How can I start my blog? This question pops up in the minds of numerous people. The same question popped up in my head a few years back, and I ended up leaving Google frustrated but figured out the rest on my own with some blogging research. You know that you are in the right place and will get a helpful answer.
How exactly did I start my blog? The answer is straightforward; I chose a niche I was interested in, and I wanted to utilize that effectively, so I decided to blog.
Blogging for Beginners
For beginners, blogging can be about writing what you are interested in, in other words, writing about what you know and like and providing valuable information to individuals searching for it.
Let’s understand it more deeply.
For instance, just like Brad Mondo, you know the technicalities of dyeing your hair through different methods. Now, you can create a blog and share your knowledge about the various techniques and products.
Now, think of a person searching “How can I dye my hair at home?” For all of those people, you can write an informative blog post.
What is the Purpose of Starting a Blog?
The purpose of writing blogs could be to promote a product or service, create awareness about social issues, or share information about a particular interest. You can also start one if you purely have a passion for writing.
Some of the common blogs are written under these categories:
1. Personal Blog:
One of the reasons why people start a personal blog is because they want to write on a subject of their interest and choice and want to share their opinions, likes, and dislikes.
Personal blogs have many variations, too, e.g., the blog can be based on traveling, family, food, style inspirations/tips, health, etc.
NGOs, human rights groups, charities, etc., write blogs to generate awareness for the causes they believe in.
3. Reviews, How-to, Tips:
Blogs such as these teach readers about several topics, provide information, and share tips.
4. Business Blogs:
Many businesses manage a blog and share information about their brand, their products and services, etc.
There are several blogs on entrepreneurship, marketing, IT, HR consultancy, and career guidance.
Before starting a blog, ask yourself, are you writing to write, or are you writing to be seen?
They aren’t mutually exclusive. As someone who has written a blog post or two, I love being seen and heard. However, my decisions about time, content, and success are all tied to my main goal of becoming a better writer.
Before I write anything, I ask myself, “Will this make me a better writer?“
If I were blogging to be seen and heard, I would ask myself, “Will this get me more likes, comments, views, etc.?” That would lead me to different choices, decisions, and outcomes.
When I started writing in a different genre, someone told me it might be a mistake because I might lose my views. I thought, okay, that’s not good, but is my writing good? I don’t know that yet, but I do want to find that out. If it is, the views will come. If not, at least I will know.
Save yourself the confusion later on by figuring this out before starting a blog. What is the primary point of your blog account? Is it a tool that you use to be a good writer? Or do you want to write a blog post to be seen and heard and to possibly influence people?
There is no good or wrong answer, whether you are a writer or a marketer.
However, you need to define why you are doing this. Be true, be honest, and then run with it.
Common Blog Categories
Following are some of the most common blog categories. Remember that these are broad categories; thus, you can add some sub-niches to them as well.
- Animals and Pets
- Cars and Motorcycles
- DIY and Crafts
- Food and Drinks
- Health and Fitness
- Home Decor
- Men’s Fashion
- Parenting and Kids
- Science and Nature
- Women’s Fashion
Now that we are familiar with blogging and its many categories, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide so you can write a blog post that people would want to read. Let’s get started!
How to Write a Blog Post – Step 1: Planning
Your typing skills might be fast, but disclaimer, the whole process of writing a blog post can take hours, days, or even weeks if you haven’t conducted any blogging research.
By planning, we do not mean making a complete structure and roadmap since this is not how writing works for everybody.
Many writers are pantsers – as in, they write by the seat of their pants. They write what comes to their mind without planning anything, and they seem to do just fine.
For writers who like to plan, planning is highly crucial as some writers can get completely lost when writing unless they plan prior to writing.
Planners, without any planning, often get stuck and are clueless about what to write next. They also sometimes do not like what they write when they go with the flow.
Planning also has a lot to do with the kind of content you’re writing. Complex blog posts are a lot harder to write without planning.
If you walk in a small town and just take random turns, chances are that you will be fine by the end of the day. It is tough to get lost in a small, simple area.
However, if you walk around aimlessly in a vast, complicated maze, you will likely get lost very quickly. Getting out of there will be a lot harder than if you had thought of a plan to get through it.
Thus, if you are a planner, before you turn your laptop on to write a blog post, you must ensure that you have everything you need to write.
Many new bloggers do not take the planning process seriously, and, indeed, you can still produce a good blog post even if you skip the planning stage. However, doing your homework beforehand will save you a lot of time further down the road.
1. Choose a Topic You are Interested In
Robyn Smart once said, “No fun for the writer, no fun for the reader.” This is exactly the motto you should keep in mind when writing your blog.
Pick a topic you are interested in. If you pick a topic that interests you, then you are more likely to
- Want to research the topic.
- Want to write on the topic.
