Table with school supplies

Starting a new blog can be pretty intimidating. In the beginning, it’s basically a big, blank canvas, that rotates. Every time you put up a new post, there’s a countdown until it’s blank again.

You posted today? Great! Now wait 5 minutes and do it again… but better! No wonder it’s so scary to start a new blog. What ever will you write on? Stop stressing out and read on but beware: blogging homework ahead! 

Instead of getting caught in a vicious fear cycle, just think of blogging as a college series course:

Your Blog 100: Prerequisites Required

Just like you had to take your prereqs at university, your blog is going to require a little prep work. Luckily, you’re super smart, so this should be easy!

Set your goals for the blog and specify a target audience:

  • Who are you writing to?
  • Why are you writing this blog?
  • What do you want this blog to do for you?

Be specific about who you’re trying to reach and what you hope to accomplish once you reach them. This is the start! Do it right and all the other courses will fall in line.

Need a little 100 level help? Check out these posts to get you started:

Your Blog 101: This Is Still the Intro Class

At first, you won’t have much traffic and your readers won’t know what to expect. Your first few posts allow you to lay out a foundation of what you’re going to talk about and set you up for success.

  • Write a welcome post. It’s only one post, but it sets the tone and it’s a good introduction for new readers.
  • Answer general FAQ’s. “What is a Trademark?” “What is FMLA?” “What are the Cannabis laws by state?” While basic, they give you a starting point for educating your audience. They also get you indexed with search engines for relevant terms.(Extra credit:check out .gov sites too. Can you answer the government FAQ’s but better?)
  • Respond to recurring questions. If you’ve been practicing for any amount of time, you’ve got client questions. What are the ones you answer regularly? Write a blog post answering anything you get asked at least once a week.(Extra credit: Send the blog post along instead of re-answering the question the next time it’s asked.)
  • Create “evergreen” content. This content is essentially information that doesn’t change over time. It can be FAQ’s or recurring questions, but it can also be top tips to avoid risk or save time/money. These are posts you’ll be able to reference later on to save time as well.

At this point, you’ve got your very first posts and you’re well on your way to keeping ahead of the blank page.

Need a few more “quick post ideas?” Check out 3 Quick Post Ideas When You Only Have 30 Minutes or Less and then get started writing.

Your Blog 201: This Course Requires Continued Evaluation

Before I send you off to do your blogging homework, there’s one more step to take before you move on to higher levels… PREPARE FOR YOUR NEXT POST!

Your first posts are great for building a foundation. Next, show your readers that you also keep up on current trends in your industry. You’re likely already keeping up on what’s happening, but you might find the following tips save you time:

  • Set up an RSS Reader. I personally like Feedly but there are several options out there. RSS Readers bring the relevant information to you and organize it nicely.
  • Create Google Alerts. You can create alerts for companies, phrases, people, cases or terms. Whenever your specific alert comes up, you’ll get an email.
  • Subscribe to an LXBN channel. Pick a channel (or channels) that are relevant to your niche. This will feed you regular updates on conversations currently occurring in your space. Easy inspiration!
  • Extra credit: Create a Twitter List. Build a twitter list with the top 5 companies and people you want as clients. You’ll be better poised to understand their needs for your next post.

Start with your goals, select your audience and then get back to the basics. You’ll be writing content in no time and your blog will be headed for straight A’s!

Check out next week’s post on for part two.

Photo credit: Cropped image by Unsplash user Jeff Sheldon.