Can you smell that? No, it’s not the leftovers from a few nights ago. It’s the fresh smell of excitement! You’ve done it. You have a blog. You have a custom web address. Congrats! You got a template, picked some cool plugins, and now you’re ready to start sharing with the world your deepest passion for cat sweaters. As you sit there, staring at the screen, you can’t help but wonder, what is the first blog post you should write? Where do you start?
Well, lucky for you we’re here to help. If you’re not going to be lucky getting blog post’s written for you, getting over the hump is always the most difficult part of writing for you blog. Follow these steps, and soon you’ll be on our way to blogging like a professional.
Building a well written blog is kind of like building a house. You need to have a good set of blueprints designed, then use your careful design choices to start construction. You can always make little adjustments, like changing the flooring or paint, but overall the house still looks like the thing you designed all the wayyyy back months ago before you and your wife got into a fight over a stupid little thing but she said that it was going to be easy but you said no it wasn’t and then you ended up sleeping on the couch and eating fast food for a week straight because…wow, I digress.
Okay, back on track.
The easiest way to start figuring out dates and posts to write about is first figuring out a theme for your blog. Let’s take the example from earlier, cat sweaters. Perhaps there is great discussion in the cat sweater community about what yarn is the best.
Based on the best SEO practices, content which is very specific and detailed tends to perform better. Also it is more engaging and exciting to your readers. So perhaps you are going to devote a few posts to cat sweater yarn. Great! You have a theme without too much thought.
If you’re blogging or writing about a more complex topic, you can easily link together multiple subjects together to create an extensive library of knowledge.
After you’ve figured out what you’re going to blog about for the next month, you need to then figure out how often you’re going to post on your blog. This is a highly contested and sometimes secretive process.
When the first blog post’s came out into the world, many people blogged often, sometimes daily, or even more often, like each hour. Yes seriously. These posts tended to be very short, and of dubious quality. As search engine technology has improved, there has been a major shift to the concept of, “less is more.”
Higher quality content, with shorter frequency, is what search engines, consumers, and most likely your blog readers will want to consume. If you think about it – how much time are you going to be putting into a blog post with only a paragraph worth of information, compared to someone that has put in significantly more research into another? How much time will your readers spend their precious time reading?
We recommend blogging at least 2 times a week, with high quality content. We also recommend at least 1,000 word blog posts – these show your readers, and Google, that you have put effort, time, and research into creating the good stuff.
Don’t get too stressed out about how much content and copy you are creating – do what’s right for you and your readers.
Now that you have an idea of how much you will write about your topic, you can go about creating blog posts in a manner that works best for you.
Some bloggers we know that are more accustomed to writing longer novels will write an entire month’s worth of blog posts in a giant essay format. They then will break it out into chapters and post a blog post for each chapter. This also allows them to sell the whole blog post as an e-book.
Other times, a complex subject will have lots of different angles or possibilities which can create multiple blog posts within your theme for the month. Cat sweater yarn probably has many different strength, colors, and shapes that can be blogged about.
Creating really valuable content can be time consuming. That’s okay, your readers will thank you for it :). Well thought out content will make your blog valuable. And it all starts with your first blog post.
When creating your content calendar, we recommend setting specific days which you will post. This will help keep you on a schedule and break things up so it doesn’t seem like an insurmountable task.
For example, here is what a schedule might look like for a blogger who wants to write two times a week:
|Monday||Spend an hour doing research for article #1 and create an outline.|
|Tuesday||Start blogging away! Set a target of 500 words.|
|Wednesday||Finish up your first blog post and let it sit. Get some fresh air. Come back, make edits, and publish!|
|Thursday||Spend an hour doing research for article #2 and create an outline. Start writing, 500 words today.|
|Friday||Finish up blogging, and let it sit. Really let it sit. Schedule blog post for posting on Monday.|
|Saturday||Relax, it’s the weekend.|
|Sunday||Okay, stop relaxing, start thinking about this week and get a head start on outlines!|
It helps to put this into a real calendar – whether on paper or through something like Google Calendar. There are also plenty of services which can help you ideate, write, and edit your blog content.
After you have a calendar of topics ready to go, start writing! This is the fun but daunting part. The good news is that if you’ve done your planning, many ideas will come to mind – so your writer’s block might not even exist!
We recommend starting with finalizing your blog post’s outline – that makes writing easier. Then you can flesh out and create each section and piece them together. This helps create a cohesive story quickly. If you are short on some content, figure out what areas of research you will need to put into your blog. (Remember to cite your sources!)
Starting a blog can be overwhelming, and writing your first blog post can be even more challenging. Getting your blog set up, picking a template, then getting to the actual task of writing – yikes! But with some quick planning, realistic goals, you’ll be writing some great content for your readers in no time.
Be sure to let us know about any other tips you might have to help get started blogging.