How to write your first blog post

HOW TO WRITE YOUR FIRST BLOG POST

Hi. I’m Frances and this is my first blog post.

EVERYONE HAS TO START SOMEWHERE

Here’s the thing. We all have to start somewhere. Like amoebas. If you look at any successful brand or personality, it’s quite helpful to remember that they also had to start somewhere*.

So, let’s this break down…

WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO BY WRITING A FIRST BLOG POST

And by that I mean

Let me use my first Optimistic Marketing (‘OM’ — see what I did there??) blog post to break down what we are doing here

Let’s talk about the feelings around writing your first blog post

(DISCLAIMER: For those of you who don’t know me, you will soon realise that my favourite thing to geek out about is Grammar, Words & Syntax. Love. Check out this cool Guardian Twitter account about Grammar, which looks like it’s dead but will be cool forever. Like David Bowie).

WHAT AREN’T YOU DOING

First things first. There’s a BLOG and then there’s a blog POST. This is my first blog post. It sits on my blog. OK, glad we cleared that up.

Maybe we should kick things off with what we AREN’T doing…

We are NOT going to be able to change the world / make millions / get loads of followers immediately from this first post. BUT we will do something amazing: We will get our first blog post out. YES! That’s right. Together.

Whether it’s your first blog post, first social media post, first podcast, first dance naked in the rain… whatever… it’s going to feel a bit weird. But the more you do it, the easier it will feel. Whether people agree that it is appropriate is another thing**.

At this juncture, I will let you into to a very important marketing science secret…

PUT ON THE TUNES

The music that you choose to listen to before or whilst doing some marketing things can really shape your mindset. For this first blog post exercise, I suggest you consider watching this music video, which speaks to many of the points in this post.

Do try to have fun. If you would like to hear more about having fun in business and also experience what it is to have to navigate some really annoying tech issues in front of loads of people whilst trying to run a Crowdcast event / record a podcast, listen to this.

So, here’s how to go about writing your blog post:

GET IT OUT

Just get out on paper what you are thinking first. Don’t look back. Just write. No peeking back, now!

MAKE IT POP

OK. now you can peek back. With a nice coloured highlighter, perhaps. Pick out all of the words that make you feel nice or which you think are interesting.

THINK ABOUT USING HUMOUR

There is such fascinating theory out there as to how Humour can shake up impact in business communications and also help the owner of the humour feel so much better. I highly recommend you read this book before writing your first blog post. It is not at all about writing blog posts, but it’s completely relevant and will totally psych you up.

STRUCTURE IT

Can you strip it down now so that your highlighted words and themes pop out? Is there a different order to the points? Can you split sentences into two? Can you use some headings to break it up? Think about an impactful way to kick it off. There is A LOT else out there that the reader could quickly choose to consume instead. Give your audience confidence that if they invest time in reading your post they will leave being all the wiser / feeling better.

HEAR IT

You can help yourself in many ways by reading a blog post out loud. Hearing your own voice is not only helpful in terms of identifying grammar hiccups, but it feels empowering and brings to life what you are trying to say. This may well change what you write, and hopefully it will also compel you to write more. ‘Acting out’ your blog post will also make you feel better about what you are saying and feel confident that it reflects what you do professionally.

CHECK IT

Before posting, check back to see if your blog post is:

Short (ish!)

Focussed

Puts the reader first, ideally, even if you are telling a story about yourself

REVISITING

The beauty of marketing these days is that you can often go back and edit things you write, so don’t worry too much about publishing your first blog post (also, don’t worry about publishing your blog post too much!) as it is one of those things you can change later.

Debbie Ford, the “SuperHelpful™️” social media coach says,

“The general consensus across all major social channels is that post-publishing edits don’t affect reach. However, what you don’t want to be doing is making major changes that then impact on the initial purpose or message in the post, as those that have interacted/commented may feel that you’re being disingenuous.”

MUTUAL LOVE

As you gather material that you think is interesting, you can amend your blog posts to include quotes, useful links to things that you think your audience will also be interested in, acting as an ‘aggregator’ for other content out there, paying homage to thoughts, writings, people, that you have been inspired by and would like others to know that you cheerlead. So that they get a better idea of who you are. Because that’s the point, right? And also it’s about Karmic Marketing (I’m proud of this new term. What does it conjure up for you?)

Which brings me on to the feelings bit…

IMPOSTER SYNDROME

If you are a (qualified — see Eleanor Tweddell on actual coaches) Coach, I don’t really need to tell you anything about what Imposter Syndrome is. But just bear in mind what you would tell a client battling with it.

Remember — you are sharing something interesting and will make an effort to get this post read by the people you care about, want to help and think will — in turn — pass it on.

VULNERABILITY

We will of course feel vulnerable about putting ourselves out there, especially at first. But I feel a lot of excitement about Vulnerability. A lot of people are talking about it these days as being THE go-to business tool. The magic that happens when you break down barriers, be yourself and share your story — being up front, showing your workings and not hiding behind a corporate facade (by the way, corporates too can do very vulnerable very successfully) leads to the most brilliant Self Marketing of all.

If you fancy reading some more around Vulnerability, my friend Garry Turner recommends these books: Dare to Lead by Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness — also by Brene Brown & Masks of Masculinity by Lewis Howes

*If you’re the kind of person who specifically likes to hear about

HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE-DOING-THE-SAME-THING-AS-YOU DID IT

… then you might like to listen to this podcast about how the super successful Coach, Ruth Kudzi started out — with one email. But you also don’t need to aim so high and can feel very successful with just a fraction of the following that Ruth has — we can talk about TARGETS another time…

NOW, DO YOU FEEL A BIT BETTER ABOUT WRITING YOUR FIRST BLOG POST?

I’m going to leave it there. But if you would like to tell me if you do feel a bit better (I’d love that… both the fact that you do and hearing about it!), or if you would like to hear more from me about how to feel more confident about marketing yourself, please follow me in all of the usual places, or better still, join the community.

If you can share this blog post in some way, with others that you think might find it useful, I’d be grateful. Here are some ideas for you about how to share this post and market yourself at the same time:

Share this post alongside your own first blog post, in a social media post about writing your first blog post

Share this post in a Coaching Community group in which you think there will be members that are considering starting a blog or upping their game

Share with your existing clients, if you have clients who do or might like to blog

Share this with someone who you would like to hear more from, to invite them to blog

WHAT I DO

I create space and provide accountability mentoring for Coaches struggling with their Marketing. Practically and Emotionally. In a world where more and more people want to give back effectively, and loads of people are training to become Coaches, I offer 121 strategic support to help you remember and work with what makes YOU stand out. My mission is to enable you to remember why you’re in this, and to feel confident about getting out there.

Together, we can measure the results of your marketing (not least through how it’s making you feel) so you can iterate your process as you go — i.e. shake things up when they don’t make you feel good. You cannot fail, because failing isn’t a thing. It’s about (re)accessing what you already have and (continually) enjoying the work.

BLOG TEASER 1:

Being clear about your business targets and your marketing is knowing what to do to grow your business just enough to make you happy as much as possible. I will write something about TARGETS soon.

BLOG TEASER 2:

** This is neither a suggestion that you should go around dancing naked necessarily, nor am I suggesting that you go out of your way to shock your audience just to get a reaction. But please do take this as “showing a bit of ankle” that we will get on to that stuff at some other point.

I am also going to write a blog post about footnotes and asterisks at some point too — not sure how I feel about them, to be honest.

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