The first thing to decide is whether or not to write an introductory post about yourself and why you’ve started a blog. This can be a fairly contentious topic. Some people believe that your first post should serve as an introduction to your readers, letting them know a bit about who you are and what they can expect from your blog. Others strongly recommend against this, instead suggesting this information belongs in a separate “About Me” page.
No matter what side of the debate you fall on, it is important to include this biographical information somewhere on your blog. Readers will be curious about who you are and why they should be reading. Clearly and briefly describing your own unique perspective and vision for the blog will help readers better connect to your writing.
Once you’ve settled on a proper introduction, it’s time to finally dive into blogging. But, what should your first post be about? You’ll need to choose a topic that will grab readers’ attention and give them a good first impression of your blog. There are a few things to consider when trying to narrow down your options.
Keyword research is one of the most common ways to determine what people are interested in reading. A keyword search shows the popularity of various words and phrases that people search for online. Knowing the most popular searches can tell you what topics will draw in most readers.
However, it is not as simple as just looking for the most popular keywords and then crafting a blog post around them. Because they are popular, these keywords will also have the most competition. Even if you blog about a hot topic, it won’t guarantee your post ends up on the first page of Google search results, or even the first ten pages. You’ll need to be more creative. A great way to do this is to find a niche that falls within a popular topic. By adding more specific words to popular keywords you can catch readers’ attention and push your page up in the search results.
To get started with keyword research consider using one of these free tools:
For an even more thorough search, there are a number of paid keyword search tools available as well. We use SEMRush for our keyword research.
While keywords are very important, keep in mind that they should only be used as a jumping-off point or inspiration for your posts. You should not focus on popular keywords at the expense of your own voice and the quality of your writing. Ultimately, high-quality content will be a better driver of web traffic than a list of keywords.
Research Your Topic and Other Blogs
Once you’ve decided what to write about, it’s a good idea to do some research on the topic. Even if you’re already familiar with it, the more information you have, the better equipped you are to write engaging posts. Depending on your topic, making factual errors can tarnish your reputation from the start.
It’s also a good idea to check out blogs dealing with similar topics. Seeing how other writers approach your topic can give you some good ideas about how to shape your own post. You may see an angle that you hadn’t previously thought of or notice that no one seems to be covering the topic in a particular way. This can be a great opportunity for your blog to shine and grab new readers.
Finally, it’s time to write. Whether you choose a formal or casual tone, the key is to write in a clear and engaging style. The first few lines of your post are important. If you don’t quickly grab the reader’s attention, they may stop reading.
There is no one right way to write a blog. The topic and your own style will play a big role in what each post actually looks like. But there are some general tips you can follow to improve your chances of attracting and keeping readers:
- Be yourself - The best way to connect to readers is to be yourself. Remember, you’ll be writing a lot of posts. If you attempt to craft an alternate persona or write about a topic you don’t feel passionately about, it will become more and more difficult to produce quality content. When you speak in your own voice, your content will flow much more naturally.
- Use bullet points where appropriate - Bullet points help break up text and make it less intimidating and easier to digest. If your content lends itself to lists or bullet points consider using them as an alternative to straight blocks of text.
- Utilize images - Whether you include several throughout your post or just one at the top, including attractive and relevant images will make your blog post more appealing to readers.
- Include links - Including links to direct your readers to additional and relevant information on the topic you are blogging about is a good idea. Just be sure not to overdo it. You want your readers to stay on your page as long as possible.
A Strong Title Is Key
The title is the first thing readers are likely to see of your blog post. If you can’t get their attention here, it is unlikely that they’ll take the time to read your post. Your title should make it clear what your post is about. While it’s alright to be creative, you do not want creativity to confuse potential readers. Just like naming your blog, different types of posts lend themselves to different types of titles. Be sure to consider your content before deciding on your title.
It is also important to remember that while you want to do your best to grab readers’ attention, you do not want to be accused of being “clickbait”. Don’t make promises in the title that the rest of the post doesn’t keep. High-quality content is key. If your blog doesn’t deliver that, even the catchiest headlines won’t keep people reading it.
Don’t Forget To Edit
If you’ve gotten this far you’re probably ready to finally publish your first entry. Before you do that, though, you must be sure to thoroughly edit. Read through your post to check for grammar mistakes, typos, and punctuation. It is also important to read through for content clarity. Having a friend or family member read your post can help identify any mistakes you missed or areas that can be changed or improved.
The end goal is to have a streamlined, error-free post. Readers will be turned off by unnecessary fluff or errors. Taking the time to edit your blog posts is well worth it.
Once you’ve published your first post, one way to increase readership is to share it on social media. Using sites like Twitter and Facebook is a great and cost-free way to drive traffic to your blog. Come up with a short, compelling blurb to advertise your latest post and link it to your social media accounts.
You did it! After all the planning and decision making, your blog is finally online. While this was a guide for your first blog post, these steps can guide you through every post you make. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but it will be worth the investment once you start attracting a bigger and bigger audience. As you find your voice and flow, it will become easier and easier to produce well thought out, high-quality content that helps your blog thrive.
Start writing! You have everything you need to get your new blog up and running. Once you get your first article up, you can now call yourself a blogger. Congratulations!