(And my first blog post too)
Oh boy oh boysers…my first blog post!
Well, not my first blog post ever…after all I’ve been creating niche websites (aka blogs) & professional sites online for years now…
But this is different. It’s my first post on my own personal blog aka Hannahmazing.com…potentially a big deal (only history can tell us).
And on path of procrastinating researching my first post, I decided to look at the first posts of other well-known blogs, along with blogs that I myself follow (with some overlap between the two)…for a little encouragement and inspiration.
And then it struck me: Why not make my first post, all about writing a first post?
That way I make it more interesting (not all about me – somebody most of you don’t even know yet), easier to write (piggybacking on the content of others), and avoiding the much more daunting “my story” post.
The idea it to get yourself going…to just start…with anything. If you start with the hard stuff, it might take you forever. But if you start with a light and easy post, you get the momentum going…and ultimately momentum is what carries you. This is true in so many things in life, and I think it is true with blogging too.
The idea behind this first post of mine started as an attempt to inspire myself in the privacy of my own WordPress admin panel…and has now expanded into an attempt to inspire anybody reading it, by showing that even the most amazing and widely read & respected blogs have had some pretty humble beginnings.
Use this as inspiration for YOUR first post
The next time you compare yourself or your blog to Tim Ferriss or Life Hacker…keep in mind that they didn’t start out as the seemingly unstoppable forces of nature that they have evolved into…they had their first awkward posts, their bad designs too.
But no matter where they started, they started and they kept on going…created momentum…and rode the momentum up to the final high-Google-ranked results we all can read today. But in no way did they all come out of the gate with the polished content and design that they now sport. (Hehe, oh no! More on that below).
Along the way, I’ll share some stalking interesting tools you might not have known about, mainly the Internet Archives aka “way back” machine, which lets you snoop into the humble beginnings of almost any site on the web, by taking you back not only to its earlier content, but to its earlier design as well! Truly fascinating, voyeuristic stuff!
I also used the Google function “site:”, which lets you do some further snooping into all of the content available in the current version of a site. Good for when the site’s internal search function sux or doesn’t exist..And you are a voyeur want to read more about something.
So here you have the surprisingly humble and not-so-amazing first blog posts of some of the world’s most famous blogs and bloggers.
1 – Tim Ferriss
I start with Tim Ferriss, because as a one-man blogger, you can’t get much more influential or prolific than him. Who hasn’t been inspired by him in some way? And his blog….it’s the stuff of legends, right?
Whether you are a lifestyle designer, life-hacker, language learner, exercise buff, social media-preneur or wannabe internet famous person, you have probably been influenced by Mr. Timothy Ferriss in some way.
Tim Ferriss has an almost demi-god reputation as a blogger.
“Love ‘em or hate ‘em” (as journalists love to preface), you have to admit that he has been incredibly successful both online and off, using his fourhourworkweek.com/blog as a platform to attract & maintain a raving fan base.
Which is why it is so very encouraging to see that his first blog post (at least the one that detective Wiley could find – and I am quite the sleuth), is, well…so darn cute…in its very lack of awesomeness. Turns out it took Tim Ferriss a few posts and life experiences to get into his groove, too.
If you do a simple site search on his main site, you come across the first post on his Four Hour Work Week blog:
But with a little more investigation, you find yourself on his personal blog before The 4HWW blog…and even before he wrote the book! And THAT is the blog and first blog post that you simply MUST check out (unless, of course, you have something better to do):
Title: Tim Ferriss: The Human Experiment Blog
Subtitle: Dedicated to Uncommon People and Unlimited Lifestyles
First post (February 11, 2006):
About…doping? Hmm…kinda dry. And odd for a first blog post. Gotta give him some credit, though – he was writing about it 6 years before it reached the topical frenzy that it achieved in 2012.
What about that design? And those colors?! Black text on…bright yellow?? So wonderfully, adorably bad.
Here’s another neat peek into his online past…the post in which he mentions the book he’ll be writing (which would turn into his massively successful and world-renowned Four Hour Work Week):
And, the post after he finished his book:
Notice how he has…NO comments?? Keep this in mind the next time all you hear is crickets (or Russian ladies looking for love no matter age, sex or race) on your own posts.
(Of course, if nobody comments on this article, that would be unacceptable…or would it? Didn’t seem to hold back Tim…)
Lifehacker.org & Lifehacker.com
Moving along in the life-hacker vein, I cannot wait for you to see the first posts of these next 2 sites – the hallowed Lifehack.org and Lifehacker.com.
These sites are so big and “authoritative” that you think of them as websites more than blogs…but don’t think they were born with their ubertrendy design and cooler-than-you all-knowingness. Oh no.
