It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Launch day. Even though it's an exciting time, it can be hard to stay on top of everything, too. So I've created this step-by-step process you can use to walk you through the first few hours of launch day so you can launch on the right foot.
- Rise and shine!
- Test that everything works
- Announce your launch to your family and friends
- Announce your launch to your existing subscribers
- Announce your launch on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
- Promote your launch post
- Reach out to influencers about your launch and your launch post
In this post, you'll learn how to leverage this big event (your launch) to drive a ton of traffic to and buzz around your new website so that everything you do from here on out becomes far easier. This is Part Five of a series of articles about launching your website or blog to maximize the impact of everything you do.
- Part 1: How to Launch Your Website for Instant Success: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide
- Part 2: How to Drive High Converting Traffic to Your Website Before Launch (Without Spending a Dime)
- Bonus Podcast Summary: How to Launch Your Blog or Website With a Bang
- Part 3: Do These 3 Crucial Exercises Daily Before You Launch Your Website
- Part 4: The Blog Launch Checklist: What to Do One Week Before Launch
I'd highly recommend going through all of the previous posts and steps before moving on to this post to find out how to launch a blog or website. If you've already followed along with the previous steps, read on!
1. Get Up Early
I probably don’t have to tell you that you should get up early on launch day. You’ll hardly be able to sleep the night before your launch. I was up with a million thoughts going through my mind until 2:00 AM and I woke up at 4:30 AM to promote my launch post, and do everything I needed to do for the launch. Even if you're not naturally an early riser, waking up at 5:00 AM will give you a head start (and as a bonus, that's when a lot of people are online).
2. Test That Everything Works
The first thing you do when you wake up on launch day is to sign up for your own email list to test whether it works. Test all of your opt-in forms. Check all of the links in your launch articles and pages. You already checked that your opt-in forms work in Part 4 of this series, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Check again. Once you’ve made sure they all work, you can start the fun stuff.
3. Announcing Your Site to Your Family and Friends
When I first launched Unsettle, I did what I hadn’t done for my previous websites: I announced it to my friends and family. Unsettle started as a blog, though I always knew I wanted to turn it into a business. I also knew that if I presented it to my friends and family members as a blog (or just failed to formally announce it), I wouldn’t have gained their full support. After all, if I didn’t believe in myself and my idea enough to present it as a business and make a serious announcement about it, why would they? So, I got my closest friends involved by sending them my pre-launch articles to get their feedback. I told them about my deadlines and my plans. This resulted not only in a huge amount of support from them (which is crucial), but also a lot of great feedback from those who are closest to me. On launch day, I took this a step further by announcing Unsettle on my personal Facebook account and getting my friends and family involved in my excitement. Many of my friends shared with their networks, which caused friends of friends of friends.. of friends start following Unsettle. Today I still get messages from readers who have been with me since the beginning who found out about the site from that one small action. Even if your family and friends are not your target audience, still put it out there to them. Their support will still boost you up.
4. Announce Your Launch to Your List
Hopefully you've already scheduled a Broadcast to go out to your subscribers on the day of your launch. But if you didn’t, now is the time. Let your subscribers know that you've launched. Send them an email with your launch post. Ask them to share the post or leave a comment or send the post to a friend. Get your subscribers involved. You worked so hard to capture them, and they want to help and celebrate with you.
5. Announce Your Launch on Social Media
If you’re using Tweriod, schedule launch announcements on Twitter for the times your followers are most active. Don’t be afraid to schedule more than one. Most people aren’t on social media all day, and Tweets are quickly pushed to the bottom of the pile. Facebook now allows you to schedule posts as well. Schedule your posts for before noon to reach the largest audience. Don’t be afraid to let the members of the Facebook groups you’re part of know about your launch, too. You’re proud of your website, and they’ll be happy to support you. Plus they can be a great source of feedback.
6. Promote Your Launch Post
There are two separate events happening on launch day: the launch itself, and the release of your launch post, which should be a super helpful resource. This is good news because that means you have two events you can promote and use to generate buzz. In this section, we'll chat about promoting your launch post. These methods can (and should) be used to promote all of the articles published on your site, but this is especially true for your launch article.
