sly : marketing

The Blogging Barrrier to Economic Wealth

I’m creating a brand new blog for my first client. And that got me thinking.

The first blog post is a barrier, but should it be any different than any of the other posts.

It seems that whatever I’m thinking of; the hardest part, the most exciting part, and the part where I keep staring at the screen without typing a single word, it’s always the beginning.

And right now. I’m thinking that the beginning can also be the end.

When I start out writing a blog post, thoughts are going back and forth in my head. It’s like table tennis.I’m standing on both sides of the table, and the ball keeps bouncing faster and faster, and I’m running from one side to the other, again and again. But, I’m not tired. No, not at all. I keep hitting the ball, but the pace is so high, I understand that it will be impossible to keep going for much longer.

The beginning is not just the end, but it’s what shapes the future.

The table tennis ball is a metaphor for thoughts, and the beginning of an article, or a blog post.

Thoughts like; is this the right topic, will anyone be interested at all, and why am I writing this? I’m never thinking about this when I start writing a blog post for my own blog. That’s because I know that I have readers, and I know that some might not like it, and some might. It’s not a big deal, because it’s my blog, and not my client’s.

And, what if I don’t have any answers?

Write what’s on your mind

I love to write. In fact, I like to party with my words, without hardly thinking about **the consequences**. I keep pushing them to the limits, and forcing them to dance with me. Many times, it doesn’t feel like a good idea, but I keep doing it. I’m a terrible dancer. And anyone can spot me from a distance. But, I keep practicing, and I know that, even though it’s embarrassing right now; one day, I’ll show whoever’s watching, that my words are like music, and instead of me dancing, they’ll keep playing and people will be dancing on their own, without me being around to see it.

But. The beginning. The birth of a blog. That’s different.

I keep staring. I keep stalling.

I don’t remember how I started writing my blog. I just did. It was years ago. I probably wrote about myself, and why I started the blog. Isn’t that what we all do?

Maybe we should have a pre-defined opening on a brand new blog, “Hello World.” I know what you’re thinking. That’s boring. Write what’s on your mind. Write like the blog is many years old, and don’t think about the consequences. I write a lot better when I don’t think. That’s the brutal truth.

It comes naturally. Because it’s fun. Because it feels like the right thing to do.

But. The beginning. The birth of a blog. That’s different. That’s because I keep thinking that the beginning is what’s shaping the future. And it seems to be too important. If I mess up my first post. That’s it. I’ll mess up everything.

I know it’s not true. But it feels… well, important, and it’s like the first blog post is waiting for me, like a jury, and they’ll stop at the first mistake. The first misspelled word, and it’s over.

No structure

I’m starting a brand new blog for a client, and I’m stuck, thinking that the first post is the most important post and that it will define the success of the blog. And, that the beginning can be the end.

I’m sure that my client doesn’t have any thoughts about this at all. It’s just me.

Your turn

What’s your thoughts?

How should you start a new blog, what should the first post be about? Should you write whatever’s on your mind? Or should you spend extra time crafting your first post, and make it something special, something people will remember for a long time?



49 responses to “The Blogging Barrrier to Economic Wealth”

  1. Bill Dorman says:

    You can always write about me for your first blog post if you’d like……..

    You certainly want it to be worthy but I think you can get too hung up on it trying to be perfect as well. I think it would be better if it was sincere, from the heart and you just let it flow. With a blog, you have many opportunities to keep fine tuning what you want it to look like when it grows up.

    That’s my story for today…….

    • Hey Bill,

      It’s a brilliant idea to write the first post about you. I’m not kidding. It could be a post about relationship marketing, and the importance of being personal as a business.

      Now, you’ve got me thinking πŸ™‚

  2. Adrienne says:

    Hey Jens,

    I’m sure that corporate blogs may be a little different, I would think, but my suggestion would be to just make it an introduction about what the readers can expect to see on the blog. Why the company decided to create it and maybe even ask some questions. See if they have questions about some products that can be addressed. Just throwing it out there since I’m not quite sure the direction you’ll be taking it.

    I know Ruth is the pro in this area but we’ve also discussed many times how companies need to make their blogs much more personal too. I have a feeling you’re going to make it a huge success either way!

