By LuAnn Glowacz, Owner, WordCove
As you consider adding or enhancing a blogging program for your business, you’re likely faced with several uncertainties and, unfortunately, just as many so-called “experts” who take a my-way-or-the-highway approach with their advice. Here’s the truth.
Do my blog posts need to be a certain length to be worthwhile?
This is one of the most hotly debated questions among bloggers. The answer is yes, but not in the way you may assume. Ideally, you’d have a mix of both long and short posts. The shorter posts will allow you to consistently blog several times a month and offer great, sharable tidbits for social sharing and enewsletters while the longer posts once or twice a month give you increased SEO and thought-leadership value.
For a more in-depth answer, see this helpful article from Snap Agency. And, for more on what it takes for a longform article to go viral, see this Fast Company article.
Does frequency matter?
Yes, it does. But consistency and quality matter more. Ask yourself: How many high-quality blog posts per month can I churn out consistently? Start with considering one post per week. If you’re working with a content provider, you’ll need to set aside 10-20 minutes to review an average blog post and perhaps an extra 30-45 minutes per month to consider upcoming topics.
Consider what popular business consultants/bloggers Michael Hyatt and Neil Patel have to say about consistency over frequency and quality over frequency.
Should I share my posts on LinkedIn and other sites to get more traction?
Yes! That’s a great idea! And if your next question is whether that will adversely affect your Google ranking, the answer is: It shouldn’t if you do it correctly. I recently received a content marketing certification from Hubspot Academy and learned through them that for republished content to help rather than harm your content marketing efforts, it should:
- Use a canonical tag on the secondary site (this is a term any decent website administrator should be familiar with).
- Include a link at the beginning or the end of the post that connects back to your website.
- Be “NoIndex” on the secondary site.
- Have a different headline.
- Be published at least two weeks later (giving Google time to index the original).
The word on the street on how this relates to LinkedIn, Medium and industry-specific sites is that duplicate content anywhere (especially on LinkedIn and Medium) will not penalize you unless your website is MOSTLY duplicate content. Just follow the 2-week wait period mentioned above to allow the post you want to be displayed FIRST in search results a chance to do that. Because LinkedIn is so popular, it may outrank your original post anyway but, to most folks, the benefit of getting more eyeballs is worth it.
Do I need to spend money on paid search, ads and social promotions to attract readers?
It depends on your goals (that’s something BuzzPR can help you decide). Investing in paid search like Google’s AdWords program or social promotions like promoted posts on Facebook can be great ways to attract new audiences to your website. But, to take full advantage of the dollars you’re spending, you need to consider how the blog posts you’re promoting contribute to your marketing sales funnel.
Many small businesses—particularly those in service or B2B industries—choose customer retention as their main reason to blog. For this purpose, while spending advertising dollars may help keep content in front of current stakeholders, client e-newsletters/email promotions and other non-paid promotion can be effective, too.
LuAnn Glowacz is the owner of WordCove, where she spends her days ghost writing and editing blog posts, books, reports, case studies, op eds and contributed articles—managing a great team of fellow writers when needed—for some of the top business owners in Austin and throughout the country.