Reddit is super powerful and a huge network, so it only makes sense to promote your post on Reddit. Find a Subreddit that is related to your topic and launch article, and post it at the right time. The best time to promote any post on Reddit is generally around 5:00 AM Pacific time, but don’t take my word for it. There’s a great tool called Reddit Later where you can actually type in the Subreddit to find out when the members of the Subreddit are most active. (The tool actually also lets you schedule Reddit posts if you want to be on top of things, but I tried and it didn’t work for me). Post a link to your launch post to a related Subreddit. If you have a GREAT headline, a post to match, and you choose the right Subreddit, you’ll see a lot of traffic. My launch post got over 100 upvotes in my chosen Subreddit and generated subscribers and traffic for weeks.
Create a Pinnable image for your launch post and Pin it to a board that is in the perfect category that your audience will be looking at. You can schedule this through Buffer now, if there is a specific time of day your Pinterest followers are most active. You can schedule this through Buffer now, if there is a specific time of day your Pinterest followers are most active.
Unfortunately you can’t include active links in an Instagram post, but you can post your launch post image and send your followers to your bio for the link.
This post I did above landed me quite a bit of traffic. If you have a great headline and a compelling image it’s possible you can generate a lot of traffic from Instagram.
Digg hasn’t been popular for years, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. It takes three seconds to submit a link to Digg and you never know what could come of it. I submit all of my articles to Digg – even though not much has ever come of it – because it takes so little time.
Even though StumbleUpon is becoming less relevant, it still has a group of loyal fans that visit and share. And if you happen to hit StumbleUpon gold, the site can send a LOT of traffic. So submit your launch post to StumbleUpon and see what happens.
Delicious is sort of like Digg in that not many people use it these days, but it’s still worth submitting your post. Again, it’s super easy and takes so little time that it’s worth a try. I have seen some traffic from Delicious on the occasional post.
There are a couple of ways to use Google+ to drive traffic to your site on launch day (and every time you post thereafter).
Join Google+ Communities
Google+ has many communities you can request to be a part of. Just like Facebook groups, you can engage in discussions around a specific topic in a Google+ community. You can (and should!) also promote your articles in these communities. Many people have been very successful doing so.
Post to Your Google+ Page
Communities are different from your main Google+ feed. Google+ can be a pretty powerful social network for bloggers, so an obvious step to any article promotion strategy is to share your post on your main Google+ feed.
Quora is a great source of high-converting traffic for me, and a huge bonus is that you can help answer your target audience's’ questions through Quora. Use Quora’s search box to find questions that your launch post can answer, and then spend five minutes typing up a thoughtful response to each question, with a link back to your blog post if they want to read more. You can also use Quora to republish your article, but I would wait at least a week after it’s published on your own website to avoid any SEO snafus.
7. Reach Out to Influencers
Can I tell you a secret? The word “influencer” makes me gag a bit, but at the risk of confusing people if I use different terminology to describe thought leaders with a significant following, I've resorted to the buzzword du jour. Anyhow, no matter what you call them, hopefully you've been spending some time connecting with people who are successful in your topic or niche. If you've built genuine relationships with these people or have helped them in some way, more often than not they'll want to pay it forward. Start with the people you already have built a relationship with and send them a brief email about your launch or launch post and ask them to share with their followers. Don't be afraid to reach out. The worst the person can say is no. If you're doing good work that you believe in and that can actually help your target audience, chances are influencers will see the value in it, too.
Now Go And Enjoy Your Launch Day
Launch day is nuts. It's this cyclone of excitement, anticipation, activity and buzz. Is busy, exhausting, and exhilarating all at once. But get used to that feeling. That's what you feel when you're building something you love. Between all of these actions, the incessant stat checking you'll inevitably be doing, and just interacting with your new readers and followers, the day will fly by. So enjoy it. And give yourself permission to celebrate!