So, you've finally set up your own blog, and it's looking all spiffy and new. The virtual landscape awaits your wisdom, creativity, and all those captivating ideas that are going to reel in those clients. But, hold on! You're standing on the brink of writing your very first blog post, and suddenly, those keys on your keyboard might seem intimidating. You might be asking yourself, "What exactly does my first blog post need to include?" or "What if I don't know what to say?

Don't worry, my friend, we've all been there, and that's exactly why I've penned down this article. This isn't just another guide; it's like having a conversation with someone who's been through it all and is eager to share the wisdom!

The Perfect Workspace For Writing

Let's talk about finding that perfect spot where your words will flow like a serene river. Writing your first blog post (or any post for that matter) is quite the adventure, and setting up the right environment can make all the difference. Trust me, I've been there, and I've learned a thing or two about what works.

Finding Your Writing Happy Place

We all have that special nook or cranny where we feel most at ease, and it's essential to find yours. Write where you'll find it easiest to write. It might be a sunny spot by the window, your favorite chair, or even that orderly desk in your home office.

Clear the Clutter

Now, if you're like me and that desk is your chosen spot, make it inviting! Clear your desk, and create a clean and clutter-free area. Why, you ask? Well, it's all about eliminating those pesky distractions that seem to pop up just when you're trying to write.

You know what I'm talking about – suddenly, cleaning the oven becomes a top priority, or perhaps rearranging your sock drawer seems like an urgent task. Anything but sitting down to write your first blog post will seem more important. I mean, I've been there, staring at my computer screen and thinking about all the dusting I could be doing!

Create a Focus-Friendly Zone

Personally, I have this knack for writing through a hurricane because I'm disciplined (or maybe just stubborn), but I know that many people can't. If that's you, no shame! What's essential is recognizing what you need to get those creative juices flowing.

Clear your workspace, eliminate your distractions, and maybe even put on some soft background music if that's your thing. It's all about creating a space that invites focus and creativity.

Your Space, Your Rules

Remember, this is your writing journey, and you get to set the rules. Experiment a little, find what feels right, and don't be too hard on yourself if it takes some time to find your groove. We've all been there, and what works for one might not work for another. And that's perfectly okay!

So go ahead, make that space your own, and then dive into the wonderful world of blogging. Your words are waiting, and trust me, once you find that happy writing place, you'll wonder why you ever thought about cleaning that oven. 

Collate Your Blog Post Writing Tools

Do you have a ritual that kicks off your writing journey? Let's share a little behind-the-scenes look at the writing process, shall we? For me, it's always the same: a refreshing glass of lime water, a blank Word document, gel pens, and oh, a nail file close at hand (you never know when you'll need it!). And I can't forget my notebooks – all 27 of them. That's right, twenty-seven!

My Writing Ritual: Lime Water and Notebooks Galore

Why the lime water, you ask? It's like a little wake-up call for my brain, fresh and zesty. Now, my hubby Kevin, he's more into the protein shake kind of vibe, teamed with that same blank Word document. Different strokes for different folks, right?

As for the notebooks, well, let me tell you, they're more than just pretty decorations. When I'm deep into writing a post, ideas seem to sprout from everywhere, often leading me off on tangents. These little nuggets of inspiration don't go to waste. No, sir! They find a home in my notebooks, ready to blossom into future blog posts.

Oh, and the gel pens? They're my trusty sidekicks, silver and blue, always nearby, ready to jot down those bursts of brilliance.

Your Turn: Close the Internet, Silence Your Phone

Now, here's a little tip from me to you. Close the internet for a moment. Yes, you read that right! Close it. You'll put it back later, but for now, just close it. Turn off your email, put your phone on silent, and breathe. It's just you and your thoughts, no buzzing, no beeping, no distractions.

Embrace Parkinson's Law

While we're at it, why not take a moment to familiarise yourself with Parkinson's Law? It's a fascinating principle that states, "work expands to fill the time available for its completion." In simple terms, if you give yourself all day to write a blog post, it might just take all day. So set a timer, create a deadline, and watch how your focus sharpens. You might even have time to spare!

So allocate yourself 60 minutes for writing your first blog, and for the next 10 posts. Subsequent posts aim for 45 mins. This post took me 45 minutes to type (not including the worksheet).

