On the technical side, your blog is all set up and ready to go. When it comes to creating blog posts, the world is your oyster.
Brainstorm blog topics
The majority of your blog posts will come from personal experiences, passions, successes, failures and new learnings.
People use questions as search queries, like:
- What should I write about?
- What to blog about?
- Should I start blogging?
So naturally, you should start off with some questions of your own. I use a series of questions and a systematic process to come up with my blog topic ideas.
No need to worry. It’s not complicated and it won’t take very much time.
By following this process, you should be able to come up with about 50 working topics within a half hour of distraction-free time.
Pull out a pen and paper or open up your favorite word processing tool.
The goal of this exercise is to get 10 answers for each question. If you can think of more, note them all.
It’s time to look through the lens of your readers with these 5 questions.
1. What excites, intrigues or stirs passion in my readers?
- As a golfer, I get excited by hitting my driver farther. I’m fascinated by mental performance. I’m passionate about healthy living.
- As a new stay-at-home mom, I get excited by budget-friendly ideas for the family. I’m intrigued by sleep-training. I’m passionate about homeschooling.
- As an avid camper, I get excited about finding undervalued camping sites. I’m intrigued by survival tactics. I’m passionate about minimalist living.
2. What are common challenges my readers go through?
- Golfers might struggle with slicing the ball.
- Stay-at-home moms may find meal planning challenging.
- Campers might struggle with packing light.
3. What character traits do my readers possess?
- Serious golfers have emotional stability.
- Moms are patient and have a sense of humor.
- Campers are adventurous and resourceful.
4. What do your readers love about your niche?
- Golfers love the challenge of perfection.
- Stay-at-home moms love being a part of their child’s mental, physical and emotional development.
- Campers love time away from the busy city life.
5. What do your readers hate about your niche?
- Golfers hate playing with partners who complain all day long.
- Stay-at-home moms hate being looked down on by others.
- Campers hate getting eaten alive.
You get the point. Now that you have about 50 answers, you can begin dissecting blog post ideas from each answer. The sky is the limit.
Here are a few examples you can extract from one answer in your list:
- Cure Your Slice: The Foolproof Guide To Hit The Fairway Every Time
- 3 Reasons Why You’re Slicing The Ball And One Stupid Simple Fix
- Never Slice Again: 9 Drills To Play Like The Pros
- 7 Training Aids For Dead Straight Ball Flight
- How To Shoot Even Par With A Nasty Slice.
Try to come up with a catchy headline that will draw your readers in and then throw them a one-two punch in the rest of your content.
Write your first masterpiece
WordPress uses an intuitive editor, similar to your favorite word processing tools. New entries are created directly from your WordPress admin.
Click on “Posts” in the left sidebar.
This will populate a list of your blog entries in descending order. Since we’re working with a fresh install, you won’t see anything here.
To create a new entry, click the “Add New” button at the top or in the sidebar.
You’ll be brought to the editor and you can begin blogging.
Click the “Toolbar Toggle” icon to get a few more editing options to spruce up your posts. The new tools are especially useful when creating subheadings throughout your articles.
First things first. Add one of the titles that you developed in your brainstorming session in the title text box. Immediately after, WordPress will create a permalink based on the keywords used in your title.
You can start typing the body of your article in the large text area and write until you feel happy with your content.
You’ll want to add visual assets to your blog posts as well. Images help engage readers and can often illustrate concepts better than words.
To add new images, ensure that your text cursor is in the place where you want your image to appear. Click the “Add Media” button.
Now, drag and drop your image file into the media box.
After your image has uploaded, select your image and click the “Insert into post” button. You can format sizes and add hyperlinks to your images if you wish.
Your image will automatically insert into your post. Here’s what your post will look like.
After you’ve completed your article, you’ll need to make a few last minute optimizations using the Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast has post specific settings that can be found immediately under the main text area.
The 4 main settings are “SEO title,”“slug,” “meta description” and “focus keyword.”
Completing these settings will generate a preview of what your post will look like when it is discovered in Google’s search engine results.
Create SEO titles that are attractive to click and meta descriptions that explain what your post is about.
The Yoast SEO plugin will provide real-time feedback, as you begin to optimize your title and description.
Aim for as many green lights as possible, but don’t stress if you’re unable to get a perfect score. If you can get 80% green lights, then you’re on the right track.
Finally, if your blog has thumbnails, you should set a featured image. Featured images are thumbnails that appear above each post.
You can set your featured image by clicking on “Set featured image” at the bottom of the right sidebar.
The media window will pop-up, and it’s just a matter of dragging and dropping your photo. Once the upload is complete, click the “Set featured image” button.
Before you publish your post, you can view what your blog post will look like by clicking the “preview” button at the top of the page.
Before you hit that publish button, you want to make sure that your entry looks and feels the way that you want it to.
Here’s a quick checklist to consider, before you hit the publish button:
- Speak in a conversational tone.
- Content flows naturally.
- Easy on the eyes with adequate white space.
- Use headings to separate sections.
- Bullet points and lists.
- Check for typos and grammatical errors.
If everything checks out, you’re ready to publish your first blog post.
Scroll to the top of the page and click the publish button to post immediately.
And, here’s what my final post looks like.
Congratulations. You’ve successfully set up a blog that looks great and is optimized for search engine traffic. Feels good right?