It’s Time to Launch Your Blog-Start

By Tosha Johnson | Blogging

This is part 1 of 3 in the It's Time to Launch Your Blog Series. 
If you would rather watch this series, then click here to access the video course.
Click here to download the It's Time to Launch Your Blog Workbook.

Congrats on finally deciding to start your own business! Now, I know some of you may be wondering, “Wait, I thought this series was going to teach me how to start a blog.” Guess, what? You may not realize it now, but the steps are exactly the same so you need to start visualizing yourself as a business owner.

If being a business owner scares you, then feel free to refer to it as “blogiz” (Blog+Biz). Do whatever you have to do, but your success depends on how well you embrace this mindset. You’re not taking this trip alone (I’m right here with you!), so don’t let fear take away your shot. Download the It’s Time to Launch Your Blog Workbook below and let’s get this show on the road!

It's Time to Launch Your Blog Post Template

This is part 1 of 3 in the It's Time to Launch Your Blog Series. 
If you would rather watch this series, then click here to access the video course.
Click here to download the It's Time to Launch Your Blog Workbook.



If you've been feeling like a worker bee, now is your time to break free from the hive! The thought of experiencing freedom you never imagined is thisclose. You’re NOT throwing away your shot. Yet, I’m sure you can feel your excitement quickly turning into anxiety because you don’t know where to start.



Been there, done that. Lucky for you, you’re going to skip hours of research and the headaches I experienced when I began my journey. Throughout this series, I will happily serve as your business guide showing you shortcuts that I wish I had when I first started my business. Getting started is the easy part, but being successful is going to require you to work.

When you do things yourself, it forces you to be more cognizant of your time, money and to recognize your limitations. You will eventually have to learn the art of delegating. However, the more work you can do yourself will put you in a position to easily identify those tasks. This course will provide you with step by step instructions in how to launch your online business.

Your online business journey can easily be grouped into three distinct phases:

  • START: You will establish the foundation for your business.
  • DRIVE: Accelerate your business by effectively promoting your brand.
  • THRIVE: Keep the momentum going by learning various ways to monetize your site.

Provided you keep calm and carry on, by the end of this series, you will have a blueprint that will serve as your map in your online business journey. This map will allow you to avoid unnecessary roadblocks and reduce the time it takes for you to soar to new heights online.

Are you up for the challenge? My guess is yes since you’ve gotten this far, so it’s time to hit the road!

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Phase 1: START

Determine your niche

If you’re everything to everyone, then you risk being no one.

LaTosha Johnson

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they start their business is trying to cater to everyone’s needs. Don’t waste your time because it is not possible.

You need to focus your efforts into narrowing your ideas down to one. An idea worth pursuing should enable you to:

  • Showcase your passion
  • Demonstrate your expertise
  • Have a defined audience that would benefit from your knowledge

So for example, if I’m passionate about curly hair care and I’m a hairstylist I should explore starting a salon for people with curly hair. Of course you would need to do marketing research to confirm your idea to determine the amount of success you could anticipate.

Side note, as a fellow curly haired girl, I know for a fact that there aren’t many salons that specialize in curly hair care so if someone runs with this idea you gotta let your Type 4 curlfriend ( aka me) know! 🙂

Conduct Market Research

If you’re trying to start your business on a shoestring budget, then you can’t afford to skip this phase. Even if you think you have a “winning” idea, conducting market research will confirm whether your efforts will be in vain. There are two types of market research data:

  • Primary research data: This type of data is gained by going directly to the source—your ideal customers. The easiest way to gain this information is by conducting surveys, focus groups, 1:1 interviews, product tests, etc.
    • Typeform: You can use this to create a variety of online forms such as surveys, quizzes, order forms, etc.
  • Secondary research data: You will most likely find this type of information on the internet or by taking a trip to the library. If you choose to go to the library, choose a university library. They have access to more business databases. Below are some websites and databases that I am confident that you will find to be quite useful.
    • Google Trends: This site shows how often a particular search term is entered relative to the total search volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.
    • Think with Google Marketer’s Almanac: This site tracks consumer purchases based on seasonality, holidays, and special events.
    • eMarketer: An awesome newsletter that provides insightful online marketing information.
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Great place to start searching for demographic information.
    • Hoovers: Insight into various businesses and industries.
    • Reference USA: Good for gathering data on your competitors and industries.
    • Statista: If you’re a data geek like me, you’re going to have fun on this site. There are over one million statistics and facts that you can use to research your industry.
    • Pew Research: Track national, political, economic and demographic trends.

Market research is going to reduce the time it takes for you to connect with your audience. If you want to get up to speed with market research asap, then be sure to check out this course. In order to ensure that you’re reaching your goals you will need to channel your inner goalslayer.

