Any writer knows that getting started is always the hardest part of a project. Well, that and keeping up your momentum once you’ve started. While we’ve covered how strategy planning can help the latter issue, a lot of bloggers can still get stuck at step one. Some might have an issue finding a topic, some might be overwhelmed by the idea of creating or managing a site, and a lot just have trouble finding the motivation.
For now, let’s focus on the practical. What first steps can you take to get your blog rolling? If you’ve already got a site up and running, you’re probably just stuck on that first post. You only get one first post, so it’s important to make it count. So let’s take a look a what to write in your first blog post and how to write a first blog post. These are two distinct skill sets, both of which are important for your blog’s long-term success. Use the table of contents to jump to whatever section you need.
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So What Should My First Blog Post Be About?
You only get one first blog post, so be sure to make it count!
Now that you’ve started your blogging site you’re almost ready to start posting. First thing’s first, though: stop and pat yourself on the back! You’ve already made it further than most. But making your site or blogging page is just the first step. The real work is just starting. So let’s get down to business: what should your first blog post be about?
If you’ve already gone through all the trouble to create a blog, you’ve probably got a good handle on what you want to write about. Different types of blogs have distinct functions and, as such, require different approaches for a debut.
First blog post ideas for different sites
- For a personal blog, consider just a short introduction. You should also consider making an “About” page and link button. You can access your page builder and create new tabs for your site easily through the WordPress interface.
- A niche or hobby blog is similar to a personal blog but dedicates itself to one topic or audience niche. As such, you’ll want to craft your first post accordingly: start with a personal intro, but lead into a larger post about a chosen topic. Choose something that is simple and approachable for your first post. You might also consider researching popular topics already in that niche and choose something similar. This will do wonders for your new blog’s SEO (search engine optimization, or how easy it is to find your site.)
- Marketing or brand blogs are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Since you might have multiple writers or even uncredited articles (depending on your company), author introductions are far less necessary. Focus on your audience, your market, and especially your SEO in this case. Use the same advice as a niche blog, but focus more closely on these aspects.
How to Write Your First Blog Post and What to Include
Whatever your first blog post is about, it’s also important to know how to write it.
How to write your first blog post and what you write about are two distinct considerations. Once you’ve chosen your topic, you’ll need to consider your approach, your craft, and your voice. As far as voice goes, that is entirely up to you to develop. Just remember that readers appreciate honest and conversational language, especially for personal blogs and marketing. The only real way to improve is to practice writing every day.
When it comes to blogging and engagement, however, there are some practical steps you can take. With WordPress plugins, you can help improve your writing with basic tools (spell-checkers, grammar tools, readability metrics) and more advanced SEO trackers. I can personally recommend Yoast SEO for WordPress as an effective way to track and improve your posts as you write.
You should also consider taking some steps to improve the technical features of your post, not just the language. Here are a few other common tips to boost your post’s SEO and readability:
- Use WordPress’s category system. It’s way easier for search engines to prioritize your post if you give them the topic and audience goals upfront. Categories do just that.
- Keep your sentences short. Most SEO trackers like Yoast will tell you this. I know I personally tend to ramble, so keeping an eye out for wordy sentences or obtuse language is an area I always look to for improvement. That last sentence, for example, could be broken down into two or three thoughts. This can also keep your word count SEO-friendly
- Break up your text. This can include subheaders, images, or just plain paragraph breaks. Even a bullet-list like this will keep your post visually fresh and engaging.
Getting the Most Out of Your First Blog Post
There are a few more ways you can get mileage out of your first blog post.
SEO optimization is important during the writing process, but it’s equally important to consider your post’s life after it’s been published. We’ve already covered tools and methods of improving your content for search engines. Nowadays, there are also methods for using social media to improve engagement as well.
Social media presence is, of course, a key part of maintaining a personal and professional brand. Brand sites with blogs already generate 67% more leads than those without, and expanding that presence to social media can boost these numbers even further. I highly recommend utilizing social media buttons that you can with WordPress’ page builder. You can put them wherever you like on your site- usually on the home page or “about” section- so long as all of the accounts you use are relevant and feature links back to the site.
Get Started Now: Creating a Site for Your First Blog Post
If you haven’t made a site for your blog yet, you’ve got some decisions to make.
There are plenty of options available when it comes to making a blog. You’re probably familiar with a few already: social media blogging like Tumblr, blogging pages on company sites (like this one!), and personal blogging sites.
While social media blogging is accessible and extremely popular, it’s probably not the best choice for a dedicated blog. Sure, there have been a couple of successful marketing campaigns on website alternatives, but these posts aren’t fully seizing their potential. There is also the concern of content ownership, which can get hazy when posting on social media sites. This is especially important to consider if you’re looking to monetize your blog in any way.
On the other hand, a dedicated site allows you to stand out and have full control over your blog. By creating your own website with a service like WordPress, you can utilize themes, page builders, and other dedicated blogging features just like a social blogging platform. But with WordPress, you’ll also be free of the limitations of a social media platform with just as much effort.
Using WordPress for Your First Blog Post
WordPress offers some unique advantages over other blogging and content management services.
Built for blogging
When comparing WordPress to other CMS (content management systems), it’s important to remember your end goal: your blog. While other website CMS and coding frameworks might seem appealing for their flexibility, very few have dedicated blogging features. WordPress, on the other hand, is made for blogging first and foremost. The first two tabs on the WordPress interface are for uploading media and posting to a dedicated blogging page. With another service, you might have to dig for this functionality, install it as an extension, or even code it all yourself.
The WordPress plugin library
Speaking of extensions, you can’t talk about WordPress without mentioning its extensive plugin library. Plugins are independently developed add-ons and apps for the WordPress interface which expand its functionality. These can cover needs from page builders to stat-trackers to eCommerce tools, and many, many more. This also means that your site can evolve and improve over time. If you don’t create a site with a certain feature or can’t afford a plugin license from the get-go, you can always add it later. Plus, every plugin is accessible straight from the WordPress dashboard, with more being developed all the time. But new features aren’t the only way to improve your site.
Web hosting and your first blog
Web hosting isn’t something that many consider when making a blog. After all, there are plenty of site builders and CMS which provide hosting as part of a package or even free with use. Even the WordPress brand provides a .com version of the system with packaged hosting and features.
However, going with the easy route isn’t always the best. With free services, expect what you pay for. Considering that a web host handles content storage, security, and server maintenance for your site, it’s not something that you want to skimp on.
Luckily, WordPress has some great dedicated web host options that won’t break the bank. In fact, most independent hosting is cheaper than package deals. WP Super Host provides the latest in security, performance, and tech support for WordPress hosting. Plus, there are tiered pricing options and custom pricing options. Head over to the pricing page to see your options, and pick the best hosting to suit your new blog’s needs.
To Sum Up
A first blog post is your proverbial first impression. When operating online, however, it’s not just your readers you have to consider, but the technology as well. So be sure to stay aware of SEO with the right tools and use WordPress and WP Super Host to get the most out of your blog down the line. Now get out there and publish that first post!