You’ve always wanted to have your own blog and use it to promote your business or product. You know that a blog is crucial for SEO, thought leadership, and building authority among your target audience. But the task of actually sitting down and writing a blog post can seem overwhelming. Especially your very first blog post.
But like everything else, writing a blog gets easier the more you practice. It’s important to focus on churning out your first blogs and doing it right. Then, you can get into the rhythm of regularly creating blog content that is high quality and engaging.
So let’s get down to the details and explore how to write your first blog and what you need to do to get started.
Consider your audience
There is no more important factor to writing a blog post than understanding your audience and what they want to read. A blog post has to provide value to readers. It must educate, inform, entertain, or provide a fresh viewpoint in order to gain traction. Remember that the visitors to your blog are actual people, not crawlers for Google search rankings. So your blog must make an impact, and the best way to do that is to touch on a pain point or issue your customers face.
Do keyword research…
After you’ve narrowed down your topic, it’s time to focus on using the keywords that people who are searching might be using. Use a keyword research tool, like SEMrush, Moz, or Google Keyword Planner to identify the keywords you should focus on in your first blog post.
But don’t go overboard.
Don’t get carried away with getting the most keywords into your post. Rather, use the keywords naturally, as you would in normal conversation, and let them guide you instead of dictating the flow of the post.
If you are a key personality in your business or blog, don’t be shy to introduce yourself to readers. Particularly if you have an interesting backstory about your company or how you developed your product, it’s great to share it with the audience. People respond to authenticity and real stories. Your first blog post is a great time to open up with a “Welcome” theme.
Establish your editorial plan
Making the decision to start a blog is easy. Thinking up new and original topics for blog posts on a regular basis is much harder. Once your blog is ready for launch, invest time in creating an editorial calendar. Map out your first few weeks of blog post topics, but remember, it’s not written in stone. You can always change or adapt the calendar as you go along or as needed.
A great way to get into the blog writing zone is by reading other blogs. That way, you’ll discover what content is already out there, and you can work on refining a new angle or perspective that makes your blog original and worth reading.
A clever tactic is to read a blog that you don’t agree with, or which takes a different view to yours. Then, write a post from the opposite viewpoint, and get your readers really engaged. This can be a great way to create a buzz around your first blog entry.
Staying inspired to write regular blogs can be a challenge. Check out these tips to help you sustain your blog writing.
Choose your tone and voice
Figuring out the tone and voice of your blog may seem like a hard task, but actually it will come naturally to you in time. Once you’ve decided the overall tone of your blog (personal, newsy, business-like, formal, product oriented?), let your natural voice flow. Your identity and personality should shine through in your writing; it’s what makes your blog unique. So make sure to relax and don’t let self-consciousness take over! That will only hamper your authentic style.
Add strategic links
Linking to trustworthy sources will build authority for your site. Not only will these backlinks strengthen your SEO, they will also show readers that your blog is of high quality. Even from your first blog post, make it a habit to reference authoritative, relevant, and reliable sources.
Over time, your blog will build momentum, and – hopefully – a solid readership. Make sure your blog includes share buttons for all your social media accounts. This makes it easy for readers to share your posts, which will build more engagement and interest. Before hitting “Publish” on your first blog entry, check and double check that all your social links are working.
Proofread, proofread, proofread!
There’s one golden rule of blogging that every writer must internalize, way before posting the first blog entry. Always edit and proofread carefully, more than once if necessary, to make sure your content is free from typos and embarrassing grammar errors. Here’s a common trick used by bloggers and writers: before hitting “Publish”, take a break for a few hours or even till the next day. Then come back to the draft with fresh eyes before making the final edits and going live.
Add images, video, and interactive content
Large blocks of text can be overwhelming and tiring for readers, even when they really want to know what you have to say. Break up the text into digestible portions by adding images, videos, or even interactive content, like infographics, slideshows, or quizzes. This adds interest and excitement, creating higher engagement and encouraging readers to share the post among their network.
Your blog posts should also include a byline of the author, with a headshot and short bio. This creates legitimacy and trustworthiness, and will help you build a relationship with readers in the long term. If you feel comfortable, include a link to your LinkedIn or Twitter profile. This way, readers can find out more about you and connect with you online, increasing your business network and maybe even your lead pool.
Encourage comments and feedback
A great way to build buzz around a blog is by including a comments section where readers can create a dialog with you and other readers. When a reader comments, make sure to respond. Even a simple “Thank you” is appreciated. Even better, if the commenter asks a question or provides an opinion, try to turn it into a conversation. This can help you learn more about your target audience, promote discussion in your niche and around your company, and build your profile as an authority.
Your blog should have a subscribe function, so readers can sign up to get notifications when you post a new article. Show your readers that you welcome and appreciate their input, and make it easy for them to find and engage with your blog posts – after all, they are your guests, your audience and your inspiration, all rolled into one. The stronger your relationship with your readers, the stronger your blog will be.
Don’t Rush – You Only Get to Post Your First Blog Entry Once!
When creating your first blog entry, take a deep breath and take your time. Particularly at the beginning, when you are new to blogging, you’ll need to devote significant time to make sure your content is truly click-worthy. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you will probably be able to speed up the process. But you only get to make a first impression once – so, go slow with your first blog entry and make it shine!