New to blogging? Writing and publishing your first blog post is a thrilling step, but it comes with its share of uncertainties and challenges.
How do you choose a topic, craft a captivating title and structure your content? What’s a good length to aim for?
How do you make your blog appear in search results? What blogging platform should you use and why?
These are all valid questions that need thorough answers. But it gets more interesting — blogs are one of the top marketing channels that yield the highest return on investment (ROI). In this guide, we’ll explore how to write your first blog post. We’ll also address common challenges you might face when blogging for the first time.
Factors to consider when choosing a blogging platform
The blogging platform you choose will be home to your content for a long time. So, you need to make the right choice.
When deciding how to publish your first blog post, clarify your long-term blogging goals, whether personal expression, business promotion or monetization.
Once that’s done, use the checklist below to choose the blogging platform that best meets your needs.
- Ease of use: Opt for an intuitive interface with user-friendly features to streamline content creation and management.
- Customization options: Ensure the platform offers themes and plugins that allow you to customize your blog to reflect your brand or personal style.
- Scalability: Choose a blogging platform that allows you to grow your blog, accommodating increased traffic and content.
- Mobile responsiveness: Confirm that the platform supports mobile devices so your blog is accessible to everyone, regardless of the devices they use.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) friendliness: Prioritize platforms with built-in SEO tools to enhance your blog’s visibility on search engines.
- Community support: Evaluate the platform’s community and support forums for troubleshooting and advice.
- Costs and pricing structure: Consider the platform’s pricing plans, including the cost of domains and hosting, to ensure you don’t exceed your budget.
- Monetization options: If you intend to monetize your blog, choose a platform that supports various revenue streams.
- Security features: Prioritize platforms with robust security measures to protect your content and user data.
- Integration with third-party tools: Ensure compatibility with essential tools such as analytics, eCommerce, email marketing and social media scheduling tools.
- Content ownership: Check the platform’s content ownership and data control policies to ensure you have full control over your intellectual property.
- Backup and export options: Confirm that the platform allows easy backup and export of your content for data security and recovery.
- Loading speed: Opt for a platform that guarantees fast loading times so you can create a superior user experience for your audience.
If you’re looking for an affordable blogging solution that checks all the items on this list, WordPress takes the crown. WordPress is trusted by 43% of all websites, making it the world’s leading blogging platform for new bloggers and experts.
Publishing your first blog post involves more than just the actual writing process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write your first blog post like a pro.
Generate a working topic you’ll modify after conducting keyword and audience research.
But how do you arrive at a working topic? First, consider your goals. Why do you want to write a blog post? Do you want to sell products or services, build industry thought leadership or create brand awareness?
Your goal must align with the demands of your target audience. This implies that your best topics would be intersections of your goals and your audience’s needs.
If you have a product, service, course or brand to promote, your topic should be tangentially relevant to your audience.
For instance, if you sell running shoes, your blog post should draw your audience’s attention to these products and highlight key benefits. To create a relevant working topic, identify your audience’s needs and pain points.
For running shoes, the pain points could be foot discomfort, improper fit or poor shock absorption. Benefits would be breathability, cushioning and durability.
Build a topic ideas list from these pain points and benefits. You can use Google Search to generate blog post ideas. For example, if you enter “arch support for running” on search engines, you’ll find some relevant blog title ideas.
The more you’ve interacted with a specific topic, the more you can write about it. So, it’s best to choose a blog post topic you’re knowledgeable about.
Get clear on who needs your content. Engage in social media and forum interactions on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and Quora to identify your audience and understand their needs. Find products or services related to your topic and see what users are saying about them. Platforms like Google and Amazon are great places to start.
You want to understand the conversations around your chosen topic. Note the words the people driving these conversations use to describe their needs, pain points and ideal solutions.
Keyword and user intent analysis helps you understand how your audience communicates their needs. This understanding informs your content angle, target keywords and voice.
Use beginner-friendly SEO and keyword research tools like Semrush for these tasks.
A good blog post ranges from 1,000 words for informational posts to 2,500 words for in-depth tutorials. Aim for this range when writing your first blog post.
Strike a balance between depth and brevity. The most important thing is to thoroughly cover your chosen topic without overwhelming readers with information.
Prioritize quality content, address audience needs and maintain an engaging writing style. Tailor the length of your post to your blog niche, considering that some readers prefer short, easily digestible content.
An excellent blogging tip would be to stick with the length suggestion on SEO tools like Clearscope and Surfer. These tools recommend specific word counts to help you structure your blog posts, ensuring you cover all the relevant points without going off track.
4. Craft a compelling blog post title
Now that you know your audience and understand their needs, it’s time to generate a keyword-rich, attention-grabbing blog title.
Alternatively called headlines, titles are important because they introduce your blog post to your audience and help them decide whether or not to read it.
Follow these tips to create a compelling blog title:
- Use numbers: Numbers attract attention and suggest an organized structure, which can increase click-through rates.
- Include keywords: Improve search engine visibility and attract the right audience by including relevant keywords in your blog title.
- Keep it short and sweet: Aim for a concise title your audience will understand at a glance.
- Ask a question: Pose a question that sparks curiosity or highlights a common concern your audience may have.
- Use power words: Evoke emotions and drive conversions with power words. Examples include “ultimate,” “incredible” and “revolutionary.”
- Be unique and specific: Stand out by offering a unique angle or promising specific benefits in your title.
- Test multiple versions: Experiment with different title variations. Put out a survey for potential readers to vote for the best headline.
Your brainstorming and research phase should reveal what readers want to learn about your chosen topic. Creating an outline involves building a list of relevant subtopics.
Organize those subtopics in a logical sequence. Assign word counts to those sections based on their degrees of relevance to the main topic and how much information to cover. You can use SEO tools like Frase to understand what these sections should look like.
