Writing your first blog post
You might be thinking of writing your first post in WordPress is both exciting and daunting. It is exciting because you are taking your first step to make known your thoughts, ideas and views to the world wide web but also daunting because you are probably asking “where do I start?”
If you have never read a blog post before then I would look at what other people have written and how they communicate with their audience.
In a previous blog post Starting a Blogging Website in 2022, I mentioned that my daughter has a book review website called Bookatitagain.com, in which she reviews books that she has read. Look at her About Holly post where she introduces herself, that may give you an idea where to start.
There are other good blogging websites too, so you could try tying into a search engine such as Google, Bing or Duckduckgo “Lifestyle Blogs”, “Technology blogs” and “Food blogs”. Let’s be honest if you can think of something if you Google it you will find it.
If that is what you are thinking right now, then my advice is for your first blog post in WordPress is to keep it simple. Simple to begin with is fine, you can make it more complex with each new post. You can also go back over your old posts in the future to refresh them a little. I have been back to my home page many times to update it.
My first blog post in WordPress was a little rambling. To be honest I just wanted to get something online that I could go back and admire.
I was pleased with it at the time with my small achievement, but I also knew I had to do another post at some point, and it had to be better. then started writing about things that I had experienced and rate them out of 5. I then changed that to just reviewing and talking about my life experiences. Some are good and some are not so good.
I decided that I wanted to be open and honest with my audience, something that would give confidence to my readers that I am not peddling something or that they themselves could not achieve or experience.
Planning your first blog post
Before I get to the point of typing up my blog posts I spend some time thinking and planning what I want to say. I create a bare-bones outline that I want to say and write.
The outline that I create is not stuck in concrete as I then begin to write my blog post, but I let it develop as I might think of something that didn’t occur to me when I first write up my plan.
When planning an outline be flexible and write down every thought that you have about the subject. Also, think about what images you might use to illustrate that particular thought. Put a line in your plan where you think an image might fit.
What I do when planning a blog post is create headings and subheadings and then fill in the details after.
You don’t have to do this for your first blog post, I would plan every blog post using an outline.
Ideas of your first blog post
For your first blog post, you might want to write a little about yourself. Introduce yourself to your readers. This can be biographical as I have done in my post about me. In it, you can write about why you want to write blog posts. What do you hope to achieve with your website? Why have you called your website by that name? I mentioned in an earlier blog post that you might be a lover of Ice Cream and so you called your website rumandraisin.com, and what you intend to do is let your reader know about every flavour of Ice Cream possible. Maybe flavours they never even thought of or tried.
What drives you? what interests you? what are you passionate about? These are things you can write about in your first blog post, or it can be a future blog post.
For me, I enjoy music, reading, technology. I love gadgets, widgets and blogging of course and you will find examples of this peppered throughout my website.
You don’t have to be a professional to post about something, just have an interest and then you can research the rest.
Key practices for writing your post
There are a few key things that you need to know about writing your first blog post. I will list below some of my thoughts.
Try and write the minimum of 600 words
It has been suggested that when writing a blog post it is a good idea to have a minimum number of words of around 600. This might sound hard, to begin with, but you will find as you become more experienced in writing posts you will find that 600 words aren’t enough.
That is why I said it is a good idea to plan your blog post before you get down to writing. It will give you a structure to your posts and help you to write a good number of words that will make your post engaging and attractive.
Whatever the title of your post is put the title put in a sentence in your first paragraph
don’t plan to get into technicalities about SEO in the article, the main reason is that I don’t fully understand SEO, but I understand the basics. I am sure the SEO experts reading my examples will have a smile on their faces.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. When you are optimising your post for search engines such as Google, Bing and other search engines, you are placing in your post ‘Keywords’.
Once Google finds your keywords it will rank it on Google search, so if you have been writing about different flavours of Ice Cream and then someone searches Google about different flavours of Ice Cream hopefully your website will rank near the top.
Keywords enable Google etc… to understand what your blog post is about. You will notice as you read this that I just don’t refer to blogs, blogs or posts, I use the phrase blog posts. That is because they are the Keywords I am using in the blog post. This will help Google to know what I am writing about.
