Don’t we all wish blog posts would just write themselves. It’s really hard to get started sometimes, especially when you feel like it’s going to take you hours and hours, time that we don’t have.
Writing your first ever blog post is especially daunting. Where to start? What words to put? How to know if it’s any good?
The good news is that anyone can write a blog post. You can too! Here are five easy steps to get the deed done.
1. Pretend you have a 2 hour deadline
If you find yourself getting stuck, imagine this: You aren’t really writing this blog post for you. You are writing it for an incredibly time constrained client, and they want it done now.
You have two hours to hand it in. Which means you better get writing. Don’t know what to write about? Pick the first thing that comes to your mind.
You have to vomit those words out as if your life depended on it. It doesn’t have to be any good. It just has to finish.
Perfectionism is the biggest hindrance to writing just about anything. I actually found that the more I overthink things, the worse the final product gets.
Just write it without spending too much time on it. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes or if your sentences sound like something your five-year-old daughter could have done.
Don’t fix as you go along. Just let yourself get it out. You have two hours. Go.
2. Give it a rest before you edit
Once you’ve written your draft and made it as perfect you can in those two hours, you can go through and do a rough edit. But don’t spend too much time at this point on fidgeting and changing little words here and there. Instead, give the draft a rest for a day or two. Come back to it then, and read it with fresh eyes. You’ll be amazed at how easily you will be able to spot mistakes and notice where you’ve done well.
Some parts will be much better than you thought. Other things won’t work at all.
It’s super hard to spot what is what right after having written it. Perspective through time away makes the process a million times easier.
3. Play around
At this point in time you’re almost done with your very first blog post. You could publish it now. What I like to do though is add the finishing touches through a process of playfulness.
Copy the blog post to a new document so you don’t ruin what you just did. Give yourself an hour of playtime. You already have a finished blog post so you’ve got nothing to fear. Play around with words, structure and metaphors. See if you can find a way to add some flavour. What happens if you compare the process of building a new website to creating a cake? Would adding a real life example from your life clarify things?
4. Read all versions
Save all the different versions you’ve created in each its own document. Now, give yourself another rest. Could be an hour, could be a week. The longer the better in my opinion.
Read each version with new eyes and pick the one you like the most.
5. Publish it
It can feel scary to publish your very first blog post. Is it good enough? Will it make people cringe? Maybe you’re not really happy with it, and that’s okay. It takes time to develop a writing style and to know what you like writing about. It can be very tempting to not publish what you’ve done, but you haven’t got anything to lose, and it’s easy to be so caught up in perfectionism that you will never get started. And if you never start, nothing is ever going to happen.
So what’s your first blog post going to be about?