Today’s Question: What is the Ideal Length for Blog Articles?
The short answer is: As often as your audience wants.
Different industries have different standards and expectations on this so you really have to keep your audience in mind. Post too often and they likely won’t read it. But post too infrequently and they’ll likely fill the content/information gap by going to other blog posts that they deem more helpful.
It’s a tough balancing act, but one only you can figure out.
Deb Briggs’ Answer From a Content Marketing Perspective:
Before you decide on how often to post to your blog, you should first ask yourself some pertinent questions:
- Have you done persona research? Do you know what type of content your audience will respond to? If not, it won’t matter how often you post to your blog. Potential customers will move on if the content doesn’t fulfill a need.
- Do you have a blog editorial calendar in place? Do you have diverse types of posts that will reach all of your main buyer personas? If not, you risk alienating some of your potential customers. Make sure you have a plan that ensures you have topics to write about for at least each quarter. Be sure to jot down ideas in the same document as soon as you think of them as well.
- Do you have the time to post weekly? Do you have willing co-workers who will contribute to the blog? If not, you should consider starting with monthly and then working your way toward more frequent posting.
- Do you have social media channels in place for your business? If not, you should. Yes, your posts can be found in search, but social promotion can go a long way in generating interest.
Julie Graff’s Answer from a Social Media & Content Perspective:
The easy answer is the old cliche “quality over quantity.” It doesn’t matter how much you write but that everything you write offers extreme value to your audience. So the first question to ask yourself is, based on your resources, how often can you produce that type of content. If it’s only once a month, it’s better to do that than push out subpar content every week just for the sake of doing it. Just as long as you publish consistently (more on that from Joe Pulizzi below).
But there is more to consider than just the value of the content. You need to figure out how much content your audience actually wants or has time to consume.
You can determine this to a certain extent by simply asking them and by observing other content creators in your industry. But ultimately, the only way you’ll know for sure is to test.
Assuming everything you put out has met the quality standard, what results do you get when you post every day vs once a week vs once a month? You may get better ROI posting once a month. Or you may find that your particular audience is starving for information and will sustain a daily publishing schedule.
By meeting readers needs for both quality and quantity, you’ll be well on your way to creating a must-read blog that your audience can’t wait to get new content from.
BONUS LAP WITH: Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute
Joe Pulizzi is founder of Content Marketing Institute, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. He is also the author of four books, including his latest Content Inc. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange.
As Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor for Content Marketing Institute always says, the goal is not to create more content, but to create the minimum amount of content that yields the maximum amount of results. If that’s true, we need to look first at who we are targeting, what we want that audience to do (ultimately), and what kind of differentiated story we are telling.
Once we figure that out, and whether or not a blog is the right place for that story, the key is not frequency as much as it is consistency. EVERY great media and content marketing example delivers their content consistently.
So, if you have a blog, pick a frequency (twice per week let’s say, Tuesday and Thursday at 11am ET) and deliver on that frequency, exactly as specified, for at least 12 months. Having a differentiating story and delivering consistently are the two most important characteristics.