Small business blogging offers many advantages. Having a blog that’s regularly updated can attract traffic to your business website, helping you get more leads and customers.
For a business blog to be beneficial, however, it needs to be updated with regular content. This brings us to our question, how much content is enough?
Content Quantity vs. Content Quality
The quality of the blog posts you publish is just as important as how often you’re posting to your blog.
To make things easier, you can plan the format of your blog posts to decide how often you’re willing to write a new post.
There are three main areas in which to set general guidelines for the format of your blog posts:
• Word count
Creating guidelines in these three areas can make blogging much more manageable.
Once you have a general format for posts on your blog, you’ll get an idea of how long it will take to write a post. This will help you plan how much time to set aside for writing blog posts.
Setting a word count doesn’t mean every post on your blog should be the exact same length. You can choose a general figure – like 800 to 1000 words, for instance – and base the length of each blog post on that number.
For the best results, try to set your minimum word count at about 500 words or more. Posts shorter than 500 words don’t generally perform as well as longer posts.
Posts that are too short are unlikely to offer readers much value. Because of this, search engines recognize longer posts as being more helpful, and will give preference to longer posts.
Readers also tend to prefer posts that are informative and contain actionable advice. Posts that aren’t informative can still perform well though, as long as they are entertaining.
A lot of business owners make the mistake of starting a small business blog without considering what keywords they want to target.
Choosing what keywords to target in your posts will help you attract your target audience. In business blogging, your target audience should be potential customers.
For a local business, it’s good to have keywords that target people in your area.
If for instance, you run a bookstore in a town called Fictionalville, then writing occasional blog posts that target keywords like “bookstore in Fictionalville” would be helpful.
An example of when these keywords could be applicable is when you’re sharing news about your bookstore.
You can also add these keywords to posts that aren’t about your bookstore. If you’re reviewing a book, for instance, you can just mention that your bookstore in Fictionalville stocks the book you reviewed somewhere in your blog post.
Try to be versatile with your keywords. Don’t always target the exact same phrases. Research different keywords you can use that are likely to attract your target audience.
Also avoid getting too caught up with including keywords. Writing that’s too focused on keywords will be boring. This can make including keywords a bit of an art, but with some practice, you’re sure to get it right.
For a lot of blogs, having one image at the top of each post is enough, but for other blogs, having plenty of images with each post is necessary.
Technical subjects often need a lot of images in every post. Because of this, businesses in technical industries will have to make images a priority when planning blog posts.
Business that don’t work in technical industries can get away with a single image for each post. But adding more images still make posts more entertaining and engaging, which is something to consider when planning your post format.
As with word count, not every post needs to have the exact same amount of images. Some posts can have only one, while others can have 5 or more. Just remember that adding images is an area you want to prepare for when starting your blog.
How Often To Publish A New Blog Post
Having a general post format is a good start to planning your blog realistically. But this still won’t help much if you’re only able to post once every few months.
So the question remains. When it comes to posting, how often is enough?
There’s a serious lack of real answers regarding this question. Not everyone agrees on the answer, and I don’t think there is a definite right answer. What drives traffic and sales for one business, might not work for another one.
But having a more direct, actionable answer won’t hurt right? The worst that can happen is you can publish your first few posts, only to review your strategy later and adjust it so it’s better for you.
So here are some real guidelines and numbers that you can use to start out with.
Often Is Better
The general rule is that posting more is better. Keep in mind, however, that posting often at the expense of quality won’t benefit your ultimate cause.
Sacrificing quality for the sake of quantity will cause your readers to become disinterested. This will defeat the purpose of blogging, seeing as your goal is to attract readers and convert them to customers.
While it’s true that search engines give preference to blogs that post more regularly, poor content isn’t likely to rank high. So it’s best to post only high quality blog posts as regularly as you are able to write them.
The Minimum Posts Per Month
According to research by Hubspot, both B2B and B2C businesses can benefit from posting more than 16 times a month.
Realistically, however, a lot of small businesses simply won’t be able to keep up that pace. Either the quality of the content will suffer, or small business owners will get so disheartened, they’ll never start a blog to begin with.
You don’t need to publish 16 posts a month to benefit from blogging. You can benefit from just one good post a month too. The only difference is you’ll be getting less of the same benefits, but the benefits will still be there.
Here are some guidelines for the minimum you should be posting based on the word count of your posts:
• At least 4-8 times monthly if your posts are 500-800 words
• At least 2-4 monthly if your posts are 800-1000 words
• At least 1-2 monthly if your posts are 1500 or more words
Remember, these figures aren’t set in stone. They’re not based on years of research and they aren’t a magic number you need to stick to at all costs. These numbers are just a broad idea of how often you should post when you’re starting out.
Once you have a blog, you can adjust the amount of times you post to what you find most effective. You don’t have to feel pressured to keep all the expert advice. As long as the basics of your blog are up to snuff, you can do what works best for you and still get results.