Blog Launch Plan: How To Launch Your Brand New Blog From Scratch, In 14 Steps (Updated For 2020)

Last Updated on March 20, 2020  

If you want to start and effective launch a blog today, how exactly should you do it? How do you launch a new blog in such a way that it will actually WORK?

Well, it starts out by NOT doing what everybody else does. Namely...

  1. Set some far off launch date for the blog, as if building a blog takes that long.
  2. Tweaking the look and feel in a quest for perfection (when you really don't know what "perfect" is)
  3. Writing a bunch of "pillar posts"
  4. Then removing the wall and letting the blog be "LIVE"!

And, of course, you were imagining the masses just flocking to your blog and melting your servers. Or, perhaps, you were being a realist and knew it'd be a slower buildup. But, then you watch those stats and it seems your new blog just barely gets off ZERO.

Well, maybe one visitor. Your mom. πŸ˜‰

The reality of launching a new blog today isn't nearly as sexy as your imagination may think. Truth is...

Nobody was waiting for your blog. The world didn't really care.

With 2020 seeing almost 32 million bloggers, over 70 million new blog posts per month, and an estimated 500 million blogs worldwide (see the stats), there is just so much out there already that nobody was sitting around waiting for YOU.

So, this obviously begs several questions we must answer:

  • How exactly do you go about launching a brand new blog to the world?
  • How do you gain exposure without it taking the rest of your life?
  • With the Internet becoming more clogged up with new sites every day, how do you stand above the noise?

Well, let's get to it, shall we?

How Do You Get Traffic Online When Blogs (And Traffic) Are Just A Commodity?

If we're going to launch and grow a new blog in today's world, we have to do it like we mean it. The alternative is to remain relatively unnoticed and be continually flat-lined when it comes to your traffic.

Most bloggers "launch" their blog (which, to be honest, is more of a mental switch than anything else) and proceed to begin blogging their little hearts out. They'll blog, share on social, blog some more, share, blog, share... ad infinitum. Perhaps they'll participate in social media groups, try to find guest posting opportunities, try to satisfy the Google gods to get some SEO love... but essentially their main traffic strategy is to blog like there's no tomorrow.

You end up looking kinda like this dude...

And while it can technically work, it is usually slow going. If it works at all. If you don't throw your hands up in frustration first.

That's the game most bloggers play.

But, things have changed. The Internet is a far busier place. The social media platforms are a lot noisier. The quality of online content has increased. Being online today is like wrapping your lips around a firehose. Almost whatever you want to find, you can get it in spades.

Now, how are you, with your new blog, supposed to get noticed?Click To Tweet

The truth is, you have to realize that we live in a "pay to play" environment today.

Traffic is EVERYWHERE. There's no shortage of it. It is like rice. It is, quite literally, a commodity. A commodity is some common resource that you can simply go out and buy. Like rice or coffee. Web traffic is exactly the same way.

You, with your new blog, want some of that commodity called traffic.

Now, the "old" game would be that you would go off into your little corner of the Internet and proceed to try to GROW your own "rice". You literally sew the fields, plant the stuff... do whatever manual labor is associated with growing rice (I really have no idea). And MAYBE you'll get something to grow. If you have a "green thumb". πŸ˜‰

The "new" game - the SMART game - would be to simply to go the store and buy a box of rice for a couple bucks.

On one hand, you've got your rice in a box in about 2 minutes flat... on the other hand you've spent months on end growing it yourself, only maybe to have little to show for it.

Traffic is a commodity. It is everywhere. You've got stores everywhere which sell it to you. Those stores go by names such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest ... and a ton of others.

All you've got to do is be willing to walk in and buy it.

Well Crap, Dave. You're Busting My Bubble Here.

I might look like a nice guy, but I'm here to straight talk you even if it isn't what you wanted to hear. Sorry.

I know... I know...

Everybody wants to build a blog and spend nothing. I get it. Somewhere along the line, people got this idea that you could start some blog, spend absolutely nothing on it, and then monetize it and make a lot of money and do it full time. Reality, though, is usually different.

Your daily life consists of the purchases of tons of commodities. You probably buy groceries, right? You likely don't grow every single thing you eat in your own garden... right?

You buy groceries and goods all the time and you think nothing of it simply because you've been "trained" to understand that they're commodities. You just naturally "get it". The idea of manually creating all your own goods just doesn't occur to you. This is what economies are built upon.

