Blog Q&A: Should I launch with content?

Should I launch my blog with contentTime for another question in our Blogging Q&A series. If you missed the last few, check here. Today's question is again from a Blog Life student. I feel like I say that every time, but they have a lot of really good questions. 🙂 She asks:

"This may be a silly question, but when I first launch my blog, do I launch it with posts in each category already posted prelaunch or just have a welcome post and a couple of posts on the day of launch? Just wondering what would interest readers more in your opinion. Thanks for all the awesome information!"

We actually hear this question pretty often from bloggers who are just starting out or who are in the middle of a rebrand and relaunch of their site. The number one rule is—don't over think it to the point that you don't press the go button! It's better to start than to be perfect. Because perfection is like a unicorn… we all understand the concept, but ultimately it's not a real thing. 😉

OK, here's a couple of considerations, even though we don't believe there's a black and white, right or wrong way to do this. So first, how many categories do you plan to write about? Some blogs are pretty focused while others have a few main topics and lots of mini topics from time to time. Here at ABM we fall under the "not super focused" category. Yes, we mainly write about home decor and food, but we also write about lots of other things that we are interested in or we've found our readers are interested in (like blogging tips, for example). If your site will focus on a bunch of different topics, it is a good idea to communicate this clearly out of the gate. This might mean having at least one post in each area, or it might be something you can communicate in your blog design or launch day post. But the main thing you are looking to avoid is if someone shows up the first week and it feels like your site is all about knitting, and then they show up the next week to a recipe post. They may feel confused, or if they don't like recipe posts, they may feel turned off. You don't want them wondering if it's the same site (since they are new, they may not have your logo, header, etc. committed to memory yet). And you also don't want them feeling like maybe you've already changed direction, so they shouldn't come back again. So think on those challenges before your launch. 

Second, if you already have an audience, like you are rebranding or you had a big audience on FB or IG and are just now starting a blog, then you also might want to consider finding ways to give them a taste of everything you will be focusing on. Again, this is just to help them understand what to expect and why they should keep reading. 

On the other hand, if you are launching and you are starting from ground zero (no audience to speak of, yet!), then you might be better off having 3-5 posts (or more) done in your drafts, but on launch day, just publish one post and save the others so you can spread them out and give yourself plenty of breathing room as you find your blogging zone. If you are new to blogging, finding any way to help take the pressure off and give yourself more time to create and make those posts the best they can be while you are still learning is SO helpful. 

But again, the most important thing is to START. Don't let small concerns, like how many posts to have ready before launch, slow you down. Choose something that fits your situation and get moving! We learn best if we are actually doing the thing rather than just thinking about doing the thing. :) 

Let us know if you have other blogging, business, or other questions that might pertain to this series as we love to know what your dealing with in your world! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Elsie Larson. Image Design: Mara Dockery.

  • Great advice! The best thing my blogging partner and I did was get about a month’s worth of posts shot before we started, so we felt super prepared (but then just posted three a week, we only did one post the first day). We also did a weeklong countdown every day with text over photos we’d taken and that helped us get a decent number of Facebook and IG followers before we even launched! So I can definitely second that point. 🙂

    -Molly
    http://www.modcircus.com

  • Love this! I’m a new blogger and have been feeling a struggle in figuring out what is the “right” way to do things. I’m slowly learning that there is not necessarily a “right” way and that flexibility is key! Thanks for the great advice, Emma!

  • This is so helpful as I’m in the process of launching my new blog — thanks for sharing, Emma! I also started the Blog Life course yesterday and I LOVE it! I’ve learned so much already after only going through a few of the lessons!

  • Great advice as always! We have found that the hard part for us is keeping up with regular content. Since blogging is not our day job we try to make time as much as possible but it can be so hard. I like what you said at the end about taking the pressure off. What advice would you give to someone who feels the blogging burnout? (I hope I haven’t missed a post about that already!)

    thank you,
    Heather

  • This was a great and helpful post. Although I’ve been blogging for 3 years now, I’ve only just found an approach and direction for my blog that I’m really happy with and I’m now working on posts. The thing is that my blog is also my portfolio, and I’m currently collaborating with career driven women to feature them on my blog along with my shoots of them. I’ve taken the approach so far where I’m posting the shoots as and when I have the content ready, but I think I’m now going to have to think of a schedule for my posts so that my readers know when to expect a new post.

    http://www.yasminqureshi.co

  • I agree that this is not a black or white issue. There are so many variables here. When I started my blog I didn’t have any content already published, it wasn’t even something that I thought about. And you make a good point about just passing go! I’m such a perfectionist and my worst critic. Creating content before the launch would’ve just given me an excuse to keep procrastinating lol

    http://thequirklife.com/

  • I really love blog post like this which helps me learn a lot! I got a question, if a company reaches out to you, how do we know if they are the legit company or a scammer? Is there any way to find out or identify them? (especially brand that you are not familiar with). I have a few emails from company, but i’m really scared is scammer even if they seem to have legit website. Thanks in advance if you answer my question 🙂

    Jiayoufann | http://jiayoufann.blogspot.sg

  • Great tips! I have been blogging for a while (10+ years) but my teen daughter just brought up that she would like to start a blog as well. Obviously it has been a hot minute since I started a blog, and this was a question I was pondering. Now I think I have my answer on what she should do!

    =) Bridget | http://nuttyhiker.com

  • Hey ABM!
    I’m launching a gift giving business (Goldenrod Gift Co.) later this month and I think the best way to reach my target market is through bloggers. I don’t have the budget for sponsored posts or even to send them nice gifts. I believe the products will speak for themselves and that bloggers will find the content something that their readers would enjoy so I just need for them to know the company exists. How should I go about reaching out to them?
    Thanks and hope to hear from you,
    Maggie

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  • Thanks so much for answering this question, Emma! For many years I’ve been in the “I can’t start until I have _____” mindset. So silly! The answer is always to just start.

  • I love this series and find it incredibly useful. Will you be doing a post on re-branding? I am very interested in giving my blog a facelift but don’t know where/how to start!

  • Great advise, guys! When I launched by blog, I already had ideas of what I wanted to write about. Since January, I have published every 2 days religiously, on a variety of topics.

    I keep a notebook to hand and constantly write notes about what I want to blog about, topics, people I could ask to write for me, loads of things!

    I adore it, it’s not a chore, and the scheduling tool is a dream come true.

    Lo
    http://www.themixtures.com

  • Hi There,

    This is the first time I had reached your platform, and Wow!
    Thought i was the only one with such a great vision.

    Please know I am here, and will become interactive once I am able to.

    Keep up the good work!

    Kind regards,
    R