Blog Outsourced Solution
In our increasingly competitive content marketing environment, most companies now have a common question—not what is the value, but how can we gain and maintain strategic momentum? Industry now knows that among many other types of benefits, a well-maintained blog can:
- Ratchet up a website’s SEO rankings.
- Drive quality traffic to your website.
- Convert website visitors into sales leads.
- Build an authoritative position in the industry. Important to become the SME (Subject Matter Expert) in your Industry.
- Become a library of content that your sales teams can use to validate your company’s expertise.
- And, unlike many other marketing investments you may make, the value of blogging can increases over time.
But doing it well takes time and resources that many mid-sized businesses don’t have. Keeping up with both the volume and high quality of blogging required to achieve these benefits can be daunting. Your sales team should be busy selling, your subject matter experts should be busy doing, and your leadership team should be busy leading. Even the marketing department should be so busy executing and running campaigns that the task of weekly blog writing is often overlooked.
Quality of Blog Writing
When we talk about quality of writing, we’re not just talking about proper grammar and words that flow nicely. Quality means that the writing incorporates a deeper understanding of the desired audience, aligns with focused business goals, is a pleasure to read, engages interest in the subject, and ultimately leads to a positive action.
You can hire a decent writer at lower rates, and they can probably put together work that you won’t be embarrassed to display, but they’re unlikely to have the depth of experience to achieve the quality needed. They may also need a lot of managing and back-and-forth revisions to produce useful content. A quality blogging partner can provide the desired level of quality quickly and with minimal fuss will produce content you’re not only proud to display, but that genuinely accomplishes the goals you set for it.
Blog SEO Optimization
Good blogging that is relevant to your buyers will contribute value to your site’s SEO efforts, even without specific optimization. However, if SEO is a high priority for your organization, then it’s worthwhile to invest extra to ensure each blog is fully optimized.
SEO optimization for blogging may include keyword research, content optimization (ensuring keywords are in the right places and at the right frequency within the blog), internal linking, meta-tags, and link building.
Length of Blog Entries
Conventional wisdom holds that short blogs are better. The logic goes that business people are busy, and our attention spans grow ever shorter. However, the evidence points in the opposite direction. All else being equal, longer content ranks better for SEO, gets shared more often, and is engaged with at a higher rate.
While more words does not always equate to more time or cost, in the case of blogging, in-depth pieces will usually cost more to produce. One way that many companies balance the cost of longer content with the need for greater frequency, is to intersperse quick bites of content on their blog with regular long content. In general, anything under 500 words is “short” content, while 500-1000 is medium. 750+ words is the gold standard for SEO and user engagement.
Frequency of Blogging
Blogs that publish on a regular schedule gain traction faster and more effectively than those that publish sporadically. The ideal frequency varies by industry, business goals, and audience. Some research shows that the value of blogging is greatest at a 2/week rate. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve seen significant benefit from programs as infrequent as once a month. However, most companies gain the best cost to SEO benefit by publishing a minimum of twice a month.
Various Type of Blog Entries
Blogging comes in many different forms from the frequent, short snippets that alert readers to the latest news in an industry, to interactive quizzes, instructional how-tos, and long, detailed articles that can serve effectively as a white paper. What kind of content works best depends, as in so many other cases, on the type of industry you are in, your strategic business goals, and your unique audience.
- SEO Entries – Posts that are primarily written to support SEO cover topics with high search engine value, and include relevant keywords prominently throughout. They may include keyword research and technical add-ons such as meta-tags and title optimization. They’ll almost certainly include internal linking.
- Hot Topics Posts – Hot topic posts are exactly what they sound like—blog entries based on some current or trending topic. These tend to have a high timeliness factor, and may or may not be evergreen. These are often valuable for increasing traffic in the short term and/or growing your following.
- Authority Articles – Also sometimes called “thought leadership” articles, these are blog entries designed to increase the site’s and the company’s perceived authority in the industry. They are generally carefully researched, include at least one interview with an internal subject matter expert from your company, are relevant to a topic important to your audience, and are filled with substantial information. They are often comparable in scope and detail to a white paper.
- Interview Blogs – An interview article consists of an artfully edited transcript of an interview with an expert or celebrity in your industry. They may be faster to produce than an authority piece, while providing similar benefits in some circumstances.
- Big Five Blogs – You may have heard of the Big Five blogging topics: Cost, problems, comparisons, reviews, best of. These are the topics your competitors don’t want to touch but that buyers are avidly interested in. They have the potential to boost engagement in the short term as well as drive long-term SEO value.
- Quizzes, Q&A, How tos, Videos – There are nearly as many blog types as there are types of writing. Some easier, some harder, and they’ll all have a different value for your organization.
- Combination Blogs – A skillful blogger will often combine several types of content. Authority articles can be SEO optimized. Big Five blogs can serve as both authority and SEO pieces. A hot topics article, if managed well, can also be an authority piece. The additional time and skill required to serve multiple purposes will raise the cost of blogging, but probably not by as much as writing multiple articles will. Combining purposes, where practical, is usually a good value.