Writing longer blogs will transform your website
By John Welch on July 1, 2020
How Long Should My Blogs Be?
Blogs are crushing it right now. Writing high-quality blog posts is the best way for your business to increase organic search traffic and win the content war.
At the same time, most businesses are not writing nearly long enough blog posts. On average, only 18% of companies write blogs that are longer than 750 words.
This matters because the best length for a blog post is 1,760 words. So, 4 out of 5 companies are posting blogs that are nowhere near the right length.
Does this mean that every one of your posts needs to be exactly 1,760 words long? No. But it does mean that you should shoot to average between 1,500 and 2,000 words per blog post.
For many businesses that are trying to write blogs, 1,500 to 2,000 words seems like a lot of writing. Don’t panic, it’s not only doable, it gets a lot easier the more you do it.
Here are 5 tips to writing longer blog posts.
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Tip #1 - Solve Problems with Your Blogs
Why Your Blogs Aren’t Long Enough
One of the main reasons that blogs aren’t long enough is that they don’t actually help the reader solve a problem. If you are writing blog posts just because you want organic traffic, then you’re not going to write blogs that actually attract organic traffic.
It’s a little bit of a paradox, but if you want to attract organic traffic, you actually have to provide useful information.
For every search you do on Google, there are literally millions of results.
However, only a couple results are at the top, the rest stay on page 2 and are never read. So what makes a post rank at the top? It’s simple, those posts are offering real answers to real problems.
Think about it this way, when someone types a search into Google, they are looking for an answer. Are you providing that answer? Look at this post, my goal is to give real, actionable advice to people who want to improve their SEO. You can take this information and do whatever you want with it.
Yes, I want organic search traffic. Yes, it would be awesome if you read this post and wanted to work with us. BUT, neither of those things matter because this post has one job to do: solve your problems.
Related: How To Create Magnetic Blog Topics
Begin with the most basic problems that your customers deal with and start sharing how to solve those problems. The more you do it, the better you’ll be.
How To Solve Problems
Here are 5 questions you can use to help jump-start your problem solving.
- What do You Wish Your Current Customers Stopped Asking You?
- What are the Main Questions Your Prospects Are Asking You?
- What Are Helpful Pieces of Information People Outside of Your Industry Don’t Know?
- What Are the Biggest Problems Facing Your Prospects?
- What Are the Biggest Problems Facing Your Industry?
Use these questions and your blog posts will immediately become more problem-solving oriented.
Tip #2 - Get Detailed in Your Blogs
How To Write More Detailed Blogs
The reason why so many blogs are less than 750 words is because they’re just an overview of a concept.
For example, let’s imagine you are writing a blog on how to quit smoking called “5 Tips To Quit Smoking.” Those 5 tips can either be 30,000-foot-view bullet points, or they can be detailed descriptions of how to solve the problem.
Tip #1 can be something as broad as “Get Help” in which you list some of the main professionals who deal with cigarette addiction.
Or Tip #1 can be as specific as “Find The Wounds Driving Your Addiction” in which you outline specific exercises a person can do to uncover past trauma or emotional damage and begin to work through it.
As you can see, the second option is going to require a lot more writing to explain. Get comfortable going in-depth on your topics, and you will quickly see your word count rise.
Creating outlines helps to be more detailed. Start your posts with an outline and try to create as many subheadings as you can. Those subheadings will become the main meat of your post.
How To Outline A Blog Post
- Introduction - Why You Should Quit Smoking
- Smoking kills X number of people every year
- Smokers spend X amount of dollars on cigarettes
- Statistics on the quality of life of smokers
- Tip #1 - Find The Wounds Driving Your Addiction
- You may have childhood trauma
- Symptoms of childhood trauma
- Ways you can be traumatized in childhood
- How to self-diagnose trauma
- Your cigarette addiction is likely emotionally driven
- How addictions are influenced by emotional problems
- The connection between emotions and habits
- How loved ones can help us stop smoking
- You may have childhood trauma
- Tip #2 - Get Professional help
- Addiction specialists
- Smoking-specific psychologists
- Clinics that specialize in smoking recovery
- Trauma therapy
- How to find a good trauma therapist
- Trauma relief exercises you can do
- Non-traditional trauma therapy options
- Over-the-counter options
- Nicotine gum
- Nicotine pills
- Addiction specialists
As you can see, only addressing two tips, this fictitious blog post is already getting really in-depth. Following this outline, a blogger would have no problem writing a long, detailed, and very helpful blog post.