It is always evident when a writer is bored by the subject he or she is writing about. If you put your enthusiasm and energy into your blog, the reader will feed off it.
I’m sure all writers know what excites and interests them. For example, if I talk about myself, I want to express my work in an unpredictable way, which excites others. I know what it is like to not want to put down a book, and I want the readers to feel that too from my writing.
If you have a personal blog, it is a great idea to write about your life and your memories because it won’t require you to do any research (unless you have forgotten some details). You can simply write from your head and your heart.
Many posts that you write will feel like a chore and make you hate writing at the moment, but if you have any control over what you write, then select subjects that you would want to read.
During my career as a writer, I have written several articles for clients in some incredibly boring industries; however, professional bloggers have the ability to write well about any topic, no matter how boring it may be.
Just remember that the more enthusiastic you are about your topic, the more eager the readers will be when they read it.
2. Write an Outline
Even great bloggers need a rough idea to keep them on track when writing; this is where the outline comes in.
Outlining involves planning your blog post, article, essay, paper, or any other form of writing before you start writing.
Your outline is your guide for the main writing. It doesn’t have to be detailed; it is just a rough guide to ensure that you stay on track.
For example, before writing this post, I wrote an outline:
[Quick summary and the aspects we will cover]
Step 1 – Planning
[Things all bloggers should do before writing – research, outlining, checking the facts, etc.]
Step 2 – Adding a Headline
[Include examples of headlines]
Step 3 – Writing a Blog Post
[Few tips for writers]
Step 4 – Using Images
Step 5 – Editing
[Editing tips and techniques]
[Conclude the article]
Outlines keep you focused on the structure of your post. Sometimes I write a more detailed overview, and sometimes I don’t even bother with one, but something like the outline above will work great for you most of the time.
You can write your outline on a piece of paper or in a Word/Google document; it can even be scribbled on a McDonald’s napkin. You can do pretty much whatever works for you.
3. Conduct Blogging Research
Many times you will have to write a blog post on topics that may require you to learn things about the subject that you don’t already know.
An attribute of a strong writer is the ability to provide “informative value” to the reader. Your readers will also expect you to provide them with new information, or at the very least, old information from a new perspective.
It goes without saying, but relying solely on Wikipedia as your primary source of research is a bad idea.
Yes, Wikipedia does have millions of well-researched articles, but literally, anyone can edit the content. Plus, every fact on Wikipedia is cited from links elsewhere on the internet, so why not mention the actual source?
According to a paper in Reference Services Review, Wikipedia had an overall accuracy rate of 80%, whereas other encyclopedias had an accuracy rate of 95-96%.
Thus, you have to ensure that you are choosing authentic sources, such as
- Well-researched research papers
- Genuine news websites
- Government websites
- Industry experts, etc.
4. Check Your Facts
When I started writing, a client told me that I needed to write an article on “Star Childs.” Since I was new to writing, I thought Star Childs was the same thing as Child Stars.
Without checking the facts or doing any research, I began writing the introduction. After that, I decided to Google the term to find more “child stars” and was baffled when I realized it was something entirely different from what I thought.
I could have submitted an article about a completely different topic, but my diligence and a simple Google search saved me!
Everyone makes mistakes, but it is crucial to avoid them as much as you can. As I was just starting my writing career, my credibility would have taken a massive hit.
Similarly, a piece of small, inaccurate information can hurt your credibility, even if you have a blog with thousands of loyal readers.
If you make a mistake, own up to it, and be transparent about your corrections.
How to Write a Blog Post – Step 2: Writing An Eye-Catching Headline
According to Digital Doughnut, on average, eight out of 10 people will read a headline, but only two out of 10 will read the rest of the article. This shows that the headline is an essential element of your content.
Suppose you search for a piece of exciting news to amuse yourself. Now, when you go on Google, you come across two articles:
- Omicron – The New COVID Variant.
- Anti-vaxxers, beware! The new COVID variant can be deadly!
Which one would you prefer reading first? The second one, of course!
Generally, whenever we read a headline, our minds tend to predict the complete story. Headlines like the first one are predictable and thus, discourage the reader from reading further. Catchy headlines engage our senses and initiate curiosity.
There is no rocket science behind a headline, but a writer needs to keep it balanced, catchy, and curiosity-provoking.
The headline doesn’t have to be click-bait as you don’t want your readers to be led on by your headline, only to be disappointed that the post wasn’t the mind-blowing read that was promised.
Some great headlines write themselves.
There are two approaches you can take when you are writing a blog post headline:
- Decide on your headline before you write the rest of your blog post.
- See which headline fits better when you’re done writing.
Your approach to writing a headline also depends on your audience.
For example, take a look at these super-specific headlines:
- Apple fourth-quarter profit up 62% on record sales
- Bitcoin dropped back below $54,000. Here’s how investors should react to the volatility
- Tesla hiked the price on two models by $5000, weeks after price increases on its most popular vehicles
The exact figures presented in these headlines provide some kind of context to its audience regarding the topic.
