The trend toward longer blog posts [Become A Better Blogger]

Published: Tue, 06/30/15

Have you noticed a trend toward longer blog posts?

As the blogosphere evolves, the quality of blogs improves and the effort put into individual posts increases.

Perhaps it’s due to bloggers competing for reader’s attention, tweets and links. Perhaps it’s an effort to please Google with a longer time on page.

Whatever it is… top bloggers are spending longer crafting their posts.  

A year ago, Neil Patel wrote a very helpful (long) post to answer the question, “How Long Should Each Blog Post Be?”

Neil dispels the myths that either short or long form are the only way to go and he shuts down the notion that people online don't actually read content.

It’s a great article backed by data that shows this trend isn’t new. But I’ve noticed (and perhaps you have too) that bloggers I follow are starting to write longer posts than they used to.

There Are Exceptions Of Course

Neil points out that not everyone should follow the same rules. A perfect example of a brilliant leader who does things his own way is Seth Godin

As we all know Seth is a genius and he doles out little nuggets of wisdom in short blog posts… that never have images.

Seth is a best-selling author, a thought leader and basically a guru who everyone will always follow. He can shun Twitter and never put a photo in a blog post, but that doesn’t mean we should.

Different methods work for different people and different audiences. If you’ve found a formula that works for you, then stick with it.

I often think of how Chris Brogan say he spends about 20 minutes on a blog post. I am always shocked by that… Chris is incredibly smart and can write FAST. Again, he is a leader in our industry, but I don’t think we should try to write like him.

Funny thing… in a recent post of his on May 28, 2015, Chris said,

“You can’t blog like me. It takes me 20 minutes to write a post that might take you a week. But you COULD learn to blog like you. And then it might take you 20 minutes.”

Well… I don’t think many bloggers will create rockstar posts in just 20 minutes, but I do agree that we need to learn to blog with our own style.

So while, Seth and Chris may be examples of top bloggers who often write short posts, there are many examples of bloggers spending huge amounts of time per blog post.  

Rocking Long Form Blog Content

For an extreme example, look at Brian Dean of BackLinko. I've heard him say in an interview that he often spends 20 hours on a post. Visit his site and you'll see why. His content is phenomenal.

Another fabulous writer who invests time in each post and headline is Jon Morrow.

Also, check out Ana Hoffman from Traffic Generation Cafe and Rebekah Radice.

Data shows that longer posts rank better in google and get linked to more often. This chart shows how the top search results statistically have more words per page.

The key to a successful long post is the layout and quality of the writing and images.

Long, in-depth, well laid out articles perform well.

Brian Dean's posts may be super long, but they are incredibly readable.

How does this relate to Mom Blogs?

The examples I listed above are from blogs that are “about social media” or are technical in nature and explaining “how to” do something.

You may be wondering how this applies to your mom blog...

Well, the good news is that, as mom bloggers, not all our posts have to try to rank in Google or teach our reader a new marketing strategy. 

But, often we are showing our readers “how-to” do something or introducing them to a new idea or technique. Perhaps you're sharing a craft, DIY, or recipe… those perform best when they have multiple images and include detailed steps.  

On 5 Minutes For Mom, we tend to have a lot of variety in the length of our posts.

Some of our most popular ones are short… in fact, one of our top traffic posts is this quick post I wrote up after having a “spa day” with my girls. A really pinnable image with some fun ideas and it continually brings in traffic.

We still toss up a quick Wordless Wednesday (even though it usually has a few words) each week because we want to. Those aren't intended to try to rank in Google. 

But for some posts - especially sponsored ones - we try to go the extra mile and make them longer with multiple images.

Even for what could be a “quick” giveaway, we like to include several images and personal content.

For that same campaign, we also published two other long posts:
We could have spent much less time on that campaign, but we find that when we put extra effort to exceed our clients’ expectations, they come back to us for future projects.

Here’s another example of a sponsored post where Janice invested a ton of time creating photos and writing helpful content. It’s not super long, but it regularly brings us search and social traffic.

I think an awesome example of a mom blogger who creates fabulous (and often long) posts is Zina from Lasso The Moon. I notice that she also spends extra time on her sponsored posts. Take a look at what she wrote here… 

Overall, I think it’s helpful to recognize and understand the trend towards long form content. Then you will be able to see when it makes sense for your blog to invest extra time to make some of your posts a little longer and provide even more value for your readers.

Did You Miss Anything?

If you’re new here, you’ll definitely want to catch up…

What Do You Want To Know?

What would you like me to cover next week? Shoot me back a quick reply and let me know.

Talk soon,

Susan (and Janice)
5 Minutes For Mom

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