…and knock your readers’ socks off!
Writing your first blog post can be daunting. You’ve built up this motivation to write, you’ve set up a blog and now you’re just staring at the screen. Self-doubt may have kicked and you’re not sure whether anyone will really want to read what you have to write. You’re probably stuck wondering what should my first blog post be about?
Or you may have read up on blogging and realized that writing a good article is not sufficient. There are key concepts that you need to implement so that you do get traffic to your site. You don’t want to post great content that no one comes across.
When trying to figure out how to start your first blog post, begin with:
1) Pick a niche
Try your best to write on a niche that has a lot of interest such as abs workouts but find a smaller niche that still has a lot of traffic but it’s not focused on by big sites. You want a niche where you won’t have to compete with sites that have post loads of content daily and have high search engine rankings.
You can use Google Trends to help you narrow the search for something with less competition. For example, you may want to write on how to make money online but you know that there are many big sites that you’ll have to compete with. You can narrow this niche by making it specifically for people from your country.
The Philippines, for example, has a lot of online workers and there must be many more people from the Philippines trying to join the online world and make an income from it. Your niche could be writing to educate Filipinos on how to get started on the online world and what online jobs are available to them that can make them money.
By doing this you’ve created a more specific niche with less competition but a big market for blogs and services related to online work.
Write on what you’re passionate about
Most of the time, when we’re passionate about something, we will unintentionally carry out a lot of research on it. If you’re into vintage cars, you may watch Youtube videos on it, buy magazines on it, read newspaper articles on this topic and love to have discussions about vintage cars.
Unwittingly, you’ve researched on this topic and if you’re asked to write about how to maintain a Ford Mustang or the best places to buy one and why you would experience no difficulty in figuring what to write in your first blog post. You’d probably easily come up with a 5000-word article.
Write on what comes easily to you
Some people aren’t sure what they’re passion is but it’s highly likely that there’s something you do that comes easily to you. It might be something that you take for granted like cooking well. Vanessa Mehri of Swahilifood can whip up the most difficult of Swahili meals in the shortest time possible. She has all these tricks to shorten the amount of time she spends in the kitchen and for a long time, her family and friends told her to find a way to make money from this. To her, these shortcuts came naturally.
After years and years of being urged to start a blog, she finally did. It’s so easy for her to come up with content because it’s what she’s good at. It comes naturally to her.
Whatever you do, don’t write on a niche just because it’s profitable. That’s a quick way to experience burnout. It’s easier to consistently produce content on a topic that you like and are interested in even if it doesn’t pay as much as a topic like cryptocurrency.
Create a customer profile
Now that you know which industry you’re writing for, you need to come up with a customer profile. A customer profile defines who your target customer is. If you’re writing for travel magazines and your target market consists of 65 year old retirees who want to relocate and live in a holiday destination such as Thailand then your customer profile would describe a person from that segment.
There are loads of free templates that you can fill in. A customer profile will go so far as to include a name. You’re supposed to picture that person every time you write a blog post and ask yourself how it would benefit them, whether this is adding value to them, whether your article would assist them in relocating to Thailand, etc.
2) Carry out Keyword Research
There’s debate on whether keywords are necessary anymore to improve your SEO. My take is if it doesn’t hurt then apply those keywords. Once you master how to use keywords, then you’ll progress to including them in your meta description and then including them in your slug and then using long tail keywords, etc.
Learning how to implement keywords is the beginning of continuously learning and adapting ways to improve your search engine rankings and driving more and more traffic to your site. You can use Keyword Finder to help you research on the best keywords to use when you write your first blog post.
Rob Powell also writes extensively on keyword research, longtail keywords and more on how to get your blogs ranked higher and write on topics that people are interested in.
3) Offer Value to your Readers
Neil Patel’s posts are always pretty long but they are full of value. He provides data, graphs, charts and all kinds of visual aids to get his point across. Even if you’re skimming through his blog, you’ll be able to pick up key information from his headings and subheadings.
Your readers expect and want the same from you. They don’t want fluff. You don’t have to write 5000+ word blog posts but they need to be informative. Readers come to your site with a question/ need and from your title on the search engine, you promised that you could give them the right answer.
