How to write your first blog post with confidence
You’ve got your brand new blog, and it’s time to write your first blog post. But as with all beginner bloggers, this can be a daunting prospect. So I’ve created this Infographic to show you how to pluck up the confidence to get started:
And here’s some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
Take a deep breath
As my daughter would say, “Take a chill pill”. Deep breathing will calm you down, lower your blood pressure and make you think more plausibly.
There’s no need in getting yourself into a tizzy about writing your first blog post. I advise you to prepare your environment and focus on the job at hand. Putting this off will not help anyone, especially you!
If it’s your new blog that’s making you nervous, try writing offline. Sometimes a newly sharpened pencil and a clean, untouched notepad may be more enticing and welcoming than an empty blog post editing page. Or perhaps a new page in Word might make you feel more comfortable.
Starting a new blog when there are so many other blogs available to compare yourself against can have its disadvantages as well as being helpful.
OK, reading other blogs is a good idea, because this will enable you to learn more about blogging, see what styles are successful and find topics that are popular. But don’t think you have to immediately be as good as other bloggers who have been writing for a long time.
Practice makes perfect. My first posts were truly awful (though I didn’t know it at the time). They took me absolutely ages to do, but they were stilted, boring, laborious. Over the years I have found out how to blog properly, and I’m still learning now!
Know what’s important
Why did you create this blog in the first place? Was it to write about a specific subject? And was it for you that you set it up, and not anybody else?
Therefore you must stop worrying who will read your first blog post. It may only be your mother and next door’s cat, or it may be your entire social media following, but whoever it is, does it really matter?
As long as what you’ve written isn’t mind-numbingly boring (as a lot of first blog posts tend to be), you need to be reassured that it’s your best effort, and be suitably proud of it.
Give yourself 5 minutes
Procrastination is probably the obvious reason why you’re hesitating to write your first blog post. Or your mind goes as blank as the page in front of you. What you need is some pressure.
If you have set yourself a realistic deadline, it’s amazing how easily you can knuckle down to get a troublesome task done. Note I said realistic: 5 minutes certainly isn’t an eternity, in fact it’s quite manageable.
Having the kitchen timer ticking down 5 minutes forces you to focus on the job at hand, ignoring any distractions that get in the way. And you probably find that when it goes off, you’ll have caught the writing bug and won’t want to stop anyway!
And when things go wrong
Work with it! It’s not worth beating yourself up if things aren’t exactly what you wanted the first time around. Only a very few professionals manage to produce perfect posts every time.
Mistakes, even disasters, can be used to your advantage. Think of them as practice runs, a trial time, something you can learn from.
Analyse what you’ve created, and glean what you were trying to say. Sometimes there’s a red herring that’s scuppering everything, and needs to be removed. Anything can be salvaged and turned into something wonderful, if you really want it to be.
So what should you write about?
When I read “Welcome to my blog. This is my attempt at writing my first post” I reach for the nearest waste paper basket to throw up in. This kind of post is so predictable, it’s painful. Yes I can see it’s your first post, you don’t have to point out the obvious!
Of course you’re not going to do that. In fact I want you to treat your first blog post as if you’ve been writing for ages and this is just another fabulous creation. Thrill your readers by pretending this, and you’ll instantly have their attention and admiration.
Be imaginative with your content. Introduce yourself and tell your readers why you are blogging. Write as if you’re telling a story, or having a conversation. Be intriguing and share a secret. You could be controversial and set the pace about what you believe in – all this will arouse a potential reader to notice you more.
How well do you know your readers?
A blog without readers is totally useless, as otherwise you’ll be blogging to an empty void and you’ll soon give up. It is your readers that will encourage you to write more, and their feedback will give you inspiration to write what they want to read.
So it’s worth properly understanding them. Or forming in your mind exactly what your perfect reader would be. Because it is for them you are writing for, and not necessarily for yourself.
Do some research and analyse who your ideal reader is, what they like or hate, what their problems are, what interests them, what tastes or preferences do they have, and know the most appropriate level of comprehension you are writing for.
Get some help with ideas
Sometimes working on your own is not as profitable as using others to help you. Gather some friends together for a brainstorming session to come up with some topic ideas, subject lines and even dynamic headings for your posts.
Then afterwards look at what you’ve got, and start to determine what you think is good, bad or mediocre. Ditch the useless stuff, and focus a bit more on what is worth while or has potential.
You shouldn’t feel impelled to use the first thing that comes into your head, even for your first blog post. Try experimenting. Explore different avenues. Write lots of drafts. Sleep on your copy and look at it the next day with a fresh pair of eyes.
Use structure as a prop
Everybody knows that planning helps towards success. And it also acts as a guide through that confusing fog of first attempts, especially when writing your first blog post.
Create an outline of your post, eg a beginning, middle and end. Now you have more of a focus to fill in the gaps. Your introduction should be enticing, informative, even a promise to draw your readers in.
The main body of the post is where the real meat and vegetables are, something for your readers to get their teeth into. Break it up with subheadings and short paragraphs to aid faster reading.
And your conclusion should summarise what you’ve said and be accompanied with a suitable call to action. By giving your readers something to do, even only to comment or share on social media, your first blog post will not be written in vain.
The power of editing
Never ignore what a really good edit will do for your post. This isn’t just looking at the spelling mistakes and grammar inconsistencies, even though these are really important if you want to maintain you and your blog’s credibility from the start.
Editing should focus on making your first blog post really readable. How does it flow? Is it easy to read, even out loud? Are there any long, disjointed sentences or misconstrued meanings that could hinder your reader’s progress through the post?
Editing shouldn’t be viewed as a quick 5 minute job. Leaving your post to ruminate for a while will make all sorts of mistakes suddenly become more noticeable. Getting someone else who is totally uninvolved to read it will highlight any anomalies that need correcting. And feel free to cut any areas that are confusing, go off at a tangent from the subject, or are just plain unsuitable. If you think your grandmother will be happy reading it, then it’s OK to publish.
Are you ready to write your first blog post?
This post gives you a good guide and plenty of reassurance that it’s fine to go ahead and write your first blog post. It won’t be a disaster or bore the pants off your readers, and it will be something you’ll be happy to look back on later in your blogging career.
However, if you would like some further help with writing one, or a pep talk to give you ideas or encourage you along the way, why not contact me for a Skype call? Or if you would prefer to email me your concerns, you are very welcome. I love answering questions!
All you need to do is to click on the button below to start of the process:For help, advice and encouragement, just click here!
I look forward to hearing from you.
PS Also, why not check out my 90 Day Challenge to Blogging Mastery? Refine your blog commenting prowess at a leisurely pace with plenty of time to practice your new skills on blogs and social media worldwide!