Writing your first blog post can feel overwhelming yet not impossible. You can start with confidence if you begin by accepting that the act itself is powerful and the influence of words knows no limit. Once you do that, the rest is a matter of practicing, iterating, and keeping the motivation high.
- Why do you write blog posts in the first place?
- How to write blog posts on your terms?
- What you could write about when you are at the beginning?
- A step-by-step writing process to get started right away
We live in a world where the importance of written communication increased dramatically. We rely on technology and digital contact heavily. From the way we keep in touch with the dear ones to how we approach the people we admire and increase our chances to create a digital presence — we often use tools where writing is king.
To make sure you achieve your goals through written communication, you first need to understand the macro context and where do you want to fit. There are no recipes, but there are definitely good practices that you can follow to kick-off your first blog posts with a strong feeling of confidence.
Before putting all the pieces together, allow me to provide a short story about why you could trust what I am going to say. In the end, you want to make sure you’re in good company, learning from knowledgeable people, right? I would do the same if I were you.
I have 10+ years since I’m wearing the communication and storytelling hat daily. I’ve been active in this field since I came to college and ever since I tried to keep track with the changes and the dynamic of this world from multiple roles: freelancer, volunteer, marketer, copywriter, community builder.
Along the way, I had a hard time finding reliable solutions regarding how I could improve my writing skills and make the most out of them on the Internet.
After all the ups-and-downs I experienced, I came to draw a few insights that can help you start your blog posts and get rid of the hassle, both mentally and practically.
Therefore, I want to help you have a more accessible entry-point and walk you through the basics of written communication within the digital environment. What follows is not a blueprint nor a rigid framework, so feel free to take whatever fits you. However, I encourage you to at least test some of the ideas before assuming that they will not work. You might be surprised.
Why do you write blog posts in the first place?
It may sound naive, but we can easily take writing for granted. This activity’s so integrated into our daily lives that we no longer question why we write or what we want to accomplish because we prefer this way of communication instead of others.
In the end, it’s far more convenient and comfortable to chat with others from our nest, office, or at the end of the world, than making an effort to get dress, drive, and meet the person face-to-face, right?
Writing is such a self-conscious act because it forces us to think: What do we believe in, so deeply, that we’ll write it down and share it with others?— Claire Lew (@clairejlew) July 26, 2018
There are tons of reasons why we write: from the functional arguments to emotional reasoning, both are valid. It depends on the outcome that we want to get.
However, there are a few straightforward advantages of why writing matters, and you should consider:
#1. Gain more clarity
Putting everything on paper (both digital and offline) helps you draw a clearer picture of your thoughts. When you can observe what you wrote, it’s easier to find the red thread as well as the flaws and inconsistencies of your ideas. You can take notes, underline repetitive snippets, and have a clear picture of your work.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, in oral communication, you can make far more mistakes without the same consequences. It doesn’t mean that you should have them; it’s just the fact that paraverbal and non-verbal gestures help you.
#2. Improve you communication skills
Sharing the particular way you see the world and refer to it weights a lot. Expressing your ideas helps you have an impact and maybe even change it for the better. Your unique point of view can attract people who share the same core values and want to join your tribe. Nothing beats the feeling of sharing a common understanding with other individuals.
Not only you will no longer feel you are alone and insecure, but you have the chance to learn a lot and even improve your blog posts.
#3. Drive impact through your blog posts
Blogging can help you impact other people’s lives through your bold and courageous ideas. Show them different angles, perspectives and move folks around the world towards a meaningful goal. Your words can capture attention and interest and transform a bunch of random people into followers, believers, maybe even collaborators.
As a blogger, you need to be open-minded in understanding a wide range of arguments because it will help you craft better articles. It does not mean that you should start pleasing people and create blog posts which serve all kinds of needs. On the contrary, you should stick to your beliefs and interests.
#4. Explore the freedom you have
Exploring new worlds can impact not only the way you’re thinking but also the way you’re understanding what’s happening around you. Writing is an act of freedom where you can showcase the real you without strings attached. In so many senses, we enjoy the best time of our lives. The simple act of having the chance to create a digital voice and spread your ideas means a lot.
