It all starts with the first blog post.
I know… I’ve been through that stage. You’ve got mixed feelings:
A bit of euphoria:
You picture yourself as a successful blogger, and you believe that blogging is everything you need. But as soon as you start writing your first blog post, your feelings change. You develop:
You feel stuck, and probably a bit depressed.
I decided to write this blog post specifically for you.
To help you find your way and do only the things you need to do in order to achieve success.
I’ll tell you about my own experience with my first blog post (3,677 visitors, 183 email subscribers, 1,600 social shares and 85 comments).
You’ll get tips and recommendations from experts and regular bloggers who have already been where you are now. (You can skip directly to that section here.)
You’re going to need a great deal of support while you take those first steps.
You can get support from comments, social shares, thank you emails and traffic.
You just need a manual on how to write your first blog post:
- Because it’ll help you avoid making basic mistakes
- Because it’ll give you some practical steps to take
- Because it’ll let you get rid of your doubts and lead you to amazing results, even with your first post.
Bonus: Download a free eBook called The Ultimate Guide to Writing Blog Posts and get traffic from the first day! Inside you’ll find 63 experts’ tips, the checklist, and email templates for new friends, Facebook groups and Pinterest boards, as well as 16,000 words of this blog post. [+You’ll also become my friend!]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Step 1. What to Write in Your First Blog Post
You need ideas. Many ideas, not only for your first post, but for your next posts too.
Start by creating a file for your notes and ideas.
It can be Evernote, Google Docs, or Trello. (I use Trello to jot down my ideas.)
On Trello, it’s very easy to add your idea. Even if you’re walking or having lunch, your phone is always with you. An idea may strike you at any time and any place, and you’ll need to make a note of it.
Step 2. Organize a Brainstorm With One Main Condition
The most important rule for your first blog post is not to write about yourself.
In a quiet place, think about what you already know and what topics provoke passion in you, as well as what your colleagues and friends frequently ask you about.
Make a note of every new idea.
If you’re stuck, start with such posts as:
- 10 Easy Blog Post Ideas To Fill Your Editorial Calendar
- The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas [2nd Edition]
- 50 Blog Post Ideas That You Can Write About Today
Your best idea might be to help other, more successful bloggers, or even experts.
Step 3. Steal Ideas for Posts From the Sidebars of Your Competitors
Now, people tend to get rid of sidebars in order to make their readers focus on one thing.
On the article itself.
However, many people (myself included) save the sidebars for their best articles.
The blogs that you see on the sidebars gain the most traffic.
The owners of these blogs have studied their analytics; they’ve learned which of their posts are visited the most, and they add internal links to those posts in order to improve their positions in the search engine results.
Use this information!
If you can tell your visitor more about this topic, and in greater detail (using your competitors’ articles on the sidebars), start there.
Step 4. Before You Start Something New on Your Blog, You Need to Make a List of Your Competitors
Your competitors are your best friends, at least in the initial phase.
As soon as you define the topic of your blog (I hope you’ve already done this), start searching for your competitors.
Google will help you!
Just conduct a Google search of the questions and keywords that pop up in your mind, and watch who appears in the search results.
Save all of your competitors in a separate spreadsheet. (Google Sheets is an amazing option!)
Move on to the next stage and continue your list of ideas for future blog posts.
Step 5. Know Your TOP Competitors’ Most Visited Pages
Here are the tools that will come in handy.
Don’t be afraid to use them, as there are always free versions that will help you.
Input each of the competitors you’ve found, one by one.
Note: In Ahrefs, you should be able to do up to 5 free analyses of your competitors each day. Make it a habit to find 5 new competitors each day and save the results in a spreadsheet. To create a free account on Ahrefs, you’ll need to start by signing up for a 14-day free trial of their standard plan. You can cancel your subscription later, when the trial period is over.
Step 6. Find Your Future Online Friends
This is one of the most important steps on your way to success.
How do you think the experts became experts, and why do we read their articles every day?
Because they have connections, friends, and support.
For example, in the sphere of online marketing, you’ll find this picture very often:
The best always include links to the best.
They also support one another on social media.
Yes, I’m far from being an expert, but thanks to the relationship I’ve built with Brian Dean, he finally tweeted my article and supported me on Inbound.org.
It’s very important to start your friendship long before you write your first post.
But it’s not a huge deal if you still haven’t solicited the support of your online friends.
Start building your relationships right now.
Remember two important things when you go about making new friends:
- You have to take the first step and do something useful for your future friend. Do something to grab their attention.
- Address only those who need and are interested in your topic.
Your first step might be a simple thank you letter.
Try to make them notice you by:
- Leaving useful comments
- Informing them of any mistakes they’ve made
- Expressing gratitude personally (via email) if you liked a blog post
- Making a gift out of what you do best.
Don’t request anything.
Imagine that it’s a girl or a guy whom you like very much, and you want to get to know him or her. Act based on what the other person needs, not on what you need. Make sure to use your abilities, skills, and an element of surprise while you do so.
Unfortunately, I’m not a very creative person, so I don’t have a particularly rich fantasy life. That said, even I managed to use my experience to grab others’ attention. I just did what I do best and what I like doing.
However boring it may sound, my greatest strength is analysis.
I just love analytics. I also have experience in design, which is why I made the covers for Jason’s eBook and sent them to him for free.
Do something for other people that you can and love to do.
When a person sees your sincerity, you will always be thanked for what you do. And you’ll solicit the support of experts. Of course, it won’t happen instantaneously, but it’s well worth it. You are going to need friends, especially while your blog is taking its first steps.
Note: Don’t forget to create a separate spreadsheet where you can add all your friends. Take notes. These are the people who will help and support you later down the road, when you write them a personal email and ask them to evaluate your blog posts. (Vote for them in communities and share their work on social media.)
Step 7. Where to Search For Online Friends? + My Best Way
Where do you spend the majority of your time on the Internet?
For me, it’s Twitter. So I started my search for online friends there.
First, I identified the experts and determined who their followers were.
Then I started to devote 15 minutes a day to subscribing to those whose interests matched with mine. (I looked at others’ bios on Twitter.)
If Facebook is your favorite social media platform, then you should definitely join the communities. (Here you can download the list of the most popular groups.)
Pay attention to those who give you useful advice. Thank them in a personal letter.
If you spend time on Pinterest (which I fell in love with not too long ago), act similarly.
- Find group boards (here you can get a list of relevant group boards for free)
- Find those who have subscribed to the experts.
My favorite way of searching for online friends is the BFF Commenter Technique. (Make sure that you read this post!)
You won’t believe how well people react to new friends if they share a passion for a topic that is similar to yours.
Note: You’ll be getting hundreds of social shares, comments, and thousands of visitors if you make friends with just 50 bloggers who share your interests.
Step 8. I Like Doing Research, and So Should you
And that’s why:
Analysis and research are the foundation of your success!
Everything is simple. The one who’s informed is armed.
Don’t think that it’s difficult and takes up a lot of time.
Preparatory analytical work is compulsory, both for the success of your first blog post and for the blog as a whole.
Research will help you:
- Determine your target audience
- Identify the social media platforms and communities where this audience spends the majority of their time
- Search for keywords that will bring you traffic
- Understand what content you should create and how to create it
- Promote your content
Step 9. How to Find Your Target Audience
I recommend that you read the following articles:
- How To Find Your Target Audience In Content Marketing
- Content Marketing Framework: Target Audience
- Discovering Which Sites Your Target Audience Visits – Whiteboard Friday
I’m not a target audience search guru, so to these articles I can just add that the best variant would be to ask your fellow bloggers; they simply have to be at least somewhat more experienced than you. Even if they’re your competitors, they will still be open to giving you advice.
Step 10. Remember: Keywords Are the Basis of Your Future Search Engine Traffic
A lot of amateur bloggers make the most common mistake.
Sure, search engine optimization is not the fastest process.
But the results of SEO largely overshadow social media traffic.
- Engagement from social media is minimal.
- You need to create new posts over and over again.
- Traffic from social media is unsustainable.
- Organic search engine traffic works on autopilot once you have reached the TOP positions!
Keywords are the basis of SEO
You have to keep the following in mind:
- Always start to research keywords from the seed keyword
- Create a spreadsheet with all the keywords and phrases
- Check the keyword competition
- Evaluate the authority of your domain in comparison to others
- Evaluate the page rankings in the search engine results
- Notice how many links your competitors have (per page!)
- Learn the value of the average monthly search index (via Google Keyword Planner)
- Gauge how interested your audience is in this topic (check it via Buzzsumo)
Step 11. How to Choose the Primary keyword
Start by checking every potential keyword on Google.
Think of the search queries you’d create to answer the topic you’re covering.
Because you already know your competitors’ most visited pages, use their primary keyword.
It will always be in the heading of the articles, and usually in the first 200 words.
Use the spreadsheet to save all the keywords.
Input all the results in Google Keyword Planner to learn their average monthly search volume.
Choosing a seed keyword with the smallest rivalry would be a great start.
You can compete with this keyword in thousands of searches.
(That’s how it worked for me with my niche blog devoted to plants. I got the #3 position in the query with 49,500 monthly searches.)
