A 500-word blog post, on average, takes 1-2 hours to write, according to Hubspot. That time estimate doesn’t necessarily reflect longer pieces, research, time for editing, and time to actually post the blog. Needless to say, blogging is an investment. The last thing a small business — or really any business for that matter — wants to do is waste precious time. After all, “time is money,” as the saying goes. E/Power is a small business too, so we totally get it. To be successful you have to make sure everything you do is worthwhile, efficient, and helps you achieve your goals.
While many small businesses here in the Fox Cities and throughout the Midwest are investing in blogging, many of them are not using their time as well as they could be. They spend hours writing but aren’t necessarily seeing the payoff that they expected. If that sounds like you, keep reading. We’ll help you determine if your blog is a waste of time — and some tips to make sure it isn’t!
Your blog posts don’t have enough content.
While there’s no magic number for exactly how long your blog should be, research shows that longer posts tend to perform best. In fact, the ideal blog post length is 2,100-2,400 words, according to HubSpot data.
While not every post has to be exactly in that range, having some breadth and depth to your content and finding a good balance is important. Longer posts have a higher chance of ranking for important keywords in Google and other search engines, which means they’ll get seen by more people.
If the majority of your posts are less than 500 words and missing important search phrases, your blog posts may not have enough content. In turn, your blog may not be as effective at driving traffic to your website and, therefore, a waste of time. Consider expanding them, adding more detail, and making them really unique from other content that’s out there.
All that being said, E/Power stands by the fact that quality trumps quantity every time. A shorter, well-written blog post is always going to perform better than a longer post that’s unoptimized and poorly written. We’ll explain more about that later on.
You’re not following a regular posting schedule
Again, there’s no magic number of how many blogs to post or when. However, it’s been proven that consistency is key. Why is a consistent posting schedule so important? Great question.
First, a consistent posting schedule helps you set expectations and build a readership with your readers. Followers will be more likely to watch for new posts, scope out your content, and engage with your brand on a regular basis, thus drawing more traffic to your site and keeping them engaged.
Secondly, a consistent posting schedule means you’ll always have fresh content to share across platforms. Whether you’re sharing on social or repurposing for an email blast, it’s helpful to have ongoing content to keep audiences interested and engaged.
A consistent posting frequency can also make it easier to notice important trends, issues, and successes with your marketing strategies. You’ll be able to clearly see which efforts are (or aren’t) driving the most results without any big gaps or dips in your data due to your blog going dark.
Again, find a blog posting frequency that is reasonable for your team to keep up with for best results. If you’re only posting blogs sporadically, you may not be seeing the best results or spending your time as efficiently as you could be.
Your blogs aren’t organized or optimized.
Ultimately, if you’re going to invest hours into creating a blog post, you should do it right. That means making sure that each post is organized, optimized, and well-written.
Again, it’s about quality over quantity. If you’re just posting blogs for the sake of saying you posted something, what’s even the point? An unoptimized post won’t rank well on Google to drive traffic, won’t resonate with your audience, and won’t reflect well on your brand overall.
So, what can you do to make sure your blog looks great and has the best chance for success? Here are a few simple tips for optimizing your blog…
- Research and utilize important keywords. There are a variety of tools to help you here, including the free Google Keyword Planner.
- Craft a catchy headline that’ll grab attention.
- Write in short paragraphs that are easy to digest and skim.
- Include subheads, bullets, numbered lists, and other formatting to break up text.
- Feature eye-catching visuals.
- Include a clear call-to-action or next step that the readers should take.
- Follow an easy-to-read structure with a clear beginning, middle, and conclusion.
- Avoid industry jargon that your readers won’t understand.
- Improve your page speed so viewers don’t lose interest. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a good free tool here.
- Edit for spelling and grammatical errors. These will slowly but surely chip away at your brand authority.
Spending time to optimize your blog will definitely help improve reach and provide a better experience for your readers. Otherwise, it’s probably not worth it.
You don’t have a solid distribution plan.
Spending time creating and optimizing your blog posts is great, but you’re wasting your time if no one sees them. Research shows that more than 4 million blog posts are created every day. So, what can you do to help your content stand out and get seen by the right people? That’s where a solid distribution strategy comes into play.
Of course, you don’t want to be posting whenever and wherever. You want to put together a calendar, budget, and overall strategy to make the most of your time and get the best reach.
First, make sure you’re sharing across your “owned” distribution channels. These include your website, social media, forums, email list, and other distribution methods you don’t have to pay for.
Use research and data to determine what free channels might be the best fit for sharing your blog content, the right message points, and how often to share. You might also consider adding a subscription option for your blog so people can easily opt-in for notifications when you share new posts!
After you’ve shared across those free channels, you can move on to paid distribution channels. Paid distribution channels include ads on Google and other search engines, ads across social networks, sponsored content, influencers, and more.
Putting money behind your blog posts can be a great way to drive traffic and, ultimately, leads from your blog posts. You’ll want to make sure you’re targeting the right audience and using the right advertising tactics to get the most bang for your buck here.
There’s also a variety of “earned” distribution opportunities, including reviews, social shares and mentions, backlinks to your content, media coverage, guest posting opportunities, and more. These are great for your brand because they’re proof that people are reading and engaging with your blog content enough on a deep level.
However, these opportunities are a little trickier since you have little to no control over the message and can’t always plan ahead. Do what you can and adjust your owned and paid efforts accordingly to get the best results.
We Can Help
If your current blog efforts seem to be a waste of time or you’re not sure how to gain traction with your content marketing efforts, E/Power Marketing is here to help! We love working with our neighbors and fellow businesses throughout the Midwest to help them make the most of their precious time and budget.
We start with a free opportunity assessment, which provides some fresh insights into what’s working, what’s not, and how you can best move forward with your online marketing efforts. Interested?