How To Keep Your Readers Engaged
Many bloggers are afraid of higher word counts because they don’t think anyone is going to read that long. When you read that the average person spends 37 seconds reading a blog post, it can make you feel like there’s no point in writing posts that takes 5 or 6 minutes to read.
Most of the people who land on your blog are going to spend a couple seconds skimming and then leave.
You’re not going to engage every reader. But, you will engage the readers who are looking for the answer you’re giving. You don’t need to worry about the majority of people that are going to immediately leave the page. You need to focus on the minority of people you can help.
There are several ways to keep your readers engaged, and you need to employ all of them.
1) Use Images
Blog posts with images get 94% more views than those without images. To slightly alter the common saying, an image is worth 1,000 words.
Visuals help break up the words so that there isn’t a wall of text to overwhelm your readers. They also help explain what you’re saying and make your content more digestible.
People remember 10% of the information they hear out loud, but they remember 65% of the information they see in a visual.
2) Use Infographics
Technically infographics are a form of image, but they deserve their own mention. Infographics are a visual or graphic display of data or instructions.
Infographics are one of the most important things you can include in your blogs. Infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text-only content.
In addition, infographics are one of the best ways to get backlinks which dramatically help your SEO.
3) Use Videos
Videos are one of best ways to create reader engagement. 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text. If you include videos in your blog posts, they will appeal to a broader range of readers.
In addition to reader engagement, blogs containing a video have a 53x higher change of ranking on the first page of Google.
Tip #3 - Use External Links in Your Blogs
Why You Should Be Using External Links
Bloggers struggle to write in-depth and long-form because they run out of information to share. Using references and research is the best way to increase your detail and blog length without simply adding words that have no meaning.
Using external links in your blogs is great for many reasons. First of all, it adds credibility and gives you more things to write about. Second, external links are great for your SEO - they help your rankings.
How To Use External Links In Your Blogs
To start using external links in your own blogs, write out a post like you normally would. Then go back and find all the areas in your post where you can back things up with research and references. Spend some time on Google looking for data and other blogs that back up your points, then link to them in the body of your text, because outbound links do affect SEO. (Just like this one. So meta.)
When you start using external links and references, you will quickly find more valuable information on the topics you are writing about. Incorporate this information for longer, better posts.
Using Anchor Text
The best way to include external links in your blogs is to use anchor text. Anchor text is the physical text in the post that you then attach to a hyperlink.
The best way to use anchor text is to make the actual words that you are linking correspond to SEO keywords that you are trying to rank for.
For example, here’s why your blog posts aren’t ranking.
The words ‘why your blog posts aren’t ranking’ are the anchor text. The link is attached to the words so that when you click on them, you’ll be taken to our blog post on why your posts aren’t ranking.
The magic of anchor text is that if someone is searching for why their blog posts aren’t ranking, this anchor text registers as a link to valuable information relating directly to their search query.
Using anchor text allows you to keep the flow of your blog post while still including valuable external links and improving your SEO.
Writing Better Blogs
The real secret to writing better blogs is to be genuine. When you do your best to answer real questions for your audience, you will automatically begin writing higher quality blogs. They will also get longer and longer on their own. Before you know it, you’ll be fighting to make your blogs shorter!
All of the tips in this article are really just ways to make your blogs more valuable to your readers. When you do that, search engines reward your content because it’s serving the search engine’s real customers.Back to the blog
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