend to use. If you are going to post lists of links or other curated content posts then it is a good plane to have a few of these ready to go. Taking the time to collect images and video that you intend to use can take the pressure off of your posting schedule when you come to make posts too.
    Great topic Darren- one that is overlooked most of the time. I really should make the effort to come to one of your events. As a fellow Melbournian it isn’t often that I get such a good opportunity to meet up with a Problogger!

  17. Actually, I just create one post at a time at the begining i.e. no strategy at all. My view is that getting out there live is more important then…


  18. I wish I had read this before starting my blog but thats okay I am so new that I can still use some of these ideas I like the tip of writing a few evergreen post to have on hand.I dont have 20 brainstormed Ideas but I think this weekend I am going to work up a list.Thanks

  19. For the first year of my blogging I was posting weekly but I was running six blogs that means one post daily for one blog; but now when I merged all the six into one I have to write simply one post and that is also focused one; I so far wrote many posts with lot of research, some other with less homework and some others with no work and just full of verbosity that is why now I am reaping what I have cultivated; some of my posts have huge traffic while rest are just staling in the darkness. That is why new bloggers must consider their each post the first and final post as if the very survival of your blog depends on it. In this way you would have a high-quality content bank and your every post has top-page google ranking

  20. When I launched Keep the Tail Wagging, my goal was to have 50 posts, but I had 25-30 published and scheduled. That trend has continued today and I have my blog scheduled out by 45-60 days and I always have 15-20 drafts waiting.

    The pro to this was hitting the ground with loads of steady, quality content. The con was the amount of time I’d spend reorganizing my editorial calendar when a great and timely story idea came up. But that was when I posted 5-6 days a week. Now I post 3-4 days a week and have plenty of room to add a timely story.

    ~ Kimberly

  21. I used to go on a writing binge and write 5-10 awesome posts a day. I wanted to only post one or two but really had to post a few more as they were interlinked and the information led from one to the other.

    I got excited about the content too! I really do know how you feel. :)

    To launch a blog, I like to have base pages, 5 awesome posts to fill up the homepage and schedule 20 more for the first month. All of this should be based on a plan, usually from keyword research. I would concentrate on keywords in the niche that have less competition, easy targets, only until the site has the authority to knock everyone else from their ranks. After that I would go for the big traffic articles with huge competition.

  22. Excellent post. You really dialed that in. It’s the simple principles that worked for people that have already been where we are heading and desire to be that we should pay close attention to.Thanks for keeping it real and I always look forward to your next post!

  23. I think the best approach is to post at a sustainable rate and keep a few posts up your sleeve to keep pressure off yourself and prevent writer’s block.

  24. thanks for this valuable post ,i just want to ask is it mandatory to drop your keyword in blogs with in 50 words?and I heard Google is going to update Panda/Penguin so perhaps keyword concept will affected in latest update,is it really true?

  25. How Much Content Should I Have ReadBefore the launch of my latest blog I gave myself a month to do some planning and writing. I went ahead and wrote about 20 posts and had an additional 30-40 topics or post titles ready.
    My blog covers 4 specific topics under the umbrella of family and I planned to post everyday. So the first week I had an introductory post and then one for each of the categories. As the weeks have moved on I have tried to keep things balanced, but some weeks focus more on marriage or parenting than others.
    The great thing is, because of the preparation I did at the beginning I haven’t struggled to come up with new content.
    I think if you do go with the second option of launching with several posts at the same time that you need to make sure an include interlinks, making it easier for people to go back and read these posts.y to Go When I Launch a Blog?

  26. I guess the situation is highly dependent on how comfortable you are writing about the topic(s) covered on your blog. You’ll probably going to need 15-20 posts anyway just so you can perfect the design.

  27. Great tips Darren to pre-bloggers……… Starting the blog with more than sufficient post ready is an excellent idea…. The blog will then have a regular post update and build interest quickly among the followers…. Thanks for sharing…..

  28. Great post Darren.

    I wrote around 10 posts before launching my blog, and then I had a list of headlines and post ideas for the future. But, I found that the ten posts that I wrote were not the highest quality because I was focusing on just getting them done rather than trying to write epic content.

    That was definitely the biggest mistake I made when launching the blog. No regrets though, it was a great learning experience.


  29. I started my blog with 10 posts, but before I started I search for the keyword for my niche and that helped me get visits.

  30. I tend to get super-excited about a new blog when I first start it up. I find making a general map of how the site should look (i.e. how the menu should be arranged) helps me focus on what the right posts are for the website.

  31. Darren, I want to say that this is the content I was looking for mostly because it is fresh and updated to the latest trends.

