I work with a lot of people building their first site on WordPress. These new WordPress users are sometimes so consumed with the look and function of their new site, the last thing on their minds is blogging.
They are aware the blogging function is there. They realize that blogging will bump their rankings. They even profess a desire to blog. But somehow, writing that first blog post is what what new users dread the most.
Then, months after we’ve finished the project and I check their site, I find the there are no new posts added. So sad. The funny thing is, people in the most interesting professions can’t find anything to say.
Until they do.
Here are a few tips to write your first blog post painlessly and with gusto. Your second post will come more easily. And once you’ve passed the three-post mark your blog training wheels will pop off and you’ll be cruising in the blogosphere.
Talk about you
Your first three posts should be mostly about you and why you do whatever you’re doing. Why you love what you do. The challenges you face. Don’t be afraid to sound self-indulgent. You are beginning a journey of storytelling with this blog, so you need to introduce yourself well. There will always be time to posts about the world later.
Plan to blog weekly
Weekly posts are the sweet middle ground between going whole hog and being lazy. Weekly blogging allows you to get your readers on a schedule and assure consistency.
Find a day of the week when it’s quiet enough to crank out your posts start to finish and schedule them to launch when you think the time is right, be it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
(I write my posts on Saturday or Sunday and launch them on Tuesday or Wednesday.)
Blogging weekly will help keeping your writing chops up. Because you know, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
Find compelling topics
Experts suggest combing keyword tools to find the topics most searched for on the internet, and writing to the keywords. That’s great if you are writing for the search engines. But if you want to post something your clients/friends/fans want to read, then use your intuition.
Yes, an editorial schedule will help keep you motivated when your ideas dry up, but making notes of relevant topics will make your work feel fresher and more urgent. Riff on what’s happening in your business or your industry, answer questions customers asked during the week, or offer a how-to.
For more suggestions on blog post topics check this out.
Start with 300 words
300 words is the minimum length that Google will pay attention to when indexing your site. You’ll find it’s amazing how quickly 300 words will slip from your fingers and onto the blog. Before you know it, you’ll be pushing 500, 700 and 1000 words. This 800 word post took me only 30 minutes to compose.
[Tweet “It’s amazing how quickly 300 words slip from your fingers and onto the blog!”]
Follow formatting rules
Blogging is as much a science as art. The medium has been studied to death and the guidelines for optimum search and readability are established. Best to start posting the way your readers are trained to read. Use this blog as a model of perfect blog formatting.
Ask for something
It’s important to tell a story in each post, but don’t forget to add a line or two asking for something. The term is Call-to-Action and CTA’s are de rigueur for blogging. Ask your readers to follow you on social media, sign up as a subscriber, buy your product, schedule an appointment, etc. No need to be coy about a CTA. Blog readers expect it.
Don’t worry, hit publish
To be sure, blogging is an act of self-revelation. With each post, you are revealing something of yourself to the world. Having said that, don’t get too hung up on hitting the “Publish” button. Remember this is the Internet, not a print publication. You can change and fix almost everything immediately and unless a vindictive reader took a screenshot of your mistake, there will be no trace of it.
Your first blog post may feel hard to launch, but the second will be easier, and by the third post you’ll have no compunctions about publishing.
[Tweet “The Internet not a print publisher. You can change and fix almost everything.”]
Just write your first blog post!
The most important thing to remember is not to expect perfection when you write your first blog post, just satisfaction. Getting it done and out there is satisfying enough to empower you to do more, and more, until the work becomes second nature. After a while you’ll be dreaming post titles.
Writing well and publishing is always better than taking forever to write perfectly. Just post it!
Are you one of those bloggers who can’t get started? Comment below and I’ll give you a prompt.
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