You’re a passionate content creator brimming with ideas. You want a way to express yourself, so you decide to start a blog. But is it a good idea?
There are about 32 million bloggers in the U.S. alone. About 7 million blog posts are published each day. There are more than 570 million blogs on the internet. Yes. Most certainly, yes. Starting a blog is a great idea.
Some bloggers earn in the thousands per month and some in the hundred thousand. But you need to start somewhere so let’s wind it back. How do you start writing your very first blog post?
Things to Keep in Mind Before You Write First Blog Post
Before you start posting, it’s important that you’re confident about your blog. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your blogging journey.
Why Should Your Blog Exist?
It sounds a little harsh but it’s an important question to ask yourself. What is the purpose of your blog?What do you hope to share with your audience? If you’re starting a blog just to earn an income your posts are going to look like streams of advertisements and sales pitches.Audiences aren’t going to stick around for that.
If you want an audience for your blog, you need to interest them. Only content of value can accomplish that. Whatever your niche is, first be absolutely clear of your purpose. Why are you starting this blog? If you are unsure what your purpose is, it’s best to figure that out before you commit to starting a blog.
Who is Your Audience?
Your success as a blogger relies on the engagement and interest of your audience.You must know your audience.Learn as much as you can about your target readers. For example, the age group are you writing for, their level of expertise in your niche, their interests, and more. This is going to require research but it’s a crucial step to understand the kind of content you need to create.
What is Your Style?
What is the voice behind your writing? There are several styles you might choose for example formal, casual, humorous among others.This has a lot to do with your target audience, but it also gives your content personality.There are few things less interesting than flat and boring writing so make sure you bring a voice to your content that your audience will appreciate and connect with. Remember, whatever style you choose, stick with it. Being consistent with your style maintains that character you bring to your content.
What is Your Area of Expertise?
This may be the very first blog post you’re tackling but it’s a good idea to know your niche. What is that area that you are competent in and are passionate about? Your niche may develop and evolve over time but knowing the topics you’re comfortable with will certainly helpget you started.
If you’re a cook or know your way around the kitchen you might choose to start a food blog. However, that food niche might evolve over time to vegan or vegetarian diets for example. But focusing your content within the food niche even as you get started is great way to stay organized.
Before Your Start Your First Post
Now that your confident to get started with your blog it’s time to make your first post. Before you begin your first draft here are a few things to help you write the best first post possible.
You’ve probably got a lot of great ideas but the best way to decide your first topic is to brainstorm. Your niche is quite likely a huge umbrella of several potential topics and ideas. Brainstorming helps you find a list of topics that will appeal to your audience.
There are a lot of great ways to brainstorm but think of this step of the process as a place to freely explore ideas. Note down topics related to your niche. For example, if you’re niche is fitness you could also brainstorm ideas in diets.
Think about the problems in your niche and whether you have the solutions. Brainstorm all the possible ways you could add value to your niche. Finally come up with a list of topics that you can research further.
Learn From Your Competition
You’re probably not the first blogger in your niche but that isn’t a bad thing. Think of your competition as a way to learn. Look at the articles your competition produces, look at what works and the ways you can implement their strategies without plagiarizing them.
Observing your competition also helps you produce original content. Make sure your content and topics are fresh and add value in a new way.
Do Some Keyword Research
For your very first blog post, keyword research and SEO might be lower down on your priority list but it’s still a great habit to develop when you create blog content.Keyword research helps you identify the words and phrases your audience is interested in. Including these terms in your content can greatly help search engine ranking and your blog’s reach.
There are some great keyword research tools you could use for free including Google’s keyword planner and as well as free extensions like Keyword Surfer and WMS Everywhere. You may not need to invest in a premium keyword research tool yet but it’s an option worth considering as you get more experienced as a blogger.
Make a Draft
After you’ve decided your topic the final step before you begin a draft is to build an outline. Lay out all the points you want to discuss in your article and structure your content.Plan your headings, your title, and the overall flow of your post.
Then draft your article. This may not the final version you post but your first draft should bring all your planning together cohesively and in a way that will engage your audience. Do not be afraid if your draft seems long, in fact blog articles that are over 3000 words often get better results.
Edit and Proofread
Once you’ve made a draft you need to get down to editing. This may seem like a boring task but good editing separates great articles from mediocre ones. The first step to editing your post is to re-read it. Does it still flow the way you imagined it?
Look for anything you can improve. If your post seems and feels long, look for those sentences which are too long. Shortening complex sentences can make a longer post feel significantly shorter and is therefore more likely to keep your audience engaged.
Your first paragraph has the huge responsibility of hooking the reader. Ensure that it is catchy, well written and hooks the reader.
Finally, comb through each line to look for grammar and spelling mistakes. The occasional typo may not seem like a big deal but to a reader who notices it’s the first sign of unprofessionalism.
How to Write Your First Blog Post on WordPress
WordPress is a clean and easy to use platform for bloggers. It may take you a few posts but in no time the process should be nothing but a breeze.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your first post:
Step 1: Log in
Log into your WordPress account.
Step 2: Create a New Post
Hover over to the “Posts” option in the WordPress sidebar. Once you do this you should see a list of options. Click on “Add New” to open the WordPress editor also known as Gutenberg WordPress.
Step 3: Start Your Draft
In the WordPress editor, you will see a series of editing options to help you draft your posts.
