Okay, unless you have been living in a vacuum you heard this before. According to the Google police you need to produce in-depth quality, shareable content nowadays to rank high in the search engines. I have to say that I don’t spend my time worrying about what the Google gods want as I write for you – my audience, but ignoring them is not a good way to go either.
Google even tells you this:
Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
What does this mean for you? It means when you are figuring out what to write about in your next blog post focus on how you are going to educate your audience about solving an issue they are having or teaching them something new. Don’t spend all of your time worrying about Keywords and all that stuff, focus on your readers – write for them!
The search engine messiah wants you to do that and your audience does too. Not only is producing quality, shareable content important from an SEO standpoint it is also vital to help you stand out from the millions of blogs out there too. Consider this…
27 million pieces of content are shared every day. (AOL/Nielsen)
Wow. That’s a lot of content my friend. Is your content one of the 27 million shared? Is the quality of your content good enough to separate yourself from the competition? Will that piece of content be referenced elsewhere? Linked to? Bookmarked?
Content marketing emerged in 2013 as the top digital priority for B2B and B2C marketers, edging out former front-runner – social media engagement. (Econsultancy/Adobe)
Now I have to say this should not be a surprise. Why? What is the number 1 reason why your audience goes online? They are looking for an answer to a problem that they are having or they are looking to learn something new. Do you do that by going on Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Pinetrest ? Instagram? No. You go type in your problem in the Google machine and read through what pops up. If your focus has been on quality content that will help that reader, then chances are you will be found. In turn this is what the search engine desires as well. So that’s why content marketing has been a greater focus for all marketers.
A little tip…As a marketer you will be better served to write 1 piece of quality content per week rather than multiple pieces of content that are crap.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Do you want to learn something that will help with your problem? Or Read 500 words of content that you already know?
Your answer better be the former not the latter.
Content creation ranks as the single most effective SEO technique. (Marketing Sherpa)
Stop reading…Let that sink in for a minute. Read that again please. What do you think of that statement? Do you agree with that?
Focus on creating in-depth high quality rock star content. Rather than worrying about certain keywords as far as SEO is concerned.
Here’s one more statistic I have to share with you…. before we dive into the meat and potatoes of this post – What is quality, in-depth, rock star content.
88% of B2B marketers and 89% of B2C marketers are either focused on creating more engaging and higher-quality content or planning to do so the coming year. (Content Marketing Institute)
According to the Content Marketing Institute:
Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Why is this important to you as a blogger? Very simple. Your main method of communication with your audience is through your content. So in order to attract and retain your readers your content needs to not only be great, but rock star. Otherwise you will lose your audience and get lost in the shuffle. What would that do for your business?
What is Quality, In-Depth, Rock Star Content?
- You tell stories that are relatable to that particular piece of content. People resonate with stories and helps keep them engaged.
- Content where you utilize research and statistics to back up or fortify your points.
- Help your readers solve a problem by walking through their solution step-by-step.
- Utilize images, charts, or screenshots to illustrate points. A picture is worth a 1,000
- Content that is anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 words in length.
Now to be clear I think it makes sense to dig into that last point for a second. The reason I say 2,000 to 3,000 words as that is what is widely considered quality by the search engines i.e. Google gods for the most part. Because quality content is more of a factor in SEO today than regular plain old keywords.
Do you need to always write this many words?
If you write 2,000 words does that mean they are of quality?
Does it take 3,000 words to help your readers solve a problem?
When educating your readers on something new will it take that long?
The answer is NO. Not necessarily. It depends purely on what you are talking about and if you can include all of what we mentioned in this post in 1000 or so words then by all means that is all you need to write. It comes down to what you are discussing and how thorough you want to be. I try to be as thorough as possible and walk through everything we’re talking about step-by-step and really spell it out so you won’t be left hanging.
We could actually have a really good debate on this point alone and if you asked 100 bloggers about content length I am sure you will get 100 different answers.
What are your thoughts?
Remember my friend….Stories Sell
With that being said I have a story to tell you right now. Here we go.
At one time I worked for a company that sold a medical device – which is actually a scanning laser that took an image of the back of your eye – called the retina. This procedure was non-invasive and only took a quarter of a second for each eye. Imagine that a quarter of a second. That’s fast!
How is this beneficial to you as the patient? The doctor is able to see over 82% of the retina, which using traditional methods (dilation) is next to impossible. As a result the doctor can see if you have diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and melanoma (cancer).
Most doctors doubt that you can see 82% of the retina or their use of traditional methods are just as good if not better. In this one particular case a doctor stopped by the company’s booth at a trade show to have the procedure performed on him. See what all the fuss is about. Mind you this doctor had regular eye exams and had his retina looked at using traditional methods up until this point. The doctor went through the procedure which like I said takes a quarter of a second for each eye. What do you think happened?
The device picked up a melanoma in one of his eyes. Melanoma in case you are not aware is cancer. Needless to say this event at that trade show sold a ton of units, there and in the surrounding communities where this doctor practiced.
