Is it better to be posting fewer long articles or many short articles on websites and blogs? It’s this question that keeps many content marketers and bloggers awake at night, says Rogerwilco’s head of content, Michelle Jones. She says there’s finally a definitive answer.
You should be blogging less often. However, you should be creating blog posts that are more valuable than those you had created previously.
Say what? Blog posts should be posted on your website less often than before, but they should be better, longer, more in-depth and more useful than ever before? That’s not asking too much, is it?
Blogs are incredibly valuable. Between lead generation, brand awareness, SEO, and thought leadership, there isn’t much that can’t be achieved by a blog. So, it stands to reason that they should be valuable. That means longer and more in-depth.
It means thick content, the type loved by both Google and web users (which is basically everyone with a pulse and a smartphone). This is the type of content which provides information to users and answers their questions – before they even know to ask them.
Blogging takes up more time and uses more words
According to new research from Orbit Media, blogging content has increased in word count and the amount of time it takes to produce each post. Their research started with one question to more than 1 000 bloggers – how long does it take to write a blog post?
Bloggers answered that it took them three hours and 20 minutes to produce a post. That’s an increase in time from the two hours and 24 minutes it took them in 2014. When asked how many words they were producing for each blog post, a massive 46% said they were writing 500 to 1 000 words.
An additional 25% said they were writing 1 000 to 1 500 words. The average length of a blog post in 2017 was 1 142 words, compared to 2014’s 808 words. That’s unsurprising considering the increased time spent on each post.
However, the problem is that almost one in two people who do land on your blog post will end up skimming it. This is why excerpts, headings, lists, images, and video scattered throughout your posts tend to improve their readability. Video content, in particular, is becoming more popular and is fast becoming an essential part of every content marketing strategy.
Longer, less frequent, blogs have better results
If you don’t have the time right now to write long, quality content, consider updating your older blog posts. Updating old content is a signal to search engines that your content is fresh.
Word of warning, updating a sentence isn’t going to cut it. A large chunk of the page needs to be edited in order to be thought of as ‘fresh’. Updating website pages is also an ideal opportunity to optimise them. You might not have optimised your pages at first, or the keywords you’re targeting might have changed. Whichever applies to you, updating content is always a good idea.
It’s a no-brainer really. Longer blog content tends to perform better in searches. Every blog post is an opportunity to appear in rankings. People tend to share blog posts that they find interesting and helpful. That’s the secret to creating quality content. It’s about creating something that people will want to read and share. It’s up to you to decide how to take advantage of that opportunity.
*This article originally appeared on media update.