One of the most common questions I get from new or aspiring bloggers is this:
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It’s not a dumb question. Blogging, especially in the beginning, can feel pretty overwhelming. There’s so much to learn and do, and we tend to think there’s a million and one things we need to do before we can “officially” launch our blog.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said anything close to the following:
“I need at least 30 posts saved up and ready to go before I can launch my blog!”
“I just have to do X, Y, and Z… Then I’ll be ready to launch.”
“I need to figure out my long-term strategy before I can officially launch.”
“I’m waiting for the perfect time to launch my blog.”
If your hand is up, then I have some really important news for you.
There is no perfect time to launch.
There’s no magic formula that says “X number of posts written + Y tasks completed + Z blogging materials read = ready to launch.”
The best way to launch our blogs is to just START.
The reality is that no matter how prepared you think you are, your blog will change over time. Who we are when we launch isn’t who we’ll be a week later, a year later, or five years later. And that means we don’t need to have it all figured out from day one. It’s a process of evolution, and as we grow and change, our blogs will grow and change right along with us.
Seems pretty simple, right?
But what I’ve found is that the idea that we need to have all our ducks in a row before we launch our blogs is holding a lot of us back from actually getting out there and doing it.
So consider this your permission: you don’t need to “launch” your new blog. You just need to start.
How Waiting for the Right Time to Launch Is Holding Us Back
If we wait for that perfect moment to launch our blog — the moment when all the stars align and we feel completely and totally ready to put ourselves and our blogs out in the world — we end up stuck. We’re so caught up with getting things “right” and “perfect” that we never get any of our content out there. And that puts us at a huge disadvantage.
We Miss Out on Feedback
When we keep our blogs in our pocket and hold back on releasing our content, we’re missing out on a huge opportunity to get real-life feedback from our readers.
We might think we know what we want to write and who we’re writing for. But there’s no way of knowing if that content will connect with those readers until we… you know, let them read it.
When we put our content out into the world, we get the opportunity to connect with our readers and hear what they have to say about what we’re writing — straight from the horse’s mouth. For example, maybe we find out that our audience really likes the topics we’re writing about but wants them to be structured differently. Or maybe we discover that the tone we’re writing in feels off-putting to them and we need to soften our language.
When we get that direct feedback, we can use it to mold and shape our blogs in a way that truly serves our audience. But if we spend months getting things ready before we launch, that’s all feedback we miss out on, and we have no way of knowing if what we’re creating will serve our readers or just fall flat. And if it falls flat? That’s a lot of time and energy wasted.
But the good news is, we can avoid wasting too much time and energy by getting feedback as soon as possible. The quicker we know how our blog is being received, the quicker we can make the changes we need to make in order to make it a slam dunk for our audience.
We Get to Know What We Don’t Know About Our Audience
When we’re getting ready to launch our blog, we think we know who our audience is. We create our avatar, and we can see so clearly in our minds who our reader is and what they want to read about.
But until we actually put our content out into the world and see who’s reading it, we don’t really know.
Once our content is live, we might be completely surprised by our audience. Maybe they’re asking questions we never would have expected, which takes our blog in a new and unexpected direction. Maybe they want to learn more about something we thought they’d be completely disinterested in, and maybe something we thought we wanted to write about every day is met with a lukewarm response.
But there’s no way to get to know our audience and what they’re looking for until we actually start posting. We can plan all we want — and we can think we have all the answers — but the only way to get the answers is by interacting with our audience in a real way.
I Speak From Experience…
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Easy for her to say!”, let me tell you — I speak from experience.
Obviously, I’m a fan of planning (I mean, I released my own planner for goodness’ sake!). And when I first got started with blogging, I thought I had to have everything figured out before I even thought about launching.
But as I read that sentence today, it just makes me laugh. I can’t even tell you how much LWSL has changed over the years! In fact, let me just show you:
And believe me — I never would have anticipated all of those changes. I thought I knew exactly what path I needed to take, exactly who I was writing to, and exactly what they wanted to read about.
But all the time I spent planning and trying to get things “perfect” ahead of my launch weren’t exactly the best use of time, because once I did launch, I got so much feedback, it made my head spin! Those comments and feedback are what allowed my blog to grow and evolve into what it was meant to be and what it needed to be: a resource that served my audience.
That doesn’t mean it was always easy! I remember in the early days of my blog, I wrote a post on organization that ended up being shared on Facebook. Since I was just starting out, I was really aware of what people were saying about the blog and was always looking for feedback. Well, on this post, I found it.
A woman left a post on Facebook (on a post related to the original share) that said, “This gal is writing about organization… but her blog is the biggest hot mess I’ve ever seen.”
I was mortified. Talk about hitting you right where it hurts!
But you know what? She was right. With that one little piece of feedback, it was like the wool was pulled back from my eyes and I was able to see my blog from my reader’s perspective. And it WAS a hot mess. It was messy and busy and confusing and lacked any organization whatsoever, which I realized must have been super frustrating for my readers.
So thanks to that piece of feedback — which I never would’ve gotten if I hadn’t put myself out there — I was able to make the changes to my blog that were necessary to make it a better experience for my audience. And I continue to make improvements and changes based on that feedback to this day.
If I had waited to launch until I thought my blog was “perfect”, I would still be waiting. Every decision I’ve made, every article I’ve written, every product I’ve created — they’ve all been a result of putting my stuff out there, seeing what people like, getting feedback, and figuring out the next steps as a result. My blog —and all of our blogs — are a constantly evolving process, and the only way to evolve is to get out there and make it happen.
Or, in other words, when it comes to blogging, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And we can’t start the journey — and we’ll certainly never reach the destination — if we never launch. So, if you’re waiting for the “perfect” time to launch, let me be the first one to tell you — that time is now.