Entries Tagged 'blogging' ↓

The Length of Content Marketing – how long should your blogs be?

Tape measure

You know you need content.

You know it must be genuine, interesting and relevant to your audience.

You know it takes time to create.

But do you know how long your blogs and articles should be?

If you do could you let me know?

There is no definitive right or wrong answer (there’s a surprise) and the decision about how long your article or post will be will depend on your subject matter and audience.

Short vs long

In the world of marketing, long copy has always out performed short. But does the same go for blogging?

If you opt for a long article you must make sure your message remains strong throughout, draws your reader in and keeps their attention and that it’s subject matter is relevant.

If you fail on any of these counts people won’t read your stuff.

But there is something else that should be added to that list and that’s the reader’s attention span.

Personally speaking, I prefer short posts and articles.


Simply because I get bored easily.

It’s rare for me to find a blog that’s over 600 words that I will actually read through from start to finish. I prefer my information in short, entertaining chunks that I can read quickly.

I guess that’s why most of my blog posts are short.

By my reckoning I can’t be the only person in the world that thinks this way, so what I write should appeal to a fairly large audience.

Long blogs attract more comments

Do they? Not sure, that’s just a guess.

Mind you, if you think about it, long articles probably do attract more comments.

If you’re writing 700+ words you can formulate arguments for or against a particular question. This kind of writing will evoke an emotional response in the reader – who will either be in your camp or behind enemy lines.

Therefore, if written well, your readers will be more inclined to comment and put their own viewpoint forward.

But if you write a short post that concentrates on a particular feature (so in my line it could be about website copywriting, email content, newsletters, SEO etc.), the reader will take that information away with them and use it and may be less inclined to comment (unless of course they disagree with you).

I guess what it comes down to is:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do they want to know?
  • What do you want to get out of your blogging?

A good idea to make sure you cover all bases is to mix up your posts – have some long, some short, infographics, videos etc., so you provide something for everyone.

It’s not enough just to churn out the same old, same old week after week. A bit of variety will keep your audience entertained and help attract a wide spectrum of readers.

Over to you

What are your thoughts on this?

Are you a long or short fan?

Leave a comment below.

8 Ways Your Blogging Improves Through Practice

As with everything, the more you blog the better you’ll get at it.better blogging

No one can become a world-class blogger over night. It takes time to hone your craft and find the perfect recipe for your audience.

But there are a few things you can do to help you on your way.

Below are 8 things you need to refine to create a strong and readable blog, whether you write all the posts on your own, or you have a team of contributors within your business.

1. Learn what your readers want

This is probably the most important thing you need to know.

When starting out, you’ll end up writing about all manner of things related to your particular niche. Over time, you’ll begin to understand exactly what it is your audience is looking for.

Check out your analytics to find the most popular titles and ask your readers directly. At the end of each post ask for their opinion. You can also ask if there is anything in particular they want to know about, generating further blog ideas.

2. Give a great mix

Your blog shouldn’t just consist of written blog posts.

Different people like to absorb information in different ways, so it’s important to offer a range of styles, such as:

  • Photos
  • Infographics
  • Graphics
  • Audio
  • Presentations
  • Video

Plus, make sure you incorporate at least one image to every post to help attract readers.

3. Headlines

The headline of your blog is incredibly important. Your reader will make a split second decision about whether to read your post or not based on the attractiveness of its title.

Some of the most powerful headlines incorporate numbers (such as they one above), address the reader directly (using you and your, like the one above) and offer tips and advice showing them how to do something.

4. Consistency

One of the best ways to make people feel at home on your blog is consistency. That is consistency in style, font, approach and design.

Again, it may take time to come up with a style that suits your readers (and your writing), but when you do, it’s a good idea to create a style guide for all future posts.

5. Review

It’s very tempting to bash out a blog, publish it and then move on to the next task in hand. But reviewing what you write is essential, especially if you have blogs from contributors.

I’ve already mentioned the importance of consistency, well the review process will help you maintain that, check for errors and ensure that your tags are all in place.

6. Optimise

You blog for one reason – to attract readers and, hopefully, push them towards your sales funnel.

But you’ll only attract them if they can find your blogs.

First you must find out what your target audience wants, then use the keyword in your title and content to help your optimisation. To go a step further, link to other blogs where appropriate and also to your website. Finally, make sure each post has social buttons to make it easy for your readers to share your information with their friends and colleagues.

7. Timing

The timing of your posts is also important. After all, there’s no point in scheduling them for publication at a time when your target audience is unlikely to see them.

Think carefully about your audience and post your blogs when they are most likely to be around.

8. Distribute

There’s no point in writing anything if you’re not going to promote it. Yes, some people may stumble across your posts, but if you want to widen your readership you must also promote them.

Sent them out through your social media channels, email and make mention of them (and link them) in your internal communications and newsletters. Tell the world they are there and they are more likely to read them.

Each of these will get easier and clearer the more you blog. It’s like learning to walk, at the start you will take a few tumbles, but once you learn more about your audience and what they’re looking for, you’ll soon be running.

Author: Sally Ormond, MD at Briar Copywriting, lover of Pinot Grigio and toffee popcorn.





Guest Blogging for Businesses – How to Avoid the Most Common SEO Pitfalls

Writing guest blogs or paying an SEO company to post guest blogs on your behalf used to be a popular SEO tactic, but according to Matt Cutts, Google is increasingly inclined to view guest blogging as ‘spammy’, which could have serious Guest bloggingconsequences for your business’s website. However, despite the potential dangers guest blogging does still have enormous advantages—but only if you avoid the land mines.