At the beginning of this section, I said whatever the title is of your post then place it within the first paragraph. That is because it also helps with Search Engine Optimisation.
Make your writing informal and engaging
It depends on who you are writing for, by that I mean your audience. Sometimes we can assume that people know what we are talking about, and we use jargon or tech speak. To engage people on your website, keep your prose short, simple and interesting.
As an example of keeping, it simple I have recently taken an interest in the technicalities that go behind building a website, it could be just a passing phase with me.
I decided to look for books about the coding that goes on behind creating a website. I looked at books that were entitled coding in easy steps and coding for dummies type of books, it seemed like they assumed you had some understanding in coding.
When writing your blog don’t make assumptions that people who read it will have the knowledge and experience that you have. A good motto to have is “Keep it simple”
Tell people something they know and something they don’t know
Often when writing a blog post it is good to tell people something they don’t know that you do know. You may have experience in public speaking, if that is you and you want to post a blog about it then tell people how you prepare and deliver a presentation.
Take people through the step by step process you go through when preparing. How to overcome nerves when delivering it. You can use your experience, or you could do some research on how to go about it. That might mean you will read a book about it, watch a video or read an article online about it.
Research isn’t cheating, one warning do not copy someone else’s work! Google doesn’t like that and also you might find yourself with a copyright warning from the author of the original article or blog post.
If you do use a quote from another website or book, then give credit where credit is due. Place their name in your blog post and place a link to their website if they have one.
link your post to another website if you can
A good practice when writing a blog post is to link to another website. Not just any website but something that relates to what you are writing about.
An example of where I have linked to another website is in the case of my daughter’s website where she posts reviews about books that she has read https://bookatitagain.com.
The main reason I am talking about linking to another website is that search engines like Google like that because it gives your website some credibility.
Use Pictures – a picture paints 1000 words
Using pictures on your website is very important, it helps to engage your readers and also helps to fill a lot of the white space on your website.
Someone once said a picture paints a thousand words and in the case of a website that is absolutely true.
Most people have mobile (cell) phones and they have some of the best cameras around. When I go out, I always have my phone with me and if I see something that would be worth taking a picture to use in my blog posts then I snap it.
I have used phones that are of trees, clouds sea all kinds of things. So when you are out about then keep your eye open for a photo opportunity. If it doesn’t work out you can always delete it.
You could take some selfies or get someone to take a picture of you in an activity. If your blogging website is about food, cooking or painting you can make videos and take pictures. The great thing about taking your own photographs is that you don’t have to be worried about copyright.
Buying stock images can be very expensive, there is a number of places that do sell you pictures and you can use them without any copyright issues once you have paid.
There are also a number of websites that allow you to use free pictures as long as you abide by their rules and also place credits within the picture of the photographer and the website you got them from.
These are three main websites that I use for free pictures. Unsplash.com has a great library of pictures. You can search for them by theme. So if you are looking for pictures on blogging you may find pictures with people, computers, typewriters and books related somewhat to blogging.
You will find that Pixabay.com does have links to paid pictures called iStock pictures, but that will be obvious when you see the website.
I have a number of websites where you can get royalty-free pictures. If you are interested, then leave a comment below.
Give people an opportunity to share their thoughts and comments on you post
Another good practice is to allow your readers to make a comment on your blog post. You could also have a star rating system. I use one on my website that you will see below this blog post. This star rating plugin I am using is called Yet Another Star Rating, or YASR. created by a web developer called Dario Curvino.
You will find a number of Star Rating plugins many of them are premium plugins where you have to pay a fee to use them. But there are some out there that offer the plugin as free as long as you don’t exceed a certain number of visitors to your website. I recommend that you check them out.
Most website theme already come with a comments section for your posts. If your theme doesn’t have one you can download a plugin that when activated, it will place a section at the bottom of your post for people to comment.
Giving the opportunity for people to leave a comment allows you and your readers in interact together. They can share their thoughts and it allows you to respond. This way you can build up a good reputation with your readers.
Enjoy what you are doing and have fun
As a final word on this part about writing your first blog post, it is important that you enjoy the process, otherwise, it can become a chore. That is why you need to find your niche in this vast blogosphere. I chose Reviewing Life Experiences because it is something I know about and enjoy talking about.
My other blog posts
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