They say the longest journey starts with a single step, and so the greatest blog site starts with its first blog post.
This first post is probably one of the hardest ones you will ever write, so if you are nervous and apprehensive about taking that first step, then don’t worry everyone goes through it.
In this article I will take you through the journey of creating that all important first post and in doing so I can provide you with a template for many others to follow.
Writing blog posts is relatively easy and once you have written several of them you’ll be surprised how quickly ideas start to flow.
A Blog Post Template
Most of my blog posts are created following the same type of 8 step formula, which I have listed as bullet points below.
- Think of a topic
- Think of a title
- Draft out headings to provide a structure
- Write… and write some more
- Add images
- Check your SEO basics
So for the rest of this article I will go through each of the bullet points in more detail and by the end you will have a complete mini guide to writing a blog post, that will be suitable for any topic and for most types of blog.
Step One – Start by Thinking of a Blog Topic
The first step in writing any post or article is to decide on a topic. This is not always as easy as it seems, but think of some of the following questions as potential ideas for topics, that could fit whatever niche area you are interested in.
- Is there a question you can answer related to your blog theme?
- Are there problems that people don’t know about in your industry or area of interest?
- Are there products that people might be interested in?
- Is there new information or reports on a subject within your interest area?
- Is there training you can offer that would be relevant to your clients or readers?
- Is there a complicated industry report that you could simplify for your readers?
- Are there events or promotions you want to include in a blog?
The first actual post on your blog site could well be an introductory page, either explaining who you are and why you are interested in this topic, or introducing the company on whose behalf you are writing.
Step Two – Choose a Meaningful Title
Once you’ve selected a topic the next stage is to create a good strong title for your post. The title is the main keyword for your content, and this will determine where Google or other search engines will rank your post.
The title should also tell the reader what to expect in an article. So this title states 8 steps to writing a post, therefore the reader should at least expect to see eight different stages or steps in the main body of the content.
Step Three – Draft out headings to provide a structure
A useful tool that I use when I am developing a blog post is to draft some of the sub headings (H2 and H3), which provide a framework to my content.
The sub headings show me how the different sections of content will link together, and hopefully stop me writing about the same thing in different places. The sub headings should support the title, so words that are related to the keyword are added here.
For example – A title ‘Dog Feeding‘ might have sub headings related to this theme such as;
weaning puppies, older puppies feeding schedules, feeding adult dogs, older dogs dietary needs.
All of these sub headings are linked to the main title but they are not repetitive, and they cover different aspects of the title. If the post is a long post and each sub heading has content of more than 500 words, then any one of these sub headings could rank within a google search on that topic.
Step Four – Write… and Write Some More
This is either the easiest or the hardest part of developing content, depending on your love of writing.
The image of the tormented writer stuck for days with just a typewriter and cups of coffee for company, can easily become a reality for bloggers too …… if you let it.
And for some this will be part of the process.
There is a writer in all of us, and at the end of the day you are just trying to communicate an idea or concept to another person.
Image you are speaking instead of writing, and that there is someone in front of you, what would you want to say to them?
Sometimes it is the opening sentence that causes a big stumbling block, in that case I simply move on and write the next section.
Many professional researchers and writers fill out the beginning or introduction at the end of the writing process and not at the beginning. Start with where your ideas are and then go back and tidy things up and edit and proofread. Your first draft is just that …. a draft and can be rewritten and changed as many times as you need.
Step Five – Add Images & Proofread Your Post
Once you have your content ideas developed and you have written down as much as you can, the next step is to focus on the presentation side of the blog.
There are a number of reasons why your article needs to look good as well as read well,
- Images are a great addition to your article because readers that skim but don’t read articles will mainly focus on images, formatted text and the headings.
- It helps the reader if you have plenty of spaces to break up larger chunks of writing.
- Poor grammar and spelling can be off putting to many readers and they may leave the article before they’ve even finished reading it.
- Proofreading is a chance for you to check that what you have written makes sense and flows properly. Can the reader understand what you have explained for example?
- Sometimes text changes in WordPress in the final document version so it is worth proofreading the article in the view post window rather than in the editor window.
Step Six – Check your SEO basics
Once you are happy with the editing process it is time for one last check on the SEO basics.
Look at what your main keyword is, and check that this still applies to the final article. in other words if your title says ‘the best way to cook salmon’ and your article drifted slightly into smoking different types of fish now is the time to change the title (before you publish it).
Look through the headings and check that each of them is linked to the title in some way, if not should this be a heading at all?
Finally it is often worth suggesting a meta description that Google can use that summarises what your post is about and persuades readers to click through and read.
Step Seven – Publish
SO now you are ready with the writing and editing and SEO… get ready and press publish.
Just because an article is published does not mean that you can’t update or amend it. As time goes by you will want to add information, links or details to this post. It is always going to be a work in progress and you should view it that way.
don't strive for perfection, strive for it to be published.
Step Eight – Promote
Most bloggers are writing for a purpose even if it is just for people to read their work. However in order for people to read the blog they need to know that it exists.
Newly built websites will have difficulty ranking highly in Google and will need to use other methods of promoting content.
Social media is a great and mainly free avenue to enable this to happen. By following groups and discussions on social media sites that are relevant to your own niche or business area, you can also start to build an audience for your blog material.
Social media is also another easy way to read other blogs and business articles relevant to your sector, which can help you –
- understand more about the sector you are working in.
- understand your clients and their needs and interests more.
- build allies and network so you can share content that is relevant and which doesn’t require you to write anything.
- easily build an international market from any location in the world.
Writing content for blog sites is a process that you will keep developing and perfecting. Here are some more articles on this site that can offer advice and support for your content and post creation.
- What is the Definition of a Keyword?
- Writing Blog Posts – The Long and Short of It
- How to Start a Blog
- Why Working From Home Is Easier Than You Think
I hope you enjoyed the article and if so please share on your social media channels and/or leave a comment below.