This is part three of my ongoing series, The Art Of Creating Content. Today, we’re going to cover how long a post should be and how often you should update. This is one of those much-debated questions with no right answer.
The length of a post can run from one paragraph, like postings from Engadget, to the 7,000 word essays of Steve Palvina. Whichever one you use is up to you. The key really isn’t the length of the post as it is the frequency of the posts. Engadget makes short posts because they do a dozen posts per day. Palvina’s posts are very long but they come only two to three timers per week. The key thing is both blogs are consistent in their posting frequency.
Personally, I like to keep my post between 200 to 1000 words. Sometimes I will do more than 1000 words if the topic requires it but my general rule is to use only enough words to get my point across. Your reader’s time is valuable and you don’t want to wasting it with a bunch of fluff. The reason I do the 200 words minimum is so I have enough words to wrap my Google box ad. If I make a post that has less than 200 words, like a video post, then I will leave out the Google ad.
Post Frequency Is Much More Important Than Post Length
Nothing turns off a blog reader more than seeing a blog updated once per day for a week, then suddenly no updates at all. If you’re going to update your blog once per day (or whatever frequency you choose), then stick to it. Don’t be an on again, off again blogger. Your blog will never grow if you do that.
I think a blog should be updated everyday because that’s what blogs are for. I covered how to find content to blog about at the start of this series. There is always something going on in the industry or niche you’re covering. If you have nothing to write about then it just means you’re not really looking. I can do way more than the three to four posts per day that I’m doing right now but I don’t because I do not want to give the reader information overload.
Updating on a daily basis has many benefits. It encourages readers to check your blog everyday or subscribe to your RSS feed. Google also like frequently updated blogs and will send the bot more often to index your site.
Posting frequency is so important that many big blogs will hire guest bloggers to take over the posting duties when the main blogger goes on vacation. This was the case when Tony Hung took over ProBlogger for a week.
Remember, the key is to be consistent in the frequency of your blog updates. Make a commitment to do X number of post per week for a year. You’ll see some amazing things happen.