Why do you need an ultimate guide to blogging? It’s nothing new, right? In fact, the ‘blogging boom’ kicked off 20 years ago in the early 2000s! By 2006, blogging was at fever pitch and there were 50 million blogs already in existence. But in recent years and with the advent of content marketing, blogging has grown up.
While there are plenty of blogs out there about someone’s house renovation or their favourite baking recipes, blogs remain a great tool for online businesses. That’s because they tick two big boxes you need to be aware of – SEO and brand authority. Let’s take a closer look at why blogging is important, how long blogs should be and how to write engaging copy.
Is blogging worth the effort?
When you’re busy running your business, carving out time to write a blog can feel impossible. If it’s not an action which will immediately help your customers or make you money, it probably gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile. But it is worth the effort! Blogs mean your website is being updated, which Google loves, so it’s great for your search engine ranking, and that means more people find you. Plus, good blogs can position you as an expert in your field, helping to attract leads and boost brand awareness.
There are other benefits too. Once you’ve finished your blog and uploaded it to your website, don’t just leave it there. Share a link on your social media so your followers can read it. Use the content from that blog to create content for more social media messages (not always with a link – it’s OK to just add value!) and your Instagram lives and stories. Write a snappy summary which entices people to click a link and read the whole blog, then email it to your subscribers. Have a link to your blog in your email signature so that everyone you email has the chance to read your wisdom!
How long should a blog be?
Thinking back to how busy you are again – how much time a blog takes you to write it is clearly linked with how long it is. But there’s a good reason to set aside time to write a blog that’s more than just a few hundred words. That’s because longer blogs are better for boosting your SEO.
A blog needs to be at least 300 words long to rank with Google and boost your SEO but here’s a word of caution – that really is the bare minimum. We would advise you to go no lower than 500 words. That’s because the longer a blog is, the harder it will work for you in helping boost your website visibility and helping customers find you. 1,000 words is a good number to aim for, with a whopping 2,500 words deemed the very best length for maximum SEO. Now 2,500 is a very long blog, so that might be best kept for subjects you really have a lot to talk about! And the longer the blog is, the harder it becomes to capture the reader’s attention.
How to get started on a blog
If you’re venturing into writing blogs which are over 1,000 words long, you’ll need to use a few clever tools to help you get it done. We’re assuming here that you already have a subject in mind that you want to blog about. If not, here are some very quick tips to help you choose – think about the keywords you want to rank for, the expertise you can offer and the new and valuable insight you can share. Those three things should help you choose a subject and angle.
Then, you’ll need to create an outline structure which details all the key points you want to include in it. That enables you to research each point and ensure you’re sharing information which is accurate and balanced as well as engaging. It helps you stay on message and not go off on a tangent, forgetting the thread of your subject. It also means you know approximately how many words you have for each area.
How to boost your blog’s readability
There’s another point to consider if you’re going to write a blog over 1,000 words. The longer a blog is, the harder it is to keep your reader’s attention all the way through. That’s even more important if you’re going to punch for a massive 2,500 words! But there are some tools you can use to keep your reader engaged.
Have you noticed that this blog is broken down with subheadings, paragraphs and bullet points? Or that there is a mixture of short and long sentences? These are great ways make a blog easier to read and encourage someone to keep going. Make sure you use them in your blogs! We would also advise you to write a draft on one day and then review it the next. It’s remarkable how much clarity you can inject into a second draft and how many small errors you notice.
How often should I blog?
The very last point we want to cover is blogging frequency. If you’ve Googled ‘how often should I blog’ you might well be feeling a little bit overwhelmed, as most of the top results say between 11 and 16 times a month. But unless you’re a 75-words-per-minute typist or you have a dedicated marketing person, that’s going to be tough. We would advise you to aim for twice a month, or once a week if you think you can manage it. Consistency is key, so choose a level you can stick to.
Here’s how you can create lots of content and not have to start from scratch every time:
- Rework old blogs – there’s nothing wrong with taking an older blog you’ve written and updating it. Google will still see it as refreshed content and you’ll be able to add new insight and expertise in,
- Reuse other content – if you’ve written an informative social post or marketing email which people loved, why not expand that out into a blog?
- Invite people in your network to guest blog for you, proving you with new content and them with the chance of a backlink (great for SEO!). Ask for the chance to guest blog for them in return.
- Make a blog plan for the next 3 months and sketch out a rough outline for each blog. That way, when you sit down to write you can crack on with researching the subject straight away.
We hope that this article has been insightful and helpful for you. Blogging is a fantastic tool for online businesses when it’s deployed properly. If not, it can be a distraction and a waste of time, so it’s important to get it right. Make sure you follow us on social media and subscribe to our email newsletter for similar tips and information.