Anyone coming to your site is hoping that they can get all the information that they need within your article. They don’t want to have to read your article and then 10 different ones to get the answers that they’re looking for.
For example, if I am looking for a smartphone with certain specifications and you have a blog that covers smartphones, they should be able to find out about the features of that phone, the pros and cons of that phone, how long the warranty is, which phones compete with it and where they can buy it at the cheapest price. They should also be able to get a discount if they use your code or you should tell them about the latest deals for that phone.
Readers do not want to find out that your article is regurgitating the same information as most of the other blogs writing on this topic. Your article has to provide different or additional information to what other sites are offering.
Granted, some topics are hard to provide additional information on such as common recipes and you’ll probably end up repeating what everyone else has written about those recipes (don’t plagiarize) but you need to find a way to add your own twist.
For common recipes, the twist could be giving two recipes for one or always including a funny introduction such as how your mum had to find a different hiding spot every time she baked chocolate chipped cookies otherwise you would get up at night and inhale the whole batch.
4) Get the tone right
Your niche will also dictate your tone. Having the wrong tone can put people off from your blog. It would be inappropriate to write a humorous piece on families affected by suicide. A corporate blog will have a more professional tone, unlike a personal blog.
Some industries require a blog that is somber and focuses heavily on giving lots of valuable information. A lifestyle blog, on the other hand, will be lighter and humorous.
Sometimes humor can be used to make it easier to read a difficult topic.
5) Make sure your first blog post can qualify as a guest post
When you’re starting out as a blogger/ writer, one of the first things that you need to do to gain credibility is get your articles published on other websites and blogs, particularly within the niche that you’ve decided to focus on.
Usually, you’ll write a pitch to the editor of a site and suggest the type of article that you’d like to write for them but I’ve been successful with getting articles I’ve posted on my blog, published on other sites. This means that as you’re writing, you’ll have various sites in mind that you know would like the kind of article you want to write on. Make sure it fits their style and has the right number of words. Also, ensure that you’re not writing on a topic that they’ve already covered before.
Some sites will not like that you’ve published the article already but if you’re diligent enough and you’ve written a good article, you should be able to get someone to publish it.
6) Outline what to write in your first blog post
Once you’ve researched on the best topic to write on and the kind of title and keywords that will give you high SEO ranking, you need to figure out how to write your first blog post.
Your article needs to have a title, preferably with your keyword in it, an introduction, preferably with the keyword in the first line, a body with subheadings and the keyword used in the body but in a way that it seems natural. The keyword should also be placed in the last paragraph. Install Yoast SEO on your blog to help you with keyword density and other SEO tools.
Subheadings give the article structure and they help create a break between different points. They also quickly tell the reader what topics are covered in your article so you have to include them. As you’re structuring your article, before you write it, you can sketch an outline and then fill in the article later. For example:
- Heading – How to lose weight in 31 days without starving
- Subheading – You are what you eat; the right meal plan to lose weight
- Paragraphs expounding on the subheading
- Subheading – Workout plan
- Paragraphs expounding on the subheading
- Subheading – Get enough sleep to shed that weight
- Paragraphs expounding on the subheading
- Subheading – Consistency is key
Your paragraphs should be three to four lines. It makes it easier to read through the post. The longer the post is, the more short paragraphs will work to your advantage. Sometimes a point may only require two lines which is okay but try not to do that often.
7) Join a blogging community to help you write your first blog
You can join a blogging community like Problogger and do their 31-day challenge. This will help you write your first blog post and continue with the same momentum that you’ve started with. It will also hold you accountable.
This may seem weird, but I look to Youtubers for inspiration. I’m talking influencers. These guys talk with all the confidence in the world and most don’t care whether it’s inane content or a tutorial that’s been done a gazillion times over. They create and upload and all of you who have a problem with their content can suck it. They just do it.
You have to apply the same philosophy, just do it! You have all the information that you need on how to start your first blog post. Don’t get caught up in trying to apply all these tips when you write your first blog post. Try to start with getting the niche right and then with every subsequent post, keep applying more of the tips that are outlined in this article.