Update: this post has been updated and compiled with other similar posts into ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging – a week long guide into getting your blog going on the right foot.
Lets kick off our new series on what to do on the first week of a new blog with the most obvious task. Once your blog is set up and functioning it’ll need some posts for it to be truly live.
Image by Brian Lane Winfield Moore
In many ways this task should have begun in the pre-launch stage of your blog as it is very handy to have a number of posts written and saved as drafts before you launch. This means that during your launch week you can free yourself up a little to focus upon other activities.
Types of Content for Your First Week of Blogging
The content that you write will vary depending upon the type of blog you’re running and it’s topic – however some of your early posts might include:
- an introduction to the blog and what it’ll be about – his could double up as your about page.
- your story – one of the best types of posts for establishing a relationship with readers is a post where you share your own story as it pertains to your niche. Again – this could function as a type of about page (or at least be linked to from your about page.
- pillar content – most topics have topics in them that could function as a pillar type article for your blog. By this I mean topics that are central to your overall topic that will contain solid advice that you’ll be linking to again and again. Getting these types of posts written early is important as they’ll both show that you are tackling the important issues in your niche and they’ll give you something to point new readers to. For example – on my photography blog I set about writing posts early on on the central themes of good exposure – shutter speed, aperture and ISO.
- epic posts/viral content – this can be hard to do when you don’t have a lot of experience with blogging but one strategy to get things kick started is to start off a blog with an ‘epic’ post that is written with the hope of getting attention. It’s hard to define this type of post but they’re the type of things that get passed around on Twitter, that do well on social bookmarking sites and that get emailed from friend to friend. These posts are often comprehensive lists, humorous posts, controversial topics or epic guides to topics.
- a short series of posts – sometimes having a series of posts at the beginning of a blog can be worthwhile as it helps to create a sense of momentum on your blog. Someone new visiting is immediately given incentive to come back or subscribe because they want to see what you’ll be producing tomorrow that relates to what they’ve just written.
As mentioned above – this content writing task should really begin before you go live.
I would normally suggest launching a blog with 2-3 posts already live and another 5-10 posts saved as drafts. Having a range of posts ready to go as drafts means that you’re free to do other stuff but that you’ve also got a range of types of posts ready to go as the need arrives.
Establish a Posting Rhythm
Related to this task is that of thinking about the frequency of publishing (something you’ll want to establish early also).
The frequency that you publish posts in the first week will vary from blog to blog but I’d normally start with at least 3-4. If something that you publish does get some decent traffic try to publish another post that follows it up in some way the next day as it’s important to keep the momentum flowing.
It’s also important not to push too much of your content out too quickly. The temptation after launching is to just publish everything you have at once. This unfortunately leaves you with nothing in reserve. Be patient and establish the kind of posting frequency that you’ll continue with when your blog has been going for a while.
Further Reading on Blog Content:
Writing compelling content on a blog doesn’t usually just happen – it takes time to find your voice and establish a style of writing that connects and engages. However a lot can be learned early on with a little reading and lots of practice. Here are a handful of posts that will help you to get your mind into gear on this crucial topic:
- How to Get in Tune with Your Readers Needs and Produce Compelling Content (first post in a series of posts)
- How to Craft a Blog Post (another series about taking ‘good’ content to ‘great content’ by taking a little extra time at each of 10 different points in the writing process
- 7 Types of Blog Posts which Always Seem to Get Links and Traffic
- 7 Tips on How to Write Sticky, Memorable Blog Posts
- How to Write Great Blog Content – a collection of post from the ProBlogger archives
What You Said about Blog Content in the First Week of Blogging:
Last week I asked readers what they advise bloggers do in their first week of blogging. Many of the responses so far have centred around this topic of writing content for a blog. Here is some of that advice from our readers:
“Have 7 or 8 posts written and scheduled posting for the next 2 wks.” – Rachel
“Write at least 10 blog posts – advice, lists, personal, a video – and add each one every day for the first 10 days.” – Andrew
“What we did right out of the gate was write out a series of post that all went with one theme for our first week, the 2nd weeks theme coat-tailed the 1st weeks theme and the 3rd week coat-tailed the 2nd… Next week we are going to be tying everything together…” –
“If you’re really serious about building a blog for the long term, I think the most important thing to do is create a posting schedule. Be honest with yourself and don’t overestimate what you can do, but do commit to a schedule. This has helped me through little dips when I lacked motivation.” – Peter
“In the first few weeks of a blog, I would suggest you concentrate on creating 10 to 20 awesome posts.” – Tee Riddle
“Post to your blog! No matter how excited you’ve made people about the launch of your blog, they’ll stop visiting if new content is too infrequent.” – Laurajr
“Create valuable content at the very beginning. Include several pillar posts and content that engages the reader and creates a impact.” – Mathew Day
“Before even you setup blog, create rough drafts of atleast 5-10 original posts you are going to write.” – Harsh
“My advice is to launch into writing a series of posts. Something with a timeframe like ‘every day this week I’m going to explore a different …’ or ‘every Monday I will put the spotlight on …’ or ‘every month I will interview a well known …’ and so on. It puts the pressure on a bit but it’s great for motivation!” – Kerrin
“Write something EVERY DAY. Writers write. You don’t have to *publish* everything you write – the ’save draft’ button is your best friend. But scribble in a notebook or keep a draft word processing doc; write something. Set aside some time – 15 minutes, a half-hour – and write something. Your writing muscles (and that elusive voice everyone keeps talking about) only develop if you use them.” – Pat
“Take your time to craft a couple of really great posts. And enjoy being able to do so without feeling pressured to churn out content (you’ll have those chomping-at-the-bit readers soon enough!) Never think that it’s a waste of time to produce your very best work at the start of your blog’s life: you can link back to these early posts as your blog grows.” – Ali
“Don’t burn off a lot of time writing a first post that basically welcomes readers. You’d figure the initial post — the hello, world! part — would be among the most important assignments you give yourself. You’d be wrong. Instead, put your energies into a brilliant on-topic post that’ll have great shelf life — a so-called tentpost article.” – Glenn
In coming days, as part of this series, we’ll talk a little more about content. In the mean time – feel free to add more of your own tips and experiences. What type of content did you publish in the first week of your blog?