Tips for Writing Your First Three Blog Posts

If you're following the First Client Checklist, then you know you should be setting up a blog, and writing three blogposts.  But if you have never written a blog before, you might be asking: "How do I get started?" and "What should I write about?"

Getting Started

If you've never written a blog before - then even just getting setup might seem like a challenge.  If you're not careful, you might do something like this:

  • Spend a lot of time finding a good domain name
  • Figure out how to set up wordpress
  • Browse through 1,000 wordpress themes to find one you like
  • Browse through 1,000 wordpress plugins to get the right combination to set up the blog like you want
  • Realize you hate your domain name, and start over

Or worse, since you're a developer, your process might look something like this:

  • Spend a lot of time finding a good domain name
  • Decide that you hate wordpress
  • Browse through 1,000 different static blog engines
  • Decide you hate all the existing static blog engines, so you write your own

STOP! Before you do any of that - realize that you're about to make that mistake, and don't make it.  You can write your custom static blog engine later.  You can learn how to set up wordpress once you actually have readers.  But right now - don't do any of that.

Instead, go over to medium.com.  Make an account there.  There - you're done.  You have a blog.

Wait! I hear you say - Then I don't control my content! What happens when I get really big and I want a custom domain name and...

Right now - recognize that the point of starting a blog is NOT to get readers.  It's NOT to drive traffic, and it's actually NOT to get clients (directly).  The point of having a blog is to plant a flag and say I am an expert, and so that you can show prospective clients where you write about being an expert.  

Eventually, the readers will come, and you can get a cool custom domain name and spend hours configuring wordpress... until then - just use Medium.


Finding Your Three First Blog Topics

Once you have a blog, you need to write something.  Some people will have no trouble finding topics to write about; but if you don't know what to write - below is my number 1 tip for figuring that out.  First, remember that you're writing to *show that you are an expert* in your field.  

So, to find your first topics, do this:

List three things that someone has paid you for recently.  Be more specific.  Write about that.

Here's an example.  Let's say I'm a React Native developer, and at my job I recently restructured the code base of our application because it was getting too large.  At first, I may think about something like:

How to Develop a Mobile App in React Native

But that is too broad.  You'll never be able to finish that post if you've never written a blog post before.  Instead, try to dive in, and get more specific.  Your next topic idea might be:

How to Refactor a React Native Application

But again, that is topic is too large.  You can't possibility write about the different ways to refactor an entire application, because there are 1,000 ways to write an application in the first place - so anything you write will be frustratingly broad and unspecific.  Instead, consider a post title like:

The Folder Structure I use for Large React Native Applications

There! that's very specific (about a specific project you just did), it's something that someone has recently paid you for (and so someone else might want to pay you for), and it's a topic that's small enough that you can actually finish the post.

Just Publish It

Your post will never be perfect.  You probably won't even think it's good... or, on the other hand, you might think it's the best post ever.  The truth is probably somewhere in the middle - and it's important to recognize that.  

It takes practice to get good at writing, so for now just publish the post.  Something magical happens when you actually release something to the world... First, you feel differently about content online; you realize that you can create it yourself - which is empowering.  Second, you get feedback!  People will read your work, and some people may comment.  Use those comments (both constructive and not-so-constructive) to make your writing better.

And then - you will finally have something to show prospective clients!  Again - the point is not to turn strangers into readers, and turn readers into clients.  The point is to take people that you are already talking to, and be able to point them to your blog as a way of saying: "I'm an expert".
 

Get Your First Client

I made a guide just for you! Learn how to get started with this 5 step checklist.

guide.jpg