    I recently started a blog on personal achievement and since the competition is high, it is very difficult to get comments and to get people be loyal. However, the one strategy that I am going to stick to is never giving up. I will always post every few days and I will improve my knowledge about blogging. I know that, in the long term, this will put me in front of the competition.

  32. When I started my blog just under a month ago, I never did any research about keywords or SEO, or even a domain name. I just wanted to be out there. I never had any drafts or scheduled posts ready. I learnt all of this after the fact (esp reading on professional blogs like this). I learnt everything as I went along, and now after only 22 days I’m on my 45th post, almost 1800 visits and a few rss subscriptions (big thank you to you my readers). Not bad for a personal blog that was started up with very limited resources. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store.

    If I had the opportunity to, I’d also give the same expert advice as you did now to pre-bloggers. Thank you.

  33. Very sound advice, Darren. Sometimes though people need to do whatever it takes to push them into a new dream. When I started my blog, LazySusanSpeaks, I launched with one post. I didn’t even know what blogging was, but knew I wanted to write. On the same day that I decided not to renew a teaching contract, I started my first blog. I was so scared. To up the ante for myself, I designed the site, wrote the post, and then, sent the link to everyone I knew telling them of my new adventure. I had committed myself big time. Every day I feverishly wrote. As I got into the groove, I was able to get at least a week ahead. At that point I was posting daily. It wasn’t perfect, but it did get me started. I have evolved into self-publishing. Now my blog posts (3/wk) are done a month ahead of time, and I am busy with the million other things one needs to keep up with to have a successful site.

  34. Blogging is not certainly an easy task. You have a plan how you want to develop your site. Here patience in the key to success. I saw sometimes bloggers make haste to develop his site. But it is not good. He must have a work plan & do accordingly.

    Thanks for elaborate discussion how a blogger moves forward

  35. 15 – 20 posts will be just perfect for a new blog.

  36. I started with so many ideas on my mind regarding the content that I’ll place on my first blog, but I ended up having fewer than I expected.

  37. That’s a really great article Darren.
    Personally I have started many blogs but I am one lazy fellow. I never ever publish 3-5 posts when I launch the blog. One post is enough for me. And to add to my problems, I neither have posts ready in my draft nor do I have any ideas to work upon.
    I don’t know why I don’t work on writing proper posts at the beginning!

  38. Hi Darren, i think that brainstorming and too much planing can kill your blog even before its birth. Many people just keep thinking and planing for long about what to write and publish in first few days of their blogging journey. Some people write and rewrite drafts without publishing a single post. The best strategy is to write a single blog post and publish it as soon as you can and then start working on next post and so on. You don’t need 5, 10 or 20 blog posts ready to start. You just need 1 blog post and Thats it. Nobody cares that how many blog posts you are posting in start because at that time nobody knows your blog exists except search engines. And best way to tell the search engine about your blog is to post frequently. its best to write and post 2 or 3 posts a week rather then 50 in 1 go.

  39. I have a few blogs online and I make my money online full-time. I read tons and tons of stuff about Internet Marketing over the years and I tried all “techniques”. But, to be honest, the only thing which always worked and still works is adding content. So the more you have, the better. You can launch with 5 posts but then you better add at least 1 more every day. I know that sounds hard and we all don’t wanna hear it but that is what the Internet is about – content. The more you have, the more visitors you have. The more visitors, the more money. I’m just challenging myself posting 5 posts a day (i know, crazy) until the end of the year. But I really believe that is the key.

    • Damien Hooper says: 08/15/2017 at 8:53 pm

      Dude, get yourself some great keyword analysis and you can chill out on the prolification a little.

  40. Hmmm..

    I kinda agree with what others have wrote in that how many posts your blog has to begin with is relatively unimportant because for the most part nobody is looking anyway.

    What’s important is keeping the content going and maintaining interest. For that purpose it doesn’t matter if you are with 1 post or 1000.

  41. Thanks for the tips Darren,

    I should have read this post before I had started my new blog. But Still I will try to keep 5 to 10 posts in my draft mode. Seriously I am unable to concentrate on designing and writing at the same time. As my blog is new I am tweaking a bit of design now and then and I am wasting lot of time in it. When it comes to writing and publishing an article it is taking nearly 2 to 3 days. If at all I had 5 to 10 posts ready then when I am busy with tweaks I could publish a post and continue my work.

    I also need to brainstorm for at least 20 more posts and keep them ready as I get struck on what to write next if at all I have 20 such ideas on what to write I can easily manage writing without any pause.

    So I will take some break and keep 5 posts ready and then keep my posts coming…

  42. Great post. Being a beginner into blogging world, such informations are so useful and helps me keep my thinking straight.
    Very interesting post you have here. Thanks ;)

  43. I started out where, by the time I was writing something, I’d have backlogged material to post. I’ve gotten a little bit behind and find myself having to write something and post it pretty quickly. But at any given time, I’m reading a dozen or so books, two or three of which I plan to write a post on, and i post on whichever I finish first.