Monthly searches are less important in relation to the power of your competitors.
The more authoritative your blog gets over time, the more likely you’ll be able to compete based on phrases with a higher number of searches.
The authority of your website/blog is in the external links!
This is the main factor when it comes to search engine rankings.
According to the latest research by Tim Soulo (Ahrefs), backlinks have the greatest influence on the ranking of your page.
Don’t worry if you find phrases with a small number of monthly searches. You can easily use them if you really have something to say on the subject.
Try to choose a target keyword with at least 100 monthly searches.
These data are not an indicator of the traffic you can really get.
This figure shows the number of Google AdWords advertisements in the search results, as well as their complexity. There’s no exact formula to calculate the exact amount of traffic a keyword can bring. However, this approximate data will let you know with greater certainty whether there’s any traffic at all.
If you’re choosing a keyword for your first blog post, you have to keep one important aspect in mind:
Note: Properly gauge the strength you’re going to be exerting on promotion. If you don’t have much time, you should choose key phrases that consist of at least 3-4 words.
Step 12. How to Evaluate the Difficulty of Your Post to Get in the TOP 10 Google Results
You’re a blogger, not an SEO specialist with years of experience. Right?
And you don’t have to become one to learn how to evaluate the difficulty of promotion.
You just need to follow these steps:
- Install the MozBar extension for Chrome. (You need to register to do so.)
- Activate it and tick all the necessary checkboxes.
- Now when you enter any words and phrases, you’ll see how authoritative and competitive they are with this query.
There are some basic indexes that you have to pay attention to:
- DA (Domain Authority)
- PA (Page Authority)
Always remember which stage you are at in your blog development!
For your new blog post, avoid the keywords used by your authoritative competitors.
If you found a keyword that has the following picture:
Grab it. You’ve achieved your goal!
It will be good practice for your first post to avoid the queries your competitors have:
- DA higher than 20
- PA higher than 30
- Number of links to the page (to the page, not to the domain as a whole) fewer than 10.
Don’t be confused if you see pages from Wikipedia or YouTube that always have high indexes. It’s a sign that it’ll be easy for you to surpass your competitors.
Always look at the number of links to the page!
Note: If you just recently launched your blog, you need to get as many quality backlinks from other sites and blogs as possible. (It’s the main principle for DA and PA.) The number of internal links is also used to calculate PA. Don’t forget to open your TOP 5 competitors by this query and see how much content they’ve written.
Step 13. How to Add Relevant Words, Phrases, and Synonyms to Your Primary Keyword
So, you’ve chosen your primary keyword.
It’s time to move on to the next stage:
Choosing relevant words, phrases, and synonyms.
Your goal is to use words and phrases that are relevant to the topic of your keyword in the content of your blog. Choose words and phrases that users will be searching for.
It’s not difficult to find them.
To do this, you’ll need some more tools. (All of these tools have free versions.)
Will Blunt put together a nice selection of tools for keyword research. Make sure that you read his article 35+ Keyword Research Methods To Unlock Hidden Gems.
Definitely search for relevant phrases on Quora and Reddit. (Input the primary keyword in the search field and study the words other people use in the questions and answers.)
But the best way is to simply analyze those who hold the first positions for a specific keyword.
- Load TOP 5 pages
- Use the Chrome extension by SEOquake on these pages and check their Keyword Density.
- Add all the phrases you find to a spreadsheet.
- Check them in terms of number of searches on Google Keyword Planner.
- Filter out those with no views at all.
- Organically disperse all the words and phrases throughout the content of your blog.
Note: You can always use phrases that Google considers relevant. Take note of the section “Searches related to” that is displayed beneath the search results.
Step 14. Tips for Creating the Outline of Your First Blog Post
So you’ve already prepared all the keywords, and you’ve evaluated the promotional difficulty and the content of your competitors (length of posts, media content used, etc.).
Now it’s time to create the outline of your future post.
Note: Just don’t make the mistakes I did. When I was just starting out, I spent more time creating the outline than I did writing the post itself.
I just love Brian Dean’s tips. Not too long ago, he posted an awesome video on this very topic (The APP Formula).
What should you include in your outline?
First of all, you need to address the following:
- Why this topic is important to you
- What the user will know and what s/he will learn
- What particular steps the user needs to take
The basic structure of your post should consist of:
- Title Ideas
- Create at least 10 different titles. (You’ll choose the best one later; you can use the others on social media.)
- Introduction. Give the user a list of reasons to read your post.
- Basic Content
- Subdivide the content into sections.
- Use subheadings (H1, H2, H3) and bulleted lists.
- Always make a CTA (Call to Action). It can be a call to answer your question, a request to share, etc.
- List all the keywords you’ve found.
- Create links to authoritative sources.
- Content Upgrade
- Create some bonus content that you’ll offer in return for getting email subscribers.
Step 15. How to Write Your First Blog Post
You might have heard that when you start writing a draft, you should get rid of all the sources that might divert your attention.
I follow this principle, and I highly recommend that you do the same.
There’s one exception, though.
To make it more comfortable, I always divide my screen into two separate halves.
I write on one side, and I keep my outline on the other.
This way I always know what to write about and never forget about the keywords that I’ve chosen in advance.
I love keeping track of my time in order to increase my productivity. It helps me see what projects I spend most of my time on.
To track my time, I use Toggl timer.
Later on, it helps me analyze the amount of time I’ve spent writing and creating a new post.
If I see that I’ve spent too much time creating an outline, for example, I’ll wrap things up and control the process flow.
When I was just starting out, I made the following mistakes (which I urge you to avoid):
- I was creating images during the time I’d set aside to write
- I was editing
- I was formatting
- I was correcting my mistakes
Step 16. How to Edit Your Blog Post
You’ve done it.
You’ve written a draft of your first blog post. Now you need to start editing and formatting.
Basic recommendations for writing and editing first blog posts:
- Use images preferably every 100-150 words.
- Take screenshots.
- Use free photostocks. (Here you can find a long list of them.)
- Create a graphic or an infographic on
- Divide the content into subheadings. (Use the tags H2-H3 to do so.)
- Edit your sentences so that they are as brief as possible.
- Paragraphs shouldn’t be more than 3-4 lines long.
- Add numbered and bulleted lists.
- Highlight the key phrases with tags <strong> (bold text) or <em> (italics).
- Use videos and slideshows as needed.
- Don’t forget to proofread your post and correct all the mistakes and typos.
Step 17. On-Page SEO Tips on Editing Your Post
1. The title of your post should include the primary keyword, preferably at the beginning.
- Try not to make it longer than 55 characters. (It’s okay if it comes out a bit longer, as you’ve written it for your reader first and foremost!)
- Check it on Headline Analyzer.
2. Your headline (H1 tag) might be the same as your title tag. However, you can change it and add more words. Jon Morrow gives some genius advice in his Headline Hacks: A “Cheat Sheet” For Writing Blog Posts That Go Viral.
3. In the Meta Description, don’t forget to write up to 130 characters on your post. Make sure to include a CTA (to make users want to click).
- Include your primary keyword in the description.
- It’s not necessary to use an exact occurrence. (Relative words and synonyms are good variants too!)
4. Use keywords in the filenames of images (e.g., first-blog-post.jpg).
5. Optimize the images by reducing their size to speed up the loading of your page.
- It’d be a nice practice to check your post on PageSpeed Insights after you publish it.
6. Make sure you used all the keywords in the text of your post organically.
- The primary keyword in the first 100 words
- Relevant keywords and synonyms in the body of the blog post
- The primary keyword in the conclusion
7. The URL of your blog post must only include the primary keyword. (It can also be a relevant word or a synonym.)
Step 18. What You Need to Have Before Publishing [Checklist]
I decided to add this section so that you can make sure everything is ready before you release it. Remember that writing your blog post is only one half of the process.
There are many hidden obstacles waiting for you on your journey toward becoming a blogger, and I would like to protect you from them.
So, here’s what you have probably done already. (If you missed out on one of the points, please fill in that space):
1. You’ve already bought a domain.
2. You’ve chosen your host.
3. You’ve created an email with the domain of your blog (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org).
- You used the email provided by your host. (It’s free!)
- Or you connected Google Apps for Work. (It’s worth the money!)
4. You’ve chosen a theme for your blog.
- It should be SEO-friendly.
- You might face some problems if you use a free one.
- Of all the paid options, I’d recommend themes by Studiopress.
5. You’ve installed all the necessary plugins. (In my opinion, those listed below are the best!)
- Yoast SEO
- Wordfence Security
- You used plugins to increase the loading speed. (I suggest that you read the following article on the subject: Speed up your WordPress site.)
6. You’ve ensured your basic security.
- You changed the admin login.
- You changed the access URL to the admin zone.
- You regularly back up your blog (all your files and the database).
7. You’ve connected the email marketing software.
- ConvertKit (the best there is for bloggers, and this is the one I use!)
- Mailchimp (free for up to 2,000 subscribers, but…)
8. You use the opt-in forms to get subscribers.
9. The last and most important thing: content upgrade. Start list building from the first day!
Create some additional material for your blog post. The gist of it is to answer the questions your readers might ask.
The content upgrade shouldn’t be very big.
