How long should a blog post be?
The first thing you should know is: There is no one size fits all answer to writing blog posts. Soz about that. But this is why you'll find such different answers all over the web.
In my talks I give the advice that you should have at least 500 words as this provides enough content to be nice and juicy, usually supports the need of the reader (what query they have, and is it answered) and is pleasing enough for the reader to stick around and spend time on the page. Because 300 words is a bit short and doesn't really provide anything more than the basics but search engines LOVE long content like 1500+ words BUT do your readers really want to read that much about whatever you're writing about?
What I’d like to ask you to consider is - what is the goal of your blog post? Because I guarantee that it won’t be the same each time.
Sometimes you'll want to make more people aware of what you do as a service / offer as a product.
Sometimes you'll want to make as much noise as you can around an event you were involved in (styled shoot, real wedding, pop up shop, party, etc etc)
How often should I blog?
You need to be blogging regularly, ideally once a week. I used to put off saying this out loud but it's true. To get to where you want to get to, you most likely need to be blogging once a week. Some say to me 'OMG Maddy, I blog once a month, isn't that enough?' and to them I say 'Well, do you rank on page one on Google and get enough bookings?' If they say no, well.....
If you get a flurry of inspiration don’t be tempted to publish all at the same time, instead use the scheduling tool on your website . Whether it's once/twice/three times a week or month, just do it regularly. Use the scheduler on your website platform to select a date and time to publish and use Facebook scheduler / Buffer to share your posts.
What should I blog about?
- Sit yourself down and brainstorm the topics your clients ask about.
- You should think about what you want to say and to whom you want to say it.
- Look in your inbox, what are the most common questions? What questions are you always asked by your clients? What are you asked by fellow professionals and peers? Write about those topics first. (Like I wrote this one!)
- Address a specific question and you'll get the readers in.
- Read wedding blogs designed for your audience.
- Share other people's blog content. Do not copy and paste their posts, but instead write a couple of paragraphs about the topic, then link to the blog post and email them with a compliment about how much you enjoyed their work.
- Write about what projects you're working on right now.
- Always feature your real weddings if you're a wedding pro.
- Keep a Google Doc / Word doc of article ideas on your phone so you're never stuck for an idea.
Make a plan for 2020
Next you need to organise what you want to share in your blog posts and rotate:
- Tutorial posts or "How to" posts. (They build trust for the reader and they're great for SEO)
- Resource lists (list local services and be thorough with your information, contact the businesses and let them know you've linked to them, they might link back! Call the posts things like "Top Ten Wedding Venues in London"
- Checklists (yes, they're prolific, but oh boy are they wildly popular, don't dismiss them as they're also potentially viral on social media including Pinterest). Make sure the lists are informative to your reader and in line with your business values.
- Infographics - this relates to being helpful to your couples. They're also hugely popular on Pinterest. Use a free tool like PiktoChart to convey some useful information. Search on Pinterest and see what's already out there.
- Guest posts on your blog - featuring guest posts from other professionals in your field is a great way to share audiences, and to associate yourself in a particular area so that readers know more about you. Reach out to other pros and ask them if they'd like to write for your blog. Writing a few short questions for them if they say yes will help inspire them to be specific.
- Guest post on other blogs - Publishing on other people's blogs earns you a new audience, boosts your traffic as the link on the new site will earn you a great backlink to your site.
- Interviews - interview pros you admire in your field, perhaps get their take on the current trends in your area, interview yourself so potential clients can see what you're all about! They want to get to know you before they trust you to book your services.
- Sponsored posts - if you choose the right blog for you and your audience, then purchasing a sponsored blog post can give you great visibility that generates good quality leads.
Is there a particular way I should format a blog post?
Whilst there is no set-in-stone way, there is a format that I would recommend:
Consider your title:
- Write your title with your keyword phrase, then a detail about the topic then couple’s name
- E.g. London Wedding Photography - The Ritz Wedding - Harry and Sally
- OR if it’s a tutorial post keep it simple:
- E.g. How to learn origami in 5 easy steps
- If you want to be more creative with your blog posts then use the keyword phrase first, then the funny title afterwards. It’ll help your ranking by using the keyword phrase whilst also appealing to your target audience.
Identify and understand the problem you're about to solve for the reader (they don’t know about the range of your photography skills, they don’t know how to put together a particular theme, they don’t know about the skills you have to offer, the list goes on)
Share your expertise
Show off great examples that demonstrate your expertise (the best images from that wedding, or great photography for a DIY tutorial)
Conclude with a purpose and call to action (what do you want them to do next?)
So, there you have it, the inside scoop on how to blog and how long a blog post should be.