A lot of beginner bloggers are nervous about publishing their blogs, this is understandable as nobody likes being criticized. However, sooner or later you will have to publish your website, and it is better sooner than later for a lot of reasons. Some bloggers write 10-20 posts and only publish their website after that, this is unnecessary as Google doesn’t really care if you publish your website with just one article or with a lot of articles.
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The truth is that you have to publish your website after you have made the initial setup, like URL structure, and the various plugins are also configured correctly. Once you have written your first article make sure to proofread it and if everything is correct then hit that publish button. The main reason why you need to publish your website as soon as possible is that every website has a sandbox period which can be anything between 6-8 months.
While your website is in this sandbox period, Google will simply not allow it to rank, no matter how low the competition is or how good your article is. Aged content works the best for google, luckily we are are not at that point where google ranks new websites just because they are new if that would be the case everybody would just create new spam websites just to get ahead of the competition.
The sooner you publish your website the more time google will have to test your website and your articles against other articles targeting the same niche. The more time it has and the more articles on a specific niche your website has the more google will trust you, although this trust can be earned but it tends to be a fairly lengthy process. If you have a brand new website then it should load extremely fast, for more information on how to get a fast loading website check out my recent article How to speed up my website for free? ( In 11 Steps ).
As soon as possible
The only thing you need to rank is time, the more time you allow google to test your site the better it will rank. Now I know that everybody has been saying that you need backlinks and PBN links to rank, but trust me new websites do not need any backlinks as it will only look strange in google’s eyes if a brand new website starts getting backlinks and it doesn’t even have any traffic. There are some bloggers who simply put on WordPress on their website and let the website “age”.
They do this due to the sandbox period, and they think that once 6-8 months have gone by they can start writing articles and they will rank better. The problem is that the sandbox period is not site-wide, it is actually for every single post. Simply put every post you write will be in the sandbox for 6-8 months so it is vital to publish your website as soon as possible. If you are wondering what kind of blog you should start then check out my recent article What kind of blog should I start? ( Top 6 Options ).
After you have configured your website
If you use WordPress as a platform for your website, which you should then you have to make sure that you have configured everything correctly. There are a couple of settings that you absolutely must due in the early stage of your websites, and changing these settings later down the line will only cause a lot of headaches. The most important thing which you need to configure is the URL structure if you do this after you have written a couple of articles and already published them than this will change your URL structure.
In your WordPress dashboard go to Settings, Permalink settings, and click on Post Name than save the changes. For some reason when you install WordPress the default Permalink settings are set to Plain, which means that your URL structure won’t contain the title, it will look like mysite.com/?p=123 which is not ideal, to say the least. The most important thing about the Permalink settings is that it can impact your rankings, and ask yourself when is the last time you have seen a website ranking with an URL structure like mysite.com/?p=123 ?
After you have installed the necessary plugins
If you have already made a couple of websites then you probably use more or less the same plugins, which you should install and configure before you publish your website. If you are completely new to WordPress and plugins then there are two plugins that you should install. The first is Autoptimize, this is a cacheing plugin that will make your website load a lot faster, the second is Wordfence, this is a security plugin that it will stop all the harmful bots and crawlers modifying or scraping your website.
After you have configured your homepage
The homepage is the page that can be seen when you type in your domain name. Go to Settings, Reading and you have two options which are Your latest posts and a static page. If you have a simple blog than always use the “Your latest posts” setting, this way the homepage will show a list of your latest posts. If you don’t know what you are doing then do not use a static page, although some people use it but they are not that good.
After you have made your TOS and Privacy pages
These are two pages which all websites need, and these pages will probably never be read by any of your users, why would they. The big problem with the TOS and Privacy pages is that a lot of beginners simply copy and paste them from some other website. Do not do this, as these often contain links to the domain from which you have copied them and you might not even notice, although this is definitely a beginner mistake but bigger sites occasionally do make the same mistake.
Generally speaking the TOS and the Privacy pages should be accessible from every post of your website and on your homepage as well. You have 3 options to do this by using Widgets, the Menu, or the Footer. Widgets are those blocks on the right side of the post, anything you place in a widget will be visible on all of your posts both on mobile and desktop as well, just like I have it on my website.
I personally do not use the footer section of my website as it has the same problem as the Menu section which is that it ain’t showing up on mobile devices. Your WordPress theme might show the footer section on mobile devices o make sure to check first.
After you have made your sitemap
The sitemap is not for your users, instead, it is for the google bot to find the posts on your website easier. The Google bot has a limited time which it spends on your site, so if it doesn’t find all the information which it needs then it will not access some of your posts and this can even mean that your posts will not be indexed. Most SEO plugins do have a sitemap generator, although I would strongly advise you to stay any from SEO plugins, to find out why, check out my recent article Should I use an SEO plugin?
There are a lot of plugins that only focus on making the sitemap, although if you have a simple blog then you can even get away without using a sitemap as Google will have no problem crawling it.
After you have added your categories
Now as your website is new you probably have no idea what categories you will focus on, and that is not a big problem. Although the last thing you would want is to have your posts in the uncategorized section. Instead, think of your niche and what kind of categories should be good for the niche. After you have made the categories then you should add them to the sidebar Widget and to the Menu as well.
Just keep in mind not to go overboard with categories, having hundreds of categories each with a couple of articles is pointless. Instead make a couple of categories, around 5 would be enough, just make sure that they are niche relevant. If you have set up the sidebar widget to show the categories, then you will notice that not all of them are shown, this is normal as the widget will only display a category if you have a post in that category already.
After you write your first post
Too many people focus way too much on the first post of their website, you shouldn’t, just post it, even if you are not 100% sure that it is high quality. If you are new to the niche which you are targeting then you will learn a lot of things about the niche as you are writing, and some bloggers have actually become experts in what they are writing about. The more posts you write the higher quality they will be and you will probably cringe at how bad your first posts are written, but that is normal.
Just make sure that the posts are actually grammatically correct, google will not rank a website that has a lot of grammar errors, it is that simple. Now you do not need to hire an editor, you can use google chrome plugins like Grammarly for that.
As you can see there are a couple of steps which you have to make before you publish your website, although these steps can be made in a couple of hours at most. From there on you should start publishing posts, try to aim for a set number of posts to be published each week. If you have a 9-5 job then it will be fairly hard publishing one article every day, but you have to sacrifice either some time or money to get a couple of articles out as fast as possible.