Writing your first blog post is intimidating for a lot of business owners. It’s normal to be a little nervous, but blogging is easier than you think! Many blogs don’t get started or go neglected because the author feels uncomfortable and avoids blogging. You may be thinking: What do I have to say? Who is going to read my blog? I’m not an expert!
When you’re getting ready to write your first post for your business, banish the negative thoughts and just get started! Blogging is a great way of marketing without a budget and is a tool that you need to be using for your small business. Whether you’re paralyzed by the fear of blogging or trying ways to stay motivated as a small business owner, here are some tips to help you confront those fears, overcome your objections, and create some great blog posts!
It all starts with the first blog post.
I know… I’ve been through that stage. You’ve got mixed feelings:
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. 58 Of The Best Blog Post Ideas For Beginners
I know how difficult it is for you to decide what to write in your very first blog post.
Struggling to find interesting blog post ideas? That’s why I recommend you to start from this list. (I hope they’ll inspire you!)
Here are 58 ideas for first blog posts:
- Generate a year’s supply of proven blog post ideas with Semrush 14-day free trial guide so you never have to worry what to write about.
- Create your first blog post on the topic you know better than anything else. Be sure to link to other websites/bloggers in your niche and notify them when you publish your post.
- Do some research in the area you feel a passion to.
- Share some statistics and figures: people love posts with data.
- Dispel some myths in a particular area and match them against facts.
- Create a list of inspiring quotes relevant to your niche.
- Describe in detail your process of creating something.
- Tell about other tactics you used to achieve results.
- Make a list of tactics used by other authoritative bloggers on some specific topic.
- Create any templates that will save you visitors’ time.
- Tell how to make money in your niche.
- How to do something better and faster.
- Describe the most common problem your target audience faces and suggest a way of solving it.
- Remember what inspires you, and create an inspirational post.
- Are holidays around the corner? Write what you’re planning to do. Make a gift to your users.
- Reveal some truth: what is behind the curtain covering your work.
- Create an expert roundup post. Ask at least 10 authoritative bloggers in your niche and use their advice in your article. Don’t forget to add your opinion on this topic!
- Create a blogger roundup post. Ask your online friends how they solve a problem you also face.
- Advise your target audience whom to read and follow.
- Compare something against something else. (Tools, books, tactics…)
- Tell about free products and courses that would be helpful to your audience. Make a big list of such freebies, link to your friends, and notify them about it.
- Write a detailed FAQ on any topic that interests you.
- Analyze the authoritative bloggers in your niche and define what all of them have in common.
- Tell how you use something every day to achieve results. (For example, mobile apps, your personal diary, or tools).
- Find the questions your target audience asks on forums, Quora, and Reddit. (To do so, I’d recommend you to use WebPageFix).
- Become a member of relevant groups on Facebook and find the questions of other users you know answers to.
- Enter on Pinterest some queries on your topic and take a note of the pins that get most of the repins. Write a post about the most popular topic.
- Write what problems your target visitors face and how to solve them.
- Pick some very interesting and successful people in your niche. Tell about their best posts.
- Create a list of hacks that help solve some problem quicker.
- Describe your plans, challenge yourself, and offer your users to follow it.
- Tell something you won’t do or something your readers should avoid doing to achieve or get something.
- Offer each of your readers your help with something you’re good at. Let them send their questions in emails or leave them in comments.
- Make a list of those in your niche whom you read and who inspire you.
- Tell about your experience, how you achieve your results in something.
- What recommendations and books have influenced your life and productivity.
- Make an interview with an influencer. Be sure to make a list of questions that interest you in advance.
- In your blog post, answer your readers’ questions.
- Study the comments on other blogs in your niche. Find repetitive questions and write the answers.
- Tell what skills are necessary for your niche.
- Tell about the most common mistakes in your niche.
- What lessons anyone can learn both from your experience and what you do.
- Make a list of links to the best tutorials and guides.
- Create the best articles roundup of the last year/month/week.
- Tell about the most important things you wish you’d known when you started.
- Write a detailed review on a product that you used.
- Reach out to fellow-bloggers and ask them to share with you their ideas for blog posts.
- Write a checklist of how to do something.
- Create a cheat sheet that will help your users achieve better results.
- Write a thank-you post and mention everyone who helped you on your way.
- Tell the latest news and mention the novelties in your niche.
- Create an infographic on a topic that interests you. Use different data sources.
- Shoot a video tutorial how you use any tool.
- Tell about any popular topic but from a new angle.
- Write about other bloggers’ mistakes (find them!) in your niche. What do they do wrong?
- Turn other person’s popular infographic (podcast or video) into a blog post. Add your opinion. Be sure to link to the original resource!
- Use BuzzSumo to find popular topics. Even their free versions will help you find proven ideas!
- Use tools for keyword research. (For example, KWFinder (paid – but I use it all the time!), Answerthepublic (questions), or Alsoasked). Find relevant queries basing on these keywords and create your blog post.
Use these first blog post examples for inspiration. If this list is not enough for you, then check out more blog post ideas from Sumo.
But always prioritize your own ideas! It’s you who knows what to write about.
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!)
Note: Or use the tips from SEMrush. It is enough to enter one competitor, and the tool will give you a list of similar websites.
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.
I like using SEMrush for free.
Sign up now and try all the features of SEMrush free for 14 days. (Exclusively for my readers!)
Enter each of the competitors you’ve found, one by one.
Note: In SEMrush, you should be able to do up to 10 free analyses of your competitors each day. Make it a habit to find new competitors and save the results in a spreadsheet.
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.
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.
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.
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 And Create The Best Content That Connects
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
The essential tips for writing and editing first blog posts:
- Start writing a post about what is easiest for you. What you know or have experienced recently. What is not required research.
- 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 as many examples as possible to make it easier for the reader to understand your advice.
- Don’t forget to proofread your post and correct all the mistakes and typos.
Step 17. On-Page SEO Tips on Editing Your blog 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. (It could be hard for an average user to understand how to improve PageSpeed scores. So I advise you to check out the most comprehensive guide on this topic: How to Score 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights with WordPress.)
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.
- Check the loading speed of your blog
- Check who is hosting the leading websites in your niche (this particular hosting detector queries each regional IP registry directly and as an added bonus includes information on the domain name registrar of the scanned website)
3. You’ve created an email with the domain of your blog (e.g., email@example.com).
- You used the email provided by your host. (It’s free!)
- Or you connected G Suite by Google. (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.
6. You’ve ensured your basic security.
- change the admin login.
- You changed the access URL to the admin zone.
- Regularly back up your blog post (all your files and the database).
7. You’ve connected the email marketing software.
- MailerLite (Free up to 1,000 subscribers, and this is the one I use! Plus you’ll get a $20 credit when you sign up.)
8. You use the opt-in forms to get subscribers.
- Thrive Leads (I think they’re the best!)
9. The last and most important thing: content upgrade. Start list building from the first day!
Step 19. What You Need to Do After Publishing Your blog post
Need an example of a successful promotion? Check it out this case study:
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 6 main ways to gain traffic:
- Social Media
- Direct Traffic
- Referral Traffic
- Networking (Blogger Outreach)
- Email Marketing
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.
Well, that’s it for How to Write Your First Blog Post (and Get People to Read It). If you have any questions or would like to share your own helpful tips, leave a comment at the bottom or send me an email using the contact form.