Which is better. Writing 4 posts a week that are 300 words each or writing 2 posts a week that are 600 words each? Time’s up. This is actually a trick question. The answer is neither.
When writing a blog, regardless of whether you are trying to attract readers, search engines or both, what matters first and foremost is the quality of your content. Not just because readers are rarely going to waste their time reading mediocre content. Not just because search engines are going to ignore or possibly even penalize pages stuffed with keywords.
Because readers take action on extraordinary content. They share great posts. They link to great posts. They comment on great posts. And there is nothing Google likes more than really good content that people all over the Internet find important enough to share.
The actual of number of words in your posts is completely irrelevant to whether it is a good post or not. I’ve read some incredibly well written posts that were only 150 words and others that were a disaster that had 2,500 words. Likewise, I have also read posts that kept me on the edge of my seat for all 2,500 words and others that I couldn’t finish yet were only 150 words.
It just doesn’t matter.
Length has nothing to do with it. Write until you get your point across and then stop. Be sure to fully answer the question for the reader. Don’t pay any attention to word count. The reader will find your post valuable only if in fact your post is valuable.
The thought is that the more frequent you write, the more often people will come back to read and share. This is partly true. They will. But they only will come back often to share extraordinary content. If you are able to describe your content as “OK” or “gets the job done”, it’s not good enough!! It is MUCH better for you to write one very well thought out and well written post a week than it is to write 3 pretty good posts in that same amount of time.
Readers don’t share pretty good.
Here is an example for you from my personal blog. When I first started writing I was publishing 5 days a week. My ideas were good. My content was OK. Neither of those cut it. If you look at one of my earlier posts it was shared one Twitter 3 times, 2 likes on Facebook and there were only 3 comments. Each of those posts that week had about the same showing. Pathetic.
Once I changed my frequency to once a week and was able to focus on writing my absolute best everything changed. Dramatically. This post received post 163 shares on Twitter, 52 likes on Facebook and 117 comments.
I didn’t do anything to market the post differently. I just wrote better stuff. I was able to spend a lot more time on it and get it right. To tweak and adjust it. To give it more attention. The results were significant.
Now THIS is where the majority of your effort needs to go. The quality of your posts. Write good stuff. Stuff that matters. Stuff that is thought provoking. Stuff that is educational. Entertaining. Valuable. Controversial. Stuff that makes other people wish they wrote it. If you can do that, your blog will be an overwhelming success…for readers and for search engines! But how do you write extraordinary content?
I’m glad you asked!
There is actually a formula for writing extraordinary content. You obviously have to be a decent writer to start with, but you don’t have to be Shakespeare. It’s also important that you carve out a specific amount of time each day to write so you are constantly working at your craft. But the formula? That’s pretty simple. In fact, it is so simple that it’s actually quite difficult. Here it is:
Step 1: Write
Step 2: Read what you wrote
Step 3: As yourself “What are 3 things I could change to make it better?”
Step 4: Make those changes
Step 5: Go away
Step 6: Repeat these steps until you can’t come up with 3 things to make it better
That’s it. Follow those instructions and the posts you publish will be your best work each time. Sometimes you will go through the post 7, 8 or 9 times. Other posts will be perfect after 2 or 3 times. It will take more effort than if you were just writing and posting. But it will be well worth the effort.
Writing extraordinary content not only affects how often your readers come back to read it or sign up for your newsletter or comment on a post. It affects how often they share it within the social media site of their choice. It affects how often they point to it as an authoritative post on their blog. And that is the best way to build inbound links to your site! Naturally! And search engines love natural links. The keyword here is natural.
It goes something like this. The better your content the more often it is shared. The more often it is shared the more authoritative it becomes. The more authoritative it becomes the higher it will rank on Google. The higher it ranks on Google, the more people find you. The more people find you, the more often the phone rings. The more often the phone rings, the more successful your business gets. The more successful your business gets the more often you get to do the happy dance.
So it’s simple. If you want to spend more time doing the happy dance because more readers and customers found you online, start by writing extraordinary content!