How to Write Your First Blog Post (A Complete Beginners Guide)August 02, 2018
Have you started a blog and you're stuck on writing your first blog post?
If you're new to blogging, here are many questions you could be asking yourself right now like
_How to write your first blog post? _
_What should you be writing about? _
Does your first blog post even matter?
In this post, I'll cover everything you should know about writing your first blog post from the topic you should choose, how to do the research, how to structure the content, to the actual process of a blog post writing. It's a step by step guide you can easily follow.
Without further ado, let's get right into it.
Before you get started with the actual blog post writing you want to set up your space first.
It's important to decide on the blogging tools you'll be using because a chaotic approach will make blog writing frustrating and more time consuming than it needs to be. There are lots of blog writing tools online you can freely use.
- Microsoft Word – This is the most popular writing tool out there. I believe that there's no one who hasn't heard about it. It's useful, but the fact that it has so many options can be a downside when you use it just for writing blog posts. As a blogger, you only need a couple of features from a writing tool, as you won't be formatting the writing in a complex way. All those buttons can be distracting.
- Google Docs – This writing tool is another approach to Microsoft Word but it has a way cleaner and simplified interface. And the best part is that you can keep everything organized in your Google Drive account.
- Airstory – A web-based writing tools. What I love about this writing tool is its simplicity. And the feature that placed Airstory to this list is the outline feature. Meaning that you have the option of displaying only the headings. This makes it easier to get a grasp of your blog post structure. You can also change the order of the headlines by easily drag and dropping them. I only found the outline feature in Microsoft Word.
- Evernote – This is the most popular notes tool. And it can be used for a variety of reasons like keeping your lists, notes, plans, and thoughts organized. It also makes for a great tool to write your blog posts in. It's simple and you can keep all your blog plans, topics ideas, blog posts, and research in one place. In addition, it has apps for any device.
Besides using a writing tool, you can take advantage of some tools to help you brainstorm blog posts ideas and create the structure for your posts.
- Trello – You might want to make a habit of using this tool on a regular basis. You can use it for multiple purposes from keeping your blog posts ideas to organizing your tasks. It's a great way to keep track on your progress and keep all your ideas at hand.
- Mind Mapping Tools – When you first try to come up with a blog post, your mind might throw tons of ideas at you. This is overwhelming and creates chaos. To keep your ideas organized and brainstorm a blog post topic, mind mapping is extremely effective. Try a tool like Bubbl.us. For more on how to use mind maps for blogging read this post.
The most daunting question. What should my first blog post be about?
Well, what your first blog post should or shouldn't be depends on the blog niche you're in and the core of your blog.
One of the most common first blog posts is introducing yourself in the blog post.
If you're starting a personal blog where you'll be talking about yourself and your experiences a lot, then yes. Introducing yourself in the first blog post is a great way to let readers know more about who you are.
If you're going to write an introductory first blog post, answer the questions people might have about your blog.
- Why have you started the blog?
- What is the goal of your blog?
- What topics you'll be covering?
- How often will you post?
- What can people expect to see from you?
Go beyond the information you give in your About Page.
You can always tell a story your audience can relate to so you hook them up. Stories win people.
As I said, an introductory first blog post is more suited to personal blogs. If you're starting a blog that's more niched or with a more professional feel, you should be giving people solutions from day one.
Write your first blog post on a topic in your niche.
You can start off with the most common questions people in your niche have so you set up a foundation for the future content. It's better to start with the basics and move up to more complex subjects.
To come up with the best first blog post ask yourself
- Who's your audience?
- What are the problems your blog will solve?
- What are people in your niche looking for?
To get the ideas running
- Look in your niche communities like Facebook Groups, Reddit, Quora, or forums and see what are the most asked questions
- Look over your competitors' posts. Make sure to check the sidebar on a blog because, usually, the best performing posts are displayed there.
- Read the comments on other blogs and find out what people are looking for.
Now's the time to use a blogging tool like Trello while you're looking for topics ideas so you keep everything organized.
When you write your first blog post, you may get anxious about it.
To make things easier, choose the topic you feel most comfortable writing about. If you're familiar with the topic, you'll be more confident rather than writing about something you know nothing about.
Another thing to consider is if the first blog post you upload makes for evergreen content.
Evergreen content will get traffic to your blog years after it's been published. Unlike news like topics that bring lots of traffic but only for a short period of time.
