There are a few very important things that you need to consider before starting a blog, and even before you begin writing a single blog post. What’s the voice? How often are you going to post on yours or your client’s blog? How long will the posts be? Will they be uniform length, or constantly varying? The list could go on and on... but we'll stop there and get started.
No Budget Too Small, No Time Too Little
If you're like most inbound companies, you don't have a huge budget to work with—and similarly, like most people in the working world, you probably don’t have a ton of time. When it comes to keeping a blog, or writing for one, both of these things are okay. Having an unreasonable amount of money to spend does not always ensure that the money will be spent wisely, or that the tactics for spending will work. You can, however, be an effective blogger with both a small budget, and a limited amount of time. Not all blogs need to be long (we’ll talk more about that soon)—which is to say that sometimes, spending whatever time you do have on writing a short, decisive, informative piece is just what the doctor—or your readers—ordered.
Voice, Regularity, Length, and… Plogging?
When it comes to the voice of a blog, it all really depends on the topic at hand, and the writer behind the screen. If the topic is a serious one, then it’s best to go with a slightly more sober tone. If you’re used to writing in an upbeat or relaxed manner, this seriousness might feel unusual, or even decidedly unnatural. If that’s the case, take another perspective and try writing from that approach. If it still sounds strange, or just isn’t working, it may be best to ask a co-worker how they’d work the piece—what angle they’d take. Sometimes, the best inspiration comes from a little advice.
In the inbound marketing business, it usually goes that companies post, either for themselves or their clients, 3-5 times per month. For us, we try to post twice a week. As is the case in every day life, “the plan” doesn't always work out as anticipated. If that is the case: no worries. Maybe consider giving your readers an extra post next month, or, if you don’t see time allowing that, even the month after. Try to give readers some semblance of consistency with posting, if for no other reason than so they have a mental timeline for release dates, and when they should check back for new material.
There are two different schools of thought when it comes to length of blog posts--after all, blogging is a social marketing strategy, and there are dozens of approaches one can take. One school says short posts, as frequently as possible (there’s even this new thing called “plogging”… we’ll let you see what that is for yourself… read: GIF, meme, and a bunch of other interesting acronyms; the other says fewer posts with longer, more in-depth analysis, roughly twice a month. To answer the question of which school of thought works best for you, you have to make some important considerations. Let’s start first with stating the most important fact of the matter: all posts, whether short or long, need to be informative. No matter how varying in length, if your post isn’t valuable to your reader, it’s undeniably useless.
So back to the initial question: long or short blogs? Well, here’s our simple, perhaps not-so-helpful answer: it depends. We suggest writing longer posts for more technical topics—topics that need some backstory or extra explaining. If you're writing a post for an engineering company, for instance, it's likely that you yourself are going to need to look up a good deal of information before you write about it. So why not, to some extent, share that process? On the other hand, if you’re writing for your own blog and it’s about inbound marketing, it’s likely that your audience is relatively, if not intimately familiar with inbound. That said, they probably don’t need to have the phrase ‘pain point’ defined. Ensure that you're using good SEO practices and move forward with confidence that no matter the length, both your short and long blogs should rank well when searched.
And there you have it. A couple of important questions about blogging, answered. Check back for more tips on blogging, and how to best impart your knowledge unto your readers. Until next time.
Can-Do Ideas is an Inbound Marketing agency located in New York City and Connecticut.