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The First Week Of Your New Blog – What Do You Do?

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of February 2010 Reader Questions 0 Comments

Next week here on ProBlogger I will be beginning a series of posts with tips for bloggers in the first week (or month) of their blog.

I’m halfway through writing it (I’m hoping it’ll be useful to established bloggers starting second blogs too) already and have a heap of content written but thought it might be good to include a few reader and Twitter follower tips scattered through it as well.

I’m not so much looking for tips on Pre-Launch stuff like getting a domain, choosing a blog platform etc – I’m more looking for short tips on taking a blog that is set up to being an active blog.

So if you have any tips for bloggers starting out – I’d love to see them in comments below. I won’t be able to use them all but those I do I’ll certainly credit back with a link to your blog.

All I’d suggest is that you try to keep your tips relatively short and to the point as I’ll be using these as short snippets at the end of my posts.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Update: this series has been updated and compiled with other similar posts into ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging – a week long guide into getting your blog going on the right foot.

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. My favorite thing to do with new blogs is to convert my 3 best posts from the first 2 weeks and upload them as articles to Ezine Articles.

    I always wait until the posts are indexed by Google first, which can take up to a week.

    Then I post one a week to encourage traffic. I keep an eye on my Ezine stats to see which article gets the most click-throughs. I study that article to give me clues as to why it was the most effective.

    And then write more posts and articles using the clues I’ve discovered.

  2. In addition to the previous good advice–

    if you go with WordPress.org be careful of the free themes. Many are not compatible with the latest versions of WordPress. If you download them and they’re not compatible they can really mess things up. I speak from experience. It was a nightmare.

    I’m looking forward to the series as well.

  3. A couple things that are helping me out that I don’t think I see here:

    1. blog notebook: for goals/ideas, usernames/passwords and info on all of the cool widgets/sites, etc. that I have signed up for.

    2. I bring my digital camera everywhere I go to get pics for my blog.

    3. I took a bunch of pictures of myself and use these for all profiles having to do with OB Rach.

    4. I carry a mini digital recorder around to capture ideas that I want to write about because I seem to get lots of ideas while I am in my car.

    I hope this helps!

  4. 1. Publish a few posts in advance before announcing your blog to the public
    2. Start commenting and participating in online communities long before you start your blog.
    3. Use social networking to your advantage
    4. Install necessary plugins and widgets (such as Google Analytics, Sitemap generator, social bookmarking links)
    5. Don’t have too many ads at the start
    6. Use a decent blog layout
    7. Engage your readers by asking questions – like what Darren did with this post :)
    8. Have a measurable goal before starting (eg: 100 RSS subscribers by the end of the month)
    9. Write an about page
    Last but not least, write a lot of good content. Content is always the king.

  5. Obviously its pretty important to set your goals. But I think the best tip when starting out is to write a post about your niche or industry.

    A list of related bloggers, important links etc is not only good linkbait and quality content to begin with, it forces you to view the industry or niche outside of your bubble and can provide countless resources, contacts and ideas to draw upon in the future.

  6. Do not be afraid to participate in carnivals!

    I was really nervous before submitting a post and had all kinds of thoughts like “Is this good enough? What if it isn’t included? I’ve only been blogging for a month, there’s no way I’m ready to participate!”

    But then I just did it and got tons of traffic to my blog. Best decision I’ve made so far.

  7. Oh, here’s my contribution:
    Find a nice blog design and go with it.
    Write, write, write posts and invite your readers to participate
    Leave comments on other blogs that are in same niche as you
    Offer a free “something” to entice people to join your mailing list
    Make sure your posts are well-written. No spelling errors, no bad grammar, etc.
    Be professional
    Be yourself
    Don’t give up

  8. The first thing I did my first week was take a deep breath, happy I made it through week one.

    I made small realistic goals and wrote those goals on a post-it and stuck it to the monitor.

    I organized my week by theme days so I would have a base and from there I plan to add more lengthy articles.

    I started commenting on other blogs.

    Stopped checking stats every 5 mins.

    Carry a small notebook around.

  9. In my opinion, in the first week of a Blog launch, you should always try to have the attitude that your Blog is complete and you are just adding more content to it.

    Don’t promote your Blog when it is not complete, or you are changing the design all the time, because you will be wasting your time promoting it as you will have a low conversion rate of people returning.

  10. I’d say – work out how you want your voice to sound. Be unique in your voice, because sometimes that is all that makes you stand out from a crowd.

  11. @Brian…Thanks for such an encouraging comment :)

  12. this is good timing, I recently started a blog myself. This weblog is about two or three weeks old now and it and I could definitely use the help.