It might be a brief checklist, a cheat sheet or even a PDF version of your post.
If you run into difficulties deciding what content upgrade to create, use the ideas in these articles:
- The Content Upgrade: 21 Examples of the Strategy That’s Changing Blogging
- 20 Content Upgrades That Will Skyrocket Your Email List
- 28 Ideas for Content Upgrades to Grow Your Email List
Note: For my first blog post, I used three types of content upgrades. #1 PDF version of the post (it’s more than 8,000 words long), #2 Spreadsheet with the results of a full analysis, #3 Exit Intent popup с eBook 101 SEO Tips.
Step 19. What You Need to Do After Publishing Your Blog Posts
You need visitors, right? Many visitors.
The main task in the development of your blog is to promote each of your blog posts.
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. When you address people who are interested in your topic, the results will come quickly.
How to promote your first blog post?
There are 5 main ways to gain traffic:
- Social Media
- Direct Traffic
- Referral Traffic
- Networking (Blogger Outreach)
And 5 strategies:
SEO needs time.
But the results are well worth waiting for!
Imagine getting thousands of visitors every day, hundreds of thousands on autopilot.
You don’t need to write new articles on a daily basis in order to attract visitors.
When you reach the first positions on Google based on the queries you need, you’ll be able to easily monetize this traffic.
Write books, create online courses — you’ll achieve success in everything you do while you’re getting the traffic.
People like Brian Dean know this secret.
In 4 years, he’s only written 35 posts on his blog. Nevertheless, he makes millions of dollars a year selling his online course.
All thanks to the fact that he’s got his traffic. Brian Dean’s blog is visited more than 100,000 times a month. (In the sphere of online marketing, those are some amazing results.)
Your task is to create amazing content and do some link building.
After publishing your first blog post, you’ll be able to get the links to your blog in several different ways:
- Link roundups
- I recommend that you read How to Get Traffic and Links from Blog Roundups.
- Link resources
- The best article on Link Building Resources
- Online friends
To find people who create roundup posts, you may Google the following queries:
[keyword] “best posts of the month”
[keyword] “monthly roundup”
[keyword] “weekly roundup”
To Search for Link Resources:
[keyword] + “resources”
[keyword] + “resource list”
[keyword] + “links”
[keyword] + “list of resources”
[keyword] + “intitle:links”
[keyword] + “inurl:links”
Use your online friends
(those with whom you’ve already built relationships).
Just ask your fellow bloggers to create a link to your blog.
Do some preliminary work.
On the blogs of your friends, find the pages where they can create links to you.
To do so, input the following into Google:
Input the keywords from your list of prepared phrases. If you don’t find pages that are relevant to your post, they’ll be more likely to create links to you.
As soon as you find them, send an email asking to create a link to your post on a particular page or phrase. Make sure to respect your friends’ time!
Note: As you strengthen your bond, your friends will be creating external links to you, inviting you to participate in roundup posts, and asking you for interviews. The power of relationships is invaluable!
Promotion on social media
I love Twitter very much. I began my promotion on Twitter, and Twitter is where I first started making new friends. But I made one mistake that I don’t want you to repeat.
Even with 10,000 followers, you won’t gain a lot of traffic, as it will be measured by dozens of visitors at most (that is, if you don’t create something viral).
So, that’s why you don’t need to pay too much attention to Twitter. It’s good for building relationships, but not for boosting traffic.
The same goes for Instagram. My friend’s got 50,000 followers, but even he gets just 10-20 visitors after publishing a new post.
So what should we do? Which social media platforms can still give us traffic?
Facebook and Pinterest.
The point of getting visitors is not in the quantity of your followers.
But in groups. Engagement.
Find some interest groups by using the search in those systems. The best way would be to check out those who the influencers are subscribing to.
If your blog is devoted to blogging, the following Facebook groups will come in handy. You can download them here.
- Always read the rules of the group, or you might get excluded.
- Start by introducing yourself, and then try to help other members of the group.
- Make a note of engagement in those groups.
- Do the messages or posts get many comments and likes?
- What type of content do the members prefer?
- Get acquainted with the members and make new friends (especially with the group owners and moderators)!
I recently discovered Pinterest after one turn-up.
My infographic went viral, and I started receiving thousands of visitors on one of my niche blogs.
Now I’m trying to figure out the promotional cobwebs on Pinterest. I recommend that you read the following articles:
- The 28 Pinterest Tips I used to Massively Grow My Blog’s Traffic
- The Ultimate Pinterest Marketing Guide: How to Improve Your Reach and Promote Your Brand
- 16 Different Ways I’m Increasing My Blog’s Pinterest Traffic
Referral traffic is one of your main sources of traffic in the first months of your blog’s existence.
Your goal is to find the places that your target audience loves the most. The places where they spend the most time communicating and helping one another.
Always make a note of engagement in these communities. Basically, it’ll be the number of views, votes, and comments.
You can use hints from your competitors to learn their main sources of traffic.
Use SimilarWeb for more information on the sites where they get the most of their traffic.
For example, if you visit my friends Devesh and Benji from GrowAndConvert, you’ll see this picture:
Analyze your competitors and find these communities on Google.
The Power of Blogger Outreach
It’ll be difficult in the very beginning. But don’t be afraid of the difficulties, as those are only the first steps on your way to success.
I’ve always been afraid to hear NO.
I’ve always been a very shy person.
Even now, it’s very difficult for me to write and talk to people I don’t know. At one point, when strangers would reach out to me, I experienced a great deal of anxiety.
But I changed something in my personality.
I started to believe in myself.
So believe in yourself.
If you’re reading this blog post, it means you’re already taking your first steps. I believe in you, and I’ll always support you. (Email me and I’ll always reply.)
There are two subcategories in the domain of outreach:
The more authority your blog gains, the more often you’ll need to use the pre-outreach technique.
When you’ve only created a single blog post, it’s better to use the first encounter as a way to build relationships, without asking for something before you publish your post.
First, just try to make friends. Express gratitude for work or an amazing article, and do something for another person. This way, after you publish your first blog post, you’ll have someone who supports you.
It doesn’t mean that you only need to inform your friends of the publication of your new post and ask them to share it on social media.
First of all, if they like it they’ll share it themselves.
Second, your message has to contain a specific request that will have maximum results.
What is that magic request?
To support you in communities or groups on Facebook and Pinterest.
It might be an upvote, comment, pin, or repin. Maybe it’s a like.
Look what results my request to support me have brought:
Don’t forget that your post must be both useful and interesting. It’s a mandatory condition. If you lose your friends’ trust, there is no way to gain it back.
How do you figure out whom to ask?
My favorite ways:
Trust me, there’s no one more engaged than commenters.
It’s because those who leave their comments are the most interested in the topic.
Your task is:
- To find other articles that share the topic of your post
- To find the emails of those who have left comments.
In my post: 1 Simple Hack to Blogger Outreach, or How to Find Friends, I cover this technique in more detail.
How Twitter might help you find new friends?
Find those who shared articles with the same subject as yours on Twitter.
Nowadays, Buzzsumo is the most popular tool for this. However, it’s paid. But it’s worth the price, because if you take your blog seriously, there’s no better tool.
Here is what the process looks like if you’re a happy user of Buzzsumo:
But don’t think that I’ll leave you all alone with a paid tool.
There’s also a free way.
It’s Twitter itself.
- In the search field, type the URL without http.
- Use the results.
You’ll get a list of people who shared this page on their accounts.
Make a list of these people, become their followers, and make friends with them.
You can always send them a tweet:
For your first blog post, find at least 50 of these people using the commenters search and Twitter.
Show them your first blog post.
Here’s an example of the letter that I sent to my future online friends:
Here is how they replied:
Find new friends for every post, especially among your fellow bloggers. Maintain and develop your relationships with them. Every time you publish a new post, ask your old and new friends to support you.
This All Sounds Good, But What Did You, Michael, Do for Your First Blog Post?
I made mistakes.
Even though I have experience in IT, and I’ve been creating and promoting websites for more than 16 years, I made those mistakes anyway.
And I would like to share not only my hardships with you, but the good times too. (It will be my personal emotions, so excuse me in advance.)
The course of events of my first blog post:
In August 2015, I finally decided to leave my businesses: I’d close a part of them down, sell another part, and give the rest out to my friends. I felt the burden of what I was doing.
Like a hamster on its wheel.
I was creating websites for other people, as well as new niche projects for making money. I was buying and selling sites. Investing. And then it started all over again.
I wasn’t growing.
My experience was based on the knowledge that I acquired long before. I was ashamed by the fact that I had stopped developing in the last 7 years. The artificial goal to make more money conquered me then. Eventually, it suffocated me.
Finally, I realized that it couldn’t go on like that. I was approaching my 33rd birthday.
The thing is that as a child, I promised myself to start traveling after I turned 33. I wanted to have some passive income by then.
The Universe smiled at me and sent me a girl I fell in love with. She’s a traveler. Cards on the table. I quit.
So I came up with an idea to start a blog, as this way of life had always fascinated me and seemed amazing. If I started blogging, I could do what I like the most: develop, help, and ask for help.