Determine where you’ll need graphics and where to apply structured data to boost your SEO efforts. Leave call-to-action (CTA) notes in strategic sections of your outline (e.g., the conclusion) to guide how you weave your offerings or products into the post.
Craft a compelling introduction that grabs readers’ attention. Organize content logically, using subheadings to create a clear hierarchy.
Break up the content into digestible paragraphs. Use numbered lists or bullet points to enhance readability. Ensure a smooth flow between sections to maintain reader engagement. Conclude with a strong summary or CTA, which drives your audience to take the desired action.
Aim for a conversational tone with short, concise sentences, especially when writing for general audiences. Be sure to explain complex concepts using easily understandable terms.
The goal is to understand your audience’s background and adjust your tone accordingly. For example, a business audience requires industry-specific terms, while an academic audience requires a formal tone.
High-quality visuals make your content more appealing. You can either download stock images, hire a graphic designer to design a custom image for you or create your own graphics using free tools like Canva.
Regardless of how you source your graphics, follow the latest graphic design trends to captivate readers and convey your message effectively. Remember to credit the right sources when you use images from stock image websites.
Ensure your chosen design aligns with your brand and complements the written content. Optimize image sizes for faster page load times. Tools like TinyPNG allow you to maintain quality while compressing images.
Finally, write descriptive alternative (or alt) texts. This makes your graphics accessible to visually impaired audiences and also makes your content more relevant to search engines.
Done writing? Take a breather. Then, read your article aloud to catch errors and ensure clarity. Proofreading tools like Grammarly and Google Docs’ spell check help you maintain high readability while fixing errors.
Break down the proofreading process into sections, focusing on grammar, spelling and overall coherence.
Sometimes, your content may need to be reviewed by an expert. Hire a proofreader or copy editor to review your content and help you gain fresh perspectives.
Editing and proofreading ensure crisp, error-free content that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.
Search engine optimization is the process of improving your content’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here’s how to write your first blog post to optimize for search engines:
- Use relevant keywords: Place relevant keywords in the title, headings and within the content. Consider using an SEO tool like Yoast, Clearscope or Surfer to integrate relevant keywords into your content.
- Craft compelling meta tags: Craft a compelling meta description and title, incorporating primary keywords in a natural way. Your meta tags must accurately capture the goal of your blog post. This tells your audience what to expect.
- Use an SEO-friendly URL structure: Create a concise URL that contains your primary keyword. This enables search engines to understand the content of your blog post.
- Optimize images: Assign descriptive file names and alt texts to images. This enhances accessibility and increases keyword relevance.
- Add internal and external links: At the start of your blogging journey, there are no internal links to use. However, including relevant internal links is a best practice to implement in subsequent blog posts. Remember to add external links as well. This boosts your SEO efforts and provides value to your audience.
Explore other digital marketing methods besides search engine optimization. By sharing engaging content on social media platforms, you can reach a global audience without spending money.
If you have newsletter subscribers, notify them of your new post via email and encourage social shares. Cross-promoting with other bloggers is another effective way to create awareness about your first blog post for free.
And, if you don’t mind spending a few bucks, collaborating with social media influencers or running targeted ads can drive massive traffic to your blog.
Beginner mistakes to avoid when writing your first blog post
Most mistakes you might make while figuring out how to write your first blog post are merely violations of the processes we’ve outlined already. We’ll discuss them further to help you remember them as you publish your first blog post.
Poor planning can undermine your post’s effectiveness. This results in incoherence, low engagement and lack of clarity. If your readers struggle to understand your content, it’ll be hard to earn their trust.
Before diving into content marketing, thoroughly research your target audience and topic. Develop a clear outline to guide your writing. This ensures your content is well-structured and purposeful.
You have only 8.25 seconds to capture your audience’s attention. If your headline and introduction are not compelling enough, readers may lose interest in your blog.
Craft a catchy headline that sparks curiosity and resonates with your audience. Follow it up with an engaging intro that hooks readers, encouraging them to delve further into your content.
Ignoring visual appeal could diminish the overall readability of your post, making it hard for readers to connect with you and retain the information you’re sharing.
Break up lengthy text with visual elements such as images, screenshots, infographics, tables or videos. Ensure the visual elements you choose are relevant to your blog and are of high quality.
Errors convey a lack of professionalism, eroding your audience’s trust in your content. So, publishing unedited content can undermine your credibility.
Diligently edit your content to spot typos and grammatical errors while ensuring overall coherence. Take advantage of online proofreading tools, or hire an expert editor to polish your writing.
Your audience could lose interest in your content if you don’t respond to their comments. Such apathy hinders your new blog from gaining a loyal readership.
Actively respond to comments from readers. Foster a sense of community by expressing gratitude for feedback and encouraging further discussions. Building connections with your audience enhances your blog’s overall impact and ensures long-term success as a blogger.
Don’t approach your first blog post like an “about me” section. Instead, address a problem or share high-value information. Readers aren’t keen on your personal details unless you’re a celebrity.
Publishing your first blog post requires proper planning, structured presentation, meticulous editing and active audience engagement. By avoiding the common mistakes outlined above, you’ll set the stage for a rewarding blogging journey.
Writing blog posts is not just about stringing words together. It’s a strategic and creative process aimed at delivering value. By understanding your audience, defining a clear purpose and employing SEO techniques, you’ll create a powerful narrative that resonates with readers.
Your journey to becoming a successful blogger starts with choosing the right blogging platform. That’s why Bluehost offers top-quality WordPress hosting that lets you build your own blog from scratch.
With Bluehost, you can go from learning how to write your first blog post to getting a free domain name and building fast-loading webpages.
Kickstart your blogging journey with our WordPress hosting plans today.