Blogging can be daunting. What should I write about? How often should I post? And the all-important question: How long should a blog post be?
So often small businesses are under the impression that they need to share LOTS of information. But that can get confusing for you and your audience. And that’s on top of feeling intimidated by the whole writing process to begin with.
Fear not. When it comes to blogging, the truth is, you don’t need to write a novel every time you blog. In fact, it’s better to keep it short, sweet, and consistent.
We’re going to dispel the mystery around blog length and explain what to focus on so your content gets seen, heard, and those leads start to flow.
How Long a Blog Post Should Be: Long enough to get in those keywords
In blogging, it’s all about the keywords and phrases, also known as long-tail keywords. Instead of wondering how long a blog post should be, consider what keywords can get your blog post on the map.
Focusing on keywords alleviates the stress of trying to cram tons of information into one post. A list of keywords and phrases takes the guesswork out of coming up with blog topics and gives clear direction on what to write about.
This is not only important for the writer but also your audience. Most readers are not going to spend much time sifting through a super long blog post. That means that you have a matter of minutes to capture their attention and give them what they came for.
Consider a blog about plumbing—a post could cover plumbing as a whole, but most readers are probably trying to get answers about a specific problem. Perhaps they want to fix a leaky toilet or a broken sprinkler.
So, focusing on one targeted issue at a time makes it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for and get to solving their problem. And in the meantime, they get to know about your services.
Good Content Always Wins
Having keywords and phrases is, well, key. But so is having good content. Just plugging in a few words like it’s a formula won’t necessarily bring 1,000 followers. Telling a good story and giving people valuable information that’s presented in a clear, concise manner, will.
Understandably, this can get tricky. You’re like, “Hey, you just told me to focus on keywords, but now you’re telling me to tell a story?” Yes.
Think of an effective blog post like a parable: a short story to help teach a lesson. Parables don’t need to be long-winded. In fact, the longer they are, the more likely people are to check out.
Blog posts can be the same way. Instead of worrying about how long a blog post should be, give them more bang for their buck by using simple language, easy-to-follow headings, shorter paragraphs, and something interesting to chew on so your readers feel like they learned something and got to know you a little better.
Blogging consistency can be thought of a little like dating. When you’re dating someone, and they pay attention, send texts, call you, meet up with you, you feel the love. You’re more interested. You want to engage back, right?
But when they send a text once every couple weeks, or even less, you’re less inclined to reciprocate. The same goes for the blogging relationship.
Your readers want to know who you are and they value what you have to say. But if you’re not taking the time to share with them, they’ll lose interest. Not to mention, the less content you have out there, the fewer opportunities there are for people to find you.
Consistency shows that your content is fresh and alive. It shows that you’re interested in what’s current and who your readers are. It shows that you take time—and we all know quality time is a hallmark of a good relationship.
Don’t forget the visuals
Writing is great and all, but if your readers are greeted with a wall of text every time they check your blog, chances are good they’re less likely to engage.
When asking how long a blog post should be, remember the importance of visuals like videos, images, or even an occasional animated GIF. Not only do visuals make your post look more interesting, but they can also help guide your reader through the written content. Think of visuals like bookmarks that bring attention to the information you really want readers to see.
Images also serve as one more way to layer in keywords and phrases. Choosing a relevant file name that replicates the post’s keyword is one more way to make your post discoverable.
Let’s say someone is searching for an image of a giraffe at the San Diego Zoo. If the file name is 1234.jpg, it won’t show up in a search. But, if the image file name is giraffe_san_diego_zoo.jpg, that image is more likely to pop up in a search. Making sure that every layer of content is searchable is key to driving traffic to your blog and your business.