Overall, what should you write in your first blog post is something your targeted audience is looking for. And also a topic you feel confident in writing about. The best approach is to start with solving the most common problem in your blog niche.
Some of the best performing types of blog posts
- Case studies
- Problems and solutions
- Inspirational stories
- Beginners guides
Some beginner bloggers put too much importance on the first blog post, while some oversee it all together and post just anything. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
Your first blog post is important but is not crucial.
It's your chance to introduce yourself to the world and make your audience stay around for your next publishes.
Your first blog post should be qualitative and insightful.
Yet, you shouldn't be obsessing about it being perfect. Isn't aiming for perfection what holds us from stepping forward sometimes? Yes, it is. And the same goes for blogging.
There are lots of people wishing to start a blog but they postpone it for too long because they are afraid their blog posts won't be good enough.
The truth is, your first blog post won't be your best one. It won't be perfect.
The only thing you are supposed to do with your first blog post is to find a topic your audience is interested in and do your best to write an insightful post about it. It doesn't need to be wowing. You'll learn things down the way.
It's important that your first blog post is relevant. And the better it is, the better for the growth of your blog. If you're just throwing away random blog posts without thinking overall, you'll keep your blog in place. Contrary, if you come up with qualitative content from the beginning, you'll have a strong foundation for future development.
Stop stressing about perfection. There's no such thing.
The only thing your first blog post shouldn't be is a random post. Be relevant and keep the goal of your blog in mind.
A crucial part of how to write a blog article that will catch your audience's interest is for your post to be insightful enough so it solves the problems people have on the topic.
For this, it's important you don't jump over the research step.
Even though you are knowledgeable on the topic you choose to write about, there might be aspects you can oversee.
Research is also important because you see what people are looking for, what kinds of blog posts perform better in the topic, and it gives you resources to link to.
Follow the next steps to properly do research for your first blog.
Search for your topic on Google and see which blog posts show as the first results.
Look over the posts on the first page of results and see what aspects of the topic they are covering. You can take notes to keep track of all the points you come across so you can use them when you'll be creating your blog post structure (more on this later on).
Also, pay attention to the types of blog posts that show up. Are they listicles? Guides? Case Studies?
You may think that you have to sail against the stream for your blog post to be successful. If all the Google results are listicles, you should come up with the guide to break the ice, right? Well, not really.
If the majority of results for a certain query are listicles, it means that's what people are looking for.
So if you thought about a topic and all the results are x ways to, x secrets to.., and so on, you want to also come up with a similar structured blog post. If all the results are guides for beginners, then it's best if you also write a guide blog post.
Quora is an incredible place for bloggers to gather valuable information from.
Search for your topic on the platform and find out what people are struggling with on the subject.
Read the answers and see which are them are performing best. Not only it will tell you exactly what people want, but will also give you more insights on the topic. Maybe things you haven't considered covering in your first blog post yet.
I see most beginner bloggers jumping over this step. And this is one of the most common blogging mistakes.
SEO is important.
- Google is the go-to place for solutions. Want to learn something? Go ask Google. Want a new pasta recipe for tomorrow's dinner? Ask Google. For video and visual content, people use mostly YouTube and Pinterest. But Google is still the to go place for solutions.
- Google traffic is consistent. Once you're ranking, you'll get traffic to your blog post without having to do anything else other than making sure the post is updated if something is changing regarding the topic.
- Social Media is unpredictable. While promoting your blog posts on social platforms like Pinterest or Twitter can draw a huge amount of traffic to your blog, you can't place all your bets on it. Social Media platforms are changing their ways fast. Take Pinterest for example. They make changes almost every month. And odd things happen, like waking up to a blocked account out of nowhere. While it's a best practice to use social media to grow your blog, it's not great to play all your cards on it.
Your first stop to find keywords for your first blog post is Google. Think about words and phrases people use Google related to the topic you want to write your blog about.
When you add a search query on Google, you can see how it auto-suggests related searches that people are actually using when searching on Google.
You can also find valuable expressions if you scroll down the search results page.
Another tool that will help you find keywords for your blog post is Ubbersuggest. Add in your keywords and it will spit tons of related keywords for you to choose from.
Google Keyword Planner
Although Keyword Planner is designed to help Ppc marketers create their Google ads campaigns, it can be a valuable resource for bloggers also. When you input your keywords into the tool, it will give back lots of suggestions. The great part is that it also shows you the number of searches for a certain keyword. It's true it only shows you a range and not the exact number of searches if you don't have an active campaign. But it still enough to get a feel of how popular a keyword is.
