Content marketing has changed a lot of things for business owners. But change never stops. Today, many business owners have gotten into the groove of writing or hiring someone to write regular blog posts either weekly or twice a month.
Content marketers used to say the idea length of those posts was 400 to 500 words. Many later argued for 500 to 700 words. While 400 words is still true as a minimum, research is showing that blog posts longer than 500 words are performing far better — especially those more than 1,000 words. That number is climbing. Some research is saying posts more than 2,000 words are the thing, and other are suggesting 3,000 words or more.
For many business owners, the idea of writing a blog post of 1,200 words is unthinkable. My own research indicates many Raleigh business owners are not yet willing to pay for longer content.
So what does a business owner do?
Mixed-Length Posts Solution
Research also shows users on mobile devices need some shorter content, even as short as 200 words. So my solution for business owners: create one long post per quarter. Mix that up with your other posts at varying lengths. (Post length should vary naturally; you write a post as long as it needs to be to convey the information you’re sharing.) Here is a nice summary of the pros of both short and long content, with the data.
The post length seems less daunting when the frequency is lower, and if you are hiring out, you do not have to pay as much. Clients concerned about cost can also write their own and hire someone like me for editing.
This solution still leaves the main problem (albeit less often): How can I write 1,200 words about something? I’m a business owner, not a writer, you say. But here is how you can find the words:
How to Write a Longer Blog Post
First, choose a strong topic. This post isn’t just a 5 Tips or How To. This post is one in which you, business owner, are going to expound on something related to your industry or small business in general, or maybe Raleigh.
This topic is big picture, something often seen in your business, a frequently encountered problem, maybe, or a solution for customers/clients. While you may draw a blank reading this, I bet if you kept this need top of mind for a week as you work, you would bump into something. Think about what you read, especially books. What thoughts can you add? Refer to my recent post, How to Write a Blog Post in 7 Easy Steps for more thoughts on coming up with ideas and gathering information.
Next, research. Although I hate to make this comparison, you might think of this blog post as a school essay. You want a lot of your own thoughts in it, but you’ll also need to include facts and rely on what others have said about it. You may also find a good quote relevant to the topic and use that at some point during your post. If the school essay approach wigs you out, ignore that idea. But keep in mind that turning to other (factual) sources can help add information to what you are sharing.
Then, include facts and case studies from your own business. This is important. Your post will stand out because it’s by you and about you. The people reading this post care about your experience and how it relates to their situation. What examples and data from your work can you provide?
Finally, wrap it all up with a short summary and a call to action. What do you want the reader to do after reading this post? Generally, you want him or her to contact you for the solution. Tip: when you post, be sure to format the blog post with subheads, which help the reader keep going.
Does this help you get started on a longer post? If not, contact me for a free consultation about your writing needs.