If you’ve already got your article drafted and written in a document, pasting it into WordPress is simple. The WordPress editor divides your content into blocks. Each block holds a certain format of content for example paragraphs, lists, headings, images and more.
Edit your article in your document so all the headings, subheadings and lists are formatted the way you want. Then copy each segment and paste it into the WordPress editor. For example, paste the title of your article in the title block in the editor. Paste your entire article this way and adjust the blocks for heading size and font.
You can also write your article directly in the editor and adjust the blocks along the way.
Step 4: Add Images
You might want to add images to liven up your content. All images you upload to WordPress are stored in your Media Library. To add an image, you can either upload an image from your Media Library or upload an image of your choice that you have saved.
To add an image to your post first add a new block. Then select the “Image” option and choose from the 3 options: “Upload”, “Media Library” and “Insert From URL”.Then insert an image that you have saved, that is already in your Media Library or an image from a URL.After you have inserted your image, you can move the image block to place it where you want within your content.
An important note to remember at this step is to be careful with the images you choose. Make sure you have the license to the images or that they are labelled for free use.
Step 5: Check your settings
To the right of your draft, you should see a sidebar with “Document” and “Block” settings.The “Block” settings help you adjust settings for each block as you click on it. For example, font colors, spacing, size and other options.
Within the document settings you can create categories, add tags, among other features.
Adding categories is a great way to organize your blog for your readers as well as for you as your blog grows and the number of posts you create increase. Lay out a few broad categories and as you go you these help group your posts.
Adding tags helps search engines find you so it’s certainly a vital step. Add relevant keywords separating each keyword with a comma.
Adding a featured image is also a useful document setting. This allows you to add an image that represents your blog and acts like a title for your readers. So, make sure you create high quality and appealing featured images to use with your posts.
You can also add your URL Slug in these settings. This is the end of the URL that leads to your post and it’s a good idea to keep this short but to also include your keywords.
Step 6: Preview your post
You’re now almost done. But before you publish your post you need to make sure it looks the way you want. Head over to the top bar and hit “Preview”. This shows you the post exactly the way your readers will.
Step 7: Publish your post
Once you’re satisfied with your post, hit publish. Make sure the “Visibility” setting is public and visit the post URL. That’s pretty much all there is to it. You’ve written and published your first WordPress blog post.
You may be done with your first WordPress post, but your journey as a blogger has just begun. Now that you’ve written your first post you need your audiences to see it. Promote and share your article through every avenue and medium you can. Your greatest tool for promoting your content is social media. Using the power of social media is no secret, about 97% of successful bloggers out there use social media platforms to boost their results.
Use social media platforms to find communities in your niche from Facebook groups to Reddit threads. Engage with these communities and lead them to your blog. Provided you’ve put in the effort to create high quality content, your audience will only grow.
Tips to Write Great Blog Posts
Always Add Value
Always write with the intention of providing something new for your audience. If your posts are simply retreads of topics done countless times before it’s going to be very difficult for you to make an impact on your readers. It can often be tempting to write a meaningless paragraph just to boost your word count but writing filler text that serves no purpose is a poor strategy. Your audience loses interest, and your reputation suffers.
It’s statistically true that longer posts perform better but that isn’t the sole determinant of success. A 2000-word well written, high-quality post will perform far better than a 4000-word post containing poorly written filler text.
If your post is shorter than you would like, extend it by doing more research. On average successful blogger spends about 4 hours to write a post. You must be willing to invest the time to create high quality content.
Break Down Your Textinto Paragraphs and Use Lists
A great way to make a longer post feel shorter for your readers is to break it into concise paragraphs. No one likes to see chunks of text, so divide your posts into easy-to-read paragraph segments.As a good rule of thumb aim to have about three sentences in each paragraph.
Using lists helps you convey content even faster. Lists are snappy and organized and instantly give the reader the information in a simplified manner. Lists can help you summarize ideas or break down concepts in a way that’s much easier than a paragraph to digest.
Images help you spice up your content.They’re great to look at and help you spread out your content especially if it’s a longer post. Remember, however, to choose relevant images that complement your content rather than distract from it.It’s a good idea to place an image every 500 to 1000 words within your content.
It’s also crucial to ensure you have the licenses to the images you use.If you’re searching for images on Google, make sure you only use images which are “Labelled for Reuse”. You can find this option in “Tools” and under “Usage Rights” when you make a Google image search.
Set Up a Routine
Yes, this is your first blog post but planning ahead puts you on the path for long term success. Find a routine that suits you and stick to it. Think about how often you want to post and create a schedule. Give yourself deadlines to keep yourself organized and consistently follow your routine. This will help your readers recognize you as a credible and trustworthy blogger.
Engage With Your Audience
This is one of the most important aspects of being a successful blogger. Your audience is the reason you write and if you want them to keep reading you need to engage with them.Building a relationship of trust with your readers is the best way to be successful in this game.
Enable comments on your posts and reply and acknowledge as many as you can. Engage with social media communities in your niche and gather an audience. The more people get to know you, the more likely they are to visit and recommend your content.
Those are all the tools and tips you need to write your first blog post on WordPress. There isn’t a whole lot to it but it’s vital that you follow these simple steps. As you write more posts, expand your content, and optimize your blog the way you do things may evolve. Starting out, it’s difficult to predict the places your blog might go but if you work hard and create great content your blog is headed toward success.