Blog Post Writing Tips for Beginners
Ah! You’ve started a blog and you’re getting to ready to write your first post! Exciting, right?!?! Well, actually you might be struck with writer’s block. And holy cow, that is SO normal! You’ve been so focused on starting a blog, picking colors, a logo, pictures… it’s hard to transition into the mindset of writing a blog post!
So, if you’re ready to write a post, use these tips to help you get started!
First, Plan Your Blog Post
Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas
Your first step is to decide what the heck to write about! Whenever you’re deciding what to write about, think, “How can I help solve a problem that my reader might have?” I shared all about this strategy in my post about blog post writing tips.
To help spark your creative juices, head over to Pinterest and search your niche! For example, in search bar type, “parenting tips,” “women’s health,” “makeup tips.” Don’t copy someone’s post, but use the ideas that come up to spark inspiration for your own blog post.
You can use this same strategy by searching in Google, too! Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and look under the heading, “Searches related to…” Here’s what came up when I searched “blogging tips.”
Write an Outline
After you’ve picked a topic for your blog post, you’ll need to write an outline. Don’t skip this step! Writing your blog post will be much more difficult and take a lot longer if you don’t write an outline.
When writing your outline, think of the main points your blog post will cover. These main points will be used as subheadings as you’re writing your post!
See how within this post I’ve already used 3 subheadings? They give you an idea of what you’re about to read. It helps your brain more easily digest what it’s reading and keep your reader on your blog longer.
Add Notes to Your Outline
Add as many notes and ideas to your outline as you can – points you want to make or steps to cover. The more you add to your outline, the easier it will be to actually write your blog post.
Write Your Blog Post in WordPress
Writing a Captivating Introduction
Now that you have your outline, it’s time to actually write your blog post! Remember at the beginning when I talked about writing a post that solves a problem your reader has? Open your blog post by pinpointing that problem and validating the emotions your reader might be feeling about it (see my intro to this post 😉).
Then, use your outline to write your post! Since you’ve already done the heavy lifting of creating an outline, writing your blog post should go much faster.
Break Up Text Into Short Paragraphs
As you’re writing your blog post, keep in mind that it’s really hard for people to read a big block of text. In order to have readers stay on our page and actually read through our content, we need to break it up into subheadings that are easy to follow. Would you rather read the text on the left or the right?!
Add a Call to Action at the End
At the end of every blog post, make sure you call your reader to take action. Some ideas include…
- Offering a free PDF or download that they can get by subscribing to your email list
- Creating a Pinterest pin that they can use to save the post for later
- Following you on Instagram/Facebook
- Joining your free Facebook group
How to Format Your Blog Post
How to Insert Headings Using WordPress Gutenberg
I recorded this quick video to show you how you can add headings in to your WordPress blog post using the Gutenberg editor.
Add a “Read More” Block
In many WordPress themes, your homepage will include a feed of your latest posts. Some themes rely on the “More” tag to know where to cut off the preview of your blog post text on the homepage. You can add this tag using a block in the Gutenberg editor.
Towards the beginning of your blog post, make you can add this block using the method I described in the video above about adding headers. Click the + icon and search “More,” to use the More tag.
Adjusting Your Blog Post Settings
Along the left-hand side of the WordPress Gutenberg editor is a menu with settings to adjust for your blog post. At the top of the menu, make sure you have “Document” selected, not “Block.”
Not every setting needs to be adjusted, but here are the most important ones.
This is the URL slug of your blog post. For example, www.organizedblogging.com/[what goes here is the permalink].
Make your permalink accurate to your blog, yet concise. Try to take out wordds like a, the, to, for. These are called stop words and usually unnecessary in the slug.
For this post, instead of using the full, long, title, I chose the slug /write-format-blog-post-wordpress-gutenberg. It includes the most important words about the post (which is important for Google and Pinterest), while still being concise.
Next, pick the category (or categories) for your blog post. It’s really important to do this for every blog post so you don’t have to go back and do it later.
Categories help organize the posts on your blog. With each category, WordPress will create a page with a feed of those posts. For example, on this blog you can go to www.organizedblogging.com/category/writing-tips to see the feed of posts from my Writing Tips category. I’ve linked to that category page on my homepage so my readers can easily see all my posts about blog post writing tips.
You can always add/edit these posts in your WordPress dashboard by going to Posts > Categories.
Depending on your niche, you may want to also use tags. They add another level of categorization to your posts beyond categories.
For example, maybe on a home improvement blog you have a category called Furniture. Tags may include chalk paint, stain, refinishing, waxing, design plans, etc.
It’s important to choose a featured image for every post, which is often used as the thumbnail of your post when you’re sharing it on the internet. It’s also used throughout your blog when you’re sharing a feed of posts.
Optimizing with Yoast SEO
One of my favorite free WordPress plugins is Yoast SEO. It will help you check off several boxes to make sure your blog post is written and formatted well.
After downloading the plugin, there will be a simple box below the Gutenberg editor where you can edit the meta information for your blog post! This information is the preview that shows up when your blog post shows up on Google, Pinterest, or when you’re sharing on Facebook.
In the box, you can also make sure your blog post is readable, and choose a focus keyphrase (like a keyword for SEO) and ensure it will be easy for Google to tell what your blog post is about.
Blog Post Checklist
So, to round it out, for every blog post make sure you…
- Brainstorm Post Ideas
- Write an Outline
- Add Notes to Your Outline
- Write a Captivating Introduction
- Break Up Text Into Small Paragraphs
- Add a Call-to-Action (Such as a Pinterest pin)
- Insert Headings
- Add a Read More Block
- Adjust Your Blog Post Settings (Permalink, Categories, Tags, Featured Image)
- Edit the meta data in Yoast SEO and optimize for readability and focus keyphrase