    πŸ™‚

    • Hey Adrienne,

      I’m thinking of just writing it, and making it a combination of part introduction and part information about what’s coming. This way I have written it, and broken a barrier. The first post is always the hardest. After that I just want them to be easy to write, and the more I write, the easier it will be.. I’m sure of that πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for your support Adrienne, I hope you’re having an awesome week πŸ™‚

  3. Jason says:

    I think we feel compelled to explain who we are and why someone should be reading our blog. I always choose to just add an “about” page, or a “why” page. It releases you from having to be so worried about that first post….you can just write. Plus, if you have that page, someone who really cares why you’re writing can quickly and easily find out, rather than searching for that first post.

    • Hey Jason,

      I’ll be adding an about page, but I haven’t thought much about a why page. That seems to be a really good idea. I also believe that you’re right when it comes to that it’s important to just write, and don’t think of the first post as any different than any of the other posts that you’ll be publishing.

      Hopefully I’ll be able to write one or two posts every week, and I can’t keep thinking of the first post as any different than just another post πŸ™‚

  4. Ruth Zive says:

    Jens, don’t over think it. The first blog post will barely be read by anyone other than company employees. They probably don’t have any meaningful traction yet. And remember – there is ALWAYS another blog post, and another. The first one has to earn the respect of the person paying your fee, but otherwise, just set the tone, remember their goals, speak to the company stakeholders and put it to bed.

    And you can always write it as a draft, solicit some feedback, and publish it after you’ve tweaked it to the company’s satisfaction.

    • Hey Ruth,

      That’s a great idea. I’m going to finish it today, and send it to the people at the company to get some feedback. I’m also creating an editorial calendar for them, and as long as I get feedback, I don’t have to think too much about it. But since this is my first client, it’s a little harder than if it was just another blog πŸ™‚

    • Ben says:

      Ruth – great comment. That was my first thought too. There are always more posts that can be written. The first post is just that – it’s the first post – not the only post. It’s not like you only get one chance. However, you might only get one chance with people who find the blog for the first time regardless of whether they see your first post or your 50th post – so I’d say it’s vital to have something interesting on the blog at all times. That doesn’t mean you should ever expect perfection. Just write something useful, informative, thought-provoking or valuable (feel free to add your own positive words here, by the way) and people will listen.

  5. Andrew says:

    I would write my first post about myself and what it is that you are interested in and what you are going to be writing about in the future so people can understand what you write. thats my suggestion, hope it helps.

  6. Christo van Zyl says:

    Hey Jens.

    I think all bloggers felt your pain as you were writing. There are a few options:

    1) Write Why you started this blog.
    2) Give a little background about yourself or the company.
    3) Write an invitation to all the readers and tell what you will be sharing in the future.
    4) Or just write one post. Post it. Read it. Delete it if you are unhappy.
    5) Or, just write so many more posts that this first one gets buried in the archive history. πŸ™‚

    Any way, keep on writing! It can only get more fun and you will always learn.

    Best regards,
    Christo van Zyl

    • Hey Christo,

      That’s some very interesting tips. I have been going back and forth on this topic now, and I’m thinking that your #4 and #5 will be the best ones. I’ll just write, and I know that I’ll keep writing many more posts, so eventually it will be just another post πŸ™‚

  7. Ashvini says:

    Hey Jens,
    I feel the first blog post can about things that are going to come in the blog later. It could also have a brief introduction about company or person. It may contain information on business, products, probably a small roadmap.
    I think that there is no need for overthink on this. Just keep it simple and succinct :).

  8. Jack says:

    Just write. Get the words down and see what it looks like. You can always edit before you publish but until you put pen to paper you have nothing but air to stare at and think about.

    • Hey Jack,

      I’ve felt that the first post is so much more important than the other ones, but you’re absolutely right. It’s hard to keep thinking about a blank sheet of paper. I need to write and see what happens with the words.

      Thanks.

  9. Ben says:

    Hi Jens,

    I’m in agreement with Ruth about the first post probably not being read by very many people. So I wouldn’t worry too much.

