By now, you’ve set up your blog just the way you always wanted. Your domain name is memorable, and the theme is striking.
You’ve chosen a promising niche through painstaking research, and you’re now ready to settle down and write your first blog post.
However, your emotions are all over the place.
On the one hand, you’re excited at what you could become – a successful blogger and an authority in your niche. On the other hand, you are not sure what to write about. You feel stuck, and the pressure is building up.
This post is meant to help you navigate through the pressures of writing your first post and launch your blog in style.
You may not want to hear this, but only 17% of bloggers make enough money from blogging to sustain themselves. The vast majority (81%) never even make $100.
Your first blog post may well determine where you end up. If you want to find success and join the league of the 17%, you have to captivate your visitors every time you write a blog post to keep them coming back for more.
As I’ve opened up a few times in other posts on this blog, I made many mistakes with my previous blogs. More often than not, I just wrote for the sake of writing. Now, I write what I know my audience would love to read.
You’ll find the following tips essential not only for writing your first post but also for your subsequent ones.
Who is your ideal reader? In other words, who are you targeting?
If you don’t have an audience in mind, your first duty as a blogger is to define and then understand your audience.
Are they college students, moms, online businesses or entrepreneurs?
Once you’ve worked that out, put yourself in their shoes and find out as much information as possible about them.
For instance, what are their goals and fears? What are they are looking for?
You want to write a blog post that connects with your audience.
It’s only when you’re conscious of who you are writing for that you can truly write for them.
Another key mistake I made with my previous blogs is I blogged blindly. With no strategy in mind, I was just throwing everything at the wall and hoping that something will stick. However, my gamble backfired.
To succeed, you need to devise a blogging strategy right off the bat.
Here are 2 strategies that can help you find success in any niche.
First, provide value by solving the problems of your audience. The bulk of online searchers are people looking for answers or solutions to problems.
For instance, online businesses want to know how to boost traffic to their sites to increase their revenues.
Therefore, identify a pressing need that your audience may be looking for a solution for and blog about it.
Second, you could choose to review products and services that you’re using.
Stats show that up to 47% of buyers won’t make a purchase decision before reading product reviews from trusted sources.
Who are the key players in the niche? You can’t get ahead of your competition if you don’t know what you are up against.
Search your keywords on Google and note the ones that come out on top. Your ultimate goal is to beat them by offering your shared audience better value.
Find out their content strategy, what makes them tick, what they may not be doing right, their competitive advantage and so on.
For everything that they are doing right, go a step further. For where they’re lacking, seize the opportunity and fill the gap.
Unfortunately, you can’t learn everything about your competitors by just going through their blog posts.
Such tools can pull out your competitors’ content statistics such as their most viewed post, reveal their keywords and even give you relevant keywords that your competitors may not be using.
I didn’t care much about the titles of my posts in my failed blogs.
But as I’ve come to learn, the title is probably the most crucial aspect of a blog post.
It only takes a couple of seconds for an average reader to decide whether or not they’re going to read an article. If your title is not compelling enough, your article gets overlooked.
Surprisingly, the 80/20 rule also applies to blogs. Only 2 out of every 10 people who read your title read the rest of the article.
If you want more people to read what you write, nail down the title.
For instance, people are naturally curious. Can you find a way take advantage of this fact? Something that will instantly raise the curiosity of your potential readers may be enough to convince them to keep reading.
Generating excitement with your title might also do the trick. Make people feel like they have to read your article the moment they finish reading the title.
Some of the blog titles that I really like include,
By Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger
Byof Enchanting Marketing
You’ll realize that all these headlines have numbers, rationales and they have answers to what, why, how, and when.
If you have 3 nouns related to what you want to write about, Hubspot can help you generate several blog post ideas!
Online readers are probably the most impatient group of people. We need a lot of encouragement to keep reading.
If you present your ideas in very long sentences spanning more than 3 lines or in walls of text, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
An online reader won’t hesitate to skip your article and look for something easier to read. Long sentences often get in the way of meaning, and continuous prose is very difficult to follow.
Ideally, use short sentences to seize the intention of your audience or to sum up the ideas unpacked in the long sentences.
Rudolph Flesch devised ease of readability formula which shows that articles with the best readability have both shorter sentences and shorter words. You may want to calculate the readability score of your article after you’re done.
Moving on, flesh out each idea in a separate paragraph and keep the paragraphs short. Moreover, break up your work using subheadings. Subheadings can make a long post seem short and easy to read.
Lastly, incorporate images into your post. Images make your post visually appealing, are good for social media and can generate image search engine traffic.
In fact, statistics show your blog post stands to receive 94% more views when it has images that when it doesn’t.
When I started out, I tried to do what others were doing.
I could read an epic post and try to write something similar. But after learning the hard way, I don’t try to sound like anyone else.
I’d also advise you to be unique and try to find your own voice. Readers are looking for something fresh that will take their breath away.
Moreover, taking chunks of other people’s work and presenting it as your own won’t work. When Google’s algorithm detects matching or considerably similar content across different domains, it’s designed only to display the original version.
The owner of the original content may also report you and have your post removed.
The right way to go about it is always to research exhaustively and then write a blog post in your own words. Grammarly can help you detect plagiarism in your posts.
Data-driven posts usually gain the most traction with readers. They are also the most shared because they are considered to be more trustworthy and authoritative. Therefore, use statistics to hook your readers as you build your case.
However, don’t quote something and leave your readers wondering where you got that information from. Instead, always cite your sources.
For instance, if you’ve quoted the findings of a certain study, provide a link to that study. This will not only give credence to your claims, but it will also give the reader an opportunity to find out more about that study.
It’s critical that your blog post ranks high in search engines results if you want to attract any visitors to your blog.
Here are a few steps you can take to optimize your article for on-page SEO and rank higher.
Sharing a personal experience with your readers, of course, depends on what you’re writing about.
However, always look to open up a little bit when an opportunity arises. What that does is it forges a deeper connection with your audience unlike anything else.
It also conveys transparency and gives your readers a glimpse of your personality.
This can especially be important if you’re showing your audience how to do something that you once sucked at. When you open up about your initial struggles, you identify with them and give them hope.
First impressions are important.
The last thing you want your first set of visitors to do is to point out typos in your work.
But that’s what could happen if you fail to edit your work thoroughly.
You may need a fresh pair of eyes to proofread your work because research has shown that people are blind to typos in their work. Apparently, when you’re reading something that you’ve written, your brain already knows the story and is not keen on details.
It’s always advisable to wrap up your post with a conclusion.
A conclusion is your final opportunity to make an impression on your audience. However, don’t use it to introduce new ideas. Instead, reiterate your main ideas and summarize your arguments.
If you made conflicting arguments in your content, it’s also your chance to attempt to reconcile them.
If you’re just getting started this is how to write a blog post that people love to read.
It takes lots of courage to write your first blog post. However, you’ll be off to a great start if you get the basics right.
Take your time to understand your audience, research your competitors and formulate your blogging strategy. Then nail the title and write a mind-blowing blog post in your own voice and that’s also easy to read.
Use credible statistics to reinforce your claims, optimize your content for on-page SEO to rank high on search engines, be personal and proofread your work. And last but not least, wrap up your work with a conclusion.
I hope these tips help to calm your nerves and get you started.
Hi, I’m Mercy Mmbone. My mission is to help beginner freelance writers find success online. Even if you don’t have a degree, becoming a successful freelance writer is not as difficult as you’d think. The most important thing you’ll need to get started is self-motivation.
I’m honored to have worked with many popular companies including Ring Central and Freelancer FAQs.