When I am talking to new and prospective clients, they often have a lot of questions for me about how to approach a blog for their business. How long should a blog be? How many words should be in a blog? Should I include external links in a blog? And, these questions are all quite valid.
All these questions can be overwhelming for business owners who are trying to grow their online reputation and want to drive more traffic to their websites. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By hiring the right blogger for your business, you can ensure you have a well-written blog that checks all the boxes, creating a great source of information for readers and scannable content to help your blog rank on search engine results pages.
How Long Should a Blog Be?
So, this first question is a great one and is probably the first question that I am asked whenever I hop on a scoping call. But, the truth is that the answer is—it depends. And before I answer that question, let’s back up just a bit.
It’s important to remember that you don’t want to write a blog just to write a blog. The goal is to create informative content that can answer questions, solve pain points, etc. So, blogging is about more than words on a page. As such, I tell my clients that the blog should be as long as it takes to answer the question at hand.
Lengthier Articles Typically Secure a Higher Ranking on Search Engines
So, how long should a blog be? Here are some parameters to consider. Long-form content is considered content that is at least 1,000 words in length. In most cases, you should strive to develop topics that can be answered via long-form content.
Given that lengthier articles contain an abundance of keyword-enriched content, search engines are equipped to discern the article’s topic and its suitable ranking. Extended content tends to attract more backlinks and social media shares, both of which are essential elements in evaluating content by search engine algorithms.
But, I want to acknowledge that many clients want to start with blogs that are 500 to 600 words long. And I should put a disclaimer here that blogs must be at least 500 words. It’s a short-form, readable length that can typically hold a reader’s attention long enough for them to get through the article.
As for longer blogs, especially those exceeding 2,000 words, they bring their own set of advantages. The prime range for an ideal blog post is 1,500 to 2,500 words, with an optimal word count of around 2,450. Staying within this range not only boosts your chances of securing a higher ranking on search engines but also increases the likelihood of garnering more social media shares and backlinks.
PS… for context, this blog post is just shy of 1,800 words.
How Often Should I Post a New Blog?
This is typically the next question I receive when participating in a blog scoping call. How often should I post a new blog? And, just as there are varying opinions on how long a blog post should be, there are multiple schools of thought here, too.
So, I answer this question in a variety of ways.
- You need to start somewhere—if you are new to business blogging, start where your budget allows. At the least, aim for two blogs per month. And when posting only two blogs per month, shoot for that long-form content.
- You also need a content plan rather than a willy-nilly approach to blogging. This means that you should consider what type of information you want to share and why. Remember my point earlier about answering key questions and solving pain points? Focus your content strategy there.
- Start with cornerstone articles that can be used for internal linking purposes going forward. Cornerstone articles comprise your website’s finest, most crucial content—the pages or posts you aspire to rank at the top of search engine results. Typically, cornerstone articles include extensive, informative content that shares insights from various blog posts, providing comprehensive coverage of everything pertinent to a specific subject matter.
- Plan for growth—whether you start with two blogs per month or two blogs per week, plan for growth and consistency. The more blogs you post, the better your search engine results will be. However, posting four blogs in one week and then no blogs for the next two or three weeks isn’t the best strategy. Use your content plan to create a pipeline of blog posts so that you can post consistently and your readers know what to expect.
With all of that, how often should I post a new blog? I recommend starting with two per month if that is all your budget allows, and strive to post two blogs per week.
Why Do I Need to Include External Links?
This is another question that I get asked quite often: why do I need to include external links? And this one often makes some clients a bit nervous. After all, an external link creates a risk that a customer will click on that link, go away from your website, and not return. And yes, this risk exists. However, it is a bigger risk to avoid external links altogether.
External links serve a dual purpose. They enrich your content by offering supplementary information and insights, enhancing your audience’s comprehension of the subject matter. For instance, imagine being a health and wellness blogger who seamlessly integrates a link to the CDC’s page on skin cancer – it becomes an invaluable resource for readers, connecting them with trusted information.
Secondly, external links elucidate search engines and users about your website’s domain and niche while providing additional value and resources. The strategic use of external links from authoritative and relevant sources can elevate your site’s ranking and bolster its overall reputation.
This naturally prompts the question: How many external links should find their place in a blog? I recommend aiming for a balance and maintaining three to five outbound links per 1000 words of content.
When Should I Post My New Blogs?
Now that you know how long your blog posts should be, how often you should post them, and the value of external links, the next natural question is when you should post them. And understand that this question is different than how often you should post. The fact is that the day of week and time of day, actually matters. And the answer to this question is—it depends.
The thing to keep in mind here is that you want to post content when your readers will be paying attention. Based on the industry you are in and the niche in which you write, this may vary. That said, you can follow a few guidelines to get started.
- Post your blogs in the morning—I tend to post blogs for my website between 9 AM and 10 AM CST. This feels like a good time for me, as most people have become settled for their day, have worked through their email, and are feeling a bit squirrely, so they take to the internet for some searches. Rumor has it that morning posts tend to get higher click-throughs.
- If you are only posting once per week, aim for Mondays. The beginning of the work week can generate higher page views and bring more traffic to your site.
- Share your blogs via social media on Sundays. People tend to scroll through their social media sites—Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), etc.
- Avoid Fridays. That seems counter-intuitive because I posted this blog on a Friday. However, my current content plan has me posting three days per week—Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—but my social media plan has me sharing that content on other days of the week.
Should I Include Frequently Asked Questions at the End of a Blog Post?
It seems that more and more of my clients are asking me to include three to five FAQs at the end of blog posts. And while initially, I found the request a bit odd, adding frequently asked questions to the end of your blog posts can be highly beneficial.
- It helps you address keywords right off the bat. Use an FAQ at the end of a blog post to answer commonly searched questions about your topic. Doing so can help you improve your search engine results.
- It helps you add word count to turn your blogs into long-form content. A warning here, however, don’t use an FAQ as filler. Ensure that every question and answer you include, serves a purpose.
- It keeps your FAQ page from getting too long. While the official FAQ for your website may have ten or more questions, the chances are that there are typically three to five unique questions related to the content you are writing the blog about. While you could add these questions and answers to the FAQ page, it could make that page too long, and before you know it, it is no longer a useful tool. Keeping specific FAQs at the end of a blog post can help keep your content relevant.
- Stick to three to five FAQs per blog post if you choose to go that route.
Copywriting For You Can Help You Craft the Best Blogs For Your Business
Crafting the perfect blog for your business involves several key considerations. From the ideal length, which should align with the need to provide valuable information, to the frequency of posting and the strategic use of external links, these factors play a super important role in your blog’s success.
Remember that the length of your blog should serve to answer your audience’s questions and address their pain points effectively. Longer, well-researched articles often fare better in search engine rankings, attracting more backlinks and shares.
When it comes to posting frequency, start with a plan that suits your budget, focusing on consistent quality. Incorporating cornerstone articles can help establish your authority in your niche.
External links, while carrying some risk, add depth and credibility to your content. Aim for a balanced use of outbound links to enhance user experience.
Lastly, timing matters when scheduling your posts. Consider when your target audience is most active and adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
If you’re looking for a skilled blogger to optimize your content strategy, contact Copywriting For You via LinkedIn, Upwork, or email for professional assistance. Let’s create engaging and effective blogs tailored to your business needs.