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Monday, Nov 11, 2013

Blog Guidelines

This is the final part of our three-part blogging series. Please check out the previous two articles to better understand how to get your company blog up and running smoothly!

Some of the most important aspects of blogging are ones that you probably don’t think about often: post length and update frequency. These factors are incredibly important and have a significant impact on how your readership views you. Above all, targeting general guidelines for article length and posting frequency helps make you a consistent blogger. Lots of people and companies blog, but the ones that do so consistently are the ones that look the most professional and skilled. If you can put out a post every week, you appear more knowledgeable than someone else in your field who only posts once a month.

So about how long should a regular blog post be? Blogging isn’t a science. Just about anything can get popular on the Internet with the right combination of hard work and luck. Some of the most popular blogs on the Internet have an average post length of under 200 words while others average over 1,000, even though both can deal with the same subject matter! The truth is that there is no hard and fast rule for blog length. The most important thing is that you get your message out. In general, if you adequately explain what you set out to in any one article, the length is correct.

That said, a good sweet spot is around 350-500 words; enough to have substance while still being short enough to read quickly so that you don’t lose a reader’s attention. While long posts are okay, once you have 1,000+ words you should think about splitting an article up into multiple pieces that you can post as a series.

Not every post on your blog has to be the same length, but following a general guideline can help you produce articles more quickly as you get used to a certain format and style for your articles. Don’t just throw in extra words because you feel like you have to hit a quota – it will just lower the quality of your post.

Post frequency is the core of a blog. A blog that only gets updated rarely will bring a company little benefit, and being able to keep up with your update schedule is a large part of what determines if your blog will be successful or not. To be useful and grow over time, a blog should be updated at least once a week. More posts are generally better, and daily posts make for an active and very useful blog with lots of SEO opportunities.

Start slow and stick with your posting schedule. Consistent posting is the best way to grow your blog readership and SEO benefits. If you want to start posting more, slowly ramp up over time to make sure that you can take on the added work. Inconsistent posting can appear sloppy, so you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew and end up failing. And remember, a blog is an important PR and marketing tool, so it makes sense to have a dedicated employee running it if you want a high frequency of posts. Cramming posting into an already busy schedule will result in low quality work, which is not something you want when the writing is a voice for your company.

Consistently follow these length and update guidelines and you’ll end up with a useful, quality blog that will augment your existing marketing efforts. The sky is the limit with a blog, and the longer you keep up with it the more valuable it becomes.

By: Nicholas Hancox

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