A year before that, in September 2014, I created an account on Twitter and the world of global online marketing opened its doors to me. I started to subscribe to experts and read all the blog posts they published. When the number of experts exceeded 50, I realized that I simply couldn’t read that much.
So I started making lists, and I decided to increase my subscribers. I was just subscribing to anyone who was considered an expert, 100 people a day. Later on, I started to use my own script that would search the words I needed in people’s bios and subscribe to them automatically.
That time I still didn’t know one important thing that would save me hundreds of hours.
Twitter can’t give much traffic, as the engagement there is minimal.
At the end of August 2015, I made up my mind and came up with the idea for my first blog post. But I got stuck at the beginning. I worried that it would be rather scary to decide on a topic, overcome my fears, and start the writing process.
I needed the knowledge of how the experts themselves do SEO for their blogs. What tricks they use. So I chose 5 of my favorite online experts and started to analyze them.
It took me 1.5 months!
Later I chose a target keyword: SEO tricks with volume of 1,000/mo. But I made a presumptuous mistake: I thought I’d be able to overshadow the strongest competitors in this query. At the moment, I hold the 7th position. For dozens of other long-tail keywords, my post is in the TOP 20. For that post, I also chose about 30 other LSI keywords + 44 of the most frequently used words that I saw in the texts of my competitors.
On the 12th of November, I published my masterpiece. It took me 60 hours to create that blog post (more than 8,000 words): writing, creating images, screenshots, formatting. I spent dozens of hours creating the landing pages and opt-in forms.
I created a spreadsheet where I included all the people I mentioned in my post.
I found their contact details (email, Twitter) and published my joyful news.
Two of the experts whom I analyzed commented on my article and also shared it on social media. I was happy!
When I published the post, I had just made friends with a few, but very important people: Robbie Richards and Sam Hurley. I contacted them and showed them my article. Robbie supported me on GrowthHackers, and Sam did the same on Twitter.
Later I added a post on Inbound.org too. Little did I know that these communities would bring me an enormous amount of traffic. Even now, they remain the key aspects of my promotion.
I also ordered paid publishing on Reddit via Fiverr that brought me another 300 visitors. I used roundup posts and informed their owners that there is such a post.
During the promotion process, I came up with an idea to use the commenters of these 5 online marketing experts. I chose the last articles on their blogs and found the commenters’ emails.
The reaction was amazing.
Almost every day, the people I contacted either shared my post on Twitter or created a link to me. Unfortunately, I started to track the visiting statistics from blogger outreach too late. I sent 400 emails in total. An average click-through rate was about 40%, but most importantly, I found friends that support me now.
I used Scoop.it and StumbleUpon, but I got just a few dozens of visitors from these sites. I was leaving useful comments on the experts’ latest posts, where I was discussing my research too. It gave me some traffic (about 100 visitors).
I published my post in the communities on Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook, but my success was quite moderate. To date, I have gotten 532 visitors from Google. That post solely brought me 156 email subscribers.
My biggest mistake was not knowing that the online communities of marketing specialists can bring traffic.
I had just 73 visitors from Inbound.org, only because I didn’t know anyone who could vote for my post at the time. GrowthHackers brought me many more visitors: 802 people, to be exact.
My third post had much better results (255 new email subscribers, 969 social shares, and 106 comments).
I can say that even though I like Inbound.org more, GrowthHackers gives me more visitors with equal success in both communities. One necessary condition: Your article has to be useful and awesome.
But you need to create the first wave of votes. My online friends help me with this.
To summarize my experience with my first blog post, I would like to tell about the mistakes I made and what I did right.
My first mistake was my overconfidence regarding new bloggers and amazing content. I assumed that with the right content, I would gain traffic and see results right away!
My second mistake was not studying (in detail) where my target audience lives and where they are the most active.
The third was my assumption that the experts wouldn’t reply to me. Now I know that people might be busy and focused on other things. The only person who didn’t reply to me was Bryan Harris, and I worried way too much about that.
The first thing that I did right was not writing about myself. I wrote about other famous bloggers. In fact, I tried to learn about the tricks they use in their SEO. This problem intrigued many people, which is one of the reasons why my post was so successful.
The second thing was to search for those who might be interested among the commenters. Even now, I still think that commenters are the most active audience around.
The third thing: I was just asking, I replied to every comment, and I shared the posts of everyone I made friends with. I helped them whenever I could with my SEO recommendations and offered them my support.
Bonus: Download the checklist for the creation and promotion of your first blog posts. You will get my friendship, email templates (for making new friends), and groups and communities (on Facebook and Pinterest) that will bring you the traffic. + Plus the PDF version of this monster post! + Most importantly: recommendations from 63 bloggers and experts!
63 Tips and Recommendations From Experts and Regular Bloggers Who Have Already Been Where You Are Now
If I would have to give two pieces of advice on writing your first blog post it would probably be:
2. Ask for help. Be humble. Let people know that you’re new at this and that you’re trying to create an awesome and most of all helpful piece of content and ask for help.
How to get the maximum effects from your first blog post?
You asked 2 but I think it would require 3 things:
#1. Share a story.
Each and every one of us has a personal story to share.
For example, what inspired you to start your blog in the first place?
What do you want to achieve with your blog?
Who do you want to help and what motivates them? What are their challenges?
People love reading stories. It makes them stay glued to your web page.
You want to make sure people read your first blog post from the first to the last word, and sharing an interesting story and vision is a nice way to achieve that.
#2. Write The Best Piece.
Probably over a million blog posts have already been published today.
The web don’t need more articles. They want to see something new. Something that blows out their mind.
Something they would want to tell their friends about.
Something they would want to email their boss.
If what you’re writing won’t blow out what’s already out there, it shouldn’t be your first blog post.
Your want to launch your blog with style and a big bang, and it’s only a high-quality piece that can help you do that.
#3. Do a lot of email outreach and collect emails
After you’ve published your high-quality blog post, the next thing to do is to email everyone you know.
Email all your friends and family, and ask them to share your post on Facebook and Twitter, and anywhere they’re active.
Email all the influencers. Email the up comers.
Continue to email everyone, telling them about your blog post until you’ve hit 500.
Assuming you’re willing to send 20 emails per day which I consider very doable, you should have sent 500 emails on the 25th day.
By emailing 500 people, you should get at least 1,000 eyes to see your content assuming that some people shared it on social networks.
Then you can consider republishing on Medium, and repeat the process by asking for “Recommends” until you’ve emailed 500 Medium users. This would probably be the second month.
The most important thing is to collect emails from your first blog post.
When you do this, you should have at least 200 email subscribers which means, at least, you don’t have to start from the scratch when you publish your second blog post.
Firstly you should make your first blog post count i.e make it awesome, especially so. If you don’t start writing great content from the beginning, no one will take you seriously later on.
Next, make sure to do a lot of outreach to influencers. Introduce yourself, let them know that you’re new, and show them the post. Now, since you’re new, and the post is awesome, you’ll probably get a few people remembering you.
1. Find one question your ideal reader has in mind that is holding them back.
2. Answer that one question with an extreme level of detailed step-by-step instruction. Rinse and repeat.
My best advice to first-time bloggers is don’t sweat it.
You have no audience; only your mum, dad, best mates, and inner circle of business acquaintances are interested at this stage.
So fire on in there: what have you got to lose.
Writing from obscurity is a good thing. You don’t have to aim for perfection because no-one’s expecting it. There’s no pressure. Just do it.
Next, write about something you know. Something you love. Scratch that mental itch that’s been flying around your head all those years. Pour yourself into it. Write from the heart.
Finally, the basics. Write a good headline, insert helpful links out to provide your readers with more information, source an image that speaks to your headline, and write in short, pithy sentences (unlike this one). Write so everyone can understand your prose. Read it to your eight-year-old son. Can he understand it?
And if you don’t have an eight-year-old son, there are lots of useful online tools to help you along the way. Try Hemingway.
Now, go get ’em.
Know your audience. Figure out who you’re writing for and what your unique angle is going to be before you pick up the pen (or start typing).
For example, with our blog, instead of just going after all marketers, we decided that we wanted to focus on going after senior marketers inside of companies. When we wrote our first post, we clearly stated our intentions for our blog through an opinion piece. We wrote about the challenges that we recognized our target audience was having in the space and how we planned to solve it. People knew from the very first post what to expect going forward which helped us build a loyal following (email subscribers) from the get-go.
Our unique angle was sharing lessons through personal experience. Most blogs in our space just shared theory or generic, overdone topics. So in order to stand out, we wanted to share lessons through real world experience.
My one tip is: “Be true to yourself. Do not write for search engines, do not write what you think people want to read – write what you know and what you are passionate about. By being true to who you are and your personal writing style you will separate yourself from the others and let readers get to know the real you and hopefully in turn gain a loyal following!”
It took me a long time to grasp that myself…… 🙂
I’ve included 2 tips:
1. Your first blog post should be a pillar post or cornerstone article.
Pillar or Cornerstone blog posts:
- Are Definitive guides and thoroughly detailed
- They explain and answer commonly asked questions your target audience have
- They are evergreen i.e. not time or trend dependent
Quick Tip: These are typically posts that you would add to a ‘start here’ page on your blog.