Latent semantic indexing keywords are expressions related to the main keyword. Google uses these LSI when ranking blog posts because if there are LSIs, it means the post is insightful and covers different aspects of the topic.
Ahrefs Keyword Research tool is another useful asset when you're looking for keywords to go with your blog post. It's a bit costly to start with at first, but you can get some decent data with the free account.
After you go over all the keywords tools I've listed above, you should have a list with enough keywords to get your first blog post going.
Choose the keywords that have the highest search volume, and also long-tail-keywords that are less searched for.
What are long tail keywords?
Keywords that are usually above 3-4 words long. People use them less as there are lots of variations so they have a lower search volume.
Still, you shouldn't stay away from them.
For example, say you find long tail keywords with 100 monthly searches. It may seem like a low number to go after. But let's say you find 10 of them and get to rank your blog post high in search for these queries. Your actual traffic potential would rise up to 1000 monthly searches. Which isn't that bad.
They also help Google algorithm better understand what the blog post is about and will boost the ranking for other keywords you're targeting in the blog post, too.
You got your list with the keywords put together. But your blog post should revolve around one main keyword on the topic.
For your main keyword, you want to choose a search query that people are using and that doesn't have a thorough competition. If you jump on a highly competitive keyword, you won't give the chance for your first blog post to rank high in search and bring you organic search traffic.
One aspect that's extremely important to consider when you look for the best keyword is the number of backlinks high ranking blog posts have. Backlinks are extremely important for ranking. And if you choose a keyword where the best performing posts have over 100 backlinks, your first blog post with no links gets no chance of competing.
Ahrefs shows you the number of backlinks the results on the top 10 positions have.
The main keyword
- The blog post title – The post performs better when the keyword is at the beginning of the title.
- The URL – Having the keyword in the URL slightly boosts your search rankings.
- In images titles, alt text and descriptions – You want to have at least one image that contains your main keyword in the text surrounding it.
- In the body – Use your keyword through the content of your blog post. Don't obsess over its destiny as it doesn't hold the same power it used to. Instead, focus on using many variations, synonyms, and related expressions. The more possible search queries your blog posts encompasses, the better.
- Spread them through the content
- Use them naturally – Don't force them if they don't belong. Use the keywords where it's relevant and doesn't mess with the text's readability.
- Don't stuff – You might have the instinct to go over and fill the whole post with keywords to maximize your chances for ranking. Don't. Stuffing is frown upon not only by human readers but also by Google's crawlers.
The headline is the most important thing about your blog post.
Think about it.
When you Google something, what are you looking at when you scroll through the results? The titles.
A great headline makes you click on a result.
The same goes on social media. When you see a blog post shared on Facebook, you read the headline and decide if you should click on it or not.
So a bad headline might keep visitors away. If you don't attract with your blog post headline, people won't click and won't get to read your awesome blog content.
Here are a few tips to come up with a killer first blog post title
- Include your main keyword in the title
- Keep it under 70 characters – So it doesn't get trimmed by Google when it's displayed in search results.
- Use powerful words – Some words have a greater impact on people's decisions to click a link than others.
- Use Coschedule Headline Analyzer – It'll score your headline and give you suggestions about how to make the headline better.
- Write more headlines – Before you decide on your first blog post title, come up with at least 10 variables for it. You'll see that usually, the more headlines you write, the better they get. So don't stop at the first idea.
- Use you/your – Nothing gets deeper to peoples' brain than the feeling they are specifically addressed to.
- Inspire yourself from Buzzfeed – Maybe you don't want a Buzzfeed like title, but you can steal a bit from their insanely well performing titles.
If you're wondering how to start your article, this is the answer.
Don't jump straight into writing after you came out with your first blog post idea. Take some time to first outline the body content.
Two main reasons to use a structure
- It makes the blog post readable – Part on how to write a good blog post is how it looks on the page. When people go through a blog post they don't read everything, they scroll through it until something catches their attention. If your post is nothing but chunks of text, people won't read it. You need to section the body into chapters, subchapters, and bullet points.
- It'll make writing easier – If you come up with the structure from the beginning, you'll know exactly what to do next. Fill in the blanks. This not only makes it easier to write but will keep you on track so you don't start adding unnecessary fluff to your post.
How to create the structure
- Look over the keywords – The list of keywords you put together earlier should give you some chapters and subchapters to add into your structure.
