If you’re reading this, you probably understand how important blogging can be – because this is a blog, and it’s doing its job of educating you.
Blogging is incredibly important for any business that wants to take advantage of content marketing. There are basically three reasons you want to blog:
- Blogging gives you something to share on social media and via email
- Blogging builds your credibility and authority on a subject
- Blogging boosts your search engine optimization rankings
Whenever you write a blog, you are performing a vital function: you are educating, entertaining, informing, engaging, and persuading/convincing a person all at the same time. When people read your blogs, they’re building connections between themselves and your brand.
And as they build connections with you, search engines build connections with you as well.
Plus, if you’re blogging and your competition isn’t, you’ll have several advantages. And if they’re blogging but your blogs are better, you’ll also have an advantage.
So, blogging is important. But how do you blog well – especially in 2018? What trends are emerging that you have to take into consideration?
Here, we’ll cover the latest in blogging best practices and how you can land with a splash in 2018 with your branded blog.
Longer Content is In
How long should a blog be?
We get that question a lot. There’s a long answer and a short one. The short answer is: long enough to get your point across.
The long answer is: long enough to get your point across…and persuade your customer…and rank well in Google and other search engines.
To get your point across, persuade your customer, and rank well, that means shorter may not be better. In fact, a lot of research suggests that long-form content – at least 1,000 words but ideally more – is better for not only influencing your reader but also influencing Google.
Why is that?
Well, people read blogs to either get entertained or to educate themselves. If what you’re writing is entertaining, they want to read more of it. And if what you’re writing is educational, they’ll want to read more of it, too.
Google knows this, so it rewards longer-form content. Of course, just making it long doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. It has to be well-supported with quality information and result in a high user experience, meaning people spend a lot of time on the page, click on links, etc.
Not to mention, it’s hard to explain a complicated topic with just 500 words. This blog, for example, checks in at 1,378 words because there’s frankly a lot you can say about blogging in 2018.
Not convinced? Curata did a study and found that long-form content generated over nine times more leads than short-form content. The proof is in the pudding.
In blogging, more is merrier. Shoot for at least 1,000 words. Don’t be afraid to add some length to your blog posts (as long as it’s solid, practical length, not just fluff to get your word count up).
Video Will Boost Blogging to the Next Level
Video has been big in content marketing for years now. YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine (behind Google, who coincidentally owns YouTube) and video generates over 10 times the amount of engagement on social media than graphics do (and far more than text alone).
People love watching videos. They’ll watch billions of hours worth of video in 2018. Search engines love video, too, namely because they know that people love it.
Both are great reasons to incorporate video into your blogs.
Video is great from a user experience perspective because it enriches your content and makes it more effective. You’ll generally get more positive engagement from a blog that has video included it in than one that uses graphics and text (and definitely one that uses just text).
Plus, video is becoming a stronger ranking factor in SEO. Pages with videos tend to rank higher than pages without, all things considered equal.
Combining video with your blogs makes your content marketing stronger overall, and that will be especially true in 2018 as search engines scramble to fully embrace the video revolution that started a few years ago and is still ongoing.
But, you can’t just use video. You need words to go with it. Google can’t crawl a video. It only knows what you tell it the video is about, and having 1,000-2,000 words to do it can only help Google make positive associations between the video and what people are searching for.
Don’t think that you have to spend a lot of time and money filming a feature-quality video, though. You don’t. A video shot on an iPhone or iPad can be good enough. Or, you can hire freelancers to create animated explainer videos, like on Fiverr.com and other places. They’re more affordable than you think.
One strategy is to invest in creating a long-form video piece – 30 minutes or more – and then break that up into smaller chunks that you can use throughout the entire year.
Or, you can just film a short piece on the blog topic, toss in some subtitles, and boost your blog’s potential without spending a lot of resources to do so.
No matter what you do, strongly consider using video in conjunction with your blogging campaign to generate more attention from customers and search engines alike.
Share Better Content – Just Do It Less Frequently
There’s a debate in content marketing that will be present throughout 2018. Which is better?
- Good blogs posted very frequently (8-16 times a month)
- Exceptional blogs posted less frequently (2-6 times a month)
Of course, the “real” answer is exceptional blogs posted very frequently, but that takes an enormous time and resource commitment, and most brands can’t do that. Your resources are limited. So how do you make the most use of them?
At Uptick, we’ve found that the answer is number two: write exceptional content, even if you have to post it less frequently and don’t write as many blogs. In other words, we subscribe to the “quality over quantity” approach – and we think most content marketers will do the same in 2018.
We’ve already shown that longer-form content is generally better. Well, longer-form content takes more time to create, so, all things considered equal, you just won’t have enough time to pump out 16 long-form blog posts a month (without, again, considerable resources).
From another standpoint, though, it’s better to spend time crafting fewer, but better quality blog posts because you may only get one chance to impress someone when they read your material. You want it to be impactful to make the most of that impression.
The worst thing is to lose a customer because they read a blog post that wasn’t your best work, when a high-quality, long-form piece could’ve done much better.
At Uptick, the majority of our clients post 2-4 times per month. A few post up to eight times per month. None go over eight, which is probably the upper limit for most brands out there. We focus on maximizing the potential of each piece and turn out quality material rather than pump out piece after piece of inferior work.
Quality over quantity will win out in 2018 and become the new normal.
Improving Your Content Marketing in 2018
Blogging is crucial, not just for influencing customers but influencing search engines.
Longer-form content is better, especially when paired with a video, and especially when you take extra time to make it superb.
But you may not have time yourself to blog. Most business owners and even marketing specialists don’t. That’s okay – you have people like the content marketing specialists at Uptick to do the heavy lifting for you.
Our blogging team crafts informative, educational, and entertaining blogs for clients of any industry, using our writing and research skills with your expertise to create content that people want to read.
If you need help improving your blogging campaign in 2018, contact us – we’re ready to help. In the meantime, blog away!
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