When I was a kid, I dreamt of being a writer. When I grew up I wanted to make money.
When I grew up a bit more, I wanted to a life where no one will have the right to tell me what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.
Blogging brings that freedom.
You have to write your first blog post before you can write your second post. So get started writing your first post 🙂
Should you Start with a Blog or YouTube Video Script?
Whether you are starting a written blog or YouTube video channel, the advice in this post is equally applicable. Writing a few blogs will start your creative juices flowing.
You can then repurpose the same content for your YouTube channel. Simply record yourself reading your blog and create a little presentation with some images.
It helps to keep things super simple in the beginning.
Writing your First Blog: Let’s get started blogging!
The internet is full of long lists containing brilliant ideas, and you could read them till the cows come home. In contrast, in this post, I shall share with you fast-start techniques which the pros use for writing blog posts.
Decide on a Blog Niche
A niche is a broad theme, idea or topic that you want most of your blog posts to be about.
Travel, Fitness, Spirituality, Technology are some popular niches. You could also choose a niche related to your current work. As an example, if you are a realtor you may want to write about home-ownership.
Sign up for a free blogging platform
I would suggest signing up for either Medium (medium.com) or Google’s Blogger (blogger.com). If I had to choose I would choose Blogger instead of Medium. Medium has made its content available only to subscribers and your blog content will not be freely available to everybody if it’s on Medium.
At this stage, it’s not worth your while to spend too much time in trying to select a free blogging platform. I have created a comparison for you if you would like to understand why I suggest using Medium or Blogger: The Top 5 Free Blogging Platforms for Beginner Bloggers
The sign-up process for any blogging platform you choose is straight-forward.
Now that you have signed up let’s move to the next step.
Choose a Topic for your First Post
You have already chosen the overall theme – your niche. Now you are going to write your first post. Here are some pro-tips to choose a topic.
- Use HubSpot’s Topic Generator: http://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator
- Search on Google for your blog niche and then make a list of the top 10 topics which show up. Choose any of those topics, make some changes in the headline and you are all set to go.
Say, your niche is travel.
When you search on Google, a search result may show up with the headline:”Why We Love Family Travel (And You Should, Too!)”. This gives you an idea about your own topic. As an example, you could write about, “Checklist: 10 Things to Remember When Traveling with your Family”
- Search on Amazon for books related to your blog niche. Then check out their table of contents. Right there you have topic ideas!
- Write about some work you have done. As a realtor you may have closed a home sale, as an artist, you may have done a gallery show, as a teacher, you may have helped a student… Tell your story using this classic case-study format:
- Write about yourself – “who you are, what you are good at, why are you starting this blog”. Be natural. If you are nervous, share your anxiety with your readers. The more honest you are the more people will like you.
Best Practices: Pro-Tips for Your First Blog Post
- Think about creating Lists, How-tos, and Reviews. These are ever-green topics.
- The top search results which show up when you Google for your blog niche are your “competitors”. To get a fast-start for blog topics, visit those competitor sites. Make a note of your competitors’ sidebars and their top blog posts.
- Never start with a blank page. As a beginner, use other people’s works as inspiration for your own blog. But don’t steal or duplicate content. Google will penalize you, plus you may be infringing copyright. Read other people’s ideas, topics, and blogs and use them as inspiration. Then write your blog in your own words.
A Word of Caution about Blogging
Think of the image you want to project online in your blog or videos.
A lot of YouTubers and bloggers share intimate details of their passions and problems in their videos and blogs. Others share only a bit about themselves and focus on their creative work.
Think of the image you want to project. It is best to start on a cautionary note and open up later if you so wish, rather than share all the intimate details of your love-life and then backtrack.
In Conclusion – Your First Blog in a Nutshell
Instead of worrying too much about tools and ideas, get started writing. If I can be brutally honest, nobody will read your first blog post anyways.
After you have written out a few posts, you can go back and edit them, change post titles to be magnetic headlines and fine-tune your posts for search engines.
But, right now, just focus on belting out a few words.
Use a simple template and write out your first blog post!