- Use Google search related and People also ask – These are the most common searches used for a certain topic. It not only gives searchers what they want, it also helps your blog post show in the People also ask sections.
- Think about the problems on the topic – They will make for some chapters and subchapters, as well as part of them.
For example, let's say your topic is cats food. Some related keywords are foods cats can't eat, can cats eat tuna, can cats eat bacon. These can all be sections for your blog post.
Your blog post structure can look something like this
1.1 Subchapter 1
1.2 Subchapter 2
2.1 Subchapter 1
2.2 Subchapter 2
As you can see, I've made a variation of the subchapters' content structure so you get an idea of the possibilities. Each topic has a different perfect structure as there are different problems and solutions needing to be addressed.
Try to keep your sections short. If you find yourself writing more than 300 words under a single subchapter, try breaking it down in two pieces.
You first blog post introduction is crucial.
It's what sets your readers down for the rest of the content. If you don't hook them up in the beginning, they'll most likely hit back and look for another resource.
So how do you start writing a blog post properly?
- Get inside your audience's head – Show them you understand their problem. If the reader feels understood, he'll want to hear what you have to say.
- Ask a question – One of the best ways to start a blog post is with a question that your readers can relate to. If it makes them think Yeah, that's what I'm struggling with, then they'll stay along for the solution.
- Start with controversy – Controversy always makes people be curious about the content. Start your first blog post introduction with controversy and you'll trigger peoples' interest.
- Storytelling – There's nothing more powerful in the blogging world than stories. Especially stories that people relate to or that make them fill out with inspiration. The best salespeople in the world mastered the storytelling skills. Use this to your advantage.
There is a blog post introduction formula that you can find in most successful blog posts. And it addresses three things:
Now it's time to add value to your first blog post.
The blog post body is where you give all those insightful information to your reader. You give them solutions to their problems. Needless to say, it has to be qualitative and well researched.
- Divide it into sections – I walked you earlier through the importance of structuring your blog post. I address this again because it's so important.
- Use headings – H1, H2, H3… Use them fiercely. Not only it makes your content more readable, but Google will also love you for it.
- Use bullet points – People scroll to a post and stop on the sections that catch their attention. Bullet points are excellent at catching people's eyes, making the blog post easier to consume.
When you write your first blog post, don't forget to add a conclusion to it. Don't unexpectedly end your article.
What to add to your blog post conclusion:
- Your main keyword
- Remind your readers the key takeaways from the blog post
- Add a call-to-action (CTA)
Why having a CTA is important?
If you tell people what to do next, you boost your chances that your visitors will actually do it. And the key to how to be a successful blogger is growing an audience that interacts with your content.
- Ask them to share your first blog post on social media.
- Encourage them to subscribe to your mailing list.
- Tell them to check another blog post so they stay on your blog (after you gathered more posts).
There's not an exact rule to it.
It depends on your niche and what the audience wants from you.
Some topics call for long posts, while in some niches people want short and quick answers. For example, I could've not written this post in just 500 words because it would've meant letting out a lot of information. Information that needed to be addressed.
But if I was to write about, let's say about fixing a battery sink, nobody would have the patience to read through a 2000+ word blog post. People want a quick solution to solve the problem.
For SEO, it's true that 1500+ words posts rank higher in search. But you can't force thousands of words in a post if it doesn't make sense.
Maybe your post will get to rank in the beginning because of its length, but people won't read it. They will click, then bounce back when they'll see how much they have to read until they find the answer. And you know what a high bounce rate means? Low ranking.
So, before you stress out about the length of the post, think about what your audience wants to see.
If you're talking about an insightful topic, then you should come up with an at least 2000 words blog post. But if there is no need for tons of information, don't force it.
Now that we covered the preparing steps, it's time to get to the actual first blog post writing.
Here are some suggestions to help you come up with an amazing piece of content:
- Shut out the distractions – Once you start writing your first blog post, all the things that might distract you must go away. Social media, texts, notifications. Put your phone aside and hide all the tabs on your computer. That's why I love simple writing tools instead of the classic Microsoft Word. The former has way too many buttons and they make for a great distraction.
- Use a timer – It might feel overwhelming to keep writing for 3 hours straight on your first blog post. If you break that time in chunks of writing with pauses between them, it'll give your mind time to breathe. Use a time tracker that's customizable to set up schemes fitted to you.
- Keep referring back to the blog post title – So you avoid jumping away from the subject, keep thinking about the title. It'll remind you what the goal of the blog post is.
