2015 was the year in which the blog supposedly died.
Amid claims that it would be more efficient to put the time spent writing blog posts into creating affiliate marketing programs or creating an e-Book, death seemed imminent.
Then SEO doyen, MOZ released research showing that the vast majority of blogposts had zero external links and less than 2 Facebook interactions (shares, likes or comments). Sheesh. Should we all just give up and start Friday drinks a couple of hours earlier each week?
I don’t want to rain on your parade (especially a Friday drinks parade) but I suspect reports of blogging’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
When thinking about your marketing strategy, blogging operates in a similar way to email marketing. It isn’t cutting edge or sexy, but you own it.
An email list is yours alone. You will never have to pay Facebook to access it; you’ll never wake up to an unfavourable change in its algorithm. A blog is the same.
A blog allows you to develop your voice and build trust with your customers. It is a way to tell your brand story.
But that doesn’t mean you aren’t wasting your time.
There are now 800% more blog posts published by brands every month than there were in 2011. And the more content out there, the less likely it is that your ideal customers are going to hear your voice. In fact, the number of shares a blog post can expect to get on social media has plummeted in the last five years (down 90%).
Blogging takes time. A good blog requires planning, research and discipline as well as the time taken to write it.
And any entrepreneur will tell you that while passion is unlimited, time is a scarce resource. So if you are going to spend the time to maintain a blog, how do you ensure that your effort isn’t wasted?
Below are five simple tweaks to make your blog post more shareable.
1. Create a killer title
The most shareable titles are 7 words long and include at least one pronoun (you and yourselves are the most shareable pronouns). Question marks are good but surprisingly, the most shareable punctuation is the vertical bar.
Go ahead and scroll up to check how my title measures up, I know you want to! I’ll wait. For what it is worth, this was my other title option. “How to stop wasting time and blog smarter.” Did I make the right choice?
2. Find the best time to post
We all know that the timing of social media posts can dramatically influence engagement. But are you thinking about this for your blog posts as well?
Make sure that you are posting at an optimal time and that you share the post at the right time as well. This will vary by social media platform, industry and your location.
I like to post at about 3am EST- about 7am in Melbourne, Australia. This is a very non-competitive time on both the east coast of the USA and Melbourne. It also allows me to catch Australian business owners and marketers at a time when they are starting to think about what they’ll achieve that day.
Think about your ideal customer and then experiment with when you think they might be receptive to your message. And don’t forget to check your stats to find out where the majority of your readers live.
3. Paragraphs should be 2-3 sentences long
4. Use enough images
But not too many! Surprisingly, the most shareable number of images in a blog post is 11. As long as you have between 6 and 11 images, you’ll be fine. And again, this will be influenced by your industry and how long your blog post is.
5. Keep punctuation to a minimum
But this doesn’t just mean you can take it out. Create simple sentences that don’t require more than one comma and use colons and semi-colons very sparingly. When using exclamation or question marks, less is more. Less than 10 per blog post is best.
So there you have it. My recipe for creating blog posts that your readers will want to share. What do you think?
Are there particular industries where blogging is unnecessary? Is the blog dying and people like me just haven’t realised it yet?