Through your blog posts, you have plenty of freedom to do that in a way that matches your vision. By being transparent and consistent, you will attract likeminded people and from there you can kick-off all kinds of partnerships and projects.
People used this form of communication since forever and continuously adjusted to the transformations that took place along the way. From sending a letter from the war to writing pre-defined SMS. The need to write lies within us and became even stronger.
It’s not something meant to fit only storytellers, writers, copywriters, poets, etc. No. We all have the potential to write amazing blog posts that say something about who we are. In the end, the ultimate goal of good writing is to put a piece of ourselves out there and invite people to take a look through the cracks.
Next, I share with you the main ideas you should keep in mind when it comes about how you should write your blog posts. The first and the one that will come after that. Ready to make your content shine in the digital world?
How to write blog posts on your terms?
I typed how do we write on Google, and 1,820,000,000 results popped up. It’s crazy to see how much information is available out there and definitely crazy to start thinking about which one is valuable and which not.
The irony is that almost everyone out there has a magic solution to share, a tip to take into consideration, a recipe to follow. In specific contexts, most of the sources out there can be somehow relevant and useful to a certain degree.
However, there’s a thin line between what you need to know to become better with writing blog posts and all the information on the Internet.
My recommendation is always to be authentic, trust your skills and shape your particular way of writing.
people always ask me how to be a better writer. my answer is always the same: read, read, READ. reading teaches by example, shows you the curiosity of others and is proven to increase brain function/connectivity.— paul jarvis (@pjrvs) June 18, 2018
Practice makes perfect, as they say, and it’s definitely true. What they forget to mention is that starting is the first step and often the hardest challenge.
Once you kick-off and develop a writing habit, you will craft your skills and become a better blogger from one day to another.
As in life, the best results come with time, hard work, and determination, so don’t try to find shortcuts. They not only mislead you but often they bring you in the same place.
From my 10 years of experience both as a digital communicator, professional copywriter, and now an active storyteller, I dare to suggest you a few writing tips you should take into consideration. If you start integrating in your daily writing routine, you will not only notice better articles on your blog and website, and you will also gain confidence and joy to do more of what you love.
Let’s take it one insight at a time and see what does it mean in practice.
#1 Write the way you talk
Write for one reader, not for an entire audience. Make it personal and meaningful by expressing your ideas as you’d be in front of one friend, not a bunch of people. Create an emotional connection with the reader and guide him through the story as a good old pal. Assume your voice in writing as you do in oral communication and don’t be afraid to be genuine in crafting every single message.
Please do not copy-paste big bloggers out there or famous TED speakers because you are you and they are they. People are smart and feel fakeness, and once they observe that you are not credible will never come back.
#2. Write with responsibility
Be true to yourself and let people know about your experience, not other folks’ learnings. Own it. No matter if you’re in your 20s, be brave to write about how you feel, about your hobbies, your struggles at the moment. On top of that, you are not alone in this game, and similar people will resonate with you.
Responsibility also means to be transparent and sincere when it comes to your blog posts. Don’t make things up, don’t cheat, don’t offer half of the truths, don’t do any harm in terms of how you pack information. Blogging is serious, and you should treat your audience accordingly, especially if you want to be more than yet another www out there.
#3. Write for yourself first
Express your personality and way of thinking through your writing. You are the first who reads that blog post, so make sure it resonates with your inner-why. Be trustworthy and put yourself out there. If you start writing content from your experiences, your visitors will notice, and if your blog posts bring them some sort of value, they will stick to your stories.
“I love meeting my readers, but I am so aware that the person who writes the books that they read is the best version of me — the most hopeful, the most helpful version of me. In my day-to-day life, I am as confused, & stupid, & pessimistic as anybody.” https://t.co/aug6SNQdrK— Lucy Bellwood is on Tour (@LuBellWoo) June 22, 2018
Put yourself in their shoes and see how you feel: does the blog post feel authentic, reliable, meaningful or is just a bunch of lines thrown out there without aiming to achieve a clear goal.
What you could write about when you are at the beginning?
It is often said that there’s an answer for everything out there, so there’s not much left to cover. My belief is somewhere on the opposite side of the spectrum.