 

Become a GoalSlayer

Based on the knowledge you have gained so far from your market research, you should be able to effectively craft your goals. I go into this in much further detail on my blog, but one of the main components of my goal setting formula would be creating SMART goals. This acronym represents the following:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time bound

Remember, if you plan on becoming a goalslayer you have to have a rock solid routine in place so your goal setting isn’t in vain. If you’re seeking to connect with other goalslayers, we’re in the process of developing a project to connect all of you (sign up here to be notified). 🙂 Once your goals are in place, it’s time to introduce yourself to the world.

What is your name?

Nike. Google. Paypal. Microsoft.

Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m sure you have heard of the aforementioned companies. These companies worked crazy hard to create a memorable brand which is why you remember their name.

You need to create a name that is the perfect combination between your personality and if possible, provides a clue as to what you plan on offering to your customers. Now, there has always been debate on that last part because honestly, if you create a killer product people WILL remember your name (i.e. Google, Nike, etc.).

So how do you want to be remembered? Below are some tips on how to create your business name.

  • Create a name that is short and memorable because this will increase the likelihood of folks
  • remembering you.
  • Try to incorporate your keywords into the title (it’s not a dealbreaker if this isn’t possible)
  • Do not use a hyphen in your business name (again, don’t make it harder for people to remember you)
  • Purchase the .com domain name version ASAP (i.e. www.ilovecookies.com)
  • Purchase additional domain name extensions in order to protect your brand (www.ilovecookies.org)

Deciding on a company name can be overwhelming. In case you are absolutely stuck on what to name your company, the below websites will help get your creative juices flowing:

  • LeadDomainSearch
  • Shopify Business Name Generator
  • Bust A Name

Choose your business structure*

So you finally decided on your business name (congrats!) and now it’s time to decide on how to register your business. This is definitely a decision that will require your attention because you don’t want this to come back and haunt you later.

This is not meant to scare you, because you can always change your mind later. However, if you want to avoid unnecessary fees for changing your business entity, then you might as well select the correct business structure right now.

In order to determine what structure works best for you, these are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • Will you be the sole owner of the company?
  • Are you willing to assume responsibility for assets and liabilities?
  • Do you want to do business under a different name?
  • Do you want to be able to write off business expenses?

Based on your answers, you should be able to choose what entity is best for you. If you need more explanation, then check out the Small Business Administration (SBA) site.

  • Sole Proprietor
  • DBA (Doing Business As)
  • S Corp
  • LLC

Depending on your type of business, you may want to consider visiting the following websites if they pertain to your business.

  • Copyright
  • Trademark (in the event that you aren’t ready to file a federal trademark, check with your state. You can get a trademark with your state (i.e. Illinois).
  • Patent
  • U.S. Small Business Administration

Apply for an EIN and register your business

Depending on the structure you choose, you may need to get an EIN number. Personally, I recommend getting an EIN because I don’t like using my social security number on the interwebs. 😉 Once you’ve nailed down your business structure it’s time to work on your brand identity.

Create your brand identity 

Look at the website colors and images within your industry. Do you see any common images or colors that are constantly being used? Depending on the industry, you should try to incorporate at least one of those main colors in your brand’s identity so your audience will automatically associate your company with being a part of that particular industry.

Your message can subtly be conveyed through your choice of colors. For example, numerous banks use the color blue in their logos because people associate the color blue with being trustworthy.

It should go without saying that people need to feel comfortable with where they place their money. Therefore, seeing blue in the logo is meant to convey that they should feel safe banking with them. If you want to convey that your company is happy and energetic then you should choose warm colors. Cool colors are meant to make you feel calm and relaxed.

After you select your brand’s color palette, then you need to decide on your font type. Look for a font type that has a variety of weights and widths until you come up with the perfect contrasting combination that matches your company’s personality.

In our Slay with WordPress, we go into further details about how to create your color palette, how to use your colors and font types to create an innovative logo and tag line. This will be used on all of your social media profiles and marketing collateral.

The key to branding is being consistent with your company’s message. The goal is to have your audience automatically know who you are and what you represent based on their experiences interacting with your company when they see your logo.

Just checking in…

Kudos to you for getting through the Start phase of your online journey! How are you feeling? I don’t want you feeling overwhelmed, so if you have any questions contact me. Don’t forget to download the It’s Time to Launch Your Business Workbook.

*Please note that I am NOT a lawyer. Therefore, please use the information located under the Choose your business structure section as a reference guide. It is not to be taken as legal advice. Be sure to consult with an accountant and/or lawyer if you have additional questions.

If the It's Time to Launch Your Business Series is your jam, then please pay it forward and share it with your friends. It is very much appreciated!


Click here to download the It's Time to Launch Your Blog Workbook.

 

 

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About the Author

Hey, I'm Tosha! I'm a digital marketing strategist who creates empowering courses and workshops to help you to soar to new heights online. If you have any questions, please feel free to book a 15-minute appointment with me right here When I'm not online, I lead an extremely active lifestyle in the Windy City. I enjoy learning languages (hablo español), teaching English, running, biking, boxing, and Krav Maga are my jam! :) Are we connected? If not, let's fix that right now!

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