Let's go through the timings:

5 minutes on the purpose of your post whilst turning off distractions and tidying your workspace
10 minutes keyword research
5 minutes outlining the post
20 Minutes = 600 words x 30 Words Per Minute
10 minutes image and research
5 minutes pasting it into your site
4.90 minutes to panic that you're doing all wrong
10 seconds to press publish
Total time to write your blog post = 60 minutes. It gets faster and easier with practice.

If you tell yourself it will take 3 hours… It will take 3 hours.

Filling Your Blank Document

Ready to fill that blank document and create a post that resonates with your audience? Hold on just a moment – before you let those fingers dance across the keyboard, let's have a quick and friendly chat about how to put your thoughts together. It's simpler than you think, promise!

Getting to Know Your Post

Start by cosying up with a few questions like you're getting to know a new friend:

  • Who are you writing for? Think about your reader as a real person, maybe someone you'd enjoy having coffee with.
  • What kind of information are they hoping to see? Imagine what they're curious about or what problem they might need help solving.
  • What do you want them to do with that information? Are you hoping they'll try a new recipe, explore a new idea, or maybe even join your mailing list?

Quick Planning, Big Impact

Once you've got a clear picture of exactly why you're writing a post, you're ready to sketch out the elements that will pull it all together. But wait, don't get lost in overthinking! Set a timer for 5 minutes. Yes, only five.

Why the rush? Well, if you spend more than 5 minutes on this task, you might be over-complicating things. Your readers want your authentic voice, your clear insights, not a tangled web of thoughts.

Your Post, Your Rules

Remember, this is your space, your connection with your readers. Keep it real, keep it you, and don't be afraid to have a little fun with it. Planning is essential, but so is spontaneity. Find the balance that feels right.

Now, with your questions answered and a quick plan in hand, you're ready to dive into that blank document and fill it with all the creativity and passion you've got.

Doing Keyphrase Research

Ready to tackle that first writing task and make sure your audience is actually interested in what you're penning down? I feel you, there's nothing more disheartening than pouring your soul into a post, spending hours hunting for that perfect image, only to discover that only a handful of folks are actually looking for it. Ouch, right? Let's make sure that's never you!

Keywords: Your New Best Friends

Let's start with a bit of keyword research. And before you roll your eyes, let me stop you right there. Keywords are not some technical jargon you can ignore. Anywhere there's a search box, whether it's LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, or any search engine, someone's typing in a keyword or keyphrase. And guess what? You want your post to pop up when they hit that Enter key.

Now, let me share some tools that are like magic wands for finding the right keywords:

  • UberSuggest
  • Mangools
  • Answer the Public

These tools are game-changers. Life's too short to spend hours doing what a program can do in minutes. Trust me on this one.

No Excuses, Embrace the Keywords

I don't want to hear any fuss about not using keyphrases. They're like the secret spices in your favorite dish. Use them, embrace them, love them. If you value your time and sanity (who doesn't?), give one of these tools a whirl. Most come with free trials, and all of them offer guidance on how to use their program.

Got Some Key Phrases? Let's Outline!

Superb! You've got those key phrases? Now you're cooking with gas! The next step is to whip up an outline that'll make your writing flow like a breezy conversation with a friend. But we'll dive into that later.

For now, know that you've armed yourself with some tools and insights that can transform your blogging game. You're not just writing; you're connecting with your audience through words they're actively searching for.

So, fellow writer, go forth, explore those keywords, and let them lead you to posts that not only resonate with your audience but also feel rewarding to create.

Outlining Your First Blog Post

Oh, outlining! Remember that thing your English teacher raved about back in school? You probably rolled your eyes then and thought you'd never use it again. Surprise! It's time to dust off that old skill and put it to work in the blogging world. And guess what? It's more fun than you remember!

Outlining: A Writer's Best Friend

Think of outlining less as a rigid structure and more like a friendly guide or even a checklist. It's not about trapping your creativity; it's about giving it wings to soar. Outlining is like having a roadmap for an exciting road trip – you know where you're headed, but you can still enjoy the scenery and take some unexpected detours along the way.

My Outline? More Like a Checklist!

Here's a little sneak peek at how I approached the outline for this post. It's more of a checklist, really:

As you can see from the photo, it's not perfect and I crossed something out. This is perfectly normal and should contain plenty of crossing out, doodles and arrows re-ordering things.

