So, you’ve set up your blog. Congrats! You’ve chosen the name, got a great looking WordPress or Tumblr theme, and everything looks exactly the way you dreamed it would.
Now it’s time to start the work of blogging. And that means writing your very first blog entry. All blogs have to start somewhere, so make sure your first impression on the blogosphere is a good one! Here are some tips to guide you on how to write your first blog post:
Start by Introducing Yourself
Like any new situation, it’s important to introduce yourself and give people a chance to get to know you. In your first blog post, tell your readers who you are, what your blog is about and why you are blogging. Even a short introductory paragraph can be enough to give your readers an idea of what they can expect..
If you are planning to publish guest blogs or host different authors, you might want to mention that or even introduce them as well. Also, don’t forget to include relevant keywords in the title, like “First post” or “Welcome”, so your readers will know right away where they’ve landed. 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.
What’s Your Voice?
One of the hardest parts of writing a blog is learning to find your voice. Your identity and personality should shine through in your writing. It’s what makes your blog unique. Some bloggers find their voice in humor; others are more newsy.
The voice you create will depend on the purpose of your blog, and the target audience. If your blog is professionally focused, then your tone will naturally be more formal. If you are writing a personal blog, you can give yourself more leeway in what is appropriate. Get to know your core audience. Then you can hone your voice so that it really speaks to them. Understanding your audience will also help you find new topics that will interest them.
Link to Your Social Pages
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.
A poorly written post, or one that is riddled with grammar mistakes, just looks unprofessional and is a big turn-off for readers. Even if you’ve gone over your draft and it looks perfect, you should proofread once more as soon as the post is live, to make sure that no formatting errors occurred during uploading. Here’s another 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 creates higher engagement and opportunities for your readers to share your post.
And, don’t forget to add a photo of yourself, along with a short bio. This creates legitimacy and trust in your blog, which will only help to engage new readers.
Gain Authority by Linking to Great Sites Your blog will have to stand on its own two feet, but you can make it stronger and more credible by linking to helpful, high-quality sources. Show your readers you care by sharing valuable online resources with them. Don’t link just to Wikipedia – dig deeper and give them a rich experience via your content.
Encourage Comments and Feedback
Your blog shouldn’t be a one-way street. Truly engage with your readers by facilitating dialog. Make sure to include a comments section, give readers the option to subscribe to your blog, and pose questions to readers to encourage their feedback. Respond to feedback whenever appropriate or necessary, even if the feedback is negative.
Show your readers that you welcome and appreciate their comments – 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!