We know that there are a huge number of businesses that either don’t blog, or start blogging and then abandon their blogging efforts when times get busy. And we get it – we’ve been there ourselves on more than one occasion. But a consistent blogging strategy can have huge benefits for companies, so it is very much worth taking the time to do so. In this post, we’ll be addressing some of the most frequently asked questions about blogging, backed up by some of the most noteworthy statistics about blogging that we could find. Some of the questions we’ll be looking at include:
- Why, and how often businesses should post on their blog
- How long blog posts should be
- How to get traffic to your posts
- Whether updating older blog content is necessary
- Where to find inspiration
- What to do if you’re not able to handle your own blog content creation
Why should businesses have a blog?
There are around 409 million people see more than 20 billion pages of blog content every single month, and around 77% of internet users read blogs. While blogging started out as a sort of online diary, today businesses are using them extensively to boost their business, and when they are done well, they produce quite frankly incredible results. Businesses that create blog content get twice as much email traffic than businesses that don’t, and 67% more leads each month.
Although businesses are using blog posts for a variety of reasons, blogs are widely trusted – they’re viewed as the fifth most trustworthy source for gathering information online, and up to 60% of consumers consider blog content as valuable in the early stages of a purchase journey.
Blog content can help to increase traffic to business websites and help businesses to scale up dramatically by helping to:
- Attract the attention of potential new customers
- Position the business as an expert in the industry/field
- Increase traffic to the website
- Move the website up the search results for the targeted keywords
- Show off the ethics and values of the company, as well as the personalities of your team members (where different team members are contributing)
These aren’t the only reasons to create blog content for a business, but they are some of the more lucrative reasons – they simply help businesses to grow. There are two main overarching reasons that businesses cite as their reason for creating blog content though – either to create organic traffic, or to help increase brand awareness.
Creating organic traffic
When businesses want to boost their SEO and increase website visits, using blog content can really help. In fact, businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than those that don’t – and once those visitors are on the website, and find valuable content, it is much more likely that they will look at other pages and eventually to convert.
Businesses that are aiming to create organic traffic to their website by posting on their blog should ensure that:
- They are blogging frequently, on a predictable schedule (we’ll get to exactly how often shortly)
- They have considered their audience and that they are creating blog content that their target customers are interested in
- They include links to other relevant, high quality content to help search engines contextualise the blog post
- They schedule updates to older blog posts to help keep content relevant and current
Other considerations may come into play – especially if creating traffic isn’t the only purpose of creating the blog posts, such as increasing brand awareness.
Increasing brand awareness
Not should content be written to increase organic traffic from potential customers, but blog content should also be written with the search engines in mind. Search engines read every page of websites, meaning that high quality blog content is likely to push websites nearer to the top of the search results for the relevant keyword. That, in turn, helps more people to see the website – leading to increased brand awareness – and to increase the trust in the website.
Increasing brand loyalty
There are a number of businesses that regularly create high quality blog content to help increase the number of visits to their website. Hubspot springs to mind here – their extensive and expert blog content is often returned by the search engines for marketing and sales queries. This helps to increase their organic traffic, brand awareness, and helps to build respect for, and loyalty to the brand – even when the visitors aren’t actually users of their product.
Why don’t some businesses bother to blog?
We hear so many reasons why businesses put blog content on the backburner. Just a few of the explanations that we’ve heard include:
- I don’t know where to start creating the content
- Our CEO says we don’t have time to look into it right now – just keeping the business afloat is enough
- I don’t know how to create a blog on my website, and I don’t have the technical skills needed
- We don’t know what would be relevant for our customers
- Although I know my stuff, I find writing about it hard – creating video or social media content is easier
While it may feel overwhelming to start a blog from scratch, blogging doesn’t have to be a massive challenge if you approach it it logically. Starting by doing keyword research, referring to your target customer, creating a great content strategy, and perhaps getting some help from a professional blog writer who can create that content for you is a good place to start.
Is blogging really still a thing in 2021?
We totally understand that question, especially with more businesses investing in social media marketing, but the answer to the question is definitely, and blogging is unlikely to go away any time soon. While there are a LOT of blogs on the internet (it is near impossible to know the exact figures, but it is estimated there are more than 600 million blogs in existence) the focus of blogging has shifted dramatically. When blogging initially became popular, it was much more about creating diary, or journal type posts, with the emphasis on quantity over quality, and monetising posts. While there will almost always be an interest in how all types of content can be monetised, today there is a much bigger focus on quality over quantity, and blogs are used as part of a strong content marketing strategy.
It is still well worth investing in blog content, since websites that have a blog are known to have up to 434% more indexed pages, and companies that blog regularly have up to 97% more links to their websites. With that in mind, let’s move onto how you can start, and focus blogging activity so that it delivers the best returns for your business.
How should I create a blog for my business?
Many businesses build their website before they start their blogging strategy – which makes sense in many cases. But it isn’t always the case, and where new businesses are launching and already know that they are planning to use blog content as part of their marketing, then choosing a website builder that makes it easy to create a blog is essential.
WordPress is one of the most popular ways to create a website, and absolutely dominates the internet, hosting 40% of all websites. Over 70 million new posts, with 77 million new comments are published each month on WordPress – and that isn’t surprising, since it is one of the most customisable platforms.
WordPress has continued to grow for almost as long as there are statistics for, and so there is relatively little chance of the platform being dethroned. Which begs the question, should you use WordPress to create a blog for your business? Well, it depends. If you are already using WordPress for your business, and you can manage publishing your blogs on your website, then sure – it makes sense to. But if you don’t know how to code, or how to use WordPress, then it might not be the right solution for your business.
