Thanks for joining me for our final installment of the Benefits of Blogging series. We’ve already covered the history of blogging and how to set one up (Part 1), blogging and your traffic stats (Part 2), and today we wrap up this series by answering some of the most common blogging questions.
How often should I post a new blog entry?
I haven’t found a one-size-fits-all answer for this question. My current goal is to add a minimum of two blog posts every month to my website. However, depending on your niche and potential clients, the correct answer might be once a day, once a month, or even once a quarter.
For example, I write for the construction industry, and they tend to do things on a monthly or quarterly basis. Data like new construction starts gets a monthly update, while industry trends get reported and discussed quarterly.
If I wrote for the SaaS, crypto-currency, or cybersecurity niches, I expect that the topics and trends probably move and change quite a bit faster than what I’m accustomed to.
Yet don’t overcommit to your blog either. One blog entry a week is plenty. Any more can get incredibly difficult with three or more clients.
What topics should I cover?
Anything related to your niche or project specialty that helps establish you as more of an expert than the next name or business on the SERPs. My homepage keyword is “freelance b2b copywriter,” so I blog about how my copywriting services can improve my client’s organic traffic and avoid common SEO mistakes/penalties. I’ve also blogged about construction topics such as change orders and cutting office overhead costs.
How do you come up with ideas to keep blogging about?
I use a couple of different tactics to help flex and strengthen my idea muscle.
While I worked as the AWAI B2B Writing Success Reality Blogger, I found that the AWAI Facebook groups provided plenty of people asking specific questions I could answer. There was no shortage of how-to questions, from setting up a website to collecting sales tax.
Newsletters are another great source for writing topics, especially from trade associations and the heavyweight players within a niche. I subscribe to the AGC (Associated General Contractors of America), NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), and the ENR (Engineering News-Record) newsletters, so a lot of the construction industry news arrives in my inbox on a regular basis. I can find plenty of inspiration in those materials.
Google Alerts are another great option for a steady supply of ideas and topics for your blog. You can set up Alerts for keywords, companies, products, or almost anything else. I currently have nine active Google Alerts, including one for my name. Google will send you an email update (daily or weekly) with links to all the new content published about your topic. The Google Alerts save me a massive amount of research time, and I don’t fall down nearly as many rabbit holes these days either.
What’s the ideal length for a blog post?
I have a love/hate relationship with this question, so I decided to ask Google “how long should a blog post be”? And the answers range from 300 to 2,500 words, depending on which link you click.
I’ve always heard that Google needs a minimum of 400 words to effectively score the page copy or content for ranking purposes. I normally don’t worry about my word count because I charge by the project. I use enough words to completely present the information to my client’s satisfaction. Most of my blog posts seem to fall around 1,000 words in length. But a couple of blog posts I wrote easily hit the 2,500 mark.
The correct answer should be on the number of words needed to get the click, or a response to the CTA (call-to-action) on the page. If you can make that happen with 300 words, there’s your answer. If it takes 500 words, then that’s the correct answer.
You could also do some A/B testing to see what your readers prefer. Do a couple of shorter posts, followed by a couple of longer ones, and compare the analytics. Go with the better performer for the next six months, and then test again. Remember, data won’t lie to make you feel good, or spare your feelings.
Are there any other benefits to blogging?
Yes, blogging can improve several aspects of your writing and your business organization, too.
Write every day — fulfilling the AWAI mantra — is easy if you’re blogging regularly (or trying to).
Writer’s block — When I get stuck on a client’s project, I shift gears by working on a blog post for a while. I keep at least of couple of open files on my desktop just for this purpose.
Scheduling — maintaining a regular publishing schedule requires getting your research and writing schedule organized. A site blog is excellent practice for working with future clients, editors, and managers.
Expert status — consistent blogging can help establish you as the “________ expert,” leading to better paying projects and clients. SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) are in high demand for appearing on podcasts and speaking at webinars and live events.
Write faster — the more often you practice your writing skills, the better, and faster, you’ll become. As your speed increases, projects take less time to complete, which frees up time for more writing projects.
After crunching all the numbers and reviewing my notes, blogging can benefit any company, no matter the size. Besides the obvious SEO benefits, you can use your site blog to level up your writing skills, help organize your processes, and grow your audience of potential prospects.
It’s tough to beat a win-win-win, so if you’re not already blogging, what are you waiting for now?
There are several AWAI programs that cover writing great blog posts, if you’d like to learn more:
And with that, I’m off to work on few blog posts of my own before starting my next client project. Feel free to post your questions, or links to your site blog below and I’ll talk to you soon!