Jul06

Prelaunch Blog Review Checklist

Tags: , , 39 comments

We’ve got the domain and now the name. It’s time to get serious about the blog. We’re still a long way from inviting that first reader to come see the place that we’re going to call our new home.

Organizing the Effort

Choosing a template or a design, determining the right content to launch with, hammering out the exact details, all of these are important steps, and really need to be done right, done well, and done once. Yet without an organized approach, we humans will focus on the parts we know or like, and other parts will be given less attention than they require.

In an effort to avoid this problem, you might consult the Blog Review Checklist I developed for reviewing existing blogs. However, the version below has the questions that need to be considered when launching a brand-new blog.

The Prelaunch Blog Review Checklist

    1. Audience: How will your audience find your blog? What words will readers use to describe it? to search for it? What will they like best about your site? What about your blog will trigger these words? Where will they see themselves in the blog?

    2. Author/Purpose/Authority: What is the purpose of your blog? Why does it exist? Where will the purpose be stated plainly so that your readers can see it? Who are you anyway? What is your authority? Why should any reader read you?

    3. Content: What kind of content will support the purpose? How will you introduce your blog? How will new readers get introduced later? Is the content broad enough to last longer than 6 months, but narrow enough to be focused, relevant, and of a size that is useful to your readers? Is it a twist on the topic that you can stay infinitely interested in and write with passion about?

    Do you know the topic well enough that you can build a brand with a unique value point of view — Do you know the content well enough that you can lead a conversation that people will look forward to reading each time you post? Please know that a blog is a conversation not a catalogue.

    4. Design: How well does the look of the blog communicate the kind of blog it is? Will you use a unique design or choose a template and customize it? Are there visual symbols or values important to your customers or to you? How can you make navigation easy and intuitive? Do items flow naturally from the first to the next? How can the color palette, image, and type choices support the content and underscore what the audience wants to feel?

    5. Posts: How will you schedule posting the information readers came to find? What writing/posting criteria will reflect the unique purpose and style of your blog? Is your idea big enough to offer variety and interest within your blog’s purpose and theme? What will characterize a usual post? How long will it be? What about it would I recognize even if it were removed from your blog and printed out?

    6. Comments: Know and post your comment policy. It can be as short as, “This is my blog, I will treat you as a guest in my house. Please behave as if you know how a congenial guest would act.”

    7. Technical Issues: Check your design and your load times in every browser. Choose for your readers not for yourself. Be linked in to the important indexes, have an RSS feed, know how to check links, and sign up for the key directories. Have you investigated and chosen a referral/stat program to help you gather information about your visitors?

    8. Writing: Learn to write for the blogosphere. Have you found a clear, respectful, and authentic writing voice? Can you produce a message that normal readers in a hurry will find compelling and of value, so that they will stop to read?

    9. Organization: Have you thought of how to plan your writing schedule, how it will fit into your day or week? Have you considered how you migth give names to your Categories readers will intuitively understand?

    10. Social Business and Marketing: What will you do to let readers know that you exist? Have you included RSS feeds, a newletter link, and limited, strategic automatic posting to your readers key social networks or online groups? Are you listed in the right blog directories? Do you read and comment on other blogs within your readership? Will you write articles and guest posts? What corporate or personal resources might you use? Can you email a list of readers who already know you that the blog is ready to read?

Quite a few questions to consider. Even more things to do. Each one is a seed that will grow your blog into a valuable asset for you, your brand, and your business as investment in your virtual home.

Be irresistible.
Liz

This updated checklist was first published on: Sep 7, 2006 @ 6:55

 

  • http://www.scorpia.com Scorpia

    Good list. One thing I’d add is to write the content offline and run it through a spell checker. Nothing ruins a good post like misspellings.

  • http://www.scorpia.com Scorpia

    Good list. One thing I’d add is to write the content offline and run it through a spell checker. Nothing ruins a good post like misspellings.

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Scorpia,
    You know my weaknesses. Ah how I fear them. :)

    Thanks for adding that. :) See it’s true we leave out those things that we unconsciously try to avoid.

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Scorpia,
    You know my weaknesses. Ah how I fear them. :)

    Thanks for adding that. :) See it’s true we leave out those things that we unconsciously try to avoid.

  • http://ipopin.typepad.com/think_positive/ Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D.

    Great list… even though I have been blogging for about three months this was helpful. I appreciate it!

  • http://ipopin.typepad.com/think_positive/ Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D.

    Great list… even though I have been blogging for about three months this was helpful. I appreciate it!

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Thanks Kirsten,
    You might find more that you need on the New Blogger page at Successful Blog. I made this checklist from the Blog Review Checklist there. :)

    It was fun to work backward. I think backward is more interesting than forward sometimes. :)

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Thanks Kirsten,
    You might find more that you need on the New Blogger page at Successful Blog. I made this checklist from the Blog Review Checklist there. :)

    It was fun to work backward. I think backward is more interesting than forward sometimes. :)

  • http://ipopin.typepad.com/think_positive/ Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D.