And if you were to start any normal business, it would be considered completely normal and expected that you would need to invest a little money into advertising to let the community know it exists.

You haven't yet made that mental "switch" to understand that internet traffic is pretty much the same way. Once that switch is made, it becomes second nature.

Don't think I'm coming at you here from a place of no experience, either. I've been blogging for over 20 years now, and it has only been in the last 2-3 years or so that I've actually paid to acquire traffic. But, my original technology site that I began in 1998... I'll be the first to tell you that building that site up in TODAY's world the way I did back then would be very, VERY difficult. I'm not sure I could repeat it again in a completely organic way.

My newer RV blog that I'm starting from scratch... I used paid advertising to jump start it. And you can see how that is going here and here, on the RV Blog Reports.

But, let me also make a couple of very important points here:

  1. It is this reason why proper business foundation and monetization strategies I teach inside the THE LAB are so important, because it literally FUNDS your growth. You aren't just throwing money at it without any return, because you'll have a funnel in place that means that the money you spend on traffic is utilized to build your email list and generate sales. Done correctly, you're not just "spending" money... you're breaking even or even profiting WHILE you grow your blog.
  2. We're not talking about huge budgets here. There are people out there who grow their blogs on as little as a dollar per day. Personally, I was spending $5/day to grow my RV blog.

So, trust me...

Any thought that you have about how bad it is to have to spend money on this when you're not making it, know this...

The problem isn't spending money. The problem is your lack of monetization. The solution is to make money, not to avoid spending it.

Put another way...

Monetization isn't something you do after you have traffic. It is something you do SO THAT you can get traffic.Click To Tweet

If you're making money, you won't have a problem spending a little.

Especially when you can clearly see the results.

So, a fundamental part of our blog launch strategy is going to be to set up the business foundation for your blog immediately. From day one.

If all you want is to start up a blog and you don't really care how it works out afterward, there are plenty of blog posts out there (laced with web hosting affiliate links) that will show you how to get set up. You might have a blog when you're done, but nobody will read it.

What I'd like to share with you is a more cohesive blog launch strategy that will actually set you up for success (and potentially profits).

Let's dive in...

The 14-Step Blog Launch Plan

So, I'm now going to walk you through the bird's eye view of how to launch a new blog, in TODAY's Internet.

I'm not going to cover every little nitty-gritty detail on this post, since I have a ton of training and blog posts that cover some of this stuff much more specifically. What I'll do is simply link out to further reading and training where needed.

Okay?

Boom. Let's go...

#1 - Pick Your Niche

Now, the big, BIG key here is that your "niche" is not simply what you intend to blog about. Picking a topic is not your primary concern here.

What we're looking for here is a MARKET. And the final goal here is to arrive at a product/market fit. Or a little more accurately, an offer/market fit.

A market is simply a group of people with a common problem or a common desire and they want to do something about it.

Your offer is simply how you intend to help them do that. As in, what do you intend to offer them to help them solve their problem?

We want to find the intersection between what they want and what you would like to (and are prepared to) give them.

Further Reading: To avoid repeating a lot of details around niche selection, go read The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Niche. In that post, we deep-dive into how to get this done.

It is really helpful here to pretty much forget about blogging. I know that seems weird, but I'm trying to help you get out of the mindset of thinking of your niche as the topic you wish to write blog posts about.

If you want to create a self-fueling blog - one that has monetization built in and can actually fuel it's own traffic - then we need to think not simply about writing, but about the business behind it. And a business needs to provide something people want. Period.

So, figure out who you want to help, how you wish to help them and how it will match up with what THEY are looking for. 

Once the important pieces are in place, the blogging part becomes simple. Trust me.

#2 - Acquire Real Web Hosting And A Domain

You intend to make money with this whole thing? Then don't screw around with free web hosting like Blogger or WordPress.com. Absolute waste of time.

You need land you can control, where you own everything, and you can do what you want. To do that, you need to pay for your hosting.

I have recently begun using WPX Hosting for my primary hosting and these guys are great. In my 20 years in this business, I have never experienced support as FAST as these guys.

Further Reading: To read more about my search for new hosting and how I arrived at using WPX Hosting, click here.

