If you’ve spent some time on the internet, you’re definitely familiar with what blog posts are. After all, you’re reading one right now. Blog posts are single entries that make up a blog. They are like journal entries or episodes of a TV show. This post aims to provide a guide on writing your first blog.
Blogging can serve several purposes. For instance, it presents an excellent way of establishing your expertise and making your brand known within your field. It can also be an effective way to drive traffic to your website and educate your audience on various topics within your expertise. Moreover, a blog presents a perfect platform for showcasing your writing.
What is a blog post?
A blog post is any news piece, article, or guide published in a blog. It can be a standalone website or a section of a larger website that offers information about products or services. Written content is a vital component of a blog post.
Some site owners find video content beneficial to helping their customers understand how to use their products and services. A video journal is a video log (vlog). These can also be published to great effect on a business website.
This discussion will focus on producing a written post.
Types of blog posts
Today, organizations and people from different walks of life manage blogs to share instructions, analyses, criticisms, industry findings, product information, and more. Below are some of the most common blog formats:
- How-to: In these blog posts, the blogger outlines the steps the reader needs to take to complete a given task. A recipe blog post is an example of such a blog post.
- News article: These blog posts include insights that speculate about, build upon, agree, or disagree with information covered in a news article. They are helpful for businesses in evolving industries and can position your business as a leader.
- List-based: Also known as listicles, these blog posts are organized as a list of related entries. They could be historical events, lists of products, intriguing facts, or quotes.
- Review: In these blog posts, the blogger reviews a video game, movie, product, book, and anything else. Reviews can focus on a single product/experience or be structured like a list-based post.
- Explainer: These blog posts are similar to how-to blog posts in that they provide an in-depth explanation of a topic. The differences are that explainer posts aren’t necessarily presented in a step-by-step, linear format. They also don’t necessarily explain how to complete a task.
- Personal: These blog posts are characterized by an author discussing personal experiences, opinions, and/or thoughts. They are usually common in personal rather than professional or corporate blogs.
Attributes of a good blog post
Before you start writing a blog, you need to ensure that you have answers to questions such as, ”What would make someone continue reading this blog post in its entirety?” and ”What would make your audience keep coming back for more?”.
Good blog posts should be educational and interesting, and should help readers resolve a problem they’re experiencing in an interesting way. It isn’t enough to just answer someone’s questions—you also need to offer actionable steps and engage them. For example, your introduction should hook the reader and make them want to keep reading. Additionally, you should use examples to further keep the readers interested in what you have to say.
How to write a blog post
Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to write engaging and informational pieces:
1. Know your audience
Before writing your blog post, ensure that you have a clear understanding of who your target audience is. You need to be aware of the information they need and the things that resonate with them. You can do this by creating buyer personas.
For example, if your audience consists of millennials looking to start a business, you probably don’t need to give them information about getting started on social media. This is because most of them already have that down.
However, you may want to furnish them with information on ways of adjusting their social media strategy. For example, you may provide them with information on how to change their social media approach from being casual to being more business-savvy. This kind of tweak helps them publish content that their audience really wants and needs.
2. Create a blog domain
You’ll need a place to host these posts and any other posts you’ll write in the future. This requires choosing a website domain hosting service and a content management system (CMS).
A CMS will help you develop a website domain you’ll use to publish your blog—these platforms can manage both domains and subdomain platforms. Whether you are creating a domain or subdomain to start your blog, you’ll need to choose a web hosting service after picking your CMS.
3. Customize the themes of your blog
Upon setting up your domain name, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of your brand and the content you plan on creating.
For instance, suppose you are writing about Environmental Sustainability, green might be a good theme color for your blog. Suppose you’re already managing a website and are writing the first blog post for that existing website, ensure that your blog is consistent with the subject matter and appearance of this website.
4. Choose the topic for your first blog post
Once you’ve got your website up and running, it’s time to choose a suitable topic for your first post.
Think of something that you can write about easily and passionately. Suppose your blog is affiliated with your business, brainstorm ideas for blog posts that offer value to your target audience while promoting your brand. For instance, let’s say you are in the dog-walking business, think about the types of things your clients would want to read. Some topics you could come up with include:
- How many dogs can one handler walk safely?
- How to get your dog accustomed to a new harness?
You could also ask your clients about which topics they would want to read.
5. Write an introduction (and make it interesting)
Your introduction should be able to grab your reader’s attention. If you lose them in the first few paragraphs or even sentences of the introduction, they’ll stop reading your post even before giving it a fair shake.
You can grab your reader’s attention in a number of ways:
- Start with an interesting fact or statistic
- Tell a story or provide humor
- Be empathetic
You should then describe the purpose of your post and explain how it helps solve a problem that the reader may be experiencing. This gives the reader a reason to keep on reading the post.
6. Organize your content in an outline
There are some blog posts that have an overwhelming amount of information for both the reader and the writer. You should make such blog posts less intimidating by organizing the content into sections, tips, or lists, for example.
- Write your blog post
Now that your outline is ready, you can fill in the blanks. Your outline should guide you on how to expand on all the points required. Write about what you are conversant with, and if necessary, undertake additional research to collect information, data, and examples to add weight to your points. You should also provide proper attribution when adding external sources.
8. Proofread and edit your post
Go through the draft carefully note any spots where the writing feels choppy, awkward, or even excessively wordy. You can use editing resources such as Grammarly to refine your post. Your network of fellow writers can also help you become a stronger editor by making you more attuned to issues in your work.
9. Insert a call to action (CTA)
At the end of every blog post, you should insert a CTA that prompts the reader to take action—register for an event or a webinar, subscribe to your blog, read a related article, download an eBook, etc.
10. Optimize for on-page SEO (Search engine optimization)
After you finish writing, go back and optimize the on-page element of your blog post. Avoid obsessing over how many keywords to include. If you find opportunities to incorporate keywords you are targeting without altering the readability of your post, take them.
Additionally, make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, if possible. Avoid shooting for arbitrary keyword density— Google can detect this.
Additional blog writing tips you should heed include keeping your blog conversational, researching trending keywords, cutting down on walls of texts, and ensuring that you write confidently.
As you continue to create content, you will get better. The most important thing to remember is to simply listen to what your customers and visitors are saying as they will let you know what their preferences are as you go about your daily business.
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