    There has been one thing I’ve been struggling with, well a couple things but I have one question. I want to have a few pages or posts on my site that had different templates, like a sales page. four of the life of me I just can’t figure how to do this.

  13. It would be great if you could spread it over a month, like 30 days to build a better blog. Each day could be some new task for bloggers to comlpete.

  14. When first launching a blog, it can consume you. Remember to keep living your life, and your posts will become more appealing to readers. Being a hermit leads to writer’s block and burn out.

  15. Starting off is tough, but here are some simple steps:

    1. Write down a plan/strategy
    2. Break sections of the plan into manageable segments.
    3. Execute and follow your plan!

    Stay on course and be passionate about your topic. Good content is first priority, but remember to include SEO as part of the plan to driving traffic because you can have the best content and no one know about it!

  16. I’m sure this has been mentioned, but I would make sure I had at least a half dozen posts ready and scheduled to be made live when I launched. I would also make sure to allow anonymous commenting! Personally, I started getting a lot more comments on my San Diego Chargers blog by allowing anonymous commenting. Remove the barrier of entry, and if you are so worried about spam, just delete any that you get. It’s worth the extra work in my opinion.

  17. The first week of my new blog is write the plan that what content that i want to put in my blog. After that share my post and make other people know i already write a post by share it with media like facebook, twiiter , hi5 , yahoo messenger and many more. The point of my first week is to get traffic to my blog. only that.

  18. First week is dedicated to setting up the template, delete the nofollow tag for comments, upload one post, submit to directories, and generally doing many one-off administrative tasks.

  19. The first I thing I do with my blog during the first week of this month is replacing my hosting from free wordpress to paid own hosting.
    I plan to build a better blog for my organization to promote community ecological tours in Ujungkulon National Park.

  20. Today I will be on blog number 14 of my 30 day challenge. I’ve found that having the a voice/passion/purpose with my blog has made it an amazing experience. So my advice is:

    Spend time coming up with the purpose of your blog. What are you passionate about? What can you offer others that will improve their lives and yours? What will your “blog voice” sound like? Having a core theme that you are passionate about will help keep your motivation flowing.


  21. Hi Darren,

    I’m also new to blogging, just launched my blog. The thing that hit me when I started was that there are too many people out there telling you how to do things and how to blog, this can even drive a Tibetan ox insane! and so many hours of reading other blogs – it didn’t leave me time to do my work. How did I solve this?

    Tip: Choose your blogging guru!

    The idea is to follow one top blogger you believe in through fire and water, and every time you ask yourself “how do I do this?” just go and see how he resolved the problem (and stop there, don’t keep going).

    I wrote a post about how to choose your blogging guru, explaining why I chose Yaro Starak as my Blogging Guru. You can read more about it there.

    I hope this is helpful.


  22. After the initial excitement wears off it can sometimes be hard to keep the momentum going in writing new posts. My advice is to launch into writing a series of posts. Something with a timeframe like ‘every day this week I’m going to explore a different …’ or ‘every Monday I will put the spotlight on …’ or ‘every month I will interview a well known …’ and so on. It puts the pressure on a bit but it’s great for motivation!

  23. My problem since being a blogger – especially during the first week- is without a doubt being apprehensive when contacting other websites/writers based around my niche. For the 60% no-replies I get the other 40% brings a plethora of golden opportunities.

  24. 1. Get into habit of including an image with some of your posts – partly for visual effect, but mainly so you can add meta description etc.
    That way you’ll find a proportion of your traffic coming from image search. That works well for me on a blog about tractors. Just checked Analytics for that blog, gives about 3% extra traffic.

    2. Don’t automatically blog about blogging and/or making money just because everyone else does. You’ll be competing with the best guys in the business.
    Smaller, more traditional niches and industries are easier.

    10% of a small niche is probably better than 0.00000001% of a large topic.

  25. My first step is to think of a way to get traffic.

  26. I launched my first blog a week ago, and since I am already addicted to Google Analytics, I noticed that my traffic spiked from 30/40 visits a day to 200 visits one day when I mentioned a product on my blog, emailed the company, and they then referred to me on Facebook. I’m learning that a lot of traffic comes from networking with others, so I am going to have to make that a priority.

  27. Please hurry! I am in my first week and I need more tips! lol. I think I am getting the general idea but I feel its alot to take in. Maybe I should take a day off before I burn myself out! I definitely would say keep your personality in your blog(s) no matter what. I had a few launched and failed blogs in the past and I feel that I was too much like a rock (as in my personality was equivalent to one in my posts) I finally got my first comments on my second? post I think it was and compliment on my writing style on one of my blogs (I am simultaneously working on 5 right now) and its because I just told myself to try something different and show my personality on all my posts. It seems to be working for me so far. :)

  28. Once the blog is up, what I’ve learned is that I need to continue to:

    – Focus on content first, middle and last. Content isn’t just posts; it includes the about or reference/resource page(s) you set up, how pics display, your blogroll. Check it all. Make it right.