- Write freely – What you are writing at first is a draft. So this is not the time to stress about any misspellings, grammar errors, or not so great phrases. Just write your mind freely without looking behind. When you keep stopping to edit, you break the writing flow and it'll be harder to get back at it. You'll edit the whole post later.
The draft is ready and now it must take its final form.
You'll have to go a couple of times over it to rewrite and edit any misspellings and errors. You'd be surprised how different the final blog post will be comparing to the initial draft.
TIP: Don't edit the post the same day you wrote the draft. Give it at least a day and come back to it with fresh eyes.
A great blog post is error free and properly formatted.
In the editing process, you might miss some of the grammar errors. The more efficient way to edit grammar errors and misspellings is to have a human editor do the job. But this probably isn't an affordable option for a new blogger.
Fortunately, there are lots of writing editors tools out there that do an amazing job at catching out glimpses. Make sure you use them every time you finish writing and editing yourself.
- Grammarly – This should be your first stop. Grammarly is a great writing editor app that will polish your first blog post the way it should be. It catches misspellings, errors, and gives you context-specific suggestions.
- Typely – This is a free proofreading tool that will catch your typos, cliches, weasel words, and a lot more. It is great used in combination with Grammarly as both of them have its own strengths. It's also an easy to use Markdown editor.
- Hemingway App – Your first blog post should be easily readable for most people. Meaning short sentences and uncluttered phrases. Hemingway highlights the sentences based on their difficulty score and gives you suggestions on how to simplify your writing.
Before you hit publish on your first blog post, make sure you covered all the on-page SEO basics.
- URL – Make sure you have your main keyword in the URL. Also, try to keep the URL as short as possible and avoid using numbers. If your post is 25 ways to.., try not to include 25 in the URL as you might add more items to the list in the future.
- The meta description – This refers to the description that's displayed in the search results under the blog post title. If you don't add your own meta description, Google will show a random piece of content from your post. Create your own description which contains your main keyword and ends with a call to action.
- Optimize images – When you upload your images to WordPress, make sure you add alt text and image descriptions which contains keywords you're targeting.
Here are the best blogging tips to consider so you create a high-quality blog your reader will devour.
- Use images – Blog posts with images perform better because they are more engaging. They break up the text and make it easier for readers to go through the article.
- Write short paragraphs – As I keep stating, the blog post readability is crucial. And short paragraphs are easier to read. Keep them at a maximum of 5 lines.
- Keep sentences short – Same as with the paragraphs, the sentences must also be kept short and on point.
- Use simple words – A blog post is not the place to show your pretentious vocabulary. Use simple words your readers can easily understand and relate to.
- Show empathy – Show your readers that you are human and can relate to their problems. They'll trust your expertise more and create a powerful connection. Examples of emphatic composition Maybe you are thinking that…, You get the feeling…, You dream of…
- Cut the fluff – If something isn't making a point, cut it off. Too many unnecessary sentences and the readers will get bored and walk away.
- Add links to resources – It not only shows that you properly did your research. It also helps your readers get all the details they need on the topic. The more you help your reader, the closer they'll get to your blog. And it also boosts your SEO efforts.
I'll give you a couple of first blog post ideas to start with if you still don't know what to blog about.
- Give a solution to a problem your targeted audience is struggling with.
- The best tools in your niche
- Compare different tools
- Make a checklist
- The best places for resources
- Suggest books you've read on the topic
- Inspire people by showing your life experience
- Walk people through a process of doing something
- The top things people in the niche should know
- Talk about the history of the niche
- Explain common terms in your niche
- Make a tutorial
- Answer the most common questions in the niche (FAQs)
For more blog post ideas check this list from Optinmonster.
I believe that now you have a better understanding of how to write your first blog post and you're ready to take action.
Key takeaways you should keep in mind:
- Write your first blog post on a topic you feel comfortable with. It'll make you less anxious about hitting publish for the first time.
- The first blog post is not crucial so it doesn't have to be perfect. But if you make it valuable, you'll create a foundation for your blog.
- Learn about SEO from the beginning because organic Google traffic is key to a successful blog.
- Create a structure for the blog post before you get to the actual writing.
- Focus on how valuable the content is rather than the number of words.
- When you write your first blog post draft, write it freely and shut out distractions. Don't edit while you write.
- Before you call it finished, make sure your blog post is free of misspellings and grammar errors.
No more over analyzing. Go write your first blog post and get your blogging journey started.