Does size matter? When it comes to blogging, it does – but not as much as quality. Well written, useful, engaging content should always be the top priority. But with that as a given, what length is optimum? Research by Orbit Media has shown that blog posts are getting longer. More are passing the 1,000 word mark, and bloggers are spending more time to create each post. The trend is also toward weekly blog posts, whereas a few years ago, more bloggers were publishing daily. But before you shift to longer blog posts, consider a few things.
The length of your blog posts should correlate to how much information you are sharing. Don’t stretch out a short topic to hit what you think is an ideal word count. Readers don’t want fluff. Instead, give them more in-depth information. Share real stories of how your product or service worked for someone. (Of course, you need to get permission from the customer in question. But you do not need to identify them precisely. You can give their first name and county or state where they live instead of their full name and town.) Back up any product claims with details.
Word count is only one part of the story of what makes a successful blog. Visuals matter too. How many images you use depends on your content, but people do love good images. That was always true for newspapers and magazines, and it hasn’t changed. The best images show your product in a real-life setting. Images shouldn’t replace words in your blog. How many images should you use? That depends on your product and the topic of the specific blog post. Blogs promoting gifts items or venues need more photos than those for a marketing company or a plumber. A good rule of thumb is that you should have at least one image per blog post but not more than one image per 100 words. Three or four images for a 500-word blog post is a good standard for most retail blogs.
Photos aren’t the only images you can use on your blog. Video is becoming more popular. You can use video to effectively give a tutorial or show your product being used or made. You can also give virtual tours of your factory or bricks and mortar shop. If you provide a service, video can be a powerful way to show people exactly what they can expect from your company.
The critical thing to remember about trends is that they are generalities. It’s important to be aware of them, but never follow them blindly. Consider your audience, your marketing persona. If they are busy people looking for quick answers, longer blog posts might not be best for you. If they are reading your blog to pursue an interest they are passionate about, then by all means give them more to read. Consider too how big the decision to purchase from your company is to them. People need a lot more information to choose a wedding venue than to choose a spot for lunch. As always, you must know your audience.
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