What are blog posts?
If you'd like more background on blogs and blog posts, see About Blogs.
Advantages of blog posts
Blog posts, especially those that are optimized for search engines are a powerful way to increase traffic to your website:
- Search engines like sites that are updated regularly. Regular new quality content will help your search engine ranking.
- Your new content will appear in search results, bringing you new visitors.
- You can post about your blog posts on social media sites, which will bring you more traffic from those sites.
- When links to quality posts are on social media sites, some people will share them, increasing their exposure.
- Previous site visitors will become repeat visitors when they come back to see what new content you have.
To benefit from your increase in traffic, include links, offers, and calls to action in the sidebar next to blog posts.
Blog post length
The ideal blog post length depends on the purpose of the post. If it's simply to convey information, it should be no longer or shorter than needed to convey that information.
When bufferapp.com did a content audit on their blog, they discovered some surprising facts. Posts that were under 500 words got only a small percentage of social shares. In contrast, posts that were more than 2,500 words got far more shares than any other post length group. The numbers of social shares climbed consistently with posts that were 1,500 words or more.
One theory is that longer posts suggest expertise in the topic. In the above study, the posts that were shared the most often were step-by-step guides.
Of course the above numbers may not apply to every site, and social sharing is only one goal for blog posts.
A serpiq.com study came up with similar numbers for blog length and search engine result position (SERP). The average content length for blog posts in the first result position was 2,450 words. The average length of second position blog posts was slightly longer. From there, the further down in search results posts were, the shorter they were.
A suggested minimum blog post length is about 300 words. Search engines tend to prefer content that's at least that long. Then again, search engine optimization may not be your primary goal, and shorter may be your style.
How do you find out what blog post length is best for you? Focus on quality content and formatting that makes blog posts easier to read: informative subheads, short paragraphs, visuals to aid longer posts, and bulleted lists where appropriate. Experiment with different lengths, and study which posts perform better. When you see what performs best, follow and tweak that pattern.
Writing blog posts
Site visitors like new content. Search engines like new content. You probably have new information to share: events, promotions, expertise in your field.
Blog posts, like other web content, need to be easy to read online. To help feed search engines, include relevant keywords. If your post has a purpose beyond sharing information, include a call to action somewhere on the page.
You can also hire a writer to write or edit your posts for you. Contact me to discuss your project.