Now, if you want flexibility to use something other than WordPress, or you're really sensitive to budget right now, then I am also a big fan of Siteground Web Hosting

Siteground is your best bet if the lowest signup fee is your priority right now. But, for dedicated WordPress hosting - and the best support I've ever experienced - I'm really digging WPX Hosting right now.

Further Reading: Be a smart shopper for web hosting for your new blog-based business. Check out my no-BS guide on how to choose the right web hosting.

I know a lot of bloggers out there recommend Bluehost or Hostgator. Trust me... don't follow that advice. They do that only for the affiliate commissions and you won't be best served there.

Once you have your hosting secured, just use their 1-click install of WordPress. Easy peasy.

As for your domain, I recommend you use Namecheap. Either Siteground or WPX Hosting will allow you to buy and manage your domains straight from their control panel and if you want maximum convenience, there's no real harm in doing that. My personal preference has always been to manage my domains separately from my hosting. Maybe I'm just old-school. πŸ˜‰

There are some things to keep in mind as you brainstorm your domain name. And, I've got the hookup for you on that.

#3 - Secure A Theme And Page Builder

Now, I want to be clear about something:

Your content is what matters most. Way more than your design.

I know it is really easy to get hung up on the design of your new blog. But, in all my years of doing this, I've seen some seriously ugly websites that make bank... and some gorgeous sites that don't convert worth a damn. So, it is important not to get lost in the details of what your site looks like. You have bigger fish to fry at this point. Plus, you can always change it later.

There are a TON of themes out there. Some free... some paid. There are no many options that it quickly becomes overwhelming. It just paralyzes the decision process.

So, I want to keep things as simple as I can here:

I recommend that you choose Thrive Themes. Specifically, I would recommend that you pick up their Thrive Themes membership which gives you access to all their themes, all their plug-ins - everything.

You can read my full Thrive Themes review right here. Or, here's a video version...

When you pick up Thrive Themes, you're getting what I believe to be the best bang for your buck available right now. While not every tool will be used immediately, you'll have them when you're ready and it will avoid a bunch of follow-up shopping later. But, at this stage, you will have:

  • Thrive Themes. Just choose one and roll with it. You can't go wrong.
  • Thrive Architect. This page builder is awesome. You can even use it to write blog posts and edit pages. And it WILL make your life easy when building the landing pages to test things out here in the beginning.
  • Thrive Leads. You're going to be building that email list right away, so you'll need this.

Now, does this mean that the other tools and themes out there suck? Of course not. But, I've done my homework to try to spare you the hassle. That's my job.

I'm also trying to spare you the lost time while you're out there trying to figure it all out. Yes, there are other nice tools and themes out there. But, decision paralysis isn't going to get you anywhere here.

  1. Pick up your membership to Thrive Themes.
  2. Install Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads.
  3. Pick one of their themes, upload it and activate it.

Then let's move on...

#4 - Conduct Your Market Research

Market research is more of a process than a simple to-do list item. Many people equate it primarily to keyword research, however it is much more than that. Quite frankly, deep-diving into keyword research is enough to make many of us go cross-eyed. πŸ˜‰

Also, it is important not to confuse this with deciding your niche. We did that in Step #1. At this point, you should already have an overall idea of who you want to serve and, roughly, how you'd like to do it. 

Now, we want to begin to fill in the details. We want to learn more about our target market. We want to create that customer avatar profile of them. And we want to figure out the best ways to reach them.

Market research involves a lot of internet surfing, asking questions, talking to people... and taking notes the whole time. You're looking for things like:

  1. Where is your target market hanging out now? What blogs do they already read? What news sites?
  2. What kinds of questions are they asking?
  3. What are they buying?
  4. What social media groups are they using?
  5. What are their basic demographics?

You'll learn this stuff by looking at summary data on various sites, but also by getting involved in that market directly, interacting, reading.

We have a whole process for this inside THE LAB, in the Business Building Bootcamp. The end result will be a large market domination file, a customer avatar profile, and a developed transformation. It is all a guided affair inside the Lab.

But, why is it so important?

  • You'll discover what kinds of lead magnets you can create to attract your target market and get them onto your list.
  • You'll discover what kinds of offers you can create that they'll want to buy.
  • You'll discover their "buttons" so you can talk to them with the most reality.
  • You'll discover how you can find your future audience so you can make them aware of you.

Of interest, at this point, might be that nowhere here have we written a blog post yet. πŸ˜‰ First things first, young grasshopper.

