Let me share with you a secret: You don’t have to be an expert on anything to blog. You don’t have to have a perfect outline or any professional writing experience. All you need is to find a way to contribute your authentic self to the www by writing what’s fun for you to write. When you write what’s fun for you to write, you keep writing more and more. You gain a readership and can monetize if you’d like.
Easier said than done, you say?
It can be overwhelming when you’re just starting out. That’s why I’ve outlined some simple steps you can take to get started. Learn how to write your first blog post and so you can finally just hit “publish.” Nothing technical, just sharing my personal methods!
**This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you for products you purchase via this website. For more information click here.**
Step #1- Choose the right blog topic:
Pick a topic that you’re interested in. It’s no fun writing if you’re not enthused about your subject matter. You should have a lot to say about your chosen topic and/or the desire to research your topic to inform your writing.
Then make sure your topic is one your readers are interested in, too. Are there other similar topics out there on Pinterest? Does your topic seem to be something enough people will be interested in?
Ask what’s the value of your topic?
How does your topic entertain, inform, or amuse your readers? How is it helpful, positive, or worth their time? There’s a balance you must find between what you like to write and what your audience likes to read.
I believe as a writer you should write for yourself first. Your fondness for the subject matter will shine through. That being said, you should make sure you’re writing about topics people want to read about and nothing too obscure.
Make sure your writing is thorough and focused on your chosen subject. Consider depth, not only breadth. Don’t ramble or be overly detailed, but try to offer some value in the way of details.
Step #2- Create an Outline, However Rough:
Sometimes this involves a few scribbles in your notebook. Just make a loose, rough outline. Allow yourself the freedom to be messy here and don’t second-guess it too much. Grab the main ideas.
Step #3- Start Writing:
This part is about brain dumping. Try for sentences, but if they’re piece-y and fragmented, that’s Ok. All you’re doing is throwing ideas into a big idea pile to be sorted after you’ve gotten the bulk of it out of your mind and onto the screen. Brain dump everything pertinent you can think of here. Don’t edit too much. This is your first draft.
Step #4- Do a Bit of Research:
See what other bloggers and writers have to say on your chosen subject. Read their words but try not to compare their work with yours. You are just starting! The purpose of doing research here is because you want to educate yourself and make your article the best it can be for your readers.
Use proper attribution or paraphrase as needed and link to references.
Step #5- Go Back to Your Heart:
Understand that your tone of voice, your topic choices, and the direction you take in your work is unique. It’s all you. That’s why after your first draft and added research, re-read and remember not only the point you’re trying to make but what’s in your heart. If what you wrote doesn’t feel like you, remove it. Eliminate bits that feel confusing, poorly-informed, or not right. (See side note/tip below***)
Stay you and write authentically
Don’t write about technical stuff if that bores you. Don’t write directions if you hate reading them! (Using myself as an example here if it’s not too obvious😊 The creative force, journal writing, art, inspirational quotes & healthy lifestyle topics fascinate me and drive my writing. If you want to know how to set up rich pins, someone else has an article about that.)
Bottom line: Have confidence in what you have to offer and with your contribution to the online literature. Yes, the literature. It’s a fancy word, but accurate. The internet is one big encyclopedia and you’re a part of it!
***I don’t know about you, but I can get way off track with my writing. I often need to cut parts out of articles completely. I recommend saving those parts on a separate word doc. They may come in handy later! Don’t throw your thoughts away!
Step # 6 Edit Ruthlessly.
I once had an art instructor tell me that it was better to ruin a piece of art by overworking it than to under-test its potential by not pushing it far enough. I agree with him. Don’t throw away perfectly good sentences or ideas but DO edit ruthlessly. Challenge yourself to make your best work.
- Tighten up paragraphs or add detail where needed.
- Eliminate run-on sentences, boring bits, and tangents.
- Ensure your message is clear, concise, and accurate.
- Make your article easy to read or scan by using headers, subtitles, bullet points, and other visual elements.
- Install Grammarly to catch your errors. The basic version is FREE!
Step #7– Add Images and Links:
Now that I’ve been blogging for a while, I use the paid photo service Haute Stock. If you have the money to invest in paid photos, I would recommend it because your Pinterest pins will look so much nicer and have a better chance of getting clicked which means more blog traffic for you. You can also use your own photos.
Creating pins for Pinterest
Every blog post should have at least one Pinterest pin to start, (I recommend making more than one for sure but this is a post about writing your first article, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves!)
You can create your pins on the free graphic design site Canva.
Add in your image/images and any links you’re using to your blog post once ready.
Step #8– Snack Break:
Take a break before you do a final once over. Maybe some chocolate or coffee. And yes, it’s 5:00 pm somewhere.
Scan the text and entire body of your article to ensure it looks visually appealing, easily scannable and readable, and to check a final time for errors. Correct/adjust as necessary.
Make sure at the end of your post you have a “call to action.” This could be a suggestion to subscribe or sign-up for your opt-in freebie. Or to read another article. (You can come back after you’ve written another blog post or two to add this part in later.)
Using the free Yoast SEO plugin, make sure your post is SEO optimized to the best of your ability.
Ugghh, I’m sorry I had to hit you with this little bit at the end of the post about SEO, but it’ll be Ok, I promise. SEO is not super hard. It’s not techy and it is a must. For more help, you can download my free SEO cheatsheet by subscribing below!
You need to learn SEO to get your posts seen, and this plus the plugin will guide you.
When ready, hit publish!
Congrats! If you’ve completed these steps, then you have learned how to write your first blog post successfully.
I hope you enjoyed the process and found this article helpful.
The most important thing you can do next is to keep learning. Learn all that you can about SEO, how to use Pinterest, and also read up about keyword research. I didn’t mention much about keyword research because this is your first blog post. But going forward, you will want to learn about that, too.
Aside from learning, you have to keep writing. Write another blog post, then another, then another into infinity. Push past the discomfort. Face the blog learning curve with tenacity and confidence. You’re a writer, you can do this!
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