People also eat up how-to articles.
You can also opt for asking questions in your headlines, but ensure that it is a question your audience will be interested in. For example:
- Apple vs. Samsung: Who makes the better phone?
- What is wrong with the fashion industry, and how can we fix it?
- What it’s like to have Ariana Grande as ‘The Voice’ coach?
The headline creates interest. It informs the readers of what your post is about so they can decide whether it is a topic they are interested in reading. However, you have to ensure that your headline resonates with your audience.
How to Write a Blog Post – Step 3: Writing the Blog Post
So, now that you are done with your research and have settled on a headline, you’re ready to actually write! Let’s get started.
Writing a blog post can be an enjoyable, simple, and profitable adventure.
There are two approaches to writing a post: you can either sit down and complete an entire article in one sitting or do it gradually. There is no right or wrong way; do whatever works for you.
Blog-style Writing Tips
Following are some blog-style writing tips:
1. Read your competitors’ blogs
Many bloggers repack the same old content in slightly different words, and good for them, I guess? But you need to do something different.
Instead of reading blogs to find content you can steal, you need to do the complete opposite, i.e., find out what your competitors aren’t doing.
Do they have a boring blog post you think you can make more enjoyable? Do you have a unique perspective on a topic that people haven’t covered yet?
2. Teach your readers something valuable
Many individuals treat their blogs like a public diary. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but it won’t help you succeed in the long run.
The main difference between the two is that a blog teaches people something useful.
When you teach people something valuable, they will value you and the information you share on your blog. When they love your blog, they’ll come back to read more, share your content with their friends, and help grow your blog’s popularity.
3. Simplify something complicated
There are many excellent blogs out there written by experts, but the thing with experts is that they make things complicated, whereas most readers are looking for simplified answers to their questions, problems, and challenges.
4. Tell stories
Sharing the knowledge you possess is excellent, but it’s even better if you can mix in stories. People absolutely love stories. Stories are entertaining and make your content more impactful, engaging, and memorable.
How to Write a Blog Post – Step 4: Using Images
According to Jeff Bullas, posts with images get 94% more views than posts without pictures, and we agree!
Photos, videos, memes, and GIFs are vital to any blog. Besides that, diagrams, infographics, charts, tables, and other visual content can also help readers understand difficult topics.
Many of us have extremely low attention spans. Many individuals simply don’t have the time or energy to focus on lengthy blog posts without some visual stimulation.
Even a well-structured post will likely send your reader back to Instagram or Twitter within a few minutes of reading. Thus, you need to add visual content to your post for readers that need that type of stimulation to continue reading.
One of the most important reasons to include images is to break up the monotonous nature of the text. Many people skim through posts rather than focus on every word. Adding relevant photos will make your post more interesting and visually appealing.
How to Write a Blog Post – Step 5: Editing
Writing a blog post can be tricky, but editing it is even more challenging.
Your first draft is not your final draft, and chances are that neither is your second, third, or even your fourth draft!
Your blog will go through several rounds of edits before you decide to publish it.
Below are some tips to help you get through the often-dreaded editing process:
1. Utilize Grammar and Spelling Tools
Utilize Microsoft Word’s and Google Docs’ spelling and grammar tools – this will eliminate many errors. However, remember that at the end of the day, they’re just computer programs and aren’t perfect, so you might have to ignore some of the suggestions.
2. Check Readability
Test the readability of your post through readability checkers online.
3. Check Grammarly
Check Grammarly. This site will help you track down even more issues.
4. Avoid Redundant Words
Once you’re done with your first draft, read it and check for words that can be replaced to avoid repeating yourself.
Many words we use in writing are redundant. Create a list of unnecessary words, such as just, that, really, actually, very, etc., and see if you can remove any of them.
5. Ask Someone to Read Your Work
Ask a co-worker or a friend to go through your work. It isn’t a sign of weakness or failure. You’re showing that you’re committed to making your work the best as you possibly can.
6. Keep Your Sentences and Paragraphs Short
Seeing long paragraphs can be intimidating for a lot of people. This is also a common mistake that many amateur bloggers make.
Paragraphs and sentences should be short and sweet. The shorter your sections are, the more likely your readers are to keep reading.
It’s A Wrap!
Blogging is one of those things that seems easy until you have to do it. However, it does get easier with time and a lot of practice.
If you’ve followed some of the tips above and still don’t know what to write, just start writing.
Don’t worry about whether you have something interesting to say or not, what topic you should be writing about, or something else — just write!
Why? Because writing will help you clarify your thoughts. When I started writing, I deleted a dozen or so posts because I didn’t think they were interesting enough. But, by going down that path, I was able to clarify what I wanted to say and came up with some exciting ideas.