Recently, I did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) post about blogging in a Facebook Group. There were a number of questions that kept coming up on the thread, so I thought it would be helpful to share the answers here.
What platform do you use for blogging?
I recommend setting up a WordPress (.org not .com) website and getting into the habit of creating content regularly. Some WordPress themes have a bit of a learning curve, but the Gutenberg editor or page builders like Elementor or Beaver Builder can make the whole process less overwhelming. If you don’t have a website yet, you can set up an account on medium.com and start posting content there regularly.
When it comes to actually drafting blog posts, I usually do the first pass in a notebook, using an erasable gel pen, or do an outline in Google Docs. It helps me to formulate my thoughts before I hop into the backend of my WordPress website.
How long should a blog post be?
Generally, longer blog posts are better in terms of ranking your content. However, this is really only true if what you are sharing is quality content and if your audience have the attention span. If you are the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker in your business, then you need to think about what you can realistically aim to keep up consistently over time. Big businesses typically produce blog content that is around 1500-2000 words, but usually there is someone in-house who focuses solely on writing the blog.
If you’re a sole trader or a small business owner, then it’s best to keep the length of your blogs shorter so that you can sustain your content creation over time. Or it might be that you choose to publish a longer blog less frequently so that you don’t burn out.
Think about your audience, do you REALLY need to write a very long blog post in order to cover the topic adequately? Or might it be better to keep it concise so that it’s easier to digest?
How often should I be blogging?
Go for what you can manage! It’s better to be consistent, even if that’s just one blog post a month because you’re more likely to stick at it. You’re also training your audience to know that you post on the last Friday of the month (for example). You can box clever when it comes to the frequency of your blog posts – is there a piece of content that has already been getting traction, e.g. a Facebook Live or a college assignment that you can repurpose? Maybe you could have a notebook where you jot down content ideas so that when you sit down to write a blog you already have an ideas bank to draw on?
How many images should I include in my blog posts?
I’d recommend a really nice featured image for your blog post that captures the essence of the content. Break up the paragraphs with a couple of images so that your audience isn’t overwhelmed by a massive wall of text. You can create some really nice images for your blog using a free Canva account, or even just by uploading pictures that you have taken yourself.
What’s the best way to share a blog post?
Post it on your social media, even if you’re only using one platform you’d be surprised how many people might stumble across it. Remember that even if they aren’t liking or commenting, they could very well be sitting up and taking notice of what you do. Don’t be afraid to reschedule a blog post and to share it a few times. Just because you’ve shared a post once, it doesn’t mean that everyone in your audience will have spotted it. It can also be helpful for your regular readers to hear the same point more than once because that can help it to sink in.
M.Sc. B.A. B.Sc. PGCE
Marie O’Sullivan is an experienced primary school teacher and counsellor. She is also a qualified IT Trainer and her writing has been featured in national and international press.