Before blogs, there were personal journals. They were private. You bought yourself a blank book and a pen and you started to write. If you were like most people I know, you stared at that first page for hours, wondering exactly what you should write. It had to be brilliant. It had to be pithy, witty and wise. It had to be insightful and beautifully written. Otherwise, it didn’t matter what you wrote in the rest of those 300 pages. This first page was your introduction, your hello to the world, your opening act that would set the tone for the rest of the entire journal.
One of two things probably happened: either you never wrote that first sentence at all and that journal stayed empty until you finally gave it to one of your eight-year-old nieces, or you wrote a first sentence, maybe even a page or two.
Then you read what you wrote, decided it was silly, felt uncomfortable or just wasn’t good enough. And you hid that journal back in a drawer somewhere so no one would see how inadequate you were.
It’s the 21st century. Journals are still around, but they’re being replaced by blogs. And blogs are here to stay.
You’re probably at this site because you want to know how to write a really great blog that people love. You may or may not be planning a personal journal venture in which you expose your life and struggles. You may or may not be thinking of starting a blog on your favorite hobby or passion. You might or might not be considering a blog for your itty biz.
Whatever you’re thinking of blogging about, you have a problem. The problem is that first sentence, the first page, the very first blog post. What will you write? What should you write?
What You Shouldn’t Write
Most bloggers start their blog with something that goes like this: “Hi everyone! My name is Karen and I started this blog to talk about my experiences with gardening. I love gardening and I want to write about it, so here goes!”
This post is usually followed by two or three weeks of no other posts.
This is because our friend Karen here has given herself nowhere to go with her thoughts. She’s also given her readers no reason to continue reading. With no inspiration for herself or her readers, she’s stagnant.
Her blog will likely join the thousands that start just that way and then peter out after a few months of sporadic posting.
So what’s the alternative?
There are two ways to go about your first post – the long way and the short way. They are the Mission Statement and the Essay.