getting started with blog writing

Are you having a hard time getting started with blog writing?  When you’re new to the blog life, it can be frustrating trying to figure out what to say.

Don’t worry – every new blogger has been there! Some of us are still there even though we’ve been at this blogging thing for a while now.  Like any new skill, writing blog posts takes practice, and no one is perfect from the beginning.

Give yourself a collar-pop for even wanting to write blog posts in the first place!  Your desire to take some action and do something new and different with your life is worth celebrating.

But how do you really write a blog post?  Like, really really? Where do you start?

Here are some simple ideas to consider when you’re getting started with blog post writing:

4 Simple Strategies for Writing Blog Posts

 

1.  Blog Posts are Conversational

Writing for blogs is different than writing for school or work.  It’s much more conversational. Bloggers are out there speaking directly to their audiences as if they are having a conversation.  Working on your conversational writing skills is a solid way to connect with your readers so they can get to know you and what you’re all about.  

Sometimes the conversation is peer to peer, teacher to student or salesperson to customer.  

Whatever the situation, the most effective blog posts are written with a conversational tone.Click To Tweet

Blog posts aren’t meant to make the reader feel like they’re being lectured or reviewing a grad student’s thesis. Click To Tweet

Sure, there are academic blogs out there, but most times people are just reading for fun and don’t want to feel like they’re studying for a reading comprehension quiz.  

The next time you sit down to write a blog post of your own, read it out loud and hear how it flows.  Does it sound how you want it to sound?

Take a moment to ask yourself what you want your overall tone to be for your blog, and keep that in mind every time you write a new post.

If you’ve got a great sense of humor, show it off!  If you use a lot of slang, don’t be afraid to type “gonna” instead of “going to”.  Feel empowered to do you. It’s your blog, after all! The main takeaway is that you don’t have to write so formally that it diminishes your true voice.

2.  Blog Posts Should Provide Value First

People who read blog posts are usually searching for a solution to their own problems.  Very rarely are they setting out to read about someone’s memoirs and musings about their own troubles.  The average blog reader wants to know one thing: “What’s in it for me?”

That’s why you want to provide value whenever you post a blog.  Include a resource, a tutorial, instructions or a list of tips that you can share which will make someone else’s journey less troubled.  Everybody loves a good “listicle” (that’s short for list article).

Don’t get me wrong – you should absolutely include your back story or anecdotes if the post calls for it. 

 

A little bit of vulnerability and honesty goes a long way for developing the 'know, like and trust factor' that is essential for creating engaging relationships with your audience.Click To Tweet

Think back to how many times you typed a subject or question into Google or Pinterest looking for answers.  Your audience is doing the same thing, and you want to be the one who has their solution. Keep that in mind every time you write a blog post.

3. Blog Posts Have Visual Organization

When you’re writing blog posts, the layout is just as important as the content.  We’re reading on screens and not from books or magazines, and more often we’re reading from our phones.

This very simple difference means a lot when you’re writing your blog posts.  It means you want to break up your content into chunks instead of long blocks of text.

It’s a good idea to keep your paragraphs short.  Think of paragraphs in terms of lines on a screen instead of chunks of one thought.

Using H2 headers (named after their font size) is also a good way to create sub-headings throughout your post.  If readers want to skip ahead, they can use your H2 headers as a guide for where to jump back in.

Bonus Tip:  Google loves using H2 headers to grab keywords which they include in your search results.

You can also use images to break up long blocks of text.  We see that all the time in recipe posts, when the blogger uses pictures to show the different stages of making a dish.

At the very least, you can use a featured image like you see in Pinterest.  All that requires is a simple picture with some text layed over it. Free web design tools like Canva are perfect for this.

Once you get comfortable with blog posting, you can even embed videos to your content.  A popular trend now is recording yourself reiterating your blog content in video format (called a vlog) and then putting it back on your blog. 

Your post can live on YouTube and your website. That way it will reach people who may consume video or audio more than text.Click To Tweet

4.  Blog Posts Should Engage Your Audience

The final component you should consider when writing a blog post is how you’re going to engage your audience to stay connected to you.  Otherwise, people would just read your post and keep it moving. Each reader presents an opportunity to build a connection. So how do you use your blog post to build it?

Start by inviting them to leave a comment, but don’t leave it at that.  You can also add an invitation in your text for them to share your content on their own social media profiles.  

If you’re like me and you have a WordPress site, you can use a plugin like Social Warfare to add social share buttons to all your posts.  (You can also use the Social Warfare plugin to add the “Click to Tweet” feature to your posts).

To really start engaging with your audience, you’ll want to get them to sign up on your email list.  When a reader does that, they are letting you know that they enjoyed your post and are interested in what you have to say next.  

Make it super easy for people to stay updated on all your amazing new blog posts by sending emails to them directly announcing your new content.

The easiest way to get someone to sign up for your email list is to add an opt-in form at the bottom of your post.  I use Convert Kit to manage my list and all the messages I send out. (I’ll have to write a blog post soon talking about why I love Convert Kit so much, because it’s true.)

Do you want even more tips for how to write blog posts when you’re a beginner?

Download your free copy of my Ultimate Blog Cheatsheet for Beginners.  It’s filled with 16 tips that every blogger can use to boost their posts.

The Ultimate Blog Cheatsheet for Beginners

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