If you follow my posts at all, then you know that I’ve written about blogging before. A few times actually. For instance, not too long ago, we covered what you should blog about. Just a couple of months before that, we talked about whether you should start a small business blog at all.
However, sometimes publishing this type of content raises more questions than answers. At least it has for some of the small business owners I’ve spoken with. Therefore, I’d like to go over three of the questions I hear most frequently when it comes to blogs, just in case you have them too.
#1: How Long Should My Blog Be?
I hear this one all of the time from clients or potential clients who want content for their blog, yet they aren’t sure if they should go with shorter posts (like 500 words) or longer ones (2,000 words or more). My response has generally been to do whatever works best for them, as some people like to read small, bite-sized posts and others prefer in-depth posts that provide more information.
But we all know that blog length isn’t just about readership. It’s also about ranking. The problem that I see with this approach, writing in order to reach a certain rank, is that the criteria that search engines like Google use to rank changes all of the time. So just when you get all of your content at a length that Google likes, they’ll change the rules, and now you’re back to square one.
Admittedly, there are advantages and disadvantages to both long and short blogs (ProBlogger outlines them if you want to know more about what they are), but my advice is simply to create blogs in the length that your target market likes. After all, they’re the ones who you want to be reading them anyway, so why not make them as short or as long as they like? If you’re not sure how long that is, play around with your posts and then ask them which ones they prefer. That will give you your answer, straight from the people that matter most.
#2: How Often Should I Post?
This question specifically can bring about a lot of anxiety, especially if you’re writing your own blogs. You only have so much time in the day, so if you have to post more often, then it takes away time you could be spent running your business. And even if you’re paying someone else to write your content, this can get rather costly. So how much is enough when it comes to posting, without becoming too much?
One Hubspot survey found that businesses that posted 16 or more blogs per month got the most inbound traffic. That only makes sense, right? The more you post, the more readers are drawn to your site, which means you have more traffic.
Now, if that amount makes you sweat, then maybe you should just concentrate on posting once a week. The main goal is to be consistent. For example, if you normally post on Mondays at noon, then post every Monday at noon. Your customers will grow used to your schedule and, as long as you deliver on time, you’re still making good use of your blog.
#3: Should I Let Others Guest Blog on My Website?
Some small businesses let others guest blog on their sites as a way to blog more often without having to create the content themselves. The question is: Is this a good idea or not?
SEM and SEO professional Kenny Novak warns that some guest bloggers are simply looking for links. If this is the case, then you’re better off declining. On the other hand, there are guest bloggers who can actually help increase your inbound traffic.
To help you vet the good from the bad, Novak suggests that you:
- Use guest bloggers with good reputations, possibly even inviting ones you’d like to feature on your site
- Read the content they provide before you post it to make sure it is high quality and not plagiarized
- Check any links embedded in the content to make sure you’re okay with them
Still have questions related to blogging? Feel free to comment below and let’s get you some answers!
I’m always interested in learning other small business owners’ thoughts on relevant topics and issues, so if you have a comment or unique article idea, feel free to contact me at [email protected] (put “Businessing Magazine” in the subject line, please). If I use it, it’s a free link to your website!