If you’re a business and you’re blogging every day, then you’re doing it wrong. I know, I know, for years the conventional wisdom was that in order to build readership for a blog, especially if it’s a business blog, you needed to blog as often as possible.
And that advice worked well, 10 years ago. Unfortunately, now every social media site had become a content stream. The News or Home feed on most major sites like Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn, are a constant stream of links being shared.
Here’s the problem: If your writing team is hustling to write multiple posts a week, you’re probably creating a lot of mediocre content simply due to time constraints. That mediocre content is then competing against a sea of equally mediocre content in a sea of link-sharing on those social sites.
Nothing gets lost on social media sites faster than mediocre content. What IS getting shared these days is long-form content. More specifically, long-form content that does a deep-dive on a particular topic. And research shows that the longer your content is, the more social shares it generates:
Yesterday, the goal was to get out 2-3 posts every week, each one fairly short, 300-500 words. Today, the goal is to get out 1-2 posts a month, each one 1,000-2,000 words. Think about the time you spend each month writing 3-4 posts. What if you spent that time on writing one comprehensive post? How much better would that content be if you had more time for research, editing and production? How many more pageviews and social shares would it get? Let me tell you, nothing is more frustrating for a blogger to write post after post and never see the needle move.
I’ve seen this with my own blog. A couple of years ago I started occasionally writing longer posts, and these posts almost always did better as far as traffic and social shares than the shorter posts I would sometimes write. Now, if I write a post that isn’t at least 1,000 words, I wonder if there wasn’t something that I left out or additional information that I could have included.
Now this isn’t to say that you should stop writing multiple posts every week. If that approach is working for you, then by all means stick with it. NEVER change what you are doing if it is working for you. I don’t care how many ‘experts’ tell you otherwise. It’s fine to experiment and be open to new ideas, but never change what’s working for you just because it’s ‘conventional wisdom’ of the moment. But if your current efforts to write 2-3 posts a week aren’t working, then I would suggest you consider spending that time on writing fewer, more comprehensive posts.
But wait, there’s more!
Now it’s not enough to simply write fewer posts, that are longer. What we’re talking about is shifting your content strategy. You want to transition from writing many posts that give a quick, superficial coverage of a general topic, to long-form deep dives of fewer topics that are the cornerstone of your business. I’ve written before about planting your content flag and finding the 2-3 things that you want to be known for. The great thing about longer content is that it helps you really drill down into topics that are core to your business. This helps you establish your expertise around these topics, and makes it easier for your readers to associate those topics with your business.
In addition to writing longer, more comprehensive posts, you also want to beef up your promotional efforts for those posts. You want to invest more time in custom graphics for those posts, or even custom videos. For example, I used Lumen5 to create a custom video for my last post on using millennials in your brand ambassador program. That allows me to also post the video on YouTube, and there link back to the post. Check out how UnBounce even created a custom pop-up graphic for one of its more popular posts.
But I don’t like promoting my posts, it feels so….icky!
Here’s the deal: If you are creating truly great content that is USEFUL to your readers than you OWE it to them to share that content. It’s not about helping you, it’s about helping THEM. Share the content and tell your network why it will help them. One of the great ironies of social media is that it seems like bad content gets promoted too much, and great content isn’t promoted enough.
Also, despite what social sites tell you, very few people actually ‘follow’ you. I have around 46k people currently ‘following’ me on Twitter, and each time I share this post, I will be lucky if 1% of that number actually sees each share. Which is why I don’t mind repeatedly sharing my best posts on social media, because I know that most people following my updates won’t see the post being shared more than once.
So if your current blogging strategy is to write multiple posts and week, and that approach is NOT working, then try this:
1 – Write fewer posts, that are longer, deeper dives into topics.
2 – Pick topics that are core to your business. What do you want to be known for? Blog about these topics, and related ones.
3 – Don’t think of it as writing blog posts, think of it as writing a comprehensive ‘guide’ to that topic.
4 – Work on custom graphics for the posts. In general, more visual elements equals more social shares.
5 – Feel free to promote your posts. You’ve created amazing content, you will be doing your audience a dis-service if you aren’t sharing it with them.
Want more ideas? We’ll be discussing this very topic this Sunday night (7-16-2017) at #Blogchat on Twitter. For now, here’s the custom infographic I created for this post on The Rock Star’s Guide to Content Creation, Content Marketing and Promotion.