You’ve decided to start a blog to market your products and services. You’ve created your site with Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, or some other program, and now it’s time to actually publish something.
You stare at the blank page with the default “Hello world!” title, wondering what the heck to write.
You might wonder, does your first blog post even matter?
How can you start things off on the right foot?
My answer: Your first post DOES matter, but it’s nothing to stress about. Chances are, not many people will even read your first post, at least not at first. Blogging is meant to build an audience, and if you have no audience, that first post might not get much love right away.
I don’t say this to discourage you, but to liberate you! This is your time to experiment. You don’t have to get it perfect right off the bat, and you can always update that post later.
But you have to start somewhere. I’ll walk you through it.
Before you start your blog, make sure you have a few other things in place.
Before we get into your first post, I want to make sure you have your two things first:
Your about page. I’ve seen bloggers treat their first post like an about page while their actual about page is pretty sparse. The problem with that is that your first post gets buried in your site pretty quickly and your about page lives on your main menu bar (at least it should!). This is the most visited page on your site, and it serves as an introduction to your readers and tells them what you’re about and how you can help them.
A goal for your first post. If you want to show potential clients that you know what you’re doing, point to your opt-in, or start educating your audience, that’s great! If your goal is just to publish something to get over the first post jitters, that’s totally fine too. When you know the purpose of your first post, it’s so much easier to write.
We’ll talk about your about page in another post, so let’s talk about your goal for your first post and how you can accomplish that.
Here’s What Your First Blog Post Should Be About
So what is your goal? What do you want your first post to accomplish? Write that down first. It usually comes down to three things:
You want to get clients
You want to point readers to an opt-in or paid product.
You just want to get it over with so you can stop freaking out about it.
If you’re looking for clients:
If your blog is serving as a portfolio, just jump right out of the gate with a post that shows off your knowledge and why your audience should work with you.
When I first started my business, this was my goal, so one of my first blog posts was 6 Blogging Tasks You Can Outsource. It’s general enough to educate my audience but also specific enough that I can be like “Hey, I can handle all these tasks for you!”
If you want sales or signups:
Your first post can point people to a product, service, email list opt-in.
This might be your reader’s very first step in their journey with you, so talk about something that would logically lead to your opt-in or product. Ideally, your reader will read/love your post and want to learn more, so the next logical step should be to sign up for your list and get your freebie!
To get ideas, ask yourself what your reader might need to know before they can use your offering. You can also blog about the same topic that your offering covers.
For example, you’re probably here because you want to learn about blogging. One of my early posts was called 5 Types of Blog Posts That Get You Sales because I knew my ideal reader (that’s you!) is interested in blogging. So at the end of the post, I included a link to my blog post checklist to help them use what they learned in that post.
If you just want to post SOMETHING so you can stop losing sleep:
Another great approach is to write about a pillar of what you do. This could mean writing about why your topic is important and how it can help your audience (i.e. Why Your Business Needs a Blog.)
So what is the basis of what you do? Are you a virtual assistant? A social media manager? An OBM? A health coach? Do you make personalized, handmade jewelry?
Write about what you do and how it can help your audience.
“Why personalized jewelry is the perfect gift.”
“Why hiring a health coach is the next step in your fitness journey.”
“How an OBM can take your business to the next level.”
Think something basic and powerful that teaches your audience what you do and how you can help them, but also educates them. That way, they can walk away with something of value even if they’re not ready to click “buy” yet.
The nice part about having a strong foundational article like this is that you can always refer back to it and link to it in other posts!
The main thing with a first blog post is to get over the fear of the blank page. It doesn’t have to win a Pulitzer. Do your best, but don’t get so stuck in your head that you don’t publish anything. And remember, you can always edit it later!
Learn content marketing in days, not months.