Several years ago, everyone and their dog was writing guest blogs and submitting them to websites all over the internet. Guest blogging was seen as respectable and it was fairly easy to find good quality websites willing to accept a guest blog. But what began life as a natural way of spreading the love soon evolved into something a lot less wholesome. Yes, posting guest blogs as a strategy caught on and before long web masters were sending out poorly written blogs containing numerous ‘do-follow’ links back to the home website with the intent of increasing that site’s link profile.

Why Bother Guest Blogging At All?

Before you throw teddy out of the cot and decide that guest blogging is not worth your while, let me just say that it still does have a place in the greater scheme of things. You must be very careful about how you practice guest blogging, but if done well guest blogging is a very useful way of building a brand and increasing your exposure.

Write and They Will Come

Use guest blogging to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your niche—if people read your blogs and think what you have to say is interesting, they will want to read more of your posts and are likely to go looking for you online. Guest blogging is also a useful way of building links within your community, which is important if you operate within a small niche. In other words, guest blogging needs to be viewed as a public relations exercise rather than an SEO strategy.

How NOT to do Guest Blogging

There is an art to guest blogging, particularly if you are using it for business purposes, so here are my tips for how NOT to make a mess of it.

The First Hurdle

It is surprisingly difficult to find blogs willing to take guests posts these days. A lot of blog owners have become wise to the problem of spam posts and are now extremely wary about accepting guest blogs from anyone they don’t already know. That said, it isn’t impossible, but to reduce the possibility of crashing and burning at the first hurdle, make sure you don’t do any of the following:

  • Send a one-size-fits-all email pitch – Nobody likes to be the recipient of a generic email, so make sure you write a personal note indicating that you know the blog well and are familiar with its content.
  • Keep it short and sweet – There is little point writing umpteen pages of flattery in the hope that this will get your guest blog published. Most blog owners and web masters are busy people (just like you and I), so keep to the point and be business like and polite.
  • Do your research – Pitching a tech-related guest post to a blog devoted to relationships and dating is doomed to failure.

How to Write a Bad Guest Post

In the bad old days, you might have got away with submitting hundreds of poor quality guest posts to random blogs, but the SEO world has moved on and these days you need to smarten up your act if you want your guest blog to stand any chance of being accepted.

  • Read the blog guidelines – Make sure you check what the blog owner wants from a post. Does he accept links in the post body, or just in the bio? Get this wrong and you may as well forget it.
  • Quality is the key – Poorly written posts containing bad or irrelevant information will not pass muster in the current SEO climate. If you are an expert, write your own posts, or if you are paying someone else to write your content, make sure it is top quality.
  • Relevance – Guest posts need to be relevant to the blog they are written for.
  • Nofollow links – Google has indicated in the strongest terms that nofollow links are the only way forward. Ignore this advice at your peril!

SEO Companies and Guest Blogging

If you, like me, find that there are not enough hours in the day, you could be looking at employing an SEO company to promote your business. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but make sure the company you choose doesn’t end up damaging you by using dodgy SEO practices to produce fast results. Always use an SEO company you can trust—bad ones will not have your best interests at heart and are more likely to adopt all or some of the bad practices I have discussed above.

Guest blogging isn’t dead and buried just yet, but you do need to be careful when using it to build your company’s reputation. And remember, the better quality articles you submit, the more likely it is that you will be invited back!


This post was written by Laura Ginn, owner of Ink Elves, a freelance writing company based in the UK.

How Long Should a Blog Post Be?

Blog posts

This is a question I’m asked a lot.

Should it be short and sweet, or should it be a lengthy, complicated in depth look at a particular topic?

On top of that, should it be conversational and friendly, or should it be strictly professional and formal?

There are no right or wrong answers.

Everyone loves different things.

Personally, I prefer short, chatty and informative posts that get across a point or concept quickly and easily.

A long blog post, no matter how well written, will never hold my attention because I always have a pile of stuff to get through so I don’t have the time to sit and wade through complex arguments and ideas.

Yet there are people out there who love long posts.

The best piece of advice I can give is to take a look at the audience you are writing for. What do they like? If your company deals with high brow financial, medical or complex issues, your writing will probably be more formal than if you were involved in design or marketing. But that doesn’t mean to say all your posts have to be long and ‘dry’ (in the nicest possible sense of the word). Throw in a few short, pithy posts now and then to liven things up and add interest.

That’s really all I have to say.

Over to you – what type of blog posts do you prefer? Leave a comment below and tell me what industry you write for and the main type of post you publish.

I’d be really interested in your input on this one.

Author: Sally Ormond, copywriter at Briar Copywriting Ltd.

“Don’t Guest Blog For Links”, Says Matt Cutts

As the owner of two blogs (this one and Briar Copywriting Blog), I usually get at least one email a day pitching guest blog ideas.

Some are genuine and from writers that produce great content, but others are an obvious attempt to buy their way onto my blogs. Yes, they actually offer to make a ‘contribution’ for the kudos they’ll get for appearing on a high-ranking blog.

Guest blogging is a practice that’s been exploited over the years by people who saw it as a quick way to get links back to their sites. The result is an awful lot of dreary, sub standard copy that’s no use to man nor beast.

If you do it, stop now.

If you don’t believe me, this is what Google’s very own Matt Cutts has to say about guest blogging:

“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

“Back in the day, guest blogging used to be a respectable thing, much like getting a coveted, respected author to write the introduction of your book. It’s not that way any more.”

Guest blogging and SEO

It is important to make the distinction between high quality guest blogging and the practice being used for search engine optimisation.

If you write fantastic articles for multi-author blogs (that are high quality sites) you have nothing to worry about. Google’s wrath is reserved for low quality posts, spammy sites and those who offer to pay for the privilege of being published on blog sites.

To help clarify that for you, here’s Matt’s latest video on the subject.

If you are also inundated with guest blog requests, tread carefully. As a rule, only accept those from people you know (personally or through business) and trust.