    My first post at Quick Blog Tips was just a tip. A good tip, but the post itself was what I’d call “normal”. Not my best post ever, not my worst, it was just a useful post.

    With a new blog, I think it’s good to get a few posts online before you “launch”. If you do this, the first post no longer feels like a true first post. Publish six posts before you launch and you’re sort of putting out six first posts. Imagine if a new games console was released with only one new game. That’s putting a lot of pressure on the one game! Instead, most consoles have “launch titles”.

    There’s one more thing. What if you put all your effort into your first post and make it absolutely incredible – as close to perfect as you can get – and then you find it really difficult to write your second post because the first was so good? Don’t get me wrong – I’m certain your posts will be awesome either way – but if you write a truly perfect post, it’s going to be a hard act to follow.

    In short – don’t worry – make the first post good – but remember you have plenty more posts still to come πŸ™‚

    • Hi Ben,

      That’s true. I should probably write several posts before I decide to launch the blog. I’m actually launching two blogs at the same time, one for a client and the other one is my Norwegian business blog. I’m hustling to create high quality content for both of them πŸ™‚

  10. Beth says:

    If you at least know what your blog is all about, you may simply just write whats on your mind. The result of your post will surely sound so natural that readers can really appreciate. Just don’t think too much for your next post.

    • Hi Beth,

      Thanks a lot for the feedback. It feels so good to just write, and don’t think about what people expect. But it feels a lot harder to write for a client than for my own blog, even though I’ve heard that it’s suppose to be the opposite πŸ™‚

  11. Chezianne says:

    Hi Jens…I know a lot of bloggers can relate to you and it might be very hard at first but you have to remember than you can always do better after…

  12. Nicholle Olores says:

    I actually write a new post about myself and also base of my experience in life. There are a lot of barriers in blogging. I agree with you here Jens about that and I am happy to know about this.

    • Hi Nicholle,

      I’m going to write a post about myself, and a few other posts at the same time. If I write several before I launch, it won’t be so hard to write the first post πŸ™‚

  13. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Jens,

    “I like to party with my words,”

    That’s it buddy. Party with your words, and let them flow. My best posts flow out in minutes, even if it’s an 800 word job. My thoughts flow, I feel good, and relaxed, I write, and then I toss in an edit or 2 if I feel like it.

    Blocks develop when we stop partying, and start worrying. Just release the feelings of worry, and and anxiety, and start partying again. This makes all the difference in the world if you are writing your first of 1000th post.

    Thanks for sharing Jens!

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan,

      That’s the thing. We shouldn’t worry at all. Life is so much easier when we just have fun and pretend we’re at a party. When I just write without thinking about my readers, and what they’re expecting, I do my best and most creative writing πŸ™‚

  14. Sheila says:

    You need to find a topic that people are looking for, that doesn’t have too many sites about it, that you have some knowledge about. Then blog about it.

  15. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens,

    I’m excited for you starting your new blog. Your client is very fortunate to have such an awesome blogger write for them.

    Clearly you should write about pizza.

    Just kidding.

    I’m going to respectfully disagree with Ruth and the others who say “no one is going to read it anyway.” The one person who may read it is a decision-maker at your new client. Even if you have an audience of one, that’s a very important audience.

    I don’t mean to put pressure on you, I know you can do this and do a great job at it.

    I agree with Ryan. Use your “party with your words” mentality. I know you and when the inspiration hits, the words will flow like Victoria Falls.

    Don’t sweat the inspiration. Until your muse visits, jot down some notes on paper. Get some ideas going. Make an outline if you want. Then, at 3 am or whenever you are inspired, you will have a reference point to make sure you covered all the bases.

    I agree, a post about Bill Dorman is always a good idea. But your first post could be about awesome customer service. Ask your client for stories similar to your pizza delivery guy story. Showcase why your client treats its customers like royalty. Your client will be thrilled and its customers will be impressed with your first post.

    Maybe it is all about pizza?

