Blogs increase the size of your loyal audience, which translates into sales of good or services; however, if you’ve been blogging for a year (the amount of time it takes to see the impact of your blogging efforts) and nothing has happened, then it’s possible you skipped some important lessons in Blogging:101 that make a real difference in your blog’s effectiveness.
Too Little Blog Content
In learning all about content marketing, you may have missed the crucial tidbit that Google algorithms promote web content based on how long audiences stay on web pages. In other words, your 250-word-or-fewer (AKA “thin content”) blog spiced up with lots of pictures isn’t keeping your audience around long enough for the algorithms to even catch on.
When gauging how many words your blog does need, keep in mind that:
- There’s no agreed-upon ideal word count
- Most estimate word counts based on how long it takes the audience to read.
- The average reader reads about 225 words per minute (which means your audience is spending a minute or less on your 250-word blog post).
- A seven-minute post is about 1,600 words.
- Long form content should be even lengthier (2,000 words or more)
Of course, your aim shouldn’t be word count; your aim should be addressing your audience’s questions and needs with your story.
Your Stuff is Fluff
When you try to hit word counts, you’re more likely to end up with fluff, not quality content. Of course, it’s possible to think you are writing quality when you are in fact writing fluff. Here are some ways to check your content:
- Articulate how your content is helping your audience (answering questions, giving them new information, instructing them, etc.)
- Specify the point of your blog post (it cannot exist just to entertain because even entertaining content has an underlying purpose)
Your Blog is Self-Gratifying, Not Relationship-Building
As with avoiding fluff content, you also want to avoid self-gratifying content. Your job is to be audience-centric, not “your brand” centric. Press releases, product launches, overview of recent projects, etc. are not examples of quality blog content. They are fine to share on your site or your e-mail newsletter, but they aren’t what you want for your blog.
Your blog is your ethos; your blog content builds your credibility with your audience. Your audience should see you as an honest, helpful resource in your area of expertise via your blog content. Will every blog read translate into a sale? No, but will the audience you do attract be loyal? Absolutely. What’s more, those are the audience members whose loyalties translate into transactions for goods and services.
Your Blog is Full of Grammar and Spelling Mistakes
The last major mistake businesses make is posting blog content that’s lousy with technical errors. 'You're' and 'your' are different words, with entirely different meanings, as are the words 'too,' 'to,' and 'two.' If you don't know the difference, please hire someone else to write your business blogs. Proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage contribute to your content’s flow. When readers are distracted by low-quality writing, they lose focus. Audiences may also click away from your content all together.
Poorly written content is frustrating to read, and (like it or not) audiences make assumptions about you based on the quality of your writing. They will either assume you are uneducated or that you lack attention to detail; both of these assumptions (incorrect or not) could cause your audience to lose faith in your brand and can absolutely cost you a customer.
No one wants her blog to turn her audience away. By having enough quality, well-written content that is purposeful and geared toward your audience’s needs and interests, you are able to show that you’ve passed Blogging:101 with flying colors. But more importantly, you are able to build credibility with your audience, which will translate into more business for your brand.
If you’re struggling to create content of the right length, quality, and focus to build audience relationships and to boost your business, contact the experts at The Storyteller Agency. Whether taking the reins as writers for your website, or editing your existing content to take it to the next level, we can turn your blog from a window-closer into an eye-opener.