Even though it’s true that we are exposed to a massive load of information, it doesn’t mean that nuances are not important. In fact, we live a time where we genuinely need them.
Differences are the engine of the world, and once we accept and internalize them, we will definitely live more meaningful lives.
When it comes to blog posts, since you are in your early days, I suggest a few ways in which you can pack your content. Of course, there are far more, but I highly believe that you need to narrow the gap and start with just a limited set of options because it will give you direction and purpose. As they say, constraints are liberating.
#1. Personal stories
Share what makes you-you. Experiences, wins, failures, mistakes, beliefs —anything that says something meaningful about the person behind the scenes.
If you are a creative type of person, be generous and write about your process, how you get things done, what keeps your wheels spinning, what brings you joy when things are hard to handle.
#2. Common topics with a twist
Give people a different perspective on a particular topic you are knowledgeable about, and help them change their day-to-day lens.
Invest time and energy to repack everything to suit your style of writing. As I already mentioned, differences are significant, so be brave and share yours within the blog articles. You will have the pleasure to see that there are more people who resonate with your approach.
#3. Bold statements
Showcase the values you stand for by writing opinionated articles. Boldly express your personality and make room for people to let you know if they echo your arguments or not.
Bring your strong mantras at the surface and write posts about where you land to some conclusions, how does this attitude help you, and so on.
The best bloggers out there show up fully and put in writing their ideas about the world. Feel free to do the same.
Choose one that feels like is the closest to who you are today and what you plan to achieve with your blog. Document what you experience during the writing process because it will help you get a clear perspective on what’s the next step and how you should continue the journey of publishing new blog posts.
A step-by-step writing process to get started right away
First of all, good writing means good reading. There’s no other way around. People who don’t read a lot have a tough time writing well.
It’s the same principle that applies to other forms of creative work as well. Take photographers, for instance. Good artists travel, meet people in person, spend time in solitude, are active folks who have a deeper understanding of how the world works.
“Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.” — Yehuda Berg
A simple yet effective process to put the above advice in practice is to do the following exercise. Don’t overthink every single step from the bellow list; just go through the entire adventure and take it from there.
- Choose a topic that you are interested in or have the know-how. It can be anything as long as you manifest excitement and a dose of genuine curiosity. Or, on the other hand, you gathered plenty of experience that could be useful for others.
- Write a rough first draft.
Don’t take it too seriously; just throw all the thoughts you have in mine related to the topic. It can be pieces of information, half of the paragraphs, quotes, name of writers or related articles.
- Write a one-paragraph article about your idea.
This way, you have a summary at your fingertips, and you can keep track with during the process. Just put together the main idea into one single paragraph where you try to concise everything.
- Define a clear structure to help you keep the red thread:
→ Intro (the central idea that you will explore in the article),
→ Main sections (headings and the core message)
→ Conclusion (an insight you hope people will react to or sleep on)
- Go in-depth. Take each part and write down the ideas and arguments that fit that particular area. Now you start adding layers of information that you are going to adjust later to make sure all match the red thread.
- Edit what you wrote without mercy and get the garbage out.
Read it out loud and see if it makes sense if you can cut some sidenotes or maybe you can rephrase ideas and make them easier to grasp. It is essential to read it loudly because you will not miss any flaws.
- Ask for a second opinion.
Give these pieces of content to close friends or family and ask them what made them memorable, touched them and how, and what was hard to understand or to follow. Kindly ask them to provide these answers in writing because once they take the time to do that they will accord the necessary time and attention.
- Edit again.
Try to integrate the feedback you received it in the best possible way, without pleasing everyone or making a bazaar of information out of everything you got. It’s your call to filter and keep the must-have only.
- Publish. Celebrate the fact that you published your first blog posts on your terms. Yaaay!
Writing is an excellent way of expressing your unique personality and a crucial skill you want to master on your blog. On top of that, it’s a form of freedom hard to beat by other forms of communication.
You can always explore new perspectives and discover a new world through writing digital content. It’s not a matter of how many words you use; it’s how you craft them to touch people’s hearts, as Seth Godin reminds us: “I wonder why anyone would hesitate to be generous with their writing.”
What holds you to put the best version of yourself out there and start writing today?