I’m going to share with you three different approaches to writing your very first blog post… but first, here’s a seemingly irrelevant question:
Have you ever walked over hot coals before?
I haven’t, but I’ve certainly seen a lot of videos of other people doing it. This includes famous people like Oprah Winfrey as well as countless people just like you and me who gathered up their courage and just did it.
Most people pause before they start their fire walk. Those who think about it too long often lose their courage and back out. But those who just start putting one foot in front of another get across the coal bed. And you can just see that look of triumph and excitement when the finish their walk. You know this is someone who’s going places in life.
The reason I bring this up is because writing that first post on your blog can feel like you’re standing in front of a bed of hot coals. There’s a lot of pressure because this first blog post sets the stage and the tone for the rest of your blog.
So you start thinking about it…
- What kind of post should you write?
- What do you want your readers to know?
- How will this first post influence the tone of your blog?
But here’s the problem…
If you over-think it, you could lose your courage. And just like the would-be fire walkers, you might turn away from the task at hand. And so you get left with an empty WordPress blog with the default “Hello World!” post staring back at you for weeks, months or even years.
You know what? You need to just jump in.
Here are three ways to do it…
1. Introduce Yourself
This is one of the most common ways to kick off a blog.
However, let me warn you: It’s NOT the best way to do it.
You may find it a difficult post to write. Some people find it hard to write about themselves, meaning they’ll never finish this post if they choose this route. Simply put, it can be difficult to sum up your life and business in a way that’s meaningful and exciting to readers.
Readers don’t care about you. This is perhaps the biggest danger of writing an introduction post. That’s because your readers are wondering, “what’s in it for me?” They’re wondering how your blog is going to entertain them or help them. And so if you start out with a post that’s all about you, you’re going to turn off a fair percentage of your readers. These readers may never come back.
The point is, this isn’t the best approach for your first post.
Nonetheless, if you do go this route, your introductory post or page may include the following:
Information about you. It’s true, people prefer to do business with those they know like and trust. And while I advocate that you let people get to know, like and trust you by providing good information with the occasional personal tidbit, some bloggers prefer to let people start to know them in the “about” section. This is where you can talk about you and your business.
However, keep it relevant.
Example: If you’re writing a technology blog, then don’t spend 500 words talking about your dogs. Readers don’t care.
If on the other hand, you’re starting a dog training blog, then it may be entirely appropriate to talk about your dogs. It will help your readers connect with you, especially if you show them that your dogs weren’t or aren’t perfect angels.
Information about your blog. This is where you answer questions such as, “What is the purpose of this blog?” and “Why did you start blogging?” You might even offer readers helpful hints for getting the most out of the blog.
That’s one approach.
Here’s another approach…
2. Identify Your Mission
In this approach, you let readers know the mission of your blog, which includes the blog’s purpose and what you hope readers will learn as they explore your blog.
This is a slightly better approach than the introduction post, for these reasons:
- It answers the “WIIFM?” (what’s in it for me?) question. The mission statement tells your readers what they can expect. It gives them hints about how your blog will solve their problems. Thus is helps set the tone of your blog and gets your blog off on the right foot.
- It gives you a starting point. Once you’ve sat down and identified your mission, then you can look at all your blog ideas to see how well they fit in with your mission. In other words, starting with a good mission will help keep you focused, which will ultimately benefit your readers.
Of course, the problem with starting off with a mission is that it can seem like a daunting task. Here you need to look into the future, think about where you want your blog to be in one year, two years or five years, and then write a mission that will get you from where you are today to where you want your blog (and your readers) to be in the future.
You can feel overwhelmed trying to create this mission since it requires much thought and work. You can feel a bit strangled because you’re committing to a direction before you’ve even written one blog post. You may start second-guessing yourself.
You can’t commit to a mission, so you never finish your first post.
Once again, you get left with the default “Hello World!” post staring back at you.
If you think this might happen to you, then you may want to look at this third approach…
3. Immerse Yourself
This third approach is one of the least-used ways to write the first blog post.
And yet it can be one of the most powerful and effective ways to start up your blog.
You do it simply by just jumping in and writing a blog post on any topic of interest to your readers.
In other words, this first blog post could just as well be your 500th blog post since its goal is the same: to teach, entertain and help your readers.
Need an example?
You’re looking at it right now. This is my first post for the Infoluence blog. I figured since I’m going to write hundreds if not thousands of informative yet entertaining posts, why wait?
So I just jumped in.
You might immerse yourself too for the following reasons:
- No turning off readers by talking about yourself.
- No stressing over trying to create a mission statement.
- You start providing value to your readers immediately, which in turn helps you start building a good relationship.You start off by SHOWING your readers what you can do for them (instead of merely offering vague promises about what your future blog posts will do for them).
- You start off by SHOWING your readers what you can do for them (instead of merely offering vague promises about what your future blog posts will do for them).
Your mind might be already brimming with ideas about what to create for your first post. Pick one and get writing.
The idea behind immersing yourself in your blog by just jumping in doesn’t only apply to blog posts. This applies to anything you need to start, whether it’s a novel, a nonfiction book or even a private diary.
Like the fire walker, you’ll find the hardest step is the first step. But once you get going, you’ll find yourself gaining a lot momentum and courage. That’s why I encourage you to take action on your goals starting today. Better yet, start right now.
And remember what Laozi said:
A journey of a thousand starts with a single step.
Please remember to write your comments below. 🙂
P.S. Thanks to Scott H. Young for his ten years in blogging post, which infoluenced me to take a step to launch this blog after years and years of procrastination. (Scott, may I be the person you’re mentioning at the end of the fifth paragraph?)