A simple outline is simply an outline. It's not a work of art. You can read more on outlining here. This might seem like “extra” work, it actually speeds up your writing process, and using outlines will enable you to create more content, faster.

Write Your Blog Post

Ready to dive into writing that blog post? Let's make a pact right now: write first, edit later. That's right, let's embrace the messy, lively first draft – full of energy, errors, and, yes, even 'grammos' (I just made that word up, but it fits, right?).

The First Draft: A Creative Playground

When you sit down to write, let those fingers fly across the keyboard without a care in the world. This is your playground, where typos and missing punctuation are welcome guests. Why? Because this is where creativity happens.

Some folks get stuck spending hours on a blog post, meticulously picking apart every word as they type it. Let's not be those people. Let's get into the rhythm of writing first and editing later. It's like dancing without worrying about stepping on toes.

Keyphrases: The Golden Rule

Oh, and while you're writing, sprinkle in those keyphrases you found earlier. But remember, they have to dance to the same rhythm as your words. If they feel awkward or forced, leave them out. The golden keyword rule is simple: if it doesn't sound right, don't say it.

Read this image about black cats…

This post is about black cats. Black cats are cats with black coloured fur. They purr, cuddle and of course, black cats are very lucky.

Now, not only is that paragraph about black cats, it's complete and utter nonsense. It doesn't read well. This is why we have the golden keyword rule. Remember, although we may call the people who visit our website “traffic”, they're also human beings. Write for human beings. So few people do this, so when your audience find you they'll read what you have to say and love you. Write for people, because people matter.

Write, Dance, Edit Later

So, brave writer, let your first draft be wild and free. Write like no one's watching, because no one is – not yet. Once you've got all those beautiful, raw words on the page, you can come back and edit, polish, and make everything shine.

Remember, writing is a joyful process, full of discovery and surprises. Don't be afraid of mistakes; they're just stepping stones on the path to something beautiful. 

Researching Your First Blog Post

Let's have a little chat about quality content and the role research plays in it. Now, bear with me, because I've got a slightly unconventional approach to share, and I think you'll find it interesting.

Quality Content: More Than Just a Stream of Thoughts

Quality content is more than just letting your thoughts flow like a neverending river. It's about precision, validation, and playing nicely with others in the vast online world. But here's the twist: I suggest you do your research after you've written your post. Shocking, right? Let me explain why.

Write First, Research Later

When you research before you write, there's a sneaky risk of absorbing someone else's ideas and thinking they're your own. It's not always intentional, but it can happen. So let's flip the script and write first, research later.

The Importance of Citing Sources

Now, here's something that gets my goat: content where people don't credit their sources. It's a big no-no, and it tells me two things: they're either ignorant (and who wants to work with that?), or they're plagiarists (a definite no-thank-you).

When you research after creating your post, you can sprinkle in quotes and excerpts that align with or validate your thoughts. And guess what? You'll credit those sources, link to those articles, and dance the happy dance of integrity.

Remember those math exams where you had to show your "working out"? Citing expert sources is like that. Even if you end up with the wrong answer, you're correct in how you got there. It shows that you know the formula and how to be a decent human being online.

Bring It All Together

So go ahead, add your research to the post, and then copy and paste those words into your blog post editor on your site. Let your original thoughts shine, backed up by credible sources.

Creating content this way is like cooking a delicious meal and then pairing it with the perfect wine. It's all about balance, authenticity, and a sprinkle of wisdom from others. So here's to writing, researching, and rocking the content world, all while being an amazing online citizen.

Add Your Images To The Post

Let's talk about something that can really make your posts pop: images. Adding visuals to your content is like putting icing on a cake. They make everything more appealing, don't they? But wait, before you go hunting for images on Google, let's make sure we do this right. I've got some tips for you, so grab a cup of tea, and let's dive in!

Step 1: Set Up Canva

If you haven't tried, it's time to hop on board. Go ahead and set up an account there. Trust me, it's like a treasure trove for bloggers. Canva lets you play with colors, logos, fonts, and so much more, all while keeping your brand looking sleek and cohesive.

Step 2: Add Your Brand Flair

Got your Canva account? Awesome! Now, let's sprinkle in your brand magic:

  • Colors: Add your brand colors, so everything feels "you."
  • Logos: Upload your logo for easy access.
  • Fonts: Choose fonts that resonate with your style.