After WordPress, Joomla powers 2.6% of websites, Drupal just 1.7%, Squarespace 1.5% and Wix just 1.3%. Other platforms like Squarespace and Wix are often more user-friendly, while if you’re already using an eCommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, then using the existing functionality in those platforms to create a blog alongside your existing website might be a simpler solution.
How long should a blog post be?
The answer to this question very much depends upon the purpose of the blog. On average, a blog post takes around 3.5 hours to write, but in 2020, the majority of posts took over six hours to write. It has been shown that articles of more than 2000 words have stronger results, and long form blog posts create around eight times more page views, three times more social media shares and nine times more leads than short-form posts.
Again though, despite that, it isn’t necessary to fill space on your blog with unnecessary content – your blog content needs to fulfil the purpose well, and be full of relevant content for your audience. While those longer posts perform well, 75% of people actually prefer reading articles that are under 1000 words, and the average time spent reading an article is just 37 seconds. A post that contains 500 words and does exactly what it needs is much more likely to rank well than one that is 2000 words and is full of unnecessary filler that your audience doesn’t want or need.
While audiences tend to prefer shorter articles, longer articles perform better on website rankings and website visits. That’s because they are usually more comprehensive, and contain more relevant information – so, when it comes to creating your content plan and writing your posts, decide the length of each post according to the purpose you want it to fulfil.
How often should you post blog content?
Much like the debate about when you should post on your social media, there isn’t really a definitive, ‘one size fits all’ correct answer to this question. There may be some ‘experts’ that claim a certain day is better than others to post your content, but posting consistently is much more important, particularly for businesses that include blog content as part of their email marketing, or to post about on their social media.
There is evidence to suggest that businesses publishing a minimum of 16 blog posts per month get 3.5 times more traffic than those that publish just one per week, while those that publish daily get 57% better results than those that don’t.
While these statistics suggest that the more content that is possible, the better, it is important not to compromise on quality for the sake of quantity. 34% of buyers make an unplanned purchase when they read quality blog content, while almost 24% of readers say that poor quality content destroys the credibility of a blog, which means that accuracy is essential (32% of blog readers agree!).
How can you get traffic to your blog?
Simply creating blog content without promoting it isn’t likely to get the desired results. That’s why around 97% of bloggers use social media to promote their blog posts, and 66% use email marketing to help direct readers to their content. Since this type of promotion is relatively low cost – often it is just the time taken to create the post or the email – there is little wonder that many businesses are doing so.
Should I update older blog content?
Yes, definitely – and this is an area that businesses really should take more time to consider as part of their blogging strategy. More than a third of bloggers that update their content say that doing so produces strong results (Hubspot states that updating blog posts can increase traffic by a massive 106%) but yet just 38% of bloggers are doing so – which means that there is a lot of potential traffic being missed out on.
Where can I find inspiration for a business blog?
While there are a number of ways to find what type of blogs, or blog titles will work best for your business, checking out other blogs will help you to establish how you want your blog to look and feel. Having a read of the blogs of corporations will help you to decide on the tone, the language you use and the aesthetic of your blog. A few of our favourite corporate blogs that we refer to regularly:
- We’ve already mentioned them in this post, but for good reason – Hubspot’s blog is absolutely chock full of incredible blog posts about marketing and sales.
- With similar topics to Hubspot in many cases, the Hootsuite blog makes for a great read.
- For businesses that are selling online, the Shopify blog has some great tips to take note of.
- While the Apple blog mainly contains information relevant to users of Apple products, it is well worth a look if you’re in the tech sector.
- Keto coffee giant Bulletproof has a great blog that is packed full of health advice – and while we don’t follow all the advice to the letter, there are some thought-provoking ideas.
Do I have to write blog content myself?
While blog content on your website should absolutely reflect the values of your business and illustrate that you are experts in your field, you or your team don’t have to spend hours creating blog content. Around 60% of marketers say that they struggle to create engaging content, but the value that blog content provides means that many businesses are working with freelancers and agencies to create their blog content – and a whopping 64% of B2B marketers outsource blog creation. It makes sense to, and can be extremely cost-effective, providing a great return on investment – particularly when you consider the potential increase in customers and traffic that it can achieve.
Outsourcing isn’t the only option for businesses to increase their blog content. Creating strategic partnerships with other businesses, and publishing guest posts from those partners can contribute to your blog can be a great way to increase the number of posts each month. This type of partnership is particularly suitable where the partner provides products or services that complement your core offering, or where customers may be users of both businesses. More than ¾ of editors plan for guest post content, with the most commonly cited reasons for doing so to share fresh ideas, new opinions, and expertise.
There are so many different possible strategies for the blog for your business, with many variables – from the aim of your blog content to the resources that you can afford to put into your blog. There are no real hard and fast rules, but keeping your blog targets achievable means that your blog is much more likely to be a success. Starting small, and reviewing the performance of your blog regularly means that you can find what works, what doesn’t, and continue to build on that success.
While there are a number of challenges when creating a great blog content strategy, doing so will pay dividends. If you’re lacking in time, or don’t have the inclination to create the blog content for your business, don’t just ignore it – you’ll be missing out on a huge amount of benefits. Our blog writing experts can help you to create high quality content that helps with SEO, to reach new customers, or to demonstrate your expertise in your industry. Get in touch now to discuss your needs.
Last Updated on April 5, 2021
Aires Loutsaris is a content marketing specialist working with some of the world’s biggest VC funded startups and eCommerce companies. He has 15 years of experience in organic search optimisation and content writing with over 2500 students enrolled in his Udemy SEO course. An ex-head of two award-winning agencies, he has lectured at the University of the Arts, London College of Fashion on content marketing and has consulted for all three of the Universities he studied at: The Open University, The University of Hull and Kings College University of London. Feel free to connect with Aires on LinkedIn or Facebook.