    – Write something EVERY DAY. Writers write. You don’t have to *publish* everything you write – the ‘save draft’ button is your best friend. But scribble in a notebook or keep a draft word processing doc; write something. Set aside some time – 15 minutes, a half-hour – and write something. Your writing muscles (and that elusive voice everyone keeps talking about) only develop if you use them.

    – PROOFREAD. Re-read, edit, make corrections, use a spell-checker and grammar-checker. Proofread before you hit the ‘publish’ button, and then proofread it again on the blog page. And if you find a mistake, go back in and correct it. It’s not a crime to fix a mistake – but it’s just lazy to let an error or type sit out there on the ‘net as if you hadn’t noticed it.

  29. And it’s really embarrassing to put up a comment on a blog exhorting people to proof their stuff, and have a typo in it. Arggh!

  30. Create a plan and implement.

    Decide what topics you’re going to cover ~ create relevant categories
    Decide what products you’d like to promote for those topics and get your links in order
    Create an editorial calendar to get ideas flowing and get rid of the time spent “thinking up post ideas”.
    Write, write, write.
    Get into relationship with others ~ find other blogs/forums/twitter folks who have related interests and start interacting.
    Remember to write first, interact second ~ because your content is the most important thing!

  31. I think the most valuable advice for 1st week will be to write quality content and expand yor network

  32. I am just preparing to launch my second major blog – PracticalManliness.com.

    Therefore, I have obviously been doing a lot of thinking recently about blog launches.

    Here are some of the lessons I have learned:

    – Build a following before you launch by building a landing page.

    – Write lots of good content before the launch so you can focus on marketing for the first bit.

    – Start off with a small giveaway. (This is the first time I am trying this technique, and I think it will work really well because I have build a large following already.)

    – Use social media to build interest (I am using Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz.)

    I hope some of these tips help others start their blogs off well!

    Thank you, Darren for this opportunity to share!

  33. Take your time to craft a couple of really great posts. And enjoy being able to do so without feeling pressured to churn out content (you’ll have those chomping-at-the-bit readers soon enough!) Never think that it’s a waste of time to produce your very best work at the start of your blog’s life: you can link back to these early posts as your blog grows.

  34. George Mutale says: 02/14/2010 at 7:03 am

    I will be waiting for these posts because am about to release and launch my blog…… But is there anything like studying/knowing your target audience??

  35. From the very beginning define a continuous goal and split it in small ones, decide measures to achieve them (tasks, activities, work routines), then track your progress and act based upon the conclusions.

  36. The reason you started a blog is probably because you have something to say. You don’t have to have a heap of posts written up but a list of your topics and ideas that you can add to will keep you inspired and writing.

    I would say write to a schedule, I have a weekly schedule and on each day of the week I just write for that day… Don’t worry about incoming comments, don’t worry about stats… to begin with. Do get comment love and do get commenting. Make sure your comments are intelligent and work on making your titles interesting. People will see them wherever you comment and will follow the interesting titles back to your blog.

    Remember don’t be disheartened by a slow start… with blogging slow and steady wins the race… Be consistent and make friends in the blog world. What goes around comes around so link to others and they will link back to you!!!

    Most important love what you are doing and have fun because it will reflect on your blog!!!

  37. Darren, This is much overdue. I think the ONLY thing Problogger is not great at is content for beginners. I have just started my second blog (four years after my first blog) and I have been looking for beginner blogging ideas.

    Look forward to the posts. Here is my 2c:
    1. Before you write one post create a master list of blog ideas. You should have at least 20 ideas on the list and keep adding to it. Then you can churn them out on whatever schedule you choose.
    2. Before officially “launching” your blog have at least 20 posts and everything in place. Then tell everyone you know and spend an hour a day commenting on other blogs.
    3. Spend as much time reading other blogs as you do writing.

  38. Don’t burn off a lot of time writing a first post that basically welcomes readers. You’d figure the initial post — the hello, world! part — would be among the most important assignments you give yourself. You’d be wrong. Instead, put your energies into a brilliant on-topic post that’ll have great shelf life — a so-called tentpost article.

  39. All of the above, They all have different experience from their blogs. One thing I had to learn was to be very patience because there is a learning curve going on.

    Make sure you get the most professional advice such as problogger. Stay in a nich that you personally love. Take some online classes for creative writing. Stay focus. Stay connected with other bloggers. Make sure you connect your blog with twitter or other networks such as Stumble upon..

