You may have set up your blog but not yet written your first post. Perhaps you’re thinking about starting a blog in the near future? Either way, at some point you’ll need to think about writing your first blog post.
But where do you start?
I’ve started a lot of blogs (some of them good, some of them total blogging failures). So… I’ve had plenty of time to think about it. I’m going to tell you my thoughts about the first blog post and how I think you should approach it.
My aim is to give you something to think about and help you to get started on the right foot.
I should add that this post is really designed for startup bloggers rather than brands or established businesses, where the first blog post might require more sensitivity.
Assumptions Before Writing Your First Post
Let’s assume you’ve created the following “stock” pages for your blog or you already have an idea about how they might look:
These are areas that are going to have a prominent place throughout your blog. They’re not really posts, so we’ll exclude them from this discussion. Really they’re more like information pages about you and your blog rather than blog posts per se.
For the purposes of this discussion then, we’ll focus purely on what we might think of as your “real” blog posts. This is the content you’ll write from now until whenever, that people will want to read.
Planning Your First Blog Post
You might already have an idea about what you’re going to write about. Personally speaking, I don’t think there is a right or wrong thing to write about. This is as long as you have a clear idea about the direction your blog will be taking long-term.
You might have heard the expression niching down? This is an important concept for several reasons.
Niching down is nailing your blog and all its content to a very specific niche. If your niche is too broad, it’ll take longer for you to make a name for yourself as an expert. For that reason, your blog might not be the go to place for one particular thing from the outset. In this case, your initial visitors might not have a strong reason to return. You satisfy their one need and that’s it.
Search engines too feature in this consideration. If your post topics jump from one niche to another, they might find it harder to understand what your blog is about.
This is important.
If your content isn’t targeting one niche or is simply too broad, it can take longer for your posts to appear in searches engine results. This is becasue the relevancy of your content won’t be specific to a certain topic. Search engines like to have a clear view of the relevancy of a blog’s content portfolio to a specific niche.
You Can’t Be All Things to All People
The upshot is… you can’t be all things to all people, and to begin with you shouldn’t try to be.
So it’s important to niche down and work on building yourself some street cred in one area! As an example, here’s my first blog post: The Law of Attraction: If You Build it, They Will Come.
I am guilty of NOT writing what I should have for my first blog post! The topic is kind of relevant, but the actual content I feel is a bit woolly. I should have made it more of an introduction to the blog, and produced a more clear statement about the direction I was planning to take. However at that time, I had a million and one ideas and couldn’t wait to get going!
Although I did have a content plan, I wasn’t thinking in terms of keeping everything tightly connected topic-wise. I was more excited to write about the things I was interested in. This is important too of course.
But if I were to do it all again, I would start on one specific topic and follow through with very tightly related post topics for the first few months.
The Importance of Planning Your Blog Posts
When we start blogging we’re often full of enthusiasm and buzzing with ideas for posts. This is absolutely great and I don’t want to knock this because it’s fuel that can drive you forwards. There is a downside to this though. It’s easy to veer from one topic to another very quickly, which makes it difficult to maintain focus upon the blog’s specific niche.
So my advice to you if you’re on the cusp of writing your first blog post is to wait. At least wait until you’ve considered the direction your blog content will take going forward. Especially in the first 3 to 6 months.
Content planning, in advance of ever writing anything, is super important. It will help you to:
- Keep you focused on your niche.
- Maintain focus on your niche thread throughout your initial period of writing.
- Give you a clear roadmap of what you’re going to write, in the first X weeks / months.
- Be organized.
- Plan when you’ll publish your posts.
- See connections between all your posts in advance so you can understand how to interlink them before you ever put pen to paper.
- Make a commitment to your posting schedule.
Planning your first blog posts before writing a single word will give you clarity in your approach. It’ll also help you see the bigger picture regarding what your content portfolio will look like after the first few months.
What Should You Write About in Your First Post?
Since its your first post, a good place for most people to start is probably to write a little about you in perhaps a more personal way than your About page.
You might talk about yourself and your experiences and focus upon showing your personality. Post a photograph of yourself so people understand there is a real person behind the facade of your blog.
You could include a little about your reasons for starting a blog. Explain what your motivation is and what you’re going to blog about. This sets the scene for what your forthcoming blog posts will be, according to your content plan.
But more than this. If you have a clearly defined content plan before writing your first blog post you can state explicitly what visitors can expect in the future.
In your first blog post you can explain who you are writing for and what you’ll be doing for them. What will your visitors get from the experience of visiting your blog? How will it give them value? How often can they expect new posts? What’s in it for them? You could literally provide a bullet list as a sort of mission statement, if you liked.
Finally you might like to express what you’d like to achieve from the blogging experience for yourself. Be completely upfront about it. Authenticity should be key for you throughout your blogging journey, so embrace it right from the start when writing your first post.
What If My First Post Isn’t That Great?
If you’ve never had a blog before, writing your first blog post might not come that easily. You might be highly critical about what you write at the beginning. However as time passes, and with practise, you’ll begin to feel more confident about what you’re doing.
I’ve seen several bloggers warning that if you get your first post wrong the people who read it will never come back. They almost suggest your blog will be doomed if the first post doesn’t hit the mark 100%.
This is utter tosh in my view… and actually pretty annoying hype!
Some people might not return regardless of what your first post is about and no matter how good it is. Don’t forget, you can always refine or rewrite any post you write (including your first one) to improve or update it. And you can do this at any point.
I mentioned above I’d probably write my first blog post a little different if I could turn back the clock. But having said this, I haven’t yet gone back to update it!
My point is, if you don’t get it 100% right according to the laws of blogger X, it’s not the end of the world.
Your first blog post is important because it sets the scene. But it’s more important to plan your first month’s worth of content in advance of actually writing your first blog post because this will likely help to shape the content path you take within your niche.
- Your first blog post gives you an opportunity to introduce who you are and what you’ll be writing about.
- Writing your first blog post is important but your blog is not going to live or die by it.
- In my opinion it’s more important to have a clear idea of the post titles / topics you’ll be writing after your first blog post is live BEFORE you publish numero uno!
- Create a content plan / schedule before you ever begin writing your first post.
- As with any post, you can always tweak your first post as time goes by to improve it.
That’s it for now!
Let me know what you think about this post. Leave a comment below or ask me a question.