Hey Gorgeous People,
Strap in, the Class is in session; Blogging 101 If you haven’t seen the previous post on this series, Head over now. Before jumping on Do’s and Don’ts for your First Blog Post. Trust me, its worth the effort and time. Start here, How to start a Blog: 8 Easy steps then head over to; What you did not know about content creation. An absolute incredible collaboration done with the finest Bloggers, photographers and YouTubers world wide. If am being honest, one of my best piece to date by far. Now that you are fully caught up. It goes without saying, congratulation for officially taking the plunge on creating your blog. Now let’s get down and dirty to your first post. I am talking about the Do’s and Don’ts for your First Blog Post.
Lets Take a trip down memory lane, Shall we?
I remember my first blog post like it was only yesterday. (1 year 7 months Later.) Trust me the feeling doesn’t go away for a very very very long time. It was a fashion piece. I wrote it from my galaxy note 4 at the time, on my free WordPress blog. (www.misskymmiee.wordpress.com) My first blog name at the time was Blogger by chance (*cringes.) I had good writing skills but basic to zero knowledge in blogging. 1st Blog post written, I hit Publish (Don\t get me started on the excitement)… I went over to my Instagram, posted about it, like a new mum talking about her baby. The reaction I received was so unreal, people were so supportive it was insane.
I will have to be very honest, The internet can be cruel, I have seen it happen. So taking those first steps, exposing myself to all the scrutiny, needed more than a leap of faith. So when I received, all that positive heart-warming energy, I was over the moon excited. And I knew right in there in that moment I had made one of the best decisions of my life. (It wouldn’t have stopped me if I got negative energy, but it wouldn’t have given me the boost I needed. Ha!) Mind you, My post wasn’t anything extraordinary, this was just a girl with her cellphone pouring her words into the internet. The only thing that had me going was my writing skills were on point. From there on, I made it my mission to read and research everything and nothing blog related and fast forwarding to date, where we have MissKymmiee Creatives, built from the ground up by yours truly.
Long story short. There are a million of things I wish I knew pertaining the Do’s and Don’ts for my First Blog Post. The circumstances did not stop me from creating my magic ( or what I thought was magic at the time) However, you are in luck today, because I will share with you the Do’s and Don’ts for your First Blog Post. Something I wish was available when I started blogging a year and 7 months ago. The beauty is, this key points apply not only to your first blog post, but anytime you have your post ready before hitting that Publish Button. I am no expert on everything blogging, but I will be damned if I don’t share all the information I have acquired over the year and half. After all, they say, Information is Power. Right? well Lets do this
10 Do’s and Don’ts for your First Blog Post Before Hitting the Publish Button:
Not long ago, you were staring at the blinking cursor on your computer. Now you have a full first blog post, High Five. Now lets break it down on the Do’s and Don’ts for your First Blog Post, am talking Before Publishing. I am going to be precise as possible, but feel free to leave me a comment where you might need extra elaborations. Here goes…
1. Have A Catchy Title:
Quick question? What made you Click on this post? Defiantly one of the two, The Title or the Thumbnail (I will cover this up soon #5) If you want people to read your content, you have to think out of the box and come up with a catchy title, that will intrigue people into reading more about what the title has to say. I am talking about Catchy, not click-bate titles (This refers to the type of post titles that advertise something that isn’t 100%) This is a don’t in the Do’s and Don’ts for your First Blog Post. It will get you short-term traffic and hurt your blog credibility in the long run. Below are two examples of titles to further explain it.
- How to increase your blog conversion rates
- How to increase your blog traffic using Pinterest (10 pro tips)
I know which one am picking! The first will need you to break what the heck a conversion rate is and it’s just not catchy. The 2nd is catchy, precise and to the point. I will be damned if I do not open it.
2. Make it Easy to Read
With the advancement in technology, People have few and few patience to read. Plus, everyone is in a quick fix for solutions. Having that in the back of the mind will help you create a bomb-ass post (excuse my french.) Question though: How on earth do you make a post easy to read. Easy, Use great english but not complicated words, just say hard instead of abstruse. Have a great and strong intro.Use headings, sub headings and bullets to break a blog post. Include Graphics to make it more engaging, lastly Be direct to the point.
3. SEO your Post
This was one of the hardest thing for me. I did not know about it until a year later into the blogging world. Its embarrassing Honestly! I will need to write a separate post on it. However, for now and in simpler explaining, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This refers to the use of keywords in blog post to help your post rank well in the search engines such as google. Wait what? I know it was confusing for me as well. Take this post for example my key words are Do’s and Don’ts for your First Blog Post. If you read it quite well, you would have noticed I strategically placed them from time to time.
This helps when someone searches for information related to my keyword in search engines and my post seems to pop up. The same way you notice information popping up on google. There is a reason some are on first page and others on page 99. You are welcome!