2. To start your first post on the right foot, ask yourself these questions:
- What problem does your post solve?
- What do you expect your readers to do after reading your post? What will be your call to action?
- What change will the post invoke in your reader?
When I first started writing I was always hesitant, it took me ages to write my first one because I wanted it to be perfect. It’s important to know that your first blog post is not like a proposal or essay you write that you submit and can never edit. The great thing about starting your blog is you can edit and change your posts and perfect them at a later time. It’s better to just launch and then later make edits. JUST START WRITING – your first blog post is not going to be perfect.
While saying that, it’s important that when you have a really great piece of content that you are proud of, share it, with your family, friends, colleagues and on every nook and cranny of the web that you can.
They say writing is 25% promotion is 75%.. There is no such thing as “build it and they will come” anymore. Promote the sh&* out of it.
If you want to get impressive results from your first blog post, you need to be very systematic with how you plan to write your content; otherwise, you’ll be wasting your golden effort.
Let me show you 4 quick tips to get you started:
- Research and find a topic that is relevant to your target audience
- Once you’ve found a topic, find content that is doing well for that topic.
- Create something better that deserve to be read, shared and go viral.
- Lastly, promote your content through reaching out to the right people i.e Use Email Outreach.
The 4 steps I’ve shown you will help you focus and write your first blog post.
It worked for me. I’m confident it will work for you too.
Keyword Research (Use Google’s Keyword Planner) your topics and have a look at the SERPs before you write. Go through the top 5 (at least) pages which are ranking.
Write in a flow, blurt out whatever you feel like and when you’re done, edit as many times as you can. Although I don’t drink, this one quote has stayed with me for years, “Write when Drunk. Edit when Sober”.
It can really be a terrible experience to write your first blog post simply because you are new to the game. Every expert blogger today was once at that point of a “first blog post” so you are the first to feel that way.
I got that same experience in the month of August 2012, and truth is, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know if that was going to be read and what was going to be the reaction of my readers. There was evidently some fear of the unknown.
Now, this can even be more terrible if you’ve never published before. You don’t have an idea what would be the reaction of the readers to your article.
But I have got some tips to help;
First, don’t try to do like others – This is where the biggest trouble triggers. You’ve read epic posts on some blogs and you are thinking you have to do same.
Here is what I share with my students and it works like charm…
Picture yourself telling your reader (just one reader) your story
– How you head about blogging,
– The last few articles you just read
– What finally motivated you to start your own blog.
– The goals you have
– How you plan to get to your goals
Let it be like you are in an exciting conversation with just one person. Talk to that person in your voice. Don’t try to be like some other person.
At the end of it, you are going to have an exciting ‘first blog post’
You need to approach your first blog post with the assumption that nobody will read it, even if you’re an expert on the topic. For every hour your spend brainstorming and writing the meat and potatoes of your post, you need to spend an hour thinking and acting on how you’re going to get people to read this post. Asking for outside input and feedback no only provides additional points of view, but also opens up an avenue for distribution once the post is published.
It’s critical to know the precise audience you are trying to help.
There’s a lot of nitty-gritty details that you can get lost in the weeds with, but a quick solution is to fill in this formula: I help AUDIENCE solve PROBLEM get BENEFIT
For example: I help entrepreneurs connect with influencers, experts, and linchpins to rapidly grow their business together on TheStorytellerMarketer.
So you want to start blog. You have so many ideas whirling around in your head. But how do you get started? You just need to get that first blog post published. If you get that first one done, you know you can keep going. But what do you even write about? What makes a good blog post anyways?
First you need to figure out your niche. Who are you writing to? What problem are you solving for them? Solve one problem for your readers.
Take your time. Really go above and beyond.
Write with the “you” perspective instead of writing from the “I” perspective.
Tell a story. People respond to emotion.
Write short paragraphs, make it easy to read.
Use facts and include practical tips.
Be authentic. Write like you talk.
Make it all about your audience, not you.
Now writing a good article is one thing, but who’s going to read it? Do you really want all the time and effort that you put into your brilliant blog post to go to waste? Or do you want to get lots of shares and comments and make an impact? I’m guessing you like the 2nd option better.
You need to spend just as much time sharing and promoting your article as you do writing it, if not more. When you first get started, I recommend going to popular blogs in your niche and connecting with other bloggers in the comments. Make friends. Give first. Then give again, and again. And ask for a favor later.
Make a list of everyone you’ve connected with, and tell them about your blog post after you’ve published it. That way you’ll actually have readers for your first ever blog post.
I know it’s tough. Real life can get in the way. But you can do it. You have what it takes to Overcome Impossible Odds and Follow Your Dream.
Go get started now. Don’t make excuses. There’s no reason to wait.
My #1 tip for writing your first blog post is to do your research first.
Too many bloggers create content simply by what pops into their head. Then they wonder why they aren’t getting any traffic or growing their readership.
(I made the same mistake.)
Do keyword research, head over to Buzzsumo and find shareable topics, scan forums and look for pain points.
Spend some time researching what content will perform well. This will not only increase the odds of you actually driving some traffic, but it will also give you the confidence to promote it.
1. Understand who your ideal audience is. Before you just write something, first take the time to understand who your target audience is. I know you want to skip over this tip because you think you know, but you likely don’t. We’ve found that company after company generates content for the wrong audience. A sales app whose best customers are large enterprise companies instead writes content for startups. They get traffic, but that traffic doesn’t lead to sales and they are frustrated. They skipped this step.
2. Understand your target audiences pain points. Now, after step 1, you need to do some customer research on this target audience and really understand what keeps them up at night. This prevents you from writing generic content that doesn’t stick out (“Top 5 ways to…”). And preferentially targets your ideal customers. Use this technique to accomplish this.
Here are a few tips that I recommend when writing that first blog post:
1. Know what you want to say before you start writing by doing research! Write out an outline to keep focused and organized. Also know how long you want your post to be before you begin as this helps to keep you from getting frustrated once you start writing.
2. Provide value to your readers with the idea of servicing them! Give them actionable advice with tips and examples to help guide them, to help solve their problem.
And one more thing … don’t worry about quantity so much as quality!
Brilliant question. In terms of 1-2 tips for a person writing his first blog posts I would say…
First up, get a clear picture of who you are writing for. Create a Blog Mission Statement even if it’s just a couple of sentences along the lines of “My Blog will help my audience address ISSUE X and I will create consistently high quality around SUBJECTS XYZ to allow the to achieve ENTER SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME”.
Also, don’t re-invent the wheel. Stick to using proven content frameworks such as Definitive Guides, List Based Content, Expert Roundups, How To Guides, Comparison Content. Don’t think graphics are a last minute bolt on either – use the best graphics you can afford and invest in them as your business case allows.
Finally, remember the 80:20 rule – that’s 80% content promotion vs 20% content creation. You need to get eyeballs on the content and that means you gotta hustle.
* Select a topic you’re experienced with to make sure you can bring tremendous value to readers. Publishing your first article and sending cold outreach emails afterwards can be very intimidating. Writing a post about something you know extensively and that you know will bring huge value to readers will make you more confident when hitting the publish button.
* Read one article of 3 to 5 of your favorite copywriters and write down what you like about their posts. You can analyze what elements make an article enjoyable to read and use it to your advantage. Example: I love how Ramit Sethi can write long emails that are entertaining and fun to read. I realised this is partly because he inserts personal life stories in a relevant manner in his copy. As a result, I included a few personal stories in my first post to make it more pleasant to read.
1. Thoroughly research your subject matter before beginning to write. Read other blogs, lots of them! Assess which topics, styles, emotions and headlines have performed the best and emulate such tactics on your own post. Without realising it, you will be consuming a wealth of new knowledge that will be applied as you begin writing your blog. Buzzsumo is a great tool for finding the best performing articles in your niche.
2. Plan out your blog post by first noting down 5 key points that you want to cover. This provides structure and keeps you from veering off in all directions. Don’t set unrealistic expectations or aim for perfection! ~800 words is great for your first piece and guess what? It doesn’t have to be akin to Stephen King. Be yourself, let your character shine through and limit editing of the blog to one hour only. Get it out the door and learn from the engagement and replies.
3. Spend 80% of your time promoting your post…only 20% writing it! No point in crafting a masterpiece if nobody sees it, right?
Writing your first blog post can be a daunting task, but avoid making it more complicated than it is.
1) Create an outline – having a clear idea of what you want to write about will help you breeze through the entire process. Write a sentence or two about the different topics you want to cover in your post. This will get you over the initial hump.
2) Clear all distractions – put your phone on vibrate and in the next room, close all applications that you don’t need and put your word processor in full screen. Set a timer for 35 – 40 minutes and start writing. Once the time is done, take a break, drink some water, set the timer again and get cracking.
When you are doing a task for the first time, every little distraction can stop you dead in your tracks. Minimize distractions, increase focus and you’ll get that post done in no time.
Don’t try to make everything perfect. Just do it. The more you do it, the more you’ll get better.
