Many of you reading may have considered the idea of starting a blog, but never got to the point of creating one. Maybe you didn’t know what steps to take or maybe you didn’t know where to start.
Some of you may have created a blog but may have then struggled with figuring out what to write. You may have thought to yourself: ‘What do I even say?’ ‘What should I write about?’ ‘Will people even like it?’
These are all valid questions and concerns and something I’m facing at this very moment as well. Starting a new blog is a daunting task and though I’ve written dozens of blog posts in the past, the first one is always particularly scary. What do I say? What should I write about? Though I’d like to do my best to proceed as normal and write as if this wasn’t my first blog post, it still feels weird because it technically is my first post (on this blog).
So for this post I thought what better way to kick off a new blog than with a blog post about writing blog posts! Below are some questions to consider when drafting your first post.
1. What direction do you want your blog to go in?
Many of my friends have started blogs as a means of self reflection. For a long while, my blog was the same! I was writing about things that I wanted to reflect on and share with my peers to tickle their brains.
My very first blog was a means to expand my network and connect with the greater blogger community. I was inspired by the blog posts I was reading and I wanted to respond and share some thoughts of my own! Through your blog, you may want to connect with some bloggers you’ve been reading or build a fan-base of your own.
There are also bloggers who wish to write to inspire and educate those around them. What types of things do you want to share and write about? Do you have an expertise or topic that you’d love to share with your community and the world? Write about it!
2. What audience are you writing for?
Are you writing to share your post with friends? Are you going to connect with the larger population of bloggers? Or are you writing mostly for yourself and for the purpose of having an online journal? Identifying what audience you’re writing for will not only help you better determine what types of posts you would write but will also help you identify what your goals for your blog are.
3. What is the theme of your blog?
While exploring the blogsphere, you may have noticed that there are travel blogs, lifestyle blogs, beauty blogs, and much more. What type of blog do you wish to create?
It’s alright if you’re not sure at this moment as we may just want to blog for ourselves or to blog whatever comes to our mind! If you do have a theme (or themes) in mind, you can think about what type of content you’d like to see from that type of blog. For example, what type of makeup reviews or tutorials would you like to see on a beauty blog? What type of content do you want to see from a lifestyle blogger? Brainstorming and exploring the blogsphere can help inspire you to write types of posts that align with the intended theme of your blog.
4. What is something you’re passionate about?
If at the end of the day, you’re not sure what purpose you want your blog to serve and you’re not sure who you’re writing for besides yourself, you can write about something you’re passionate about! This is something that would come easily to you and words will pour out of your fingertips. You can write about a hobby you’d like to share or a recent trip abroad. You can even pull a ‘Queenie’ and write about blogging itself. The opportunities are limitless.
But how do I actually write my first blog post?
After you’ve decided on a topic for your post, you can get started! Thinking about what we want to write and the exact order in which we want to write it may cause us to freeze in fear and worry about making mistakes. The good thing about blogging is that, unlike a written exam, we can edit and change our text as we please. What was supposed to be my intro paragraph can very much end up being my conclusion paragraph!
What I like to do is word-vomit and type all that comes to my mind into one draft. My mind is full of ideas and if I focus too much on one, I have a high chance of forgetting another. I can figure out a reasonable and intuitive order for my ideas after I get them onto the document.
Some of my peers like to outline their drafts with some key ideas. If I was writing about my dog in the park, I might outline it like something below.
- Background about my dog and when I got her
- The walk to the park
- What we did in the park
- Why my dog is a good dog
Outlines can help keep us on track and accountable for ideas we’d like to touch on.
Once you’ve finished writing the content portion of your blog post, you might consider concluding with a takeaway for your reader. Why did I share this story? What’s so important about dogs? Why should you care about my dog? What did I want the reader to get out of me sharing this story?
You may also consider ending with a question to engage your readers. Ask them about their dog! Do they like the park? Would they take their dog to the park? Why or why not?
I’ve spent a large chunk of my life writing content that was for myself and my eyes only. Blogging is a bit different in that there is the potential for other eyes to come upon your content as well. Whether or not you choose to engage with your audience is your choice, but it is definitely an opportunity to form connections and challenge ideas.
If this post has helped you in your recent blogging journey, let me know! I’d love to connect and hear from you!