You did it – you started a blog.
You figured out your web host, you thought of a clever blog name, you even have a theme all set up. You eat a chocolate bar to celebrate.
Oh yes, you figured it all out! You’re feeling pretty pleased with yourself.
… Until you realize it’s time to write your first blog post, and you have no idea where to begin or even how to do it. You’re scared your first blog post will suck, and panic begins to set in.
Well, you can relax, because you’re in the right place. Just like the Home Alone kid, all you need is a battle plan.
And this guide will lay it all out for you.
Option #1: Introduce Yourself To The World
Option #2: Jump Straight Into Your Content
Things to Consider When Writing Your First Blog Post
What to Do Once You’ve Written Your First Blog Post
First, you need to focus and decide on what to write about. After all, you can’t start writing until you’ve picked your focus topic.
When it comes to your first blog post, there are 2 common approaches. You can:
Let’s discuss each of them so you can decide.
If you want to quickly get your first blog post out of the way and build momentum, this is the option for you.
Who doesn’t like to talk about themselves? This is it, your chance to tell the world who you are. Sounds easy, right?
The spotlight’s on no one but you!
This is your chance to show why your readers should trust you.
But no, this is not the time to indulge yourself and talk about yourself all day long.
Remember that you risk losing readers if you’re going to rant endlessly about things that won’t interest them. They came to your blog for a reason, will stay for a reason, and will come back for a reason.
Part of that is making a good impression and making sure the content engages them.
So if you choose this option, try answering the following questions:
Steve Kamb talked about the story of how he started Nerd Fitness in his first blog post. He kept it succinct and compelling, then ended it on a strong note.
Monica Froese, on the other hand, talked about her purpose of starting Redefining Mom in her first blog post. She made sure to engage her target audience by talking about the challenges of being a mom and how she wants to hear from them.
Considering the content in the first option can be put on your About page instead, you might want to write content right away as if you’ve been doing it forever.
By writing “real” content, it gets a chance of being seen over time and not be buried by new posts.
But how exactly do you go about writing a blog post?
Sometimes getting started is the hardest step to make, especially when your inner critic decides to play that day. As the Nike slogan goes: Just Do It. Or in this case, just go ahead and blog it!
To make it easier for you, let’s go through it step by step.
Brainstorm and list 10 – 15 topic ideas. Just a list of one-liners will do.
Make sure your topic ideas are part of your overall content strategy. For example, if your blog niche is technology, it doesn’t make much sense to post a recipe, does it?
After you’ve written a list of topic ideas, consider asking yourself these guide questions to help you narrow down a topic:
It will be hard to get eyeballs on your content without doing some Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And part of SEO is researching what your target audience is searching for so you can optimize your content.
For example, by looking at what questions they are typing on Google, you can write content that helps to answer those questions.
Do it just like your English teacher taught you: by first writing an outline. That way, you won’t spend 3 hours (maybe even more) writing only to realize your blog post is going around in circles, or worse, nowhere.
As you write your outline, consider doing some competitor research. Evaluate what other blogs in your niche are doing. Ask yourself how their content could be improved and what you can add to the table.
Now comes the fun part: writing! Many people find this part difficult but there are plenty of resources and tools out there to help you. For example, using a great grammar checker can help guide your tone and spare you from making silly typos.
For an in-depth look at the writing process (from start to publishing), check out our ultimate guide on how to write a blog post.
Aim for something good enough instead of trying to make it as perfect as possible. After all, most likely, you have no audience or following yet, so there is a good chance that in the early days of your blog only a few people will be able to read it. Focus on getting it done, and don’t worry too much about it. Your blogging only gets better from there.
Steve Chou of My Wife Quit Her Job wrote an informative first blog post.
By explaining why you shouldn’t start an Ebay store, he captured the interest of readers who want to start their own business enough to keep them coming back for me.
Kiersten Rich of The Blonde Abroad wrote a guide on scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef for her first blog post. By giving helpful tips related to her niche, solo female travel, readers came to trust her as a resource.
The following are things that are helpful to keep in mind for your first post.
In the early days of blogging, most people were writing posts of around 600 words.
However, times have changed and studies just keep proving that search engines tend to prefer long-form content. The exact ‘ideal’ length of a blog post depends on your topic and format, but you’d do well to write between 1500 – 2000 words as a minimum.
That said – word count isn’t everything. The most important thing is that your content is interesting and helpful to the reader. A 20,000-word essay on your childhood dreams of becoming a photographer is probably best for a memoir, not your blog.
Ever liked reading something that felt like the writer is even more bored than you, the reader, as they write it? Or like the writer sounds like they’re not someone you would like to hang out with?
Yeah – avoid that.
Make sure your blog appeals to your target audience through the tone and manner you use in your blog post.
If you’re writing a lifestyle blog, for example, you may want to keep it light and easy – your readers probably want to be entertained by your blog, not read an academic essay on the negative effects of fast fashion on the worldwide economy – there’s The Economist for that.
Congrats, you’ve drafted up your first blog post! But it doesn’t end with you just writing the blog post. There’s a bit more work involved after.
Please, please, please proofread your blog posts. You don’t want to turn off readers with grammatical mistakes and misspellings, do you?
Your content should have Call-to-Actions (CTAs) so you can get your reader to take action from your blog. Here are some ideas for your CTA:
Blog content must offer readers a good user experience.
Have one big block of text? No one’s going to want to read that. Instead, remember to:
After all your hard work, it’s time to let the world know.
Share your first blog post on social media, email the link to your closest family and friends, heck, shout it from the rooftops even.
You want your content to be seen, so make sure it does.
By now, you’re more than ready to face the problem of how to go about writing your first blog post.
It may seem nerve-wracking and/or confusing at first, but if you just push yourself to get it done, battle plan in hand, you’ll soon find your way to blogging success.
Now, blog away!
Crystal Camarao is a blogger, writer and digital marketer from the Philippines. She loves to travel as much as possible, drink IPAs, and geek out about tech. Connect with her on LinkedIn.