Welcome to part two of how to write your first blog post. By the end of this article you should be well on your way to publishing your first piece of unique content on your website, blog or LinkedIn profile. You will need one thing to get started: your notes from last week.
Have a look at your notes and go over the answers to the two questions we asked when deciding on the topic you want to write about:
- Who are you writing for? a.k.a. the audience
- Why are you writing about this subject?
By now you should have also decided on the style of your first blog post i.e. will it be a how-to list or a personal story etc. If you haven’t got that far, no worries, you have time to think about it as we go through the final steps of how to write your first blog post.
OK now that we have all of the preliminary steps out of the way let’s get to the actual writing.
This is how to write your first blog post:
Write your introduction
Writing the introduction first sets the tone of your blog post. Every time you write a new paragraph ask yourself if it relates to the expectations you set out in the introduction.
The introduction should include a first sentence that grabs the reader’s attention and relates to them. Remember you’re not writing about you and your business, you’re writing to help other people a.k.a. potential clients.
I’m writing this article about how to write your first blog post to help you learn to write content that matters and discover the importance good content marketing for business growth. If you decide that you don’t want to write and hire someone to do it for you hopefully you hire me.
Then briefly talk about the points you are going to make and end the paragraph with a sentence as to why the reader should continue. Make it strong such as a benefit as to why the information is helpful and relevant to them. From where the reader is in their journey (i.e. after the title and what they’ve read so far) this will most likely determine if they keep on reading.
Write your conclusion
How do you want your first blog post to end? It should end with a memorable statement because it’s literally the last thing the reader will see and retain, so make it good. The conclusion should sum up the article’s main points and once again answer the why.
If this sounds very familiar, like grade 10 English class, it’s because I took it straight out of the high school handbook. I graduated from high school 18 years ago and I still use this method today to write every single piece of content I produce. I used it to write this article and look how lovely it turned out. I set expectations in the beginning, answered the why and gave a step by step process on how to write your first blog post. Hopefully you find the information very helpful.
Nail down the three points you want to make
This is where you answer the why. Go back to your notes from last week and write down three points as to why you’re writing this article. What do you want to tell the reader? What do they need to know? And Why is it important to them?
Three points is a good number when learning how to write your first blog post. You don’t want to write too much because that can put an unnecessary workload into your day. Blogging should be fun, not a chore. You should want to sit down and write your first blog post and your next blog post, not avoid it.
You’ve grabbed the reader’s attention in the introduction and sparked their interest so they want to keep reading, now give them the why. Why are you writing about this topic? Maybe it’s because you’re an expert in the subject, maybe it’s because you’re solving a problem or maybe it’s because you need to clarify a common misunderstanding.
This tells the reader why they should pay attention and trust your opinion on the subject. Include facts and sources if you like. I always include one reference to a credible source in all my articles, it just validates why you need to write about a subject and more importantly why people should care (a.k.a. read) about it.
A 400-500 word count should be your target for the entire article, that’s a good starting point and it’s enough to make your points. Once you see the benefits of writing you’ll start to write more and more – more often and longer articles. That’s how writing works – it’s very addictive. My first blog post in 2009 was 400 words, this one is over 1300. I just love words.
It’s important to note that Google recommends a minimum of 300 words to be included in search engine results. The more you write the higher you rank. Why? Because Google considers more content to be more informative and they want to show the most helpful results at the top of the page.
Fill in the information about each point
This is the last step to learning how to write your first blog post. If the format of your blog post is a personal story then the three points may be the beginning, middle and ending of the story or it could be three things that happened to you as a result of your story. If you’re writing a how-to post the points will be the steps in the process. See what I’m trying to say? This is the body of your first blog post and it’s where you’re going to show your expertise, knowledge and give advice to the readers.
If you’re writing about financial topics you don’t want to give specific advice. You may want to write about how to build the perfect well-balanced stock portfolio, but you don’t want to tell the entire internet to buy stocks in The Coca Cola Company or in The Walt Disney Corporation because that may not be a good advice for everyone.
Let’s take the Well Said Content blog as an example. You will find this post that I wrote which states why every website needs a blog. I discuss the benefits of having a blog on your website for search engine rankings and continuous fresh content for readers. That’s a general statement which applies to all small business owners.
What you won’t find is advice on topics to write about and how often to post new content because that depends on the needs and goals of each individual business. If you decide to work with Well Said Content to create a blog we will work out those details together.
Research data if needed
I know that sounds scary and as a financial advisor you may be wondering why you need facts to back up your advice if you’re a professional. The answer is because people like facts – especially when it comes to their money. Now that your first blog post is complete it’s time to back up your three points with facts.
As a digital marketing consultant I could tell you that every business needs a website. Do you believe me? You may be thinking that I’m just trying to get hired and sell you my services. A part of that is probably true and yet it doesn’t make my previous statement any less true. However you may still think I’m just trying to sell you something.
But, if I include a link to a reliable source, such as the marketing agency Hub Spot, which talks about the benefits of blogging for business it validates my point. Even though I have over ten years of writing experience, it always makes people feel better when a third-party backs up what you’re saying. So include stats and resources whenever you can.
Write a good headline
The last thing you need is a good headline. Write something that is helpful, that tells the reader exactly what you’re writing about and choose a phrase that people will search in Google. Go to Google and type in a variation of your topic and see which one returns more search results.
When I was writing this blog post I searched How to Write Your First Blog Post in Google and How to Start Writing Your First Blog Post. The first returned 113,000,000 results and the second had 21,300,000. You can see which one I chose. To learn more about writing good headlines have a look at this article by the New York Times.
That’s it you’re done. You’ve learned how to write your first blog post and it should now be ready to publish. Be sure to send me the link once it goes live and I will be happy share it around social media on LinkedIn and Twitter.