  40. Building a successful blog is a lot of work. Do not give into the hype that in a matter of weeks you will have massive amounts of traffic, money coming in and be ranking on the first pages of search engine results.

    My simple tips:
    – Blog regularly
    – Content is king (keep your content original and interesting)
    – Apply simple SEO techniques (you don’t need to employ a SEO company when just starting out)
    – Use Social Media (build a friend network not just a business one)
    – Follow other successful bloggers to learn from them (like Darren)
    – Be different
    – HAVE FUN

    While there is a lot to learn and employ, starting with the basics will give you a good foundation to grow from.

  41. Take two!

    Actually my number one tip for any new (or not so new) blogger is to look at offline blogging tools such as Windows Live Writer. It really turned my blogging around as it lets me be more in sync with my writing as opposed to trying to write directly in WordPress.

    Good luck everyone!

  42. Permalinks!

    Think through whether your posts will be dated or not. If you’re a political site obviously you’ll want dates in your permalinks. If you’re reviewing a product, say, you probably don’t want your posts to be “dated” (literally and figuratively).

    I’m just over one month old and I’m glad I determined my approach on week 2 or so.

    Look forward to your series,

  43. Stick to only 3 categories for your blog in the first 3 months, carefully selecting your default category and re-evaluate at the end of this time. This will help you focus your content. Try writing just 3 posts per week on a regular basis, one for each category.

  44. Actually today is my first day of finishing my first week of blogging for the first time. I did the seo on wordpress as much as I know. Then wrote 4-5 articles. Submitted to google webmasters site. Used pingers. Participated on forums , commented on other blogs. Tried to build some backlinks. I try to write atleast alternate days.

  45. Mine is a question.

    Would you structure your site as a static one such as http://www.yourdomain.com and then add your blog as a
    directory such as http://www.yourdomain.com/blog ?

    Thanks and could you give the pros and cons for either option?

  46. Hi Darren – reading through all the comments is interesting in itself – so I am really looking forward to your new series of posts.

    I agree with Ami – falling into the trap of reading too much ‘expert’ advice can be counter productive. Just like leafing through an old photograph album you can get distracted too easily!

    My tips for the absolute beginner would be:-

    Choose your advice carefully and go back to blogs you find clear and easy to use.

    Apportion a certain amount of time to ‘research and learning’ and then leave it and get on with writing! No excuses!


  47. The biggest challenge for me when I started blogging was moving from the mindset of a content writer to a blogger. I can churn out great, search-engine happy content, but I was really clueless about how to manage my own site.

    Through my experiences, I’ve set an SOP of sorts for myself:
    1 – Identify a structure.
    Look at the sites I love and figure out what in the structure of the site makes visitors navigate through it. For example, I love Problogger and No Job for Mom. After my 5th attempt at launching a quality blog, I realized that each of these sites use navigation menus at the top and a homepage that features several posts. Each also helps guide visitors to where the blogger wants the user to go.

    2 – Use titles to visualize the structure of my blog.
    Before going live, I set up several titles in the categories that I want to cover by posting them in the non-live version. No content – just titles.

    3 – Write content.

    4 – Engage with other blogs.

    5 – Go live.

    6 – Post related articles and content on other sites linking back to my blog.

    7 – Monitor stats and use trends to either write new content or tweak current content.
    Who’s giving me traffic? What keywords are people searching for? Is my content driving enough organic traffic?

    8 – Repeat steps 3, 4, 6, and 7.

  48. Don’t try to be all things to all people, this will have you spinning and overwhelmed only to give up before you have begun. Determine your niche within your niche and create a brand and an identity through plenty of content in your own unique voice. Stayed focused and commited to the content.

  49. Hi Darren

    Looking forward to the post, here are some ideas from me, I would:
    1) Research how to start a blog – might aswell get the basics out the way early
    2) Write and schedule blog posts for two weeks in advanced – Free up your spare time
    3) Brainstorm blog topics – decide the direction the blog will be going
    4) Decide on blog categories – set up the infrastructure
    5) Create an RSS Feed – make it easy to access
    6) Add all plugins – get all the faffing around out of the way early
    7) Write an introduction page – tell people who you are
    8) Write more content, and write some more again, and again, and again.. Until you cant write any more
    9) Comment on other bloggers posts – get the name out there
    10) Keep it up – most importantly most bloggers fail because they quit to early

    Goodluck fellow bloggers.

  50. Hi,

    nice topic to discuss as usual. What i do on my blog during first week is, I try to decide on my keywords, do the market research for them. Basically I focus on analysis only, during the first week.


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