Check it out:
2 – Lifehack.org
Umm….What? Was that? Granted, it was 2004, and they might have all been nerd genius 14 year-olds putting up the first design they came up with…but wow. It looks like the blog design that an alien-landing conspiracy theorist might like to use…
And the first “post” seems to be:
. . . w h a t . . .
. . . h a p p e n s . . .
…when brush your teeth? when you go shopping? when you overthrow a government? when you’re finished?
Can you determine the consequences of your actions?
The quintessential obscure, universe-pondering, navel-gazing first blog post. Fabulous stuff!
3 – Lifehacker.com
Now the first post found using the way back machine isn’t too exciting (for the purpose of this article) since it is pretty well thought-out, cute and clever:
But I did do a bit more detective work about Gina Trapani, the famous-in-some-circles editor of Lifehacker.com, and lo and behold…before Life Hacker, Ms. Trapani had her own personal blog. And her first blog post is none other than:
She expounds a bit in her 2nd post:
Keep in mind…she was blogging in 2001. Which I would say is on the avant-garde of trends and technology, or close to it. But she started with her “personal ramblings” just like the majority of bloggers, before we find our stride.
Which I choose to find inspiring.
These next 2 blogs are some of the “top ranked” blogs (whatever that truly means), by Technorati and eBizMBA rank websites.
I was going to stop at just 5 blogs, but when I saw the first posts of these puppies, I just had to share the entertainment value:
4 – Engadget.com
With 11,500,000 estimated monthly visitors and an Alexa rank of 378, has a great first post. Mainly because…well, I’ll let you check it out, and see if you thought it was as laugh out loud funny as I did:
Posted Mar 2, 2004
Did you see it? ….The private cell phone number of Jason McCabe Calacanis! Hmmm…think it still works? (If you call it, PLEASE tell us what happens in the comments below)
It just gives you a peek into their vastly different frame of mind back then. A startup frame of mind, in which they encouraged calls from strangers…and perhaps could hardly even fathom their eventual massive success.
5 – Mashable.com
Now this one I love. Mashable would eventually turn its founder Pete Cashmore into an internet VIP and lead him to a net worth of …. $95 million dollars.
And how did it start?
… With a post about gmail and a call for Ruby on Rails developers. Just another tech geek blog, folks. Just goes to show, you never can tell.
I did a lot more spying on different sites I like, respect and/or who seem to have a larger than life reputation online, and had a great evening of entertainment doing so. I can’t really recommend that you do this (since it pretty much IS a waste of time), but if you can somehow justify it (as I have by using it for material for my first post!) and you want to spy on some of the earlier posts of your favorite blogs or websites, then go to:
http://web.archive.org and just type in the full URL of the site you want to spy on check out. It will show you a calendar, going back as far as to when it first took a “snap shot” of the site. Click on the earliest snapshot you can find…and let the fun times begin 😉
Even though I have quite a few more I could share and talk about, I’ll finish my commentary with a blogger I personally find inspiring.
6 – Pat Flynn, SmartPassiveIncome.com
Pat Flynn might be one of the most likeable guys online, and especially in the make-money-online niche. He’s just so genuinely nice and generous with his time and high-value content. I truly believe that he must be changing the face of online-biz-preneurs & internet marketing simply by setting a standard that others will now be compared against, whether he meant to or not. He’s kinda like Google, in that he gives away so much free information (which others had been here-to-fore selling), that it can’t not be changing the state of MMO (make money online) infopreneurism.
And what I love about his first post and the post that came right after it….Is that it’s almost like a joke setup…and punch line.
So here is the first post of SmartPassiveIncome.com:
(In case you can’t click on the links, the title of his first post is “Why I Will Quit My Job for a Passive Income”…and then 2nd one, just 4 days later is: “Nevermind. I Just Got Laid Off.”) 😀
So there you have it! No need to be afraid of your first blog post…Even if the writing is boring or the design is terrible. It’s just a start, to take you onwards and upwards to greater things.
(At least that’s what I tell myself in the mirror every night).
And with this post, I finish MY first post…Woo-diddle hoo-diddle! If you are reading this 5 years in the future, you are surely shaking your own head in bemusement about the humble beginnings of the world-changing Hannahmazing.com…
(But more about that later).
I’ll leave you with a few more first posts of popular blogs & people, to peruse if you’re really bored so inclined:
7+ Chris Guillebeau (The Art of Non-Conformity)
Leo Balbuata – ZenHabits.net
Viperchill.com (Glen Allsopp)
Darren Rowse – ProBlogger.net
First about page:
First 2 (very short) posts
First about page:
First page of archives
What about you? Which blogs did you do a first post search on?