We recently spent a significant amount of time discussing the question of how often a business should blog. Statistics demonstrated specific traffic levels and sales leads generated by increasing levels of post activity. Clearly, a business that can commit to blogging nearly every day will see huge returns in traffic and leads, but what does that commitment actually represent?
Write Unique Content
First, let’s be absolutely clear that we are talking about unique articles and blog posts here. Taking or even buying posts from other websites will not result in these kinds of numbers. Search engines do not reward sites for using the same, duplicate content as other websites.
Instead, business owners need to make sure that each one of their blog posts and articles is completely unique content, written to be informative for users and optimized for search engines.
Standard Blog Post Length
Second, in terms of post length, while the survey did not specify post information, it should be understood that we define a standard blog post to be 3 – 5 paragraphs. While that’s a rule I break all the time by allowing my posts to go longer, the point here is that most business owners can count on only needing to write about that much each day.
A standard 3 – 5 paragraph blog post will likely take just 30-60 minutes to compose. While that time should include proofreading for spelling and grammar, and inserting links to old posts and categories for deep linking, that time does not include search engine optimization or posting to social networks, so add some time each day for that. How much is one hour of your time each day worth? That’s the cost of your new content marketing campaign, and is the measurement against which you gauge your return (traffic and leads).
- Schedule time each day to work on new blog posts.
- Start researching and thinking about your new blog topic the night before.
- Use a template or outline for new blog posts to help you stay on track.
RELATED: The Ultimate Blogging Planner to help you organize your blog & blogging business.
Content Creation Services
Another option for small business owners is to outsource their content creation. When choosing an author for your blog posts, he or she needs to demonstrate:
- Ability to write intelligently about any topic
- Time and capability to author posts at the desired frequency
- Ability to compose a post that speaks to your potential clients
- Ability to optimize your posts for search engines
- An understanding of where to find appropriate, license-free images for your blogs
- Ability to share your posts in an optimal way to company social networks
- A per post rate that is likely more than your own hourly rate, yet less than your calculated return
Why should I pay more for a post than my own hourly rate?
While few authors will be able to know your business better than you do, the art of blogging is also a technique that takes time to develop. If you aren’t interested in learning everything else that goes into creating a great blog post, then it’s worth it to invest in a great author. Keep in mind though that while another author may only need an hour to write and optimize a post for you, they’ll also need to spend more time researching and learning about your business in order to formulate the content of the post.
Whether you choose to hire a blogger or write your own posts, what’s important is that you come up with a content marketing strategy for your business that makes sense, and then stick to it.