Why? Stories sell. Further you as a human being resonate better with stories as opposed to dry, boring facts and figures.
Do you agree? What’s your take?
Use Statistics to Fortify Your Points
Statistics on Blogging…If you’re not blogging you should be
Each month 329 million people read blogs. (Blogging.org)
37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type for marketing. (NewsCred)
Companies with an active blog report 97% more leads. (NewsCred)
Companies that blog 15+ times per month get 5 times more traffic than companies that don’t blog. (Hubspot)
Blogs give sites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. (NewsCred)
82% or marketers who blog see positive ROI for their content-driven marketing. (Hubspot)
79% of “best-in-class” B2B marketers rate blogs as the most effective customer acquisition tactic. (Content Marketing Institute)
82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly. (Hubspot)
Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month. (Hubspot)
Blogs produce low-cost leads for 24% of the marketing community. (Hubspot)
Example of a Problem and How to Solve it
How do you find the time to write a piece of quality content when you are new to blogging?
Writing a quality blog post takes time no matter how you slice it? Why?
*Recap of what quality content is from above in case you forgot already.
- You need to determine the problem you are going to solve and/or how to educate your audience on a subject they have been asking you about with your blog post.
- Research and find statistical data to fortify your points.
- Be thorough in your explanation of how to solve that issue or teaching of a new subject.
- Find images or use screenshots that go along with what you’re talking about.
- Write anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 words.
Here are some statistics on how long it takes to write a blog post.
The typical post on copyblogger takes 5 to 7 hours to create.
According to a survey by Orbit Media Studios of 1,029 bloggers here is what they found regarding time spent on creating blog posts.
Most bloggers (54%) spend 2 hours or less on a blog post.
About 5% of bloggers spend a lot more time on each post (6+ hours).
The typical blog post takes about 2.5 hours to create.
When do bloggers blog?
Out of 1,023 bloggers here is a breakdown of when bloggers blog.
Early Morning (Before Business Hours) 30.7% (314)
During Business Hours 50.4% (516)
After Business Hours 31.7% (324)
At Night 48.1% (492)
On Weekends 39.9% (408)
So what do you do with all of this information?
Not to worry my friend we are going to cover that right this second. But first. You need to consider this…
*It may take you longer to create a blog post as a new blogger than what we discussed a few seconds ago. Why is that? It takes you longer to do anything when you are first starting out.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Scenarios on how to find the time based on where you are now. I may not include all of you in these scenarios, but you should get the point.
For the new blogger with a full-time job
Let’s say you do not have a family and are a morning person and you want to make a schedule of when to blog. For argument’s sake you work at your full-time job from 9 to 5.
Monday through Friday
Wake up at 6:00 a.m. and write for 30 minutes until 6:30 a.m.
You will be dedicating 2.5 hours per week to writing your blog posts. Sound simple enough? Can you get up 30 minutes earlier every day to get this done? I don’t see any reason why you can’t. That is if you have the want to!
If you are not a morning person here is what your blogging schedule might look like.
Set aside 30 minutes each night instead of watching tv.
Monday through Friday
Blog for 30 minutes each night from 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
By doing it this way you are committing 2.5 hours each week to writing? Can you handle that? I know you can!
For the new blogger with a full-time job and a family
Okay now this is a game changer. If you have a family it does not matter whether you have 1 kid or multiple kids you’re going to have to make time when you have it and it may not be as cut dry as the example I gave you above. That’s okay. I get it. I have 1 son who is 17 months old so I can relate with you on this front.
From one parent to another here is a schedule I recommend for you.
Monday through Friday
Blog in the evenings from when your kids go to bed and let’s assume they go to sleep at 8:00 p.m.
Blog from 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 5 days per week which will give you a total of 2.5 hours per week you can set aside for your blogging efforts. I know how tempting it will be for you to want to crash and go to sleep or stare at the tv in complete exhaustion because having kids is a crap load of work. But, you have to fight through that for at least 30 minutes each week day.
Can you do that? Well, I know you can. So, don’t waste any more time get cracking!
Why do you only recommend 30 minutes? Simple.
From a psychological stand point it is so much easier to commit to something for a short period of time. What do you think is going to be easier. Committing to blogging 1 hour per day when you are first starting out? Or committing 30 minutes per day?
Answer. Blogging 30 minutes per day.
To put this in another perspective say you are going to start an exercise regimen and exercise Monday through Friday. What gives you the best chance to ensure you stick with that regimen. Exercising 30 minutes each day? Or Exercising 1 hour each day?
Answer. Exercising 30 minutes each day.
I know 30 minutes does not seem like much of an investment from a time stand point, but what you have to remember is over time that will add up to a significant investment in your blogging endeavors.
That is a wrap on this blog post for this week.
Let The Conversation Begin. Ready…set…go!
What are your thoughts on what we have discussed today?
Did you find this information to be helpful to you? If so, what part?
I am anxiously awaiting your comments. So don’t be shy.