Lastly, this kind of research never really ends. You'll always be learning more about your market. As I said, this is a process, not a to-do list item. So, with that in mind, give yourself no more than 2-3 days doing this. Take notes as you go. Jot down ideas as you get them. Make some bookmarks and subscribe to some blogs so you can keep an eye on what they're doing. But...

Put a cap on it. 2-3 days - tops. Then, you've got enough to go on for sure. Time to press on.

#5 - Set Up Your List Building

If we can't get people to subscribe to our email list, we have nothing to build upon. Your email list is your leverage. It is what gives your new business momentum and makes you less dependent on paid advertising.

So, first off, you need an email list provider. For most of you, I recommend ConvertKit

For the longest time, my official recommendation was Aweber. And, don't get me wrong... I still like Aweber. However, looking ahead at some of the automations that you're likely to create as your business progresses, I think ConvertKit is better designed for that than is Aweber. Aweber's roots are in traditional newsletters while ConvertKit is very blogger-centric and comes with automation capabilities that Aweber does not.

Once your email list hosting is secured, it is time to create your first lead magnet.

For further information on this, check out the Ultimate Guide To Building An Email List: List Building That Works And Makes You Money. The most appropriate training from THE LAB is the Creating An Effective Lead Magnet.

Note, we're most definitely not talking about some massive giveaway offer. Often, the best lead magnets are the shortest and easiest to make.

If you need some help coming up with a lead magnet, here's some ideas to get the juices flowing:

Thrive Leads Shortcode could not be rendered, please check it in Thrive Leads Section!

Next, you'll need to create two landing pages:

  1. A squeeze page to offer the lead magnet.
  2. A "thank you" page for them to view once they opt in for it.

Per my above recommendations, I recommend that you build both of these pages with Thrive Architect. 

Then, to kick things off, you will simply set your site homepage to be your main squeeze page. Go to Settings > Reading and...

For those of you who will do this while you already have a blog in place, that's fine. There's no need for it, but if you already have a blog, there's no need to redirect your homepage. Simply have your squeeze page on your domain somewhere, since we will be directing an ad right to it.

We're very intentionally not worrying much about the blog yet. Our goal here is to test and verify a lead magnet that WORKS as early as possible. This way you will be building your email list from day one.

#6 - Set Up Your Tracking Scripts

So many new blog owners just dive in head first without setting up any tracking at all. They have no idea how much traffic they're getting, what's working and what isn't.

You can't improve what you don't measure.

I recommend you sign up for Google Analytics (it's free). Once you have your account set up, you have a few options to set it up on your blog:

  1. Insert the tracking code manually. Thrive Themes has a built-in way to include code site-wide, so that's your simplest way. Or you could use a generic plug-in like Insert Headers and Footers
  2. Check out the MonsterInsights plug-in. This is a great plugin and there's a free version you can use. Now, they do upsell pretty hard into their paid versions. If you find that annoying, then...
  3. Check out Google Analytics Dashboard for WP By ExactMetrics. This does the stuff I like about MonsterInsights, but without the fluff.

Lastly, I would recommend that you install your Facebook tags on your blog so that you can begin building a retargeting audience. This is yet another point of leverage for your business and will allow you to maximize all returns on any paid traffic you send to your site.

#7 - Set Up Your Social Accounts

This might seem like a side-step - and it is. But, it is a good idea to reserve your brand name on social media early. Go to Facebook and set up a page for this new business. Reserve a Twitter handle, Instagram ... wherever you think you'll be active.

No need to do much with it at this point. We're just ensuring we have the names we want.

In case your domain name is taken on social media, don't stress it. You CAN have social media handles which are different from your domain. It isn't that big a deal.

Another side note... as you set up your blog, you may want to set up social media share buttons. There are plugins for this. Some themes have such options built right in. But...

Don't get carried away. Having a big pile of share buttons on your site does NOT make it more likely people will share. In fact, I got rid of all of them except for Facebook.

#8 - Set Up Your First Ad

OK, time to get your hands dirty. Here's the tough truth...

For a brand new blog which nobody knows about yet, trying to build your traffic right off of ground zero using nothing but blog content is pretty much a fool's errand.  Unless you really nail it with your content, spend multiple hours promoting it and getting it in front of the right eyeballs, you could have some of the best content go unnoticed.

