5 Steps to Mapping Out Your First 10 Blog Posts

by Ashley Barnett
*Some of the links below may be from our sponsors. My full disclosure statement.*

Your first blog post is the hardest post you'll ever write. After all, it's nerve-wracking saying those first few words to the internet. You have so many ideas floating around in your head, it can be hard to know which one will make the perfect first post.

Well, worry not blogger friend. I have just what you need to map out your first 10 blog posts.

Step 1: Get Crystal Clear on What Your Blog is About

Before you start writing you will want to know, with zero ambiguity, what your site is about. The narrower the niche the better.

If your site is about more than one thing then your topics should be closely related! It should be reasonable that someone who is interested in one of the topics would be interested in all of them.

For example, when I started my first blog I thought my niche was “personal finance”. This is not a niche! Personal finance is a very wide topic. Luckily, I knew who my reader was. This saved me because it gave me a niche without me even realizing it.

Turns out my actual niches were frugal living, budgeting, and debt reduction. Those are niches. Yes, my blog was about three things–but those things were closely related. You can easily see how someone who is interested in learning to budget would also be interested in frugal living and getting out of debt. That makes sense.

What you don't want is topics that are not related. You don't want a travel and gardening blog. You might like both travel and gardening… but it's not logical that someone who likes to garden would also like travel–or vice versa.

Get clear on what you are helping people with! This may mean you have to forgo topics that you wanted to write about. That sucks, I know. But you can't help everyone with everything and you will just dilute your message if you try.

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    Step 2: Google Your Main Topic and Check Out the Autofill Suggestions

    Ok, I'm going to assume you have a nice narrow niche. Time to Google.

    Google a very broad query about one of your main topics. For example, for my budgeting blog I might start by Googling “how to budget”.

    There are a few things to notice. First off, what does Google want to autofill? Here's what comes up when I type in “how to budget”:

    Those are all potential topic ideas! Make a note of anything that stands out to you. Think about what your ideal reader might find interesting. I really like:

    • how to budget for a house
    • how to budget for a wedding
    • how to budget groceries
    • how to budget for a baby
    • how to budget for a car

    That's 5 article ideas and we are just getting started! Keep in mind, you don't have to use these as post titles. They are ideas. So I might change “how to budget for a car” into “how much should I spend on a car?” Something like that.

    Step 3: Check Out the People Also Ask Questions

    Don't leave Google just yet. We still have lots of work to do!

    Scroll down a bit and look for a section called “People Also Ask”. Do you see it? Any good questions there that you could answer? Here's the result I get for the keyword “how to budget”:

    Ok, these are pretty nice questions. Again you don't need to use these suggestions word for word–but these are real questions that people are typing in to Google. This is the stuff that people want to know! So it's smart to pay attention.

    I could see doing an article on the first one about the 50/20/30 budget rule and also something along the lines of “How to make a monthly budget”. Those are both good ideas.

    That brings us up to seven ideas!

    Step 4: Check Out the Related Searches

    Let's keep scrolling. There is a section at the very bottom of the page called “Related Searches”. These are other keywords that people often Google related to our main query. This can be very helpful!

    Here's the related searches for “how to budget”:

    Gold! Pure gold. We have some repeats from above but look at that first result. “How to budget money on a low income” That is a wonderful post idea. And “budgeting apps”, another great topic.

    Plus there are some other great tidbits, such as “how to budget money worksheet” and “budget plan sample”. These would make great lead magnets for your email list. Or downloads you could include in a budgeting article.

    This brings us up to nine article ideas PLUS two lead magnets!

    Step 5: Google One of Your Related Keywords

    At this point you could move on to another one of your main niches or dig deeper on the niche you've already started working on.

    For example, I might move on to “how to get out of debt” and come up with some debt reduction article ideas. But if you don't have a secondary niche or you just want more topic ideas for this niche you can Google one of your related keywords and repeat the process above.

    If I do this with “budgeting apps” I get the following auto fill results:

    Here are the people also ask questions:

    And finally the related searches:

    I could get several more article ideas from this information. One that really jumps off the page is “best budget app for couples”. There are also several specific apps mentioned (Mint and Wally) that I could do full review articles on–and if I looked I'm sure there are lots more.

    So that's three more article ideas, bringing us up 12 articles and 2 lead magnets!

    And then just keep going!

    If you want even MORE ways to come up with topic ideas I have a bigger list right here.

    Summary

    Did you see how fast and easy that was? What 10, maybe 15 minutes?

    Google knows what people want. They specialize in it! No need to spend years trying to figure out what hits in your niche. Let Google do the hard work for you!

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