Basically, you want to include the keyword in six places on your post:
- the title
- the URL (for WordPress, this is your permalink)
- the meta description or post snippet
- your subheadings
- Throughout your content
- in your image names (change the default name to one with a keyword)
I use the Yoast SEO Plugging its free for download on self hosted sites. I suggest installing it, because it’s a definite lifesaver and will show you when to do what and why, Oh did I mention its free? It’s super easy to add your focus keyword in your title and meta description, see below,
4. Proof Reading and Writing
There is nothing more annoying like poor grammar in a blog. God its such a turn off. You do not even have to be a perfect writer to accomplish this. Thank you to technology, you can have your work proof written before hand. The annoying part is having to see poor grammars and typos’ in a blog even with just a press of button to avoid it. It screams, incompetency, luck of professionalism and in a word amateur. This will affect your blog. i mean think of it, if you can’t take time to read and re-read your work, how on earth do you expect people to actually take the time or day? Some errors you have to spot them with your eyes, so don’t be lazy, take the time to polish your work.
5. Alt Attribution Images:
Everyone can have images on their blog posts. Images on the post and the featured image alright. However having Alt attributions helps to set you apart. Think of this as keywords on your images. This helps search engines to rank your post higher and in return more traffic. Because the search engines are able to crawl and communicate with your blog post. So always add the keyword used on your post in all the images added on the Alt text section plus the alt text will automatically be added to the “description” when someone pins an image from your site.
6. End with a Question or Call-To-Action (C.A.T)
A simple and effective way to encourage your readers to interact and engage with your post is to ask a question at the end of it. It can be as simple as “What tips did you find helpful?” The point is to encourage people to become part of the conversation. When people comment, you can deepen and extend the comments or pose another question. This makes for loyal readers because people will know you’re paying attention and that their opinion is important to you.
You can even install a poll plugin and add a poll at the end of your post, then highlight that conversation on social media and re-share the post. This type of extended sharing amplifies the community and interaction and shows that you value conversation. Or why not add an activity at the end of the posts that people can do? This gives you another legitimate way to share your blog post again and get even more engagement.
7. Add Links to Other Posts
In one word it’s called Interlinking. I have actually done this in the intro part of this post, if you hadn’t noticed. I referred you to the previous series in Blogging 101. This build linking helps search engines to rank you higher, because it looks like you are credible and have a lot to offer. This is a form of internet voting in a way. Basically think of it as a vote for yourself that show Google the importance of your post. The more links you have, the better your chances of search engines finding you and in turn, getting more traffic to your site.
There two ways to do interlinking, you can weave links int text manually like so, MissKymmiee Creatives or by listing them at the end of the post.
Previously on Blogging 101 by MissKymmiee
8. Make It DownLoadable:
One of the fastest ways I’ve seen to build your mailing list is to offer a “content upgrade”, where you turn your post into a checklist, workbook, or template that people can download. It’s basically a printable version of your post.
This works on so many levels:
First, it’s a really valuable resource for your readers, especially if you’ve got great tips in your post (which I’m sure you do!). Most likely people won’t be able to act on everything you mention right away and the PDF gives them something to reference later. I don’t know how many times I’ve bookmarked or saved a post to Evernote and then can’t find it when I need it. Having a PDF on hand is much more convenient.
Second, it’s a powerful asset for your business. Just add a pop-up where people enter their contact info and poof! – just like that you’ve got new subscribers. Plus, you know what interests them so you can send them related tips in your emails.
Here are some ways to do a content upgrade:
- Copy your post verbatim and save it as a PDF
- Expand on your post a bit with a worksheet, blueprint, or action plan.
It really depends on how much time you have to create your freebie.
9. Make It Sharable
I recommend installing the Shareaholic or SumoMe (for WordPress) plugin to your site. Both of these will let you easily add social share buttons to your post and encourage people to share it with their followers and fans. They also show “social proof” – the more shares people see on your post, the more they’ll want to share it too.
Here are two great ways to use them:
- Add share buttons to the beginning, end, or left side of your post.
- Add them directly to your blog post images so people can share those too. Tip: change the settings so the buttons only appear on blog post images, not your other pages. See how when you hover over the image, the social buttons appear? Pretty cool!!
10. Publish It Like a Boss
Congratulation on officially completing your 1st Blog post. The feeling on hitting publish on the 1st post or the 100th Post never Ever Dies down. It’s an incredible and rewarding feeling. However, don’t abandon your blog after publishing, put more efforts to market and advertise your content. Using social medias, Pinterest, Tribes and Email Lists. The aim is to increase traffic and engagement ( Stay tune for more on this in the upcoming weeks.) Test the internal links to make sure they work, make sure your content upgrade link is working, check for typos one last time, and make sure your featured image and blog post images are on-brand and reflect your aesthetic.
Lastly, be active and respond, to questions, comments and concerns. Make your readers feel valued and important.
Hit Publish, grab a glass of wine, and pat yourself on the back. You’re done – woo!
Next up –> Blog Checklist: 7 Things to Do After Your Post Goes Live
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How about Nominating me for AFSA’s Fashion Blogger/Writer of the Year- Africa All you have to do is click the link and fill the form. Super Easy. See Details Below.
1st Name: Kymmiee
2nd Name: Simon
phone number: 0758267922
address: 7392 Arusha