    You are welcome! I will check out that page. Backwards, upside down, sideways… all work better than forwards at times! :)

  • http://ipopin.typepad.com/think_positive/ Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D.

    You are welcome! I will check out that page. Backwards, upside down, sideways… all work better than forwards at times! :)

  • http://businessbloghive.com Tom Bailey

    Thanks for the checklist, it was just what I needed this morning.

    We are about to launch a blog site for a client early next week (LivingInCarverCounty.

    We have our own checklists, but its good to check against some elses list.

    The last 2 items, marketing and organization, were especially helpful. Being able to reference a “successful blogger” makes the advice more credible.

  • http://businessbloghive.com Tom Bailey

    Thanks for the checklist, it was just what I needed this morning.

    We are about to launch a blog site for a client early next week (LivingInCarverCounty.

    We have our own checklists, but its good to check against some elses list.

    The last 2 items, marketing and organization, were especially helpful. Being able to reference a “successful blogger” makes the advice more credible.

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Hi Tom,
    You’re welcome. I’ll be looking forward to seeing how things turn out. If you get a chance do through a link over to that Successful-Blog as a track back. :)

    I’d appreciate it. Feel free to use the list all that you like. :)

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Hi Tom,
    You’re welcome. I’ll be looking forward to seeing how things turn out. If you get a chance do through a link over to that Successful-Blog as a track back. :)

    I’d appreciate it. Feel free to use the list all that you like. :)

  • http://www.techzonline.net TechZ

    Talk about a huge coincidence, I’m in the initial stages of setting up my 2nd blog, and I see you were good enough to write an entire post that’s going to help me trememdously! Thanks Liz :D

  • http://www.techzonline.net TechZ

    Talk about a huge coincidence, I’m in the initial stages of setting up my 2nd blog, and I see you were good enough to write an entire post that’s going to help me trememdously! Thanks Liz :D

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    You’re welcome, Techz
    Had you told me, I might have gotten here sooner. :)

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    You’re welcome, Techz
    Had you told me, I might have gotten here sooner. :)

  • http://www.techzonline.net TechZ

    I just purchased the domain yesterday, it’s still in the planning stage, but you can be sure it’ll get a big launch on my blog once it’s ready :)

  • http://www.techzonline.net TechZ

    I just purchased the domain yesterday, it’s still in the planning stage, but you can be sure it’ll get a big launch on my blog once it’s ready :)

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Cool. I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Cool. I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  • http://www.businessblogwire.com/ Easton Ellsworth

    Muchas gracias, Liz :).

  • http://www.businessblogwire.com/ Easton Ellsworth

    Muchas gracias, Liz :).

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Easton,
    Thanks for stopping by. It’s great to be useful. :)

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Easton,
    Thanks for stopping by. It’s great to be useful. :)

  • http://businessbloghive.com Tom Bailey

    Oh yes, I’ll definitely toss a link back.

  • http://businessbloghive.com Tom Bailey

    Oh yes, I’ll definitely toss a link back.

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    You’re a fine man, Tom!
    While you’re over there at Successful-Blog, you should check out all of the checklists. I’ve got a pile of them you might find interesting. You also might find some things worth using on the NEW BLOGGER page. So don’t miss that. :)

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    You’re a fine man, Tom!
    While you’re over there at Successful-Blog, you should check out all of the checklists. I’ve got a pile of them you might find interesting. You also might find some things worth using on the NEW BLOGGER page. So don’t miss that. :)

  • http://www.cblohm.com CB

    This is a great list! I’m going to share this with one of our mutual friends!

  • http://www.cblohm.com CB

    This is a great list! I’m going to share this with one of our mutual friends!

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Hi CB!
    I thought you might have some friends who could use this list! Glad to be of help to you. :)

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Hi CB!
    I thought you might have some friends who could use this list! Glad to be of help to you. :)

  • http://businessbloghive.com Tom Bailey

    Liz, my backlink assignment is done :)

    Not only did I pour over your NEW BLOGGER page, but I created a summary as well.

    Hope you get a chuckle out of it.

  • http://businessbloghive.com Tom Bailey

    Liz, my backlink assignment is done :)

    Not only did I pour over your NEW BLOGGER page, but I created a summary as well.

    Hope you get a chuckle out of it.

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Tom,
    I very much enjoyed your link post. I’m still laughing two hour later. I wrote a post of my own about it on Successful-Blog. :)

    Thank you for starting my in such a fun way. :)

  • http://www.lettingmebe.blogspot.com Liz Strauss

    Tom,
    I very much enjoyed your link post. I’m still laughing two hour later. I wrote a post of my own about it on Successful-Blog. :)

    Thank you for starting my in such a fun way. :)

  • Pingback: Successful Blog - Prelaunch Blog Review Checklist