So, you’ve set up your blog, picked your perfect theme, hit the publish button and everything’s looking great. Congrats!
But now you’re staring at the cursor blinking on the screen, thinking about what to write for your first, crucial post…and suddenly your mind is blank.
Don’t panic. I’m going to give you seven of my best tips to guide you through writing the perfect first post.
Where to start
One of the biggest mistakes I see with people’s first blog posts is that they forget why people have landed on their page in the first place, and they gravitate towards writing about themselves – who they are and why they started blogging, etc.
I can kind of understand why, as there are a lot of guides that will tell you to do this, but you should already have an ‘About‘ page, so I don’t feel there’s a need to do that again.
Remember, it’s a big world wide web out there, and none of your visitors will know you or your brand yet, so it’s super unlikely that they will want to spend too much time reading about you.
And while it’s important to build a relationship and level of trust through your audience getting to know you, your personality will come out through the tone of voice you use in your blog posts.
So please don’t get bogged down writing 18 pages, front and back, about your life story.
With that in mind, my advice to you is that your first blog post should be all about your readers. You want to inspire them, guide them, and leave them wanting to pay you another visit.
Here are my top 7 tips for you.
Tip 1: Write Down Your Niche
First up, write down your niche and always remind yourself of what it is. It’s really easy to go off-topic. Be really clear in what subject you are writing about as this will help in defining who it is you are writing for.
Tip 2: Identify And Understand Your Audience
Now it’s time to get a deeper understanding of who your audience is, and what they want to know about your niche.
Create an avatar – a complete profile of who your blog is aimed at helping. How specific you get depends on your niche, but you should be thinking about demographic information, personality traits, and what kind of challenges or pain points they may face as beginners in your chosen niche.
Now that you have a person in mind, ask yourself what are the first three things they would need to know about your niche. List them out and use them as guidelines.
Using photography as an example, beginners might ask “what’s the best budget, user friendly DSLR camera for beginners?” or “what accessories will I need?” or “what’s the best free alternative to Photoshop?”
Tip 3: Pick The Perfect Title
When you’re looking for blog post, what’s the first thing you notice? The title, right?
It doesn’t matter how great the content actually is – if the title is no good, people won’t click!
A good title will not only get people to click the link, but should ensure they read through the post.
You can find inspiration for great titles everywhere. Look at sites you visit, or do a Google search and see what headlines or titles catch your eye and pique interest.
Maybe take a look at magazines or newspapers. Think about what is was about the title that made you stop scrolling or flipping through the pages.
Don’t use a short, three word title, and conversely don’t use one that’s too long. The sweet spot is about six to eight words.
People will generally skim read the first three words and the last three, so avoid putting important keywords in the middle if you can.
Use compelling verbs and adjectives to convey emotion and create a strong response.
Here are 20 powerful examples: amazing, beautiful, best, brilliant, epic, essential, fantastic, free, gorgeous, great, horrific, important, inspire, killer, mind blowing, most, persuasive, success, ultimate, valuable
“How to” posts and list posts always do really well.
Tip 4: Hook People With A Killer Intro
Open with a bold statement and provide an overview of what the post is going to cover. This will increase the likelihood that visitors will read the rest of the post.
A simple format to use is to present a problem, and then point to a solution.
Tip 5: Break The Body Up
You want your content to be easy to digest, so make sure you use heading and subheadings to break it up.
Your paragraphs should be no longer than 3 to 4 short sentences.
Use a clean font and make sure there is plenty of white space by setting the line length and line spacing.
Line length is the distance between the left and right edges of a text block, measured in the number of characters. The optimum number for legibility is somewhere between 45 – 90, so adjust your font size or margins to achieve this.
Line spacing is the vertical space between lines of text, and is usually measured as a percentage of the font size. Aim for somewhere between 140% -180% for optimal readability.
Tip 6: Add A Conclusion
Use your conclusion to summarize the blog post. Reiterate and emphasize important areas, and use bullets points if needed.
You want your visitors to engage with you, so add a call to action (CTA) before signing off. Asking questions is great way to have your audience leave comments.
Tip 7: Imperfect Action Is Better Than Perfect Inaction
While it’s understandable that you want to produce the best possible content for your audience, it’s realistic that you’re first post won’t be your best.
Writing is a skill that takes time to cultivate. If you’re getting frustrated that your blog post is taking too long and you’re not 100% happy with the content, remember…you will get better.
Take a leap, get stuck in, and don’t be afraid to hit the publish button.
Well, there we are. Seven of my best tips for anyone struggling to write their first blog post. Which one did you find most useful? Or are there any that you think I’ve missed? Let me know below.
I really hope that this has helped at least one person launch their blog. If that’s you, please let me know…and send me your link so I can read your blog!
Until next time, take care.