Taking the Blogging Plunge: Writing your first blog post and keeping the creative juices flowing
This is one thing that used to really hold me up. I would wait for the heaven’s to open and deliver me some amazing, inspirational piece of journalism. And then. Nothing. And I’d wait some more. Then, I realized that it’s not about the impromptu – it’s about the planning. Yes, I realized that to have my blog I would have to plan what I wanted to write about. The plan doesn’t have to be specific and just because you have a plan doesn’t mean it has to be set in stone. In fact, a general calendar of topics that make sense (ie: sticking to your main topic or purpose) is probably what you need to get you started and keep you focused on the task at hand.
5 tips for writing your first blog post and hitting “PUBLISH”
1. Now that you have decided on your purpose – stick with it (basically).
2. Draft your outline with simple bullet points about what you to cover (this helps to keep you on track). Include any keywords that are going to help with your SEO (search engine optimization).
3. Do some quick searches on Google to see what key words people are using about your key subject. For instance – for me with Tots2Tweens, I have a ton of categories: Birthday Party Ideas may be one we decide to focus on, or Fun in Maryland, or any of our other categories or locations. Then I do some searches on Google to make sure I am using wording that people are looking for. This will help get you free traffic. Just make sure you select things you have something to say about! Writing about a topic needs to be natural and authentic otherwise, no one will want to read!
4. Try to figure out why you like the blog posts you like – are they funny? Creative? Easy to read? Don’t reinvent the wheel – duplicate the things you like, but be sure to add some of yourself into every post. You want to develop a distinct voice that makes people need to read your blog every day. And then, you want to enhance it. Grow it, develop it, but make sure it’s you. Your voice is the most important element of your blog. So own it, and don’t compromise it for a few extra page hits!
5. Write and Revise. Don’t feel like what you put on the screen the first time has to stay that way. Write. Read. Revise. (and repeat if necessary)! It’s like packing for a trip – put everything you think you want to take in your suitcase and then cut it in half!! What you may find out is that your first draft actually contains information for 3 different posts.
Read to hit publish?!
Check out these last minute Dos and Don’ts before you do!
- Do be sure to proofread. Or, if proofreading isn’t your thing, ask a friend!
- Don’t make your post too lengthy. Most people suggest less than 500 words. I like to say less than a 2 minute read. Most people don’t have a ton of time to spend on your blog, so don’t discourage them by being verbose!
- Do share photos in your post. Even if you don’t have your own, think about using Creative Commons on Flickr or even Pinterest for great images.
- Don’t use images without permission. No one likes having their photos ripped off, plus, it’s illegal!
- Do spend time commenting on other blogs. It’s a great way to get people interested in commenting on yours!
- Don’t leave mean or annoying comments! If you don’t like something you see on a blog, feel free to just navigate away! It’s okay to disagree with someone, just be sure to be respectful in this space. You don’t want to get a bad reputation from the beginning!
Your assignment for the week: Write your first post or your About Me page and add it to the linky.*
Already been blogging awhile?! Share your BEST post so we can see what you’ve been up to!
Good luck and we can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!!
*Please note: You can join our challenge at anytime up until the final deadline (3/7/12). Just be sure you link up to last week’s linky to catch up!