    • Hey Carolyn,

      It’s always all about pizza. That’s how I get inspiration, and even though the story seems to be different, it’s really about pizza πŸ™‚

      I’ve also been thinking that the first post doesn’t need to be perfect, but it needs to be of high quality. Because if almost no one will read it, my client will read it, and they need to be impressed. So, it doesn’t matter if they’re the only one. I’ll think of something, and I think I’ll write several posts at the same time. That’ll make the first post so much easier to write πŸ™‚

  16. Brian D. Hawkins says:

    I agree with Adrienne that a nice introduction would make a nice first blog post but Jason makes a great point on an “About” page. Don’t throw all of your talent into the first post because you want the best company info content on an “About Our Services/Products” or similar page.

    Ruth and Ben are right, though, not too many people are going to be reading the first post because it will be burried below a ton of content by the time you build heavy traffic to the blog. Great conversation!

    • Hey Brian,

      I agree. But on the other hand, I agree with Carolyn as well. I know that my client will be reading the first post, and they need to be impressed. That way I’ll get the chance to write more posts, and more posts. But, as you’re saying, the post will eventually be burried below a ton of content by the time it gets any real amount of traffic πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for adding value to the conversation.

  17. Dee Ankary says:

    Hi,

    First – loved reading this post. It just flows, so whatever you write (or have already written), your client will be impressed if it reads anywhere like this post.

    Now then – about the first post: tell a story. Get me, the reader, emotionally involved. Someone mentioned talking about the “why”, and I agree to a certain degree, as the “why” is usually the compelling reason behind the blog in the first place.

    Narrative sells. Or may be it’s just me πŸ™‚

    Cool blog. Love the engagement you get!

    Dee

  18. Eleanor P. Richardson says:

    Hi Jens,

    I think it is best for new bloggers to write the mission or vision of their blog and tell the people the purpose of their blog. πŸ™‚

  19. Ralph says:

    Jens,
    This comes to you very late. I wish I had time to keep up with all the awesome bloggers out there. Hmmmm……Anyway, thanks @craigmcbreen for pointing to this one (again). I can relate as I just started blogging less than a year ago and I Remember the first post held such weight and in reality afterward it didn’t mean as much as I thought it did.

    I agree with Arienne. Write something introductory about your client. The challenge will be getting their attitude or voice to shine through yours. Odd that. I suppose if you have the passion for their subject matter it will help.

    I am curious to know how you feel about taking on someone else’s passion. I can understand taking on a marketing role but to me blogging is personal even if it is for business. I guess it’s no different than PR in this case. I have no ill intent and I am very curious how you feel about it.

  20. Thanks a lot for the feedback πŸ™‚

  21. Kevin says:

    Thank you for these amazing and really useful tips!

  22. Corin Arenas says:

    I think you just described exactly what any writer goes through; it’s always difficult to start. I personally think it’s good to take time writing the first post because it certainly creates that first impression. A reader can get hooked by a good introduction, and it can also mean you can write things about yourself as long as it fits your project.

  23. Eileen says:

    Personally, since it’s my first post. I will spend time creating an intro and the body and the ending. I’ll make sure that the intro will catch the attention of readers and that I have something useful or helpful to share. I’ll maybe end it with a question to encourage comments or participation.

  24. Jenny Stewart says:

    Jens, I too agree with you that whatever you write, it should come within your heart. However, sometimes using brain may help in garnishing the content. Be it blogs, or article. Whether you are a first time blogger or have posted many blogs, one thing you need to keep in mind that “quality comes first”. Unique, fresh, and grammatically correct blogs can help you grab attention of large number of online traffic.

  25. Stan Faryna says:

    I like Bill’s idea. Bill is a great example. The important thing, of course, is job number one: make Billy look good.

  26. Charmaine says:

    Link Building is the process of creating inbound links to ones own website. This can be done by reciprocal links, being listed in e-zines or other sites, Link building is a powerful way to get your website higher up the search engines. Find out how the best strategy you can take for this.

  27. Nick says:

    The owner of this blog also makes money through sponsored ads which makes other story about this post true….Blogging Barrier to economic wealth.It is proved πŸ™‚

  28. Berlin says:

    My biggest problem is writer’s block. I usually try to get out of the house to find some sort of inspiration.i think its difficult but when you will learn to write perfectly it will be really interesting job to do .

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