    It works for now as far as staying productive but I’d like to map out a better plan in the future.

  44. Oops, did it all wrong. Just started with one post and then thought of more. I’m not prolific. I post about once a week. But some of my posts are “epic.” Telling the story of my Mother leaving Russian with Rags on her feet, being Kissed by Wolves and last week, Flunking Pasta Making in Italy. But I do keep a lot of ideas in Evernote so that there’s always something percolating.

    I appreciate all the information you share on this blog. Thanks.

  45. I started my blog fairly recently and launched with two posts. Yep, just two.

    The ‘How much content’ question was something I did worry about initially, but my rationale was simple.

    When you launch your site you’re not going to get a sudden flood of visitors, it just doesn’t work like that. It takes time (quite a lot of it sometimes!) to get peoples attention and start gaining traction, so I’m not too concerned about currently being a bit ‘content embarrassed’.

    My main priority is to add really good quality content and not dilute it with any ‘padding’.

    Hopefully, once my site starts gaining traction it will be because of quality not quantity :)

  46. I totally agree with the Draft Tip although I never managed to do so ;-)

    Now, with the increasing amount of time I need for writing articles, I have to plan my content well in advance to not loose my focus. And in the end that’s the important factor too, right?

  47. Sorry Darren to disagree again but 3-5 doesn’t go close.

    But that given, depends on your launch strategy.

    If you simply launch we no publicity, no contacting people, PR etc yeah 3-5 is all very well and good.

    But lets pretend that you can actually get decent attention with your launch…I know you certainly could. People come in (in a spike, be it small/M/L) to check out your new site.

    Do you really want to present them 3-5 posts or 20 or even 100 posts that highlight the full range of topics/ subtopics you want to cover?

    The key with ANY good launch is like catching a fish: once you get them interested you want to hook them into reading the site. 3-5 posts doesn’t even come close. At a standard, depending on the site I’d say 10 but more 20+ posts, and depending on the topic possibly more.

    Of note is that Gawker sites use to launch (out of private, ie non-Googlable) with often 100+ posts, that’s because when people come looking they want to cater for them with a variety of options.

    • I can only write from my own experience. The last 3 blogs I launched I launched with a handful of posts live. In fact when I launched dPS I launched it with 2 posts live and it’s my biggest blog today. I guess there are different ways of doing it with no real rules.

      But I guess it comes down to your style and this relates to my ‘posting frequency’ post that you took issue with too. i.e.: I argued that 1 post a day is ok if that’s all you can manage but you argued for quite a few more. I guess if that’s your strategy then having 10-20 posts ready to go on launch isn’t too much of a stretch but if you’re posting once per day (as I always do on a launch) then having 20 posts live is 20 days of content and probably over kill.

  48. I thinks quality beats quantity! Some famous blogs are usually famous for the few great posts that actually inspired and help people solve their problems. I launched my site few months ago with only 1 post but full with great original killer content on black hat SEO and I immediately had new subscribers signing up.

    What I would recommend to all new bloggers is to be honest to them self and the reader will respect the honesty and they will come back. If you try to make a blog look like some other famous blog you are cheating your readers and that is not good if you want to build a returning audience.

    Look at every post as a new project or as an article published in a popular newspaper and try to publish weekly to give a bigger value to the posts.

    • Sorry Robert, but balls.

      I do agree that quality is an import part, damn its the most important part.

      But seriously if you launch a new site how much “quality” is there to see if you only have 3-5 posts up.

      Remember, and this is my key: it’s like catching a fish. Your launch is like catching a fish, you need to have bait out.

      3-5 posts is little bait, unless you’re lucky enough to have the fisherman to be epically into your niche. I’ll admit it’s not impossible, but likewise, look at the odds.

      What’s your chance of getting ever one person who loves your little bit of bait (3-5 posts) when you could got 20+ and your bait is not only far wider, but could also catch more fisherman.

      That’s where we are at: Darren is a good guy (I’ve been a partner with him before) but Darren works in big numbers, huge numbers, and I don’t. I work in numbers that are realistic.

      And hooking say 5-20 people is cool

      With appropriate bait.

  49. I try to have 5-10 posts up in the first month, then 1-3 per week after that. This is less intimidating than trying to map out the whole life of your blog up front. Not all of these have to be “epic posts” but on topic news stories, videos etc. are great to share your views about related topics with your readers. These shorter posts mixed in with your longer posts makes for an active blog.

  50. My strategy is one post in a week, but this is high quality post with high quality photos, not more.

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