Sure thing, if I were to re-write my first blog post, then I would do the following:
1. Go deep instead of broad
A lot of people try and cover too many ideas in their blog posts, but from a reader’s point of view, too many ideas are difficult to consume and implement. Instead, go in-depth with just one idea and try to make it actionable. Michael Pozdnev’s blog post about BFF Commenter is a good example of going deep with one idea. By the time you finish reading it, you already have an action plan. So stick to one idea and make it more valuable.
2. Back it up with experience / experiments
The second tip is kind of co-related to the first one. The best blog posts are those that are backed up with experience. So if you’re writing a blog post about finding blog post topics, whatever strategy/strategies you plan to include, make sure you try them. And the see the results for yourself. The Internet is full of re-hash content with shit load of ideas that nobody ever tries. So in a world where people are striving to outperform reach other with quantity, focus on quality that your readers can actually use.
1. Provide a massive amount of value to your reader in your first blog post. Wow them with something that they’ve never read before. Get to know their needs and offer them an amazing and quick to implement solution.
2. Include a few sentences on what makes you unique. Make them remember you. Tell them about your love for all things French or your dream of having 9 children. Stand out and set yourself apart from the ocean of bloggers.
If you ever thought of how to create not only first blog posts, but an eBook as well, make sure you read the post How to Write an eBook in 1 Month. Start today!
If becoming an authority is important to you and one of your goals is to be seen as an expert in your niche, plus you want to get qualified search traffic to your website (and these are the type of clients I prefer to work with), then I recommend to be strategic about it from day 1. That means I would adopt the mindset of creating a piece of content that will help you to immediately stand out in your niche plus has a chance to get found on Google.
That is, find a topic that’s relevant to your niche – perhaps even work backwards from what it is you sell/offer, or work out what it is you want to be known for – and analyse and assess if the content has performed well. I want to ensure that there is demand for the topic first. Then identify any gaps for improvement. Now if I believe that the content is already amazing around a particular topic/keyword and that it would be difficult to outdo, I won’t pursue it and will move on to something else.
My philosophy is (and this is what I preach to my clients) your goal should be to create a piece of content on a given topic that makes it the BEST resource on the web that Google has no choice but to rank it.
Many of my clients that I work with are often in the early stages of blogging and this is usually the process I use with them.
Right now I’m working with a client that is about to launch her website as a graphic designer whose target audience is life coaches. I’m helping her create an epic post, which will be her first ever post, around a very specific topic and keyword that is directly relevant to what she does. The keyword has good search demand and luckily the competition is not too strong either. But more importantly, and as I mentioned, it’s relevant to her business. We’ve scoured the web for similar content and worked out how we can create something much, much better and what type of post it should be. It’s important to add new value because nobody wants to read a piece of regurgitated content. While some content on this topic is OK, it’s not fantastic and we’re confident that we can create something that will blow everything else out of the water and at the same time, capture qualified leads into her funnel.
If you want to make a difference, you’ll need your users to actually get hooked to your article in the intro. And to do that, you’ll need to start an article with a “story” which will resonate with your users. You can talk about an experience which you once (which your visitors will be able to relate to). Either a problem you had encountered which you are help your reader’s solve. For example, if you’re a web designer, targeting newbie designers, you’ll have to say something along the lines.
“I remember the days when I designed my very first website. I was just experimenting with this new CMS I had discovered, and rather than trying to understand how it really worked, I was trying to hammer everything into place. I was excited to learn new things, but it was so very frustrating trying to achieve the results I wanted without having learned enough first. Needless to say, the end-result is not something I’m happy to flaunt to my current clients. I’ve learned so much since then … ”
A story makes for interesting and different reading from most of the blogs you’ll see today. You readers will be intrigued to see how the “story” will end. By the time you finish your intro, you should have already hooked them.
But even before you start writing, you should have already ‘visualized’ the flow of your content. A pen and paper, and brainstorming of ideas will show in your end result.
Don’t be another drop in the ocean. Be different. Be a cut above the rest.
Providing your readers with information and data is critical–but to be effective, you have to do it without making them feel overloaded. Before diving into the meat of your blog post, establish rapport by creating an into in which you clearly state your audience’s problems and worries in very simple, conversational language.
Don’t be afraid to be specific. Say how they’re problem (to which your blog post offers a solution) is keeping them up at night or putting them in a tight spot. Jon Morrow is a writer who does this very well. Just take a look at the opening paragraphs of this article.
By addressing your audience’s chief worries, doubt, concerns, they come to feel that you truly understand them. Once you’ve established trust, your readers will be more willing to follow through with the solutions you offer.
Connect with a lot of people BEFORE you write anything.
Share their posts on Twitter. Follow them and comment on Facebook. Get noticed first before you write a single word.
Ask why you’re writing the post. I swear, if you’re blogging mainly to have fun, and to free yourself, that first blog post will flow easily. No real tension or stress, trying to achieve anything in particular. No creativity-blocking anxieties. Get your energy down and everything else will fall into place nicely. What can you gab about all day long? Blog about it. Make your first post about what you love talking about and you’ll set the energetic table to publish a gem the first time you post.
My initial tip is to avoid comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle. In other words, don’t start to feel you’re behind on blogging and that you’ll never ‘catch up’ to blogger X. I have numerous blogs and I’m to the point where I don’t feel intimidated by crafting that first ( or tenth) post because I really get that one can never really be behind. Start where you’re at, and go from there. Always focus on quality content, right from the get go.
My second tip is to focus as hard as possible on your Ideal Reader. On elizabethkbradley.com I write blogging and social media tips specifically for Life & Health Coaches. Each of my posts are geared to my Ideal Reader. If you get from day one that you’re not writing on your blog for yourself or your industry peers-you’re writing to help you future client or customer- you’ll have a very focused post that will help you scale your blog and biz.
When it comes to writing your very first blog post, I believe there are two approaches you can take.
The first approach acknowledges a tough reality: very few people are likely to read your debut offerings. Sure, months or years from now, when you’re super successful and popular, true fans will discover your early work. Just as Kevin Costner fans eventually seek out “Silverado” and “Fandango”, your fans will seek out the blog posts written in your blog’s early days.
So, just do your best. Don’t agonize over every word. Write, edit, click publish, and move on to the next post. You very well may rewrite or delete the post later, but let “future you” worry about that. For now, just do your best and click publish.
The second approach is to write a debut post that announces your presence with authority. Don’t just publish any blog post — publish an ultimate guide. Publish a definitive resource. Publish something that makes people say “wow.”
Obviously, this is the harder approach. It takes time. You’ll be spending WEEKS researching, writing, and editing. You’ll be continuously tweaking the post after publishing. You’ll be promoting it for far longer than a typical blog post.
But, it’ll give you something to hang your hat on — something your blog will needs in its early days. It’ll give you great material for blogger outreach. It’ll give you something to “pin” to your timeline on Twitter and Facebook. And, as you write additional posts, it’ll give you something substantial to link to and reference.
As for which approach is best, that’s for you to decide. For Be A Better Blogger’s debut post, I took the first approach. The easy approach. The approach most bloggers choose.
But can I let you in on a secret?
I wish I had taken the road less traveled.
Getting started is tough… this is an interesting angle you’re working on. Here’s what I’d suggest:
Start. It may feel intimidating to start something you’ve never done before. But if you don’t begin, you won’t experience the rush of seeing your work change people’s lives.
The best way to start is by defining how you’ll help your readers. How will your content help them solve a problem or improve? Why should they read your new blog post? From there, draft an outline—bullet points work—drawing every point to fulfill the promise you just defined.
Then simply fill in the gaps and hit publish. Now you’re a blogger! 😉
1. Be yourself. Whenever in doubt – it’s best to just be yourself and write about what you believe.
2. Write as if you are writing an email to a friend. I will write my post as if I am writing email to one of my imaginative friend. It helps me keep the writing conversational and genuine.
3. Write short. Hemingway App is my best friend when it comes to writing.
Here are a few pieces of advice on how to make your very first article a hit.
#1 have something unique to say
Let’s face it – most bloggers just re-write the same information over and over (and over).
There are hundreds of thousands of articles on just about any topic you may think of.
Why would you want to create yet another copy? Why do you think your post on let’s say “link building” would be better than thousands of other posts?
If you don’t have anything unique to say – go do some stuff, hustle, get some experience. And don’t stop until you realise that you know something that hasn’t been said before.
I know that coming up with unique ideas when you’re just starting out is insanely hard.
But success doesn’t come easy. Get used to it.
#2 ask for help from pros
Before writing your article about something, why not validate your idea with a couple people who’s opinion your respect?
I mean send a brief description of the article you want to write to a few top people in your field and ask them if it makes sense to even write it.
They will give you a ton of great advice and point you in the right direction with your article.
If you’re just starting out – you’re seriously lacking knowledge in your field to be able to produce something outstanding.
So let the top guys guide you.
Share your ideas with them and listen carefully to their feedback and what they think you should do to make your content stand out.
Also, get ready to face the harsh reality, because you’re going to find out that 99% of your ideas are crap.
But that’s ok. This is how you grow. It might actually take quite a few years until you get traction.
1. Write about what you’re passionate about. Don’t start writing your first ever post based on which ‘keywords are best’ – this is your chance to get across what is unique about yourself, your knowledge and your writing style.
