This is a guest post by Jane from Problogging Success.
Launching a new blog today is not the same as it was a few years back. Things were a lot easier and diluted in the past decade, but now, the competition is dense, given that thousands of blogs are launched every day. Every niche has become competitive, forcing bloggers to try to rank highly for less-competitive keywords.
How can you stand out in that sea of competition? Authority!
Authority makes you notable and noticeable. Authority can be built over the time, as the blog gets older and gains readership.
But how about new blogs? Can you launch a new blog with authority? Yes, you can.
Launch a second blog
When you already have an established blog, it will not be hard for you to launch your second blog with all authority. A very good example was the launch of FeelGooder. Even though it’s not a second launch, it’s among the most successful launches Darren has done.
With this mighty empire on hand, Darren didn’t need to do much when he launched FeelGooder! Just a post on ProBlogger about how FeelGooder had come about was fine: people rushed to FeelGooder. Even without worrying about PageRank, and despite the newness of the blog, authors were eager to guest-post on it, myself included.
Well that’s the magic. When you already have one or more established blogs, it’s easy to authoritatively launch a new blog. People will believe you, trust you, and know about your content even before the new blog goes live.
Building your social empire
You don’t have to have an established blog to launch a new blog with authority. You can launch your first blog with authority. The key is simply to make yourself known on the Internet. Create your social empire. Be one of a kind.
Let’s make one thing clear: building your social empire doesn’t mean creating accounts on every social site out there. Anyone can create multiple accounts in Twitter as long as they provide unique email addresses for all of them. But that will not build your authority.
You have to provide value wherever you are, even without a blog. Share high-quality content in your niche, among your followers and friends. Do not go on an auto-follow or auto-friending campaign. Do not go on a “follow me and I will follow you” campaign. I know that’s tranquilizing, bit it’s important that you don’t lose control. If authority is your goal, you must always aim at quality.
Tweet and share the best of the blog posts you have read on the Internet within your niche. Occasionally be funny, make personal tweets, share and comment on others’ shares, retweet good information, and so on. These are the components of social engagement. This is about building relationships online.
Can you write guest posts without having a blog? Absolutely. If you can write high-quality, unique articles, submit guest posts to blogs you already know. Aim for publication on the blogs whose content you promote to your social networks. They should be able to identify you, and if your post is on-target, they’ll let you in.
In the author bio, include links to your Twitter or Facebook page to gain more followers and friends.
But don’t be impatient and start writing and submitting articles just like that. You have to guest post effectively, even if you don’t have a blog.
Launch with authority
I think there are four essential steps involved in launching a blog with authority.
1. Keep your blog offline until you post enough content
How can a new blog have “enough content”? It’s possible… Depending on how often you post, the time it will take you to develop “enough” content will vary. But if you’re posting every day, you might keep your site a “secret” for, say, about two weeks. Here’s how.
- Do not submit the blog to search engines until you have enough content.
- If you’re using WordPress, go to the Dashboard and click on the Settings tab, then on Privacy. Click on “I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors,” and save the setting.
- If you’re using Blogger, go to the Settings tab of the Dashboard and take care of the two items shown in the figure below.
Caution: Don’t forget to change those second and third options once you launch the blog officially, or it will never be found!
2. Remove dates and time stamps while launching
All major blog platforms will allow you to remove dates and times from your posts. Select this option as you launch your blog, and turn it on later, down the track, once your blog is up and running successfully.
3. Launch without comments
One of the factors that decide the authority of a blog is the number of comments the content attracts. And we all know that a newbie blog will most likely not get a good number of comments. Instead of showing a poor number of comments in the early stages of your blog, it may be better to shut down comments altogether. Once your blog gets momentum, you can open up discussions to readers.
You can get more comments at the initial stage while your blog is still not officially “live” (as I explained above). For this, I assume that you have built your social empire already.
- As soon as you launch the blog, let your friends and followers in all social networks know. Ask them to make comments on your blog.
- Join a commenting tribe—a small group of people who share links to their posts. You give and get. For instance, if the group at the tribe has 20 members, you leave comments on those 20 links and you’ll receive 20 comments on your posts. It’s a good thing to do!
- Find a handful of blogging buddies; again this is a give-and-get proposition.
- Register your blog at ComLuv.com and do a search for CommentLuv-enabled blogs in your niche. While leaving comments on those blogs, you can display of the last ten of your posts after your comment (I have given some more details on this at my earlier post on relationship building for bloggers). This will give you good exposure and kills two (or three) birds with one stone—you get backlinks, you make buddies, and you create an online presence.
4. Launch with a premium theme
If you are willing to spend some extra money, I strongly suggest you launch your blog with a premium theme. It’s worth it.
Wait! Don’t rush yet to search Google for “Premium WordPress Themes.” Not all premium themes will do what you expect.
I can suggest two premium themes that makes blogging easy and elegant: Genesis and the Thesis frameworks. I recommend Genesis even though I have not used it—Darren seems to be doing great with it. I recommend Thesis because I use it at my blog and am extremely happy with it.
What will a great premium theme do for you?
- It makes your blog look professional.
- It comes with clean coding.
- It takes care of basic—and some advanced—SEO.
- It comes with elegant skins and designs.
- Professional support is available when something goes wrong—you don’t want your blog to look amateurish, with broken layouts and code. We’re talking about authority here, after all!
These are the basics of launching a new blog with authority. What other tips and advice can you add?
Jane is a blog consultant and the founder of Problogging Success. She has authored two e-books Problogging Action Plan (winner of the Small Business Book Awards, 2012) and Guest Blogging Champion to help bloggers become successful in their blogging business.