Plus, our primary focus at this point is to test our lead magnet. We want to make sure it works. If we don't have a reliable way to build the list, what's the point of all the blog posts?

So, I am a strong proponent to using paid advertising to "prime the pump". It will all but guarantee you get eyeballs. It will radically speed up the process of testing out your lead magnet. Plus, you can point people right to it... not letting them scatter all of your blog.

You're going to set up your first paid ad and when they click that ad, they'll go right to your squeeze page for your new lead magnet.

Personally, I'm partial to Facebook. I like Facebook ads. And in terms of how to target your audience, this is where all that data from your market research will come on (see step #4).

Facebook Ad I used when I was launching my hobby RV blog. I ended up building a list of over 1,000 people with this ad.

In some markets, Google Ads works much better. People are going to Google and typing in exactly what they're looking for. That method of targeting works better than Facebook in many cases. So, each situation is different.

I would recommend a small budget at this point, seeing as we don't yet have a monetization strategy in place. What we want here is to test the lead magnet and get one that converts. We'll run enough traffic to the squeeze page to get a result (maybe a few hundred people)... then you can turn it off if you like. We're simply massively speeding up the testing process by turning the traffic valve on and off.

I'm not going to go through how to set up a Facebook ad here. This is one of those topics that goes beyond a single blog post. But, the Blog Marketing Academy has you covered...

The Facebook Ads Blueprint is our in-depth training on how to put Facebook Ads to use in your online business. And, of course, if you follow along with The Roadmap step-by-step, we'll guide you through the whole thing so you don't get overwhelmed. Also, by joining up with The Lab, you get the whole Roadmap, plus you get the Facebook Ads Blueprint training included with your membership rather than buying it separately.

#9 - Test/Tweak Your Opt-In

Using paid traffic, you can turn traffic on and off like a water hose. So, you turn it on and run a few hundred people to the squeeze page. Do at least 100 unique visitors to your landing page.

What you're looking for is the conversion rate... the percentage of people who come who opt-in to get your lead magnet.

And you're shooting for a 30%-40% conversion rate on the opt-in. Give or take.

Might seem high to some, but that's actually pretty easy conversion to get if you are indeed targeting the right audience with a lead magnet that is right for them. And therein is the key and why this is such an important component of product/market fit.

The very act of tweaking until you get that target conversion rate is going to have you learning about your market and making adjustments... until it works. Once you get one that works, that's a major piece of valuable information for you.

Plus, you can now acquire leads in a predictable way. And that's huge.

Now, if your lead magnet fails to reach this threshold, then you make changes until it does. If it is WAY off, then you probably need to go back to the drawing board on who you're targeting and the nature of your lead magnet. There's an obvious mismatch.

If, however, you are getting action but you're not quite at the 30% mark, then just tweak and see if you can increase it. Can you make the lead magnet title more interesting? Better headline? Better copy on the squeeze page?

If you followed my advice and picked up Thrive Themes membership, you had access to Thrive Optimizer so you can easily run split tests on your landing page the entire time to see what works best. 

You also want to pay attention to your cost-per-lead. The higher your conversion rate, the cheaper each email subscriber will be. Make sure your ad is also compelling and getting a decent click-through rate. On Facebook, average click-through rates run around 1%. As low as that seems, it is a benchmark you can use to evaluate whether your ad is in the ballpark or not.

Your CPL (cost per lead) makes all the difference in what your targets will need to be on the monetization side so that you at least break even on this.

Inside the LAB, we have a Facebook Campaign Debugger you can use to fix performance issues in your campaign.

#10 - Craft An Initial Offer

Now that you have a lead magnet which is working, it is time to craft an offer for them. This means that, yes, you will be attempting to sell something and generate sales before you even begin blogging. Imagine that! πŸ™‚

You have 2 ways to go with this:

  1. Create your own offer that you sell directly. This is my preferred option, but does take more work.
  2. Insert an affiliate offer and try to generate revenue via commissions.

Creating Your Own Offer

I'm not expecting you to go out and make some big product here that is untested. In fact, I would encourage you to make this a pre-sale. You will create an offer for something which does not exist, and you will only create it IF it sells.

What I like to do is position it as a "live class". There isn't an expectation of immediate access when they know it starts later. Then, you could either do it live via webinar, or simply pre-record and release to them as they're complete. Whatever.

