Whether this is the first time you are writing a blog entry or not, my goal is to share a solid process and practice in ensuring each post moving forward is effective.
Writing your first post may be intimidating for some. The idea that what you write will be judged and criticized by others can cause unnecessary anxiety. In reality, those that choose to visit your site, especially on an ongoing basis, are more likely interested in what you’re writing. They are looking for insight on what you’re delivering while longing to learn more about you.
Writing my first blog post
My first blog post was about my journey to becoming a self-published children’s book author. I shared my step-by-step process from manuscript development to choosing an illustrator, all the way to production. This blog post had approximately 2617 words in it. For my first blog, and following, I wrote what I wanted to write about. I figured early on, I didn’t want to be like anyone else, but me. I wanted my voice to come through in every blog entry.
Most would argue a typical blog post should be between 500 to 700 words. Honestly, with this being my blog, I quickly realized, I determine the length of my posts. However, if based on my research, choosing to be a guest blogger on other sites, there are strict requirements to how many words each post should be.
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What I learned
I learned a lot writing my first blog post as well as those posts following. Here are a few must-haves I ensure each blog post has:
- Referenced links to a few other internal blog posts
- Clear points of reference and consideration
- Content upgrades or a call to action
- Images to help convey understanding (at least two per post)
I found in my experience, these must-haves are helpful in grabbing the attention of my audience while helping me stay focused on my topic.
How I determine what to blog about
As it relates to how I determine my blog topics, I share in my recent blog post, “Blog post ideas, what to blog about”, a few ideas that are helpful for me to generate inspiration. I offer a few additional ideas in my one-page visual guide that highlights 36 helpful blog post ideas.
Writing your blog entry in WordPress
Moving right along, writing a blog entry is easy in concept.
From your dashboard, you will want to click on the “post” icon on the left side of the screen. We are going to “add new”.
Remember in the beginning, we installed the Yoast SEO plugin? This is where we apply and use all the functionalities of this plugin. Using Yoast SEO is going to be helpful in getting your post to rank on the search engines.
You can leave your blog title blank if you don’t have one yet. I would suggest writing out your blog entry first. Using a word document is also helpful because you can spell check and do a grammar check with Grammarly outside of the WordPress platform. Feel free to add hyperlinks to this document, they will transfer when you copy and paste. I save every blog post in a separate word document and file for redundancy.
For each blog post entry, identify your focus keyword. The keyword is the word you want your page to rank for. So, when someone conducts a google search using your keyword, they can find your blog post in the search results. Having a keyword for every blog post is critical for your blog to be found on the internet.
I already have a blog post drafted up that I am going to copy and paste in the body of my post, to use as an example. For images in my post, I always make sure my “Alt text” as in alternative text, is always updated to reflect my posting’s keyword. This will also help your blog rank and show up more in internet searches.
“Most would argue a typical blog post should be between 500 to 700 words.” It’s your blog, write as much as you want!
In the Yoast SEO area below, you will add your keyword, update your SEO title (which is what shows up in the search results) and your meta description. The goal is to get a “green light” for you’re SEO, which simply means you’ve addressed most of the areas in the “analysis” section to give you optimal results for your blog post. You don’t necessarily have to address all of the areas, at least I don’t. I typically do as much to get the “green light”.
Next, you want to ensure your readability is “green” as well. Yoast offers great insight and resources to ensure each of your posts are easy to read. After you’ve updated all of your SEO recommendations, (don’t forget to add a blog title) you should then add “tags” to your blog post. Tags allow for visitors to quickly find topics on your site via your search tool. These are easy to add and can be helpful for finding information.
After you’ve ensured all your information is added, you can either schedule your post or post now.
That concludes this section of the Blogging 101 course. Please share any feedback or questions in our Facebook group forum, or in the comments below. Thanks, and talk to you soon.