9 Tips For A New Blog Launch
This site just launched. Yes, this one, the one you are currently reading. Before launching Nerd Business I executed a number of tactics in an effort to most effectively leverage my site launch to gain traffic. And why not? You've just made a new site, so tell the world.
Take advantage of your site launch. By following the tactics I've summarized below you can amass loads of new site visitors. And hey, everyone likes a new site. You get a real sense of belonging when you can witness a site launch and are further inclined to check back again over the course of it's lifetime to watch it grow. Correspondingly, site launch traffic just may be the best type of people you want. So it is certainly worthwhile to maximize this window of opportunity.
1. Create a Kick Ass Site Design
Get some exciting new traffic by making a spectacular site design. Sounds simple? It's not. The goal is to get featured on various web 2.0 galleries. If your site has a stunning site design, you can easily be featured. This can pile in thousands of unique visitors for your site launch. To get started, I recommend visiting Most Inspired. It's an aggregation of the best, most popular design galleries so it can serve as an excellent starting point to begin making individual submissions.
If you want to make a big splash, create an awesome design or pay a designer to manifest it for you.
2. Make Your First Posts Count
Starting a new site with a fresh brew of new content gives your readers the benefit of seeing what you're all about. Unless you've built a ton of hype it's unlikely you can convince someone to visit you again with just one article. Thereafter, if you can be consistent about delivering the quality content then you will gain their advocacy.
3. Blog Galleries
Did you create the new site in Wordpress? In addition to countless design oriented galleries, there are also web galleries specifically for just about any type of platform too. Here are a few major ones listed below.
Drupal: Drupal Sites Network
Mambo: Mambo Gallery
4. Showcase your new site (but not spam) in forums
Key here is a relevant forum. For example, if you made your new blog in Drupal, then visit the Drupal.org forums and post your new site in the showcase section. Blogs like Wordpress and almost any other platform will have a similar showcase section in their forums.
Your new blog may also be welcome in forums related to your chosen niche'. If you're blog is about Nintendo, it would certainly be justified to visit some popular Nintendo forums and post your new site. Not by simply writing a one liner self promoting your link, but make an honest post about you're new blog and how it's a valuable contribution to the community.
5. Post to Launchfeed.com
Launchfeed is a cool concept for new websites to get some "official attention" on launch day.
6. Endorse your own site
A subtle approach to self endorsement is in forum signatures. While signatures are certainly not high traffic sources, you can get several new daily visitors by participating in popular discussions along with a link to your site in the sig.
7. Get Your Site Reviewed
Depending on your targeted audience, you can visit places like the SitePoint Forums Website Reviews section where you are encouraged to post the link to your new site. Use a good headline in your thread title and specifically ask for feedback in these forums and it's not hard to get 10 to 30 replies from people who have incredibly valuable info for you: direct feedback.
8. Capture Your Visitors
You've worked hard to generate new visitors to your site. So the last thing you want is for them to get lost in the void of the internet, never returning to your site ever again. Capture the attention of your visitors for the long term by including a newsletter opt in form and a link to your RSS feed.
9. Make Your Site Social Networking Friendly
Having a "Digg this" button can go a long way in generating popularity on Digg and similarly other social media networks like Reddit, and Stumble Upon. Ensure your site has at least one of these buttons (I personally like to focus on Digg) on each of your articles.
Site Launch Checklist
In combination with the above promotion techniques, the following checklist will ensure your site has the best chance of early success:
Submit to DMOZ
Not exactly a "hot tip" since a DMOZ directory submission can take months on end to actually appear but it's a good practice nonetheless.
Create an XML Sitemap
Goto Google Webmaster Tools and punch in the location to your XML sitemap. To start you can create a simple sitemap in accordance to the sitemaps.org specification. Depending on your blog platform, other, automated solutions are certainly an advantage.
Boring HTML Stuff
Do you have Meta tags for all of your pages? Remember to add a well written meta description so search engine traffic is inclined to view your site to read more.
Install Traffic Monitoring
The game is no fun if you don't know the score! Measurable results are important in life & business. This hard data allows us to monitor improvement. And improvement is a fundamental quality of life. You'll be more engaged if you can monitor the amount of daily site visitors, where they are coming from and the corresponding improvement over time.
Your blog platform will typically include basic traffic monitoring functionality. Personally I'm a sucker for the fancy charts in Google Analytics.
So, what's your goal?
This indeed should be the #1 priority if you haven't already established your vision of the end result you intend to achieve by creating the new site. It may be a fairly conservative goal, such as simply enjoying blogging for what it is as a fun hobby. Or perhaps you have more loftier goals of creating an automated revenue machine. Whatever it is, it's important to have this clear vision in your mind. If you don't know where you are going, how are you ever going to get there? Be specific about your goals & intentions, strive to achieve them, hold yourself accountable, and modify when necessary. Goodluck!