Now that you have your blog set up, it’s time to write your first blog post. If you’re brand new to blogging, you probably have no clue where to start with generating content. The more you blog, the better you will get at it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to create meaningful and impactful content from your very first blog post. Use these 7 tips and the worksheet at the bottom of the page to learn how to write blog posts that matter.
Week 1: How to Start a WordPress Blog With SiteGround
Week 2: How to Write Blog Posts That Matter
Week 3: How to Get More Views and Traffic to Your Blog
Week 4: How to Make Money Blogging
1. Understand Your Audience
The first thing you need to do if you want to write blog posts that matter is understand your audience. Does your audience consist mainly of 25-34 year old travelers who are seeking a career break to travel? Or is your primary demographic new mothers looking for advice on childrearing? Or maybe you are speaking to mainly a group of fitness enthusiasts in search of new fitness and health tips?
Regardless of which niche you are writing to, the first thing you’ll want to do is define your target demographic, and try to be as specific as you can. Rather than “travelers,” identify these travelers further. Are they adventure travelers, budget travelers, luxury travelers, travelers with a fear of flying, travelers with children, travelers with disabilities, gap year travelers,… you get the idea. The more specific you can get with who your target demographic is, the easier it will be for you to write blog posts that matter to that specific demographic.
It may help to create an avatar of your ideal reader. You may have several avatars who fit under a bigger umbrella. In the example below, a travel blogger has two avatars of her target audience. Even though the two avatars have some differences, they also have similarities. You can gather from their similarities that the blogger’s readership consists of university students traveling on a budget who love food and adventure. By pinpointing her exact target audience, the blogger is able to focus her blog posts on budget travel, adventure travel, and different types of food around the world.
2. Provide Value to Your Reader
Once you identify your target audience, think about what that audience needs. Continuing from the example above, a university student traveling on a budget who enjoys food and adventure would likely seek out advice on how to travel on a budget, cheap eats around the world, and fun and free adventures. Thus, the blogger’s blog posts should focus on budget travel tips and how to enjoy local foods and adventures on a budget. There would be no sense in writing blog posts on luxury travel, 5-star hotels, and retirement communities on the beach because those posts do not provide value to the reader.
In addition to considering how you can provide value to your reader, you should consider how the value you provide is unique to what others in similar positions as you can provide. What do you know that others writing about the same topics don’t know? What have you experienced that others in your niche have not experienced? What is it about YOU that makes your readers want to trust YOU and follow YOUR advice?
The last question is extremely important. In an age where just about anyone can find information on just about anything, writing blog posts that matter is just as much about writing informational posts as it is about writing posts that your audience can relate to and sympathize with.
Think about it. If you are a travel blogger who specializes in hotel reviews, but you only ever have good things to say about a hotel, and you only ever use superlatives to describe how amazing everything is in the hotel, how do you expect your reader to trust your reviews? It’s impossible that anyone stays in a random sample of 10 hotels and doesn’t have one negative thing to say about any of the hotels. There will be things – whether big or small – that aren’t to your taste. By mentioning the pain points, you not only help lend credibility to what you write, but you also help your audience to sympathize with you if they have the same preferences or pain points that you have. When a reader start sympathizing with you, they start trusting you. And when they start trusting you, they start coming back to you again and again for advice.
3. Tell Engaging Stories
Another way to write blog posts that matter is by telling engaging stories. Maybe you traveled to a third world country for the first time and experienced feelings and thoughts you’ve never experienced before. Maybe you saw people interact in a way you’ve never seen before. These are impactful stories that people who haven’t experienced those things want to read about.
When done well, storytelling can be the most powerful tool for writing blog posts that matter. However, make sure that you reserve these posts for truly compelling stories. No one wants to read an account of your day – save that for your diary. The one exception to this rule that I can think of is if your blog is focused on battling an illness or difficulty, and you want to diary how you are getting through each day in an attempt to help others who are going through the same struggles.
4. Keep It Concise
Remember to always keep your blog posts concise. There is no need to write a 3,000 word blog post when everything can be said in 2,000 words. Some details that you would typically tell your best friend or sister are not details that your audience, who is taking time out of their busy day, cares to read about. If a reader feels like they are wasting time by reading your blog posts, they likely will not return to your site.
Part of keeping it concise, however, also involves not writing fewer words than it takes to communicate your idea. Don’t leave your reader struggling to connect the dots because what you’re offering in your blog post is so fragmented. When you edit your blog posts, ask yourself if each sentence is necessary. If the sentence serves a purpose, leave it there. If it doesn’t, or if the same idea can be communicated in fewer words, edit that sentence to be more concise.
5. Create a Strong Title
The first thing the reader is going to see in your blog post is the title. The title should be informative and attractive. A title that is only informative but not attractive gives the reader little incentive to click the post and read it even though they know they would probably gain value from it. For example, an informative yet unattractive title might be “The History of Prague.” Even though the reader knows she would likely gain knowledge of the history of Prague by reading it, the average reader would not be enticed by that title to click the post and read a history book on Prague. By changing your title to “How I Journeyed Back in Time to Medieval Prague,” your blog post now holds much more allure for your reader to click the post and find out how it is you journeyed back in time to medieval Prague.
6. Pay Attention to the Details
No matter how insightful your post or how interesting your story, you will not find the robust readership you desire and deserve if your blog post has a lot of misspelled words, terrible grammar, and no transitions. After you write your blog post, make sure you read through it and edit it for the basics. Check for spelling, grammar, transitions, sentence structure – all the basics you learned back in grade school. It can be tempting to want to hit that “Publish” button immediately after writing your first draft, but do resist. Remember that quality matters above all, and delaying publishing by an hour or two won’t affect how well your post is received.
7. Include a Call to Action
Sometimes merely reading about advice is not enough. That’s when a call to action may be appropriate. If you are blogging about how amazing a city is, include a call to action for your reader to travel there and check it out for herself. If you are blogging about how to prepare for your first flight with a baby, include a printable checklist that your reader can place on the fridge and go through before leaving for that flight.
By including a call to action, you are providing more value to your reader and asking them to follow in your footsteps. Once your reader takes your advice and applies it to her own life and sees positive results, she is likely to return to your site again and again to seek out additional advice.
Download your FREE blog post brainstorming worksheet here!
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