2. Make sure you’re able to measure success effectively. The first few blog posts that you write are going to test the water of what your audience enjoy. Try a few different things to see what works best.
Writing a first blog post isn’t always easy especially for those who have no background in writing.
Some bloggers take several days to write their first post.
There are two types of bloggers:
First, who want to write, but don’t know what to write.
Second, who like to write but aren’t focused.
I used to be the first one type blogger. But I overcome with that after practicing and motivating myself to write.
Here I am going to share my two tips with you that will help you to write your first blog post.
#1. Organize your blog ideas
If you are still struggling, what topic you should write about then, first of all, you should organize your blog post ideas.
Useful technique you can use
1. Research about your topic – Take a notepad and pen. Spend some time on the internet and jot down the topics and titles of your competitors and your favorite websites. These could be blog topics you might be interested in.
2. Connect with others bloggers – Connect with other peoples and know what the problems they are struggling with? What are the topics they are discussing?
When you become friends with others, they like to share several things about themselves like what they like and what they don’t like. You can easily write any of those topics.
3. Take help of online topic generator tools – When you have nothing to write then you can take help of the online topic generators tools.
There are several online topic generator tools available; you can use any of them to find blog ideas for your blog post.
4. Read others blog and books – Reading others blog is the best way to find the new topics for your blog. You might write a better blog post on the same topic that your competitor has written already.
Brian Dean calls this strategy to skyscraper technique. It is simple to find a blog in your niche and write a better blog than that.
#2. Find new ideas using mind mapping
Mind mapping is a technique that is used to generate multiple ideas from single ideas. All you need a pen and paper to write your main ideas and then connect it related ideas.
Suppose, you have a main blog idea lose weight now you can also write about weight loss workout, weight loss diet plan, weight loss track report, benefits of weight loss, etc.
After finding the topic, it is time to start writing. Before you start writing first, create an outline of your blog.
Suppose you are writing about the importance of big content, your outline might like this:
- Why Big Content?
- How to create big content?
Writing is easy if you have a strategy. You must have a plan before you start writing.
It will not only help you write faster but also you will be able to write a better blog post.
If you apply these two tips today, I hope your writing be better than before.
First, only write posts on proven topics when you’re a beginner. A lot of bloggers think, “Well, this is what I want to write about, this is what the audience needs to know, so I’ll write about that,” and then they are disappointed when nobody cares about the post.
A better approach is to use tools like BuzzSumo and SEMRush to find the most popular posts in your niche, and then write a similar but better post. You don’t have to give the same advice, but you do have to cover the same topics.
Second, get really good at writing headlines. Download a collection of headline templates like Headline Hacks, and then get into the habit of writing 10+ headlines every morning just to practice. In time, you’ll get better and better, and your posts will become more and more popular.
Don’t blog for the sake of blogging, always have a goal in mind. Decide ahead of time what ONE goal you want to achieve with your post is? That could be getting opt-ins to build your list, it could be to rank for a certain keyword, or it could even be to promote a paid product or giveaway. Always know WHY your writing as clearly as you know WHAT you’re writing about.
Make sure you’re putting your own personal spin on your blog post. Most topics have been tackle thousands to millions of times, so it’s important that you present the content in a way that oozes your individuality. That can come in the form of your voice, your way of teaching, how you format your posts, what visuals you include, and any other way that sets you part.
My best tip for writing your first blog post is to develop your voice early on. Don’t try to imitate a famous blogger you aspire to be like, or try to sound too professional.
Your blog posts should be uniquely “you.” Over time, you will start to attract readers, and people will either relate to you and love you, or not. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone because it’s the ones that do love you that will stick around, continue to read everything you write, and be turned into your raving fans.
My one and only tip for a first writing your first blog post is to:
STOP CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
Everyone is sick and tired of reading bland, boring, “me-to” posts that regurgitate the same bullshit your niche has seen time and time again.
Nope, it’s now time for a new player to step up to the block and create something groundbreaking, remarkable and polarising.
Tweet me a link when your first post is up, if it is honest enough, I will Tweet it 😉
My advice for a person writing his first blog post is to write from the heart and don’t aim for perfection.
Just write down what you know and don’t bother much about what you don’t know because most of the things concerning your industry won’t make too much of sense to you at the beginning .
Research your subject thoroughly before writing but don’t spend days doing this because at this stage, depending on your level of entry though, you might not be able to differentiate what works from what is not.
Just write, and write from your heart.
1) Consider content promotion before you start writing – promoting your content should never be an after thought. You may want to source quotes from other bloggers, get creative with imagery or something else.
2) Make the next step for readers to take as clear as possible – each post you publish should have a goal. One may be to grow your list, another may be to boost engagement. Whatever it is, make that next step obvious and easy for readers to take.
Most bloggers start their blog by casually introducing themselves.
Maybe something like this:
“Hi everyone! My name is Alan. I started this blog to talk about marketing. I’ve been working in marketing for 5 years.”
At this stage, no one cares who you are.
In time they will.
But first you need to show you care about them, or rather about the things they care about.
People care about the problems they’re facing. Problems that are preventing them from getting where they want to be. Problems that are keeping them awake at night.
So you should think about identifying a problem your readers are facing. This will be the topic of your first blog post.
What’s the best way to do this?
Well there are a few ways I recommend:
- Learn to use Google Keyword Planner and find a topic that lots of people are typing into google. Don’t go for broad topic like “How to use facebook for your business”. Find a specific topic that you can apply your expertise to, like “How to optimize facebook for local businesses .”
- Use Buzzsumo and find a topic that’s generating lots of shares on social media. Then think about how you can offer your perspective.
- Go on Q&A sites like Quora and find a topic that lots of people are asking questions about.
Now you have the topic of your first blog post.
Time to do a bit of research. Actually, do a lot of research. The more the better. Read what’s already been written about the topic. Think about how you can offer something better, something fresh, something innovative.
When you come to put fingers to keyboard, don’t rush the process. Give it your best shot. Make it something that you’ll be proud to share on your social media accounts. Something that you could send to a top influencer in your industry because they’d want to read it. Something that people will be compelled to share with their friends and peers.
I always tell my clients this: Your blog should be a part of your overall marketing strategy.
Be strategic and you will succeed.
You need to promote your posts as much as possible. Posting to FB & Twitter just isn’t going to cut it any more. Personally I think manual outreach it a must if you’re just starting out. Make promotion easier by including a lot of (relevant) external links. As you’re writing your post, I recommend making a conscious effort to link to references that back up your points and to support any claims you make.
This does 2 things.
First, it adds credibility to your post, which is always important, particularly when you’re new to blogging.
Second, when the time comes to publish your post it makes promoting your post a little easier because you can reach out to everyone that you’re referenced or linked to in your post and tell them about it. This will likely result in at least a few of those influencers sharing your post, helping you get much more exposure than you would receive otherwise.
1. Write to be understood, not to be perfect. Just start writing. The best thing you can do is be authentic and be a human. That means writing in a clear, simple and easy to understand way.
Most people try too hard to write the most perfect article, when the goal really just be to get people to understand you. Don’t even worry about having perfect grammar. If you write simply to be understood, good things will happen.
2. Focus on quality over quantity. This one will be hard to do. It’s easy to fall for the quick wins. But blogging is an investment, not a get rich quick scheme. So you need to focus on quality, not quantity.
That’s the winning recipe today with all of the crap content and noise online. It’s much better to publish less content (i.e. once a week) and spend more time creating it and making something that people will actually want to read than it is to simply start cranking out blog posts.
76 percent of the total traffic to our blog has come from twenty percent of our posts. That’s just 40 posts — driving three quarters of our total traffic. Quality over quantity always works.
When you have a new blog, the best way to write your first post is to tell your story.
Why you are starting this blog, why this topic and what you plan on doing with your blog.
This is the easiest way to start because this post also helps you write your “About Page”.
I based my first post off of Brian Dean’s “Skyscraper” approach. Meaning, find the topic/keyword you want to rank for in Google, Google that topic/keyword, see what else is already out there, then make sure your post is better than any of those.
People get bombarded by so much content these days, you have to go the extra mile to make your content stand out by providing more information plus new findings (if possible) plus add a fun twist to it to make it engaging by adding photos or storyline.
For my first blog article, I went on reddit.com/r/entrepreneur to look for the most popular posts that were only published on /r/Entrepreneur.
I would repurpose the popular Reddit posts by interviewing the original authors to make my own original version, and then publish it on different media channels (e.g. my blog, Quora, Medium, Slideshare, etc…)
When writing your first blog post I would consider the bigger picture.
That first post could be your background life story, which can then become part of your About page and be linked under your profile picture wherever you introduce yourself as the author of the blog.
Or that first post could be chapter one of a ten part email course or free report you are going to compile. The next nine blog posts can complete the series, so you’re not just creating great blog content but also creating what I call a ‘content asset’ — something you use for years to come as a giveaway to get people to sign up to your email list.
My main advice for any new bloggers is to always view your blog posts not just as standalone blog posts, but as part of a bigger strategy you have. Everything is connected to a goal.
