Tips for writing your first blog post

Finding your voice

So you’ve chosen a topic, purchased your catchy domain name, and set up a gorgeous template. Now, you’re staring at a blinking cursor in that big, blank composition space, wondering what on earth to say. You want your very first blog post to be engaging and genuine, but also shareable, SEO-optimized and riddled with the potential to go viral. You’re worried that if you mess this up, no one will ever read or visit your shiny new blog.

Yes, your launch post is important — it’s where you’ll introduce yourself, set the tone for your blog and tell the world why you’re adding your voice to the blogosphere.

But blogs are linear feeds, which means your launch post won’t be front-and-center forever. So if you can craft a unique, articulate and inspiring masterpiece for your first go around, then kudos to you. But if you can’t, then don’t sweat it. Your first post will not make or break your blog.

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind as you prepare to write your first blog post:

Forget the numbers

Optimizing blog posts for searchability and shareability is a vital practice, but please, please don’t worry about those things for your launch post. You’ll be posting regularly and sharing through your own social media channels, so there’s plenty of time to feed those robots with yummy content. Right now, focus on crafting a meaningful and expressive piece of writing that will help your audience connect with you.

Mission and message

Your first post should be used to set the scene, even if you’ve got an “about” or “mission” page already present. You need to lay some groundwork for the readers who’ll be with you from day one, and for those who will want to pour over your archive. Diving headfirst into your topic without any prelude means missing the opportunity to establish your mission. Tell people what it is you hope to accomplish with your blog and explain how you plan to deliver your message.

Find your voice

A thought-out mission is a must for your blog, but you also need to spread your message using a writing style that feels natural, normal and quintessentially you.

Consistent tone is one of the hallmarks of a well-written blog.

 

The voice you use in this first post should be the voice you use forever, so make sure it comes naturally to you. If you’re an academic don’t try to make yourself sound overly casual, or if you’re laid-back don’t try to sound pedagogical. Stick to you!

Set yourself apart

If you’re launching your blog right now, you’re likely aware that the field is rather crowded, regardless of your topic. So why exactly does the world need another mommy/fashion/tech/travel/cooking blog? What will you be adding to the conversation? These are the questions you can answer to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Pro tip: You don’t have to dole out qualifications or defend your stance, but it’s helpful to share and explain what makes your perspective unique or valuable.

Not sure what that might be? There are lots of things to consider:

  • Age
  • Geographic region
  • Nationality
  • Unique stance
  • Lifelong passion

Even if you’re just writing to connect with others who share your hobby, your angle is uniquely yours. If you’re not sure, then that’s OK, too. Starting a blog isn’t necessary — there are plenty of other social media options that allow for simple documentation and sharing. Of course, if you’re blogging sheerly for your own pleasure and couldn’t care less about unique visitors and subscriber counts, then that’s reason enough.

The real work of building a robust, thriving blog is in creating and posting high-quality content on a regular basis, promoting it, and building a community around it.

But you can’t do any of those things if you don’t write your first post to get the ball rolling. So get typing, introduce yourself, and prepare to enter the wonderful world of blogging.

Image by: summerbl4ck via Compfight cc

Sally McGraw
Sally McGraw is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer, editor, and blogger. She is the creator the popular daily blog Already Pretty, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a Huffington Post contributor, and the author of several books about style and body image. Sally is also a ghostwriter and editor who specializes in non-fiction books and book proposals. She believes that writing is like solving a living, breathing, ever-changing puzzle, and finds the challenge exhilarating. Her favorite word is "crepuscular."