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You’ve started your blog. You’ve chosen the name and the niche. You’ve purchased the top hosting and your creative domain. You’ve installed WordPress and customized a gorgeous theme. But now… now what? It’s time to get out there and start publishing content!
Your first blog post can be daunting. Do you jump right into helpful content or take a moment to introduce yourself to your readers?
First, let’s take a step back. Here’s everything you need to know about blog content creation.
Tell Us About You
The first thing that many people do when they visit a blog, especially if it is a new blog, is try to learn about the blogger. The easiest way to tell these readers who you are is by having an awesome “about me” page. This page will grow, change, and thrive over time as you find your voice as a blogger so do not stress about making it perfect from the get-go.
However, you should put a little meat in your About Me page to give your new #1 fans something to stick onto and make them feel connected to you. Introduce yourself in a few sentences and sum up what your goal is with this blog you created. This gives you the perfect launching point for your first post!
If you’re like me whenever I write papers for school I always get stuck on where to start. Once I’ve started the rest of the paper tends to flow naturally. Blog posts are the same way – the first post, and even the first sentence within any post, are the most difficult to get down and out there into the world. This “about me” page is the key to painlessly jumping into your future content.
Take a moment in your first post to introduce yourself. Elaborate on what you put in your About Me page, but focus less on you as a person and more on your blog. Take your blog as an entity and expand it.
Answer these questions:
- What is your blog all about?
- Why did you choose this topic?
- What is your goal? (To help people do what?)
- What sort of content can your readers expect in the future?
Include at least two photos, review, edit a bit, and hit publish. Your first post does not have to be overthought, stressed over, and should not take you a long time. You have more important content to get to!
Truth be told, the loyal blog readers who you will gain through this process will probably never see this first post. It’s a post to prime the rest of your content, don’t worry about it.
Now it is time to start planning content for the future.
Brainstorm Content Ideas
What is a problem within your niche? Solve it.
Posts that help others solve a problem tend to be the most successful.
Say you are a blogger focusing on backpacking. Think of a problem that a beginner in that field may encounter, such as what to carry in their backpack or the best trails to backpack in a certain part of the world.
Each problem has a potential of 2 – 3 blog posts that could solve it – that’s a lot of content!
Create a General Post Structure
In school we were always taught that an “introduction” “body” and “conclusion” were important in structuring our papers. Blogging is very similar.
Readers expect posts to have a specific flow to them. Open up with a paragraph or two describing what it is you are going to be talking about. Then, talk about it. Remember to keep the post focused on the purpose of helping people. At the end, wrap it up in a sentence or two. Then follow it up with a call to action: ask a question to make your audience want to comment and share their insight with you. This will help create engagement with your readers and eventually form an engaged community. Engagement is key.
The post is written and you’re ready to press publish – wait a second. A visually appealing post tends to keep readers on the page more, which means you need one thing: images.
Go out and take pictures, even just using your smart phone if you lack a nice camera, to compliment your post. You don’t need a fancy camera, lighting setup, and personal photographer to do this. Some creativity and a nice phone camera will do just fine.
“No thanks, I’m just going to take images from Google and put those up, they’ll look better!” you may be saying to yourself right now. Stop right there. That is illegal.
What? Illegal? Yep – illegal. There are copyright rules about everything posted on the internet. Even if the author does not explicitly say “these images and words are my property” they still are. There are some sites that offer free stock images that you can use – however if a site does not specifically say “feel free to use this!” then you cannot do so.
Take your own pictures. Not only will it keep your site legal, it will make it look better as well.
Now that you have some content ready to be published and shared with the world, you are ready to start on your blogging journey. Get that first, nerve-wracking, post out of the way and you will be golden. Next step? Promotion, get eyes on those posts. That will be coming up in the next post so stay tuned!
If you’re working on starting a blog, what is your blog about? If you’re already running an established blog, what is your top tip for beginners?