“Perfect” is the Enemy of “Published”
I’m kind of a perfectionist, especially when it comes to writing. Sometimes my drive to be perfect means that I don’t get posts out as quickly as I’d like. This is something I have to actively work on, and I’ve gotten much better about it since I started my blog.
If you’re writing your first blog post, you’re going to aim for perfection. You’re already nervous about hitting the publish button. You’re wondering who’s going to read it, how much traffic it’s going to get, and how many links and shares it might receive. In your mind, any one of those metrics might suffer if the blog post isn’t “good enough.”
But you have to get over the perfectionism and hit the publish button, or else it’s never going to go live. You can always find something to improve on with any post. It can be, very literally, an endless process. If you keep finding problems and areas that need improvement, you’ll never publish.
You want to publish a high-quality, well-edited post. That’s for sure. But at some point, it’s good enough to publish and you have to realize that. Don’t let perfection stand in the way of actually publishing. You’ll have many opportunities to learn from any mistakes and improve with subsequent posts.
No one’s first blog post is their best blog post.
When it comes to writing your first blog post, it’s all about not overdoing it.
What do I mean?
It’s your first blog post, don’t try to do it perfect.
Because you will just to get paralyzed by over-analysis.
Heck, to be honest, your blog post will NEVER be perfect.
Here are a few tips that will make your first blog post be among the top 1%:
Tip 1: Write about a topic that is aligned to your blog’s niche
It´s all about attracting the right audience. The only way to do that is to write about topics that you audience cares about.
Tip 2: Write a good headline
This one shouldn’t need any explanation.
Tip 3: Write about YOUR readers’ biggest struggle
Not about 5 of their biggest struggles…
Tip 4: Write the best blog post you possible can
Get someone you trust to look over it before you publish it.
Tip 5: Have ONE clear call to action at the end of your post
What do you want your readers to do?
Share your post on social media, comment on your post or just get on your email list?
It’s all about FOCUSING.
Get your readers to do one thing.
And remember, you will NEVER be completely satisfied with your first post.
I got to admit that my first blog post was crap. Yeah I said it.
However, I took action.
Long story short; 12 blog posts later, I was the first person to ever win the “Most Epic” blog post award on Jon Morrow’s blog SmartBlogger.com (Ex. Boost Blog Traffic).
But that would never had happened, if I didn’t take action and publish my first post (accepting that it would not be perfect).
It’s time for you to implement some freakin’ massive action!”
Take the time to study what is generating conversation and provide a fresh perspective, then reach out to others for feedback.
Most importantly do not wait for perfection.
Just get started.
I recently relaunched my site, Wise Startup Blog, completely from scratch. I had written blog posts for over 7 years on a variety of topics covering entrepreneurship, and then in 2016, I deleted every blog post and started from scratch.
So having recently re-educated myself on how to actually blog like the professionals, I have two tips for anyone writing their first blog post.
1. Create truly awesome content
In my article on 101 blog post ideas, I showed how I was able to drop my bounce rate from 75% to below 25%, just by writing awesome content.
2. Promote the hell out of your content, and then promote it some more
I used to write an article, and then once it was published I started working on the next article. Now, I spend about 50% of my time writing the content, and another 50% of the time promoting it.
Here are three simple steps to promote your content once it’s been published:
1. Syndicate your blog post on LinkedIn and Medium
2. Search for articles on google on your same topic, and leave a comment with a link to your article
3. Turn your content into an infographic using Fiverr, it should cost you no more than $25
First and foremost, before you write a single line, you need to get to know the audience you are writing for. Although you don’t actually have an audience yet, you should still have some real people in mind, and learn as much about them as possible. In fact, it’s best to have one ideal reader in mind: that way, you’ll know exactly what his or her deepest needs and desires are so you can serve them better with your post. Always begin writing by putting yourself in your ideal reader’s shoes.
Second, don’t write haphazardly without a plan. Decide how your post will be structured before you begin to write it. Is going to be a list post or a how-to post? What sections will it include? How will you introduce and conclude the post? Outline your post ahead of time: this will not only make it come out better, but you won’t get stuck staring at that dreaded blank screen.
Focus on what your audience wants.
Don’t waste time and energy trying to please everyone, start with niche audiences and establish yourself as an expert or source of information people can trust.
For anyone writing a first blog post, make sure your blog has the “value factor.”
You want your blog to give your audience value, they need to find your blog helpful and useful.
Your content needs to be amazing, so what ever you decide to cover, make it the best article online covering that topic. Every blog you do should get this same focus.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality show, we all have one. The more “personal” and “human” you are in your content, the more readers will connect and engage.
First blog post should start with a bang. Make it something amazing, something that breaks the mold. It doesn’t matter if your only reader is your unemployed cousin with too much time on his hands. Make the first several blog posts so amazing that everybody you contact over the next few weeks is envious of that unemployed cousin – they all want the time to read your next post.
This strategy works only if you contact a lot of people, and the best ways to do that are:
1. Get your post shared on social media. Get it in front of a lot of eyeballs. That’s one of the things I do to help bloggers grow their audiences. I get their posts tweeted and retweeted, shared on FaceBook and Google Plus and elsewhere. The big mistake many bloggers make is thinking they can put up a quick-and-dirty post and leave it to me to get it shared. Wrong! The sharing works for you only if the content is amazing.
2. Comment on other blogs, related blogs. Make the comments bang on about the post you’ve just read. Add something they’ve left out. Share your experience on a point they made. Correct the author (very respectfully) if you disagree with a point. Engage with the blogger, and you’ll engage by extension also with his or her readers.
3. Get active on blogger networks, such as Kingged and BizSugar, as well as FaceBook Groups and Google Plus Communities. You want to have blogger friends who will work with you to promote your posts, reach new audiences and collaborate on content.
And that’s how to make your first blog post a success, and – more importantly – how to use that first post to make your new blog a success.
Tips for a person writing his first blog posts?
If you are looking to start writing blog posts there is a great tip that inspired me from Stephen King the great fiction writer from his book “On Writing”
“If you want to write a lot you must read a lot…there is no other way”.
This will make sure you have plenty of inspiration for your writing.
1. If you’re going to write a listicle, make it COMPLETE. “10 ways to get more Twitter followers” is not helpful, “The 31 ways to get more Twitter followers.” is very helpful. It’s not about the number, it’s about writing something so that people don’t need to read any other article on the topic.
2. Write what you’re qualified to write about. If you’re just getting started in marketing, don’t write a marketing article. Why would anyone listen to you?
– Don’t overthink it. When you’re just starting your blog, it can feel like your first post has to be some incredible Pulitzer-worthy work. But the truth is, not many people will be reading your first post. If you spend too much time worrying about it, you may never actually get started! Sit down, hammer it out, and hit ‘publish.’ You can always go back and revise later!
– Spend 15 minutes doing a “brain dump” of every topic under the sun you might want to cover in a blog post. Write down everything, even if it seems dumb or like it might not be a good fit. Your goal should be to get as many ideas as possible on paper. When the allotted time is up, go through and select 5 to 10 of your favorite topics–the ones that are obvious winners and a great fit for your new blog. There you have the topics for your first 5 to 10 posts.
– Tell people about your new blog before you even publish your first post. Post about it on your personal Facebook account. Send out a few Tweets. Email a handful of influencers you admire to let them know what you’re up to, and ask if they’d be kind enough to take a look at your first post when it comes out. This way, there’s already a small level of awareness when you do launch your blog. People will say “oh yeah, I remember hearing about that.” and be more likely to click over to check it out.
My biggest tip for somebody writing their first blog post is to make sure that it’s the best resource on the internet for your specific topic.
There’s so much content published every day online, that it’s difficult to stand out, but you have an advantage: most of the content already online sucks.
So just make sure to create the ultimate resource on whatever you’re writing about, and you’ll rise above.
The first post gives a fantastic feeling. We always try to make it perfect as per our knowledge at that time. However, mostly make few mistakes which could be eradicated if bloggers are aware of them.
I would like to give you 2 tips that I believe are crucial for a blogger when one starts writing a first blog post.
1. First, an important tip is that a blogger should accomplish the research part before getting into writing stuff. Your blog should be an authentic source of knowledge, so it’s your responsibility that you will always share well-researched data. Don’t ever write a single word if you aren’t sure about that. If you happen to share the unauthenticated data, then readers will laugh at your post. You will put a bad impression in front of your audience, and they will never come back to your blog.
2. Don’t give a shit to SEO. You can’t expect your first blog post will be fully seo optimised. Few newbie bloggers try to do so, but end up with over optimising the content. So, don’t care much about the SEO. You will learn it through a process. Just keep user’s perspective in your mind. Think- how could you deliver the best content? Write in a conversational way. You should seem like a story. People can easily relate to a story. If readers love your writing style and content, they will come again n again to consume the information.
I would like to say thank you to everybody! To my old and new friends, you give me invaluable support every day. Please forgive me for not writing very often: I always try to make my posts as useful as possible. I started this tradition with my very first blog post, and I would like to keep it up.
That seems to be all.
Please comment if you liked or disliked this post, or if you think of something I can add to it.
Please ask me questions on how to create blog posts, and I’ll definitely answer it. After all, you’re already making me the happiest man on earth. It means I’m needed!