So, go back to all your market research, all your interactions with your market. Take everything you know about what they need and want, what they're struggling with, and what would most effectively deliver the transformation they seek in a predictable way.... and sit down and CRAFT an offer which includes it.

Design the offer to fit your market, not the other way around.Click To Tweet

During this process, you may need to strip things down a bit so that it is something you can actually create. That's OK. But, there's a lot of power and flexibility that comes with selling something BEFORE you make it. You can make adjustments to the offer along the way to increase sales and arrive at that sweet spot. Then, you make the product which fits the sweet spot.

Inside the LAB, we've got a full course on creating and selling your offers. It is called the Offers That Convert. This course will be your guide as you brainstorm potential offers, craft the sales page and put the entire thing together.

Inserting An Affiliate Offer

Plan B is to choose a super awesome offer that offers affiliate commissions and then use that. 

Now, if you really want to make money doing this, you cannot just throw affiliate links in front of their face and expect them to buy anything. You have to treat the affiliate offer as if it were your own product and treat it in much the same way. This means...

  1. You should create a "sales page" for the product you are recommending and pre-sell them on it. Think of this just as you would your own offer. Except, instead of an "Add To Cart" button at the end, you'll send them through your affiliate link.
  2. You choose a product to promote that you feel so strongly about that you would be willing to stand behind it as your own product.

This is a great option if you're in a market where there are good, solid offers with affiliate programs AND you don't already have a product of your own.

Keep in mind, however, that your best long-term plan is to create and sell your own offers. Affiliate marketing can be a great revenue generator, but it still means you're reliant on third-parties for your revenue sources.

#11 - Put The Offer Into Your Funnel & Test

Create your sales page using Thrive Architect and then put that page immediately after the opt-in (in place of your "thank you" page).

Turn the traffic back on and test the funnel and see what the conversion rate is on your product.

Ideally, you'll get around a 10% conversion rate on the sale. Which means, 10% of people who opt-in at step #1 of the funnel will buy the offer at step #2.

Now, the 10% is arbitrary. The real number will depend on your cost-per-lead because you're looking to at least break even on the ad and recoup your ad cost. If your price means that you can convert at less than 10% and still break even, well that's fine.

The goal here is that this funnel - this simple funnel - can predictably attract qualified leads and put them on your email list without ultimately costing you any money. Ideally, you'll MAKE money while you do it. πŸ™‚

Now, don't forge this VERY important fact...

This is not a one-shot thing. If they don't buy your offer right away, all is not lost. After all, you have them on your email list. So...

  1. I would highly encourage you to reach out to people who DO NOT buy. Find out what they were most looking for and how your offer missed the mark. Don't try to push anything on to them. You just want to learn more so that you can perfect your product/market fit.
  2. You can try out a different product with them down the road. 

You're in the learning phase here as you launch your new blog. You might not nail the offer the first time around. In fact, it isn't that likely. But, now you're in the powerful position of being able to have conversations with these people who came to your site, got your lead magnet, and are obviously interested. Learn from them. And find out what they most need and want.

Once you nail this product/market fit, everything else will be MUCH easier - and more profitable.

#12 - Build Your Blog

At this point, you have an email list being built and you've generated your first sales. You are already WAY ahead of the vast majority of bloggers who are still struggling with all that.

Now is the time to begin building your empire and making yourself less dependent on paid traffic. Now is the time to build your perfect blog.

Only now, you're doing it with a clear goal. You have a lead magnet which works, so now you know what all your blog's opt-in forms will be offering. You have a funnel which sells, and your blog's job is to send people into that funnel.

#13 - Create Pillar Posts

When you begin blogging, do it with a strategy. Most bloggers just start blogging and they get onto a hamster wheel of publishing according to the calendar. It is one way to go, but entirely unnecessary.

A more effective way to go is to concentrate on creating pillar posts over time. These are major, developed resources on major topics of interest to your target market. This isn't your typical blog post which sees the light then disappears into the archives. These are super posts. They take much longer to make. In fact, you should definitely circle back and edit/maintain these posts over time.

Each time you publish a new post or make a new update to a pillar post, you spread the word. This would involve:

  • Emailing those new leads you've acquired through your funnel
  • Sharing across social media
  • New paid ad campaigns direct to those blog posts

Now, that last one is a great strategy, but it means you need to be quite focused with those blog posts so that they effectively add people to your funnel.