Step 3: Choose & Customize Images

Now for the fun part! You get to pick images that'll add life to your blog post:

  • Choose Your Images: Pick ones that align with your content.
  • Upload to Canva: Bring them into Canva's playground.
  • Add Branding: Add your logo, or maybe a catchy phrase. Make it unique!

Step 4: Download & Add to Your Post

You've dressed up your image; now it's time to take it to the dance:

  • Download: Get that beautiful image onto your computer.
  • Add to Your Post: Embed it into your blog post. Voila! You've got eye candy!

A Friendly Warning: No Googling Images!

Now, a quick but important note: resist the urge to swipe images from Google. It's not just bad manners; it's copyright theft. And trust me, those big fines aren't something you want to deal with.

Your Blog Post: Now with Extra Sparkle

Images add that extra sparkle, that wow factor, to your blog posts. And with tools like Canva, you can create something that's not only beautiful but uniquely yours.

So go on, have fun with it, and let your creativity shine. And remember, always use images responsibly, like the savvy, stylish blogger you are! 

Edit Your Blog Post

It's time to get into the nitty-gritty of editing your blog post, and I've got some cozy, confidence-boosting tips to share. You've poured your heart and soul into your writing, and now it's time to polish it up. And guess what? You've totally got this!

Step 1: Sleep on It

I know, I know, you're eager to get it out there. But trust me, letting your post marinate overnight can work wonders. After a good night's rest, your eyes and mind will be fresh, and you'll see your work in a whole new light.

Step 2: Read It Aloud

Grab a comfy chair, and read that post aloud. Feel the rhythm, the flow. Every time you stumble or hesitate, that's a cue to edit. It's like a game! You're tuning in to the natural melody of your words, and that's magical.

Step 3: Keep It Conversational

Let's be real: Conversational content might not win grammar awards, but it wins hearts. It's friendly; it's relatable. And for that extra helping hand, running Grammarly in your browser can catch those little oopsies without making you feel like you're back in English class.

Step 4: Embrace Your Unique Voice

Grammar is a learned skill, just like riding a bike or baking a perfect cake. So don't get too hung up on it. If you fixate on grammar, you might never hit that publish button, and the world needs to hear what you have to say.

Step 5: No Comparisons Allowed

You, dear writer, are unique. Comparing yourself to others? It's like comparing apples and oranges. Comparisons can nibble away at your confidence, and we don't want that. Remember, it's easier to criticize than to create. You're doing something brave and beautiful.

Step 6: Celebrate Your Growth

You're doing the best you can right now, and that's something to be proud of. With each post, you'll grow, you'll learn, you'll blossom. A year from now, you'll look back at this post and smile, seeing how far you've come.

You've Got This!

Editing isn't about perfection; it's about connection. It's about shaping your words in a way that reaches hearts, including your own. So go on, edit with joy, with curiosity, and with the knowledge that you are already enough.

Now Press Publish.

And just like that, you did it! Press that publish button, and let out a triumphant "Hurrah!" Your first blog post is done and dusted. Can you believe it? How do you feel about the writing process? A bit like conquering a mountain, right?

Well, here's a comforting secret: it gets easier. Trust me on this. Right now, it might feel a tad overwhelming because it's all new terrain. You might feel like you're fumbling around in the dark, not quite sure what you're doing. But guess what? You're building a writing muscle, and every word you type makes it stronger.

Soon, you'll develop a routine that feels like a cozy, well-worn sweater. You'll play around with content styles, experiment with upgrades, and unleash your creativity in ways you can't even imagine right now.

But for this very moment? All that future exploration can wait. You're at the starting line of an exciting journey, and you've just taken your very first step. You should feel proud!

Oh, and before I forget, I've got a special treat for you. Here's a handy worksheet for you to print and fill out for your first few blog posts. It's like a little roadmap to help everything become easy and natural. <— right click, save as to your desktop. Print and then write all over it.

So go on, dear writer, celebrate this milestone. You've done something amazing today, and I can't wait to see where your words take you next. Happy blogging! 

Sarah x


Sarah & Kevin Arrow

Sarah and Kevin Arrow have been in the thick of the online marketing world since 2006, and they're buzzing to share their know-how right here with you! If you're keen to get noticed, they're the experts you'll want to talk to. Why not schedule a call or send them a quick message? They're all ears and can't wait to hear from you!

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