This post isn’t about setting up your blog or any of the technical side of blogging. It’s about how to start writing a blog and getting people to read it, when you have no background in this sort of thing.
This isn’t about keywords or super strategic marketing practices. Those are important, of course, but right now you need to start writing. You need to get yourself out there. You need to write the kinds of posts that make people want to read, that attract the people you want to reach and establish a habit of writing.
Before you even begin writing your blog post, you need to plan ahead a little bit by creating categories for your blog. Blog categories are like books, while your blog itself is the bookshelf. Think of it like this: you have a bookshelf with books with different topics, each book has chapters that breakdown the topics into bite-size chunks.
Now, in the blog world, you have a blog with different categories, and each blog post breaks down the categories into smaller bits.
You need those categories to tell the reader what to expect. A book about gardening will not have a chapter about how to fix a flat tire. A person reading a book about gardening isn’t interested in learning about flat tires.
The best blogs have their categories well thought out and planned from the start. Pick 3-5 categories and start writing about those topics and those topics only. That’s not to say that in the future you can’t add more categories, but in the beginning you need to start building a name a for yourself and creating loyal readers. You do that by ALWAYS writing about stuff they are interested in. If they are interesting in gardening, they are more likely to stick around for more gardening posts.
By picking your categories from the very beginning you will save yourself a ton of work down the road. This will also help you build a following faster than if you just write about whatever the heck you want all the time.
A lot of new bloggers write post titles that are emotionally charged; like “I feel better...” That’s not a post title, that’s some vague statement that means nothing to anyone that happens to scroll by it. Vague, flowy phrases don’t tell people how they are going to benefit from your post. Sure, it sounds pretty, but pretty doesn’t equal clicks. The only person who wants to read that is your mom. #truthbomb #sorrynotsorry
Tell your readers what they are going to be reading about from the beginning. Clear, concise titles that describe your post are a must. Think about what the person reading is going to get out of your post.
Maybe your post is about how you spend the day in your garden to help you cope with anxiety. Instead of “I feel better” you could say “Kick anxiety to the curb in your garden.” That’s about 10,000 times more descriptive. Now I know you are talking about anxiety and gardening.
Always, always, ask, “What’s in it for them?”
A lot of people like to blog as a creative outlet, and that’s wonderful and great; however, you obviously want people to actually read your blog, otherwise, you could write in a journal and get the same effect.
To get people to want to read your posts and to keep coming back, you have to put them first. Always relate your posts back to your reader. How will this post serve them? Just because you are a lifestyle blogger doesn’t mean you don’t have to serve the people reading your post.
Think about the kinds of posts you like to read. Things like how-tos, topics with actionable steps, stories with a lesson learned, and relatable experiences are great places to start.
So don’t forget those visuals. Every post should have AT LEAST one picture, if not more.
Pro-tip: It’s really great if you can take your own photos. Just make sure they are crisp and clear. A blurry photo is worse than having no picture at all. If you have no idea where to start with photographs, try using a stock photo.
You also need to write in a way that’s scannable for the readers. Short paragraphs, headings, bullet points, numbered lists, bold and italics to stand out.
It should look appealing to the eye, one big block of text is not appealing. People like to scan. Just today, I caught myself scrolling through an article to read the 10 points, but not actually reading the whole post. I just wanted to know the gist of things, before committing to reading the whole thing.
This is a big one. You have to share those posts to start building traction on your blog. Share them to your Facebook timeline, make a graphic and share it on Pinterest. You have to tell people about your new blog! Be proud of it!
Once, you get in the habit of writing consistently, you will start to see the work you are putting in paying off in the form of page views and shares on social media. Then in a few weeks, you can add to your blogging strategy with things like keywords and SEO research.
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