After you've gone through the effort of setting up a site for a new blog, the next -- and perhaps, the most intimidating -- task is writing your first post.
Typical "First Post" Types
There's no hard-and-fast rule about what a first post should include. It's your blog; write what you wish. However, three different first-post archetypes help tee up the blog's purpose for new readers.
Consider an inaugural post that describes the website overall. Although some blog tools put the blog itself as the primary site content, some tools -- as well as some businesses and community groups -- incorporate a blog as a communications tool within a larger set of Web pages. A post that gives readers a lay of the land for how to use the site provides a useful roadmap for readers and ensures that your first post starts out with value-added content.
Blogs that are run by a single person or small group often coalesce around specific themes or subjects. Use your first post to clarify the purpose of the blog -- its intended audience, the kinds of content readers should expect, posting frequency, etc. Especially for themed or special-interest blogs, starting with a clear statement of purpose not only clues potential readers about whether they should follow the site, but also serves as a mission statement for contributors to keep content on point.
Tell your audience a bit about you. Blogs that focus on one person's personal or professional experiences benefit from an inaugural post that identifies the author. Emphasize the things that you'll be writing about -- for example, if you intend to blog frequently about your adventures in scuba diving, let your first blog post share your current dive certifications and favorite dive experience. Give readers context to understand why later posts unfold as they do.
Because no two blogs are the same, a cookie-cutter approach to writing is futile. However, the way you present your information can help increase traffic and earn followers.
- Provide some valuable take-away for the reader. First posts that are essentially "Hi, this is my new blog, check back soon for updates" give the reader no incentive to return to the site. Avoid the placeholder and let your first post be substantive.
- Blog consistently. The first post is the initial step in a long journey toward becoming a favorite online destination for readers. By committing to a regular schedule, you'll establish your status as a blogger who should be followed.
- Share your blog post with your social-media network. Because no one knows the blog exists, you'll need to generate traffic by tweeting your post and sharing it on Facebook, LinkedIn or whatever social platforms you ordinarily use.
Avoid putting personal contact information, including your full email address, on the Web. Emails are scraped by programs that send spam emails, and providing information like your street address and phone number exposes you to harassment by people who may not like what you post.