Essentially, you're taking everything you've already done with your funnel, but you're leading with value. Instead of asking for an email before you give them anything cool, you're now leading with a stellar blog post, THEN funneling them into the lead magnet.

As this strategy develops over time, with more blog posts and even more lead magnets, your blog will become a major part of your sales funnel and it will take place on autopilot - and without having to rely on paid ads (although, at this point, you'll probably love the paid ads so much you won't turn them off).

#14 - Expansion

At this point, you're launched! You probably won't have those groundbreaking numbers that the big gurus have. While they talk about thousands of people on the list, you may have a hundred. While they're talking about how many thousands of dollars they made that month, you might have made a few hundred... just enough to pay for your ads.

But, this is how you start. And it grows from here.

The point is, your product/market fit is PROVEN. You KNOW it is working. At this point, it is all about scaling.

So, you will create new blog posts, new lead magnets, new offers. You'll build new funnels so that your one original one isn't your whole business. You'll build in more autoresponder followup emails to put things on autopilot.

That's all the fun stuff. πŸ™‚

How Long Does This Take?

As you can see, this is a process. We're not talking about something which happens overnight here.

If you have nothing but time and your budget isn't limited, you could probably knock these steps out quickly. After all, if you can throw more money at your ads, you'll get more traffic and can test faster. It is all a matter of what you're willing to put into it - both in time and money.

The more important thing here is the sequence you do it in.

Even if you have a day job and a lot of things going on, if you spend what time you do have concentrating on the right things, you'll still make headway.

If you're loaded with time and not worried too much about budget, you could probably knock this whole process out and be working on #13 and #14 within a week or two. And we're not talking about spending thousands of dollars here, but if you have a few hundred to invest in it you can make things happen.

If you're short on time and can really only work on this for a few hours per week, well, it will take longer. You'll probably spend some time making the landing pages, since it is always tough the first time. Once the traffic is on, that can run on automatic while you're working all day. But, still, few weeks, you should be good here.

Ready To Travel This Journey?

Ok, it is great to read about this blog launch plan. And I hope you've found this post valuable. But, actually DOING this takes more detail and more guidance so you don't get lost along the way.

If you were expecting something different.... well, sorry. I'm not going to sit here and falsely tell you that launching and growing a high-traffic blog and online business from scratch is something you can do for free and not have it take years. I mean, that's just the reality. It is better that you know, right?

Blogging and sharing, rinse and repeat, is a recipe for burnout for most bloggers. Not saying it can't work and build traffic, but it is usually a long, hard slog. That's why most give up... even before they hit the payment threshold to get paid from those Adsense ads they had all over their site.

That's just not the right launch formula. It is massively outdated and most just haven't caught on yet.

If you want it to work and not take forever, the answer lies in being able to operate in a "pay to play" world. And, in order to do that, you tackle monetization right at the get-go. You start a business, not a blog.

Inside The Lab (the training area of the Blog Marketing Academy), we have The Online Business Roadmap which will guide you step-by-step through all of this (and beyond).

The Roadmap is a 5 stage process:

Everything we've just covered in this blog post is simply the guts of Phase 2 - The Startup Phase - of this Roadmap. But, I guide you through the whole thing so you won't get lost along the way.

You can download the full outline of the Online Business Roadmap for free. Just create your free membership and the Roadmap will be one (of many) free resources available to you.

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  • I cannot express in words how much I have learned from you. You are authentic and very informative. I didn’t know that I didn’t know anything about the dynamics of blogging until I read your posts. There is so much misleading content out there, my God! You the man!

  • Frank Angelone says:

    Hi David,

    This post was super helpful for me and gave me some insights that I added into my Trello task list! Your outline here has kept me focused on what matters.

    Also, just wanted to let you know that MailChimp I found out is now offering automation email capabilities to those users on the free plan. I’m sure you probably know this, but I just wanted to point it out in case anyone else was wondering. There was a point where they did take this feature away from free accounts.

    Best,
    Frank

    • David Risley says:

      Actually, I didn’t know that. I don’t pay much attention to Mailchimp. πŸ™‚ thanks for letting me know.

  • Vance Sova says:

    Hi David,

    Perhaps the Monster Insights plugin used to be bfee at some point but it no longer is. At least I encountered only paid versions when I clicked on the link in your post.

    You may want to edit your post which is otherwise incredibly helpful.

    Cheers,
    Vance.

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