For many bloggers, when they write a blog post, the subject they are writing about incites a passion in them, or a desire to put out as much information about it as they can.
This practice can be beneficial for a company. Google’s patterns generally indicate that they like having a lot of information on a topic more than a short article. Long blog posts give Google plenty of material to look at and work with. Organized well, it can lead to Google ranking a page higher when it comes to search results.
However, this can also be a double-edged sword. Delivering that much information in a post which is designed to be read on the internet often leads to pages which do not deliver the user experience which Google looks for. So how does one deliver a large amount of information to make Google happy while keeping readers’ fickle eyes at the same time?
How to write a blog post – The elephant on the internet
Many in the search industry, including Yoast, the provider of one of the more popular SEO tools, consider blog posts of over 1,000 words to be thought of more highly than other websites on Google and the other search engines.
There are many reasons for this. Google has been telling us for decades that they want websites to be genuinely about their topic. They say that it is up to us as website owners to provide them with enough information so that their “crawlers” can go through and clearly understand what we are about.
Long posts allow us to give the crawlers what they are looking for, as well as giving the search engines what they look for without worrying about stuffing our posts with keywords.
So now you sit down to write a blog post with over 1,00 words… That’s a lot of writing (here’s a hint, as I am writing this blog post, it just has over 400 words at this point (and about fifty of them are after this sentence). However, writing a blog this size does not have to be difficult to do.
The process is much faster if you know the subject really well. But that can also work against you. I’ve learned that when someone believes that they have a firm grasp on their subject, that is where mistakes tend to appear.
As one of my mentors used to say, “the moment you start to think you have you **** together, you’re about to **** up.” (censorship mine).
How to write a blog which is like a strong elephant
It is all about credibility. Credibility is the easiest thing to get, and the hardest to maintain. This is especially true in the internet world. Our websites are our first stab at credibility, and as a reader goes through, our content either maintains or weakens our credibility.
What is your credibility based on? Are you thinking of how to write a blog based on your experience and knowledge? Or are you writing a blog based on your experience and knowledge backed by strong resources?
Earlier in this post, I wrote that Google and search engines like to see blogs of 1,000 words or larger. Now what is this statement based on?
If I base it solely on my experience and knowledge, then my credibility is that of David “Website Dave” Green, and it is only as strong as a reader’s perception of me, who I am, and whether or not what I say can be trusted.
However, by referencing what Yoast had to say about it, the statement carries a whole lot more weight. The truth of the statement is not dependent upon me. It is based on the credibility of my sources, and it reflects well on me – unless it winds up being bad information, which means that even their information has to be verified.
At the end of the day, you write a blog post which is stronger and more credible, just like an elephant.
But will anybody actually read the post?
The mentor I mentioned before also said this a lot: “How do you eat an elephant???
One bite at a time.”
Why to write a blog post one bite at a time
A popular school of thought is taking a subject and writing about it, separating it into five or six posts. The idea comes from the SEO theory of having more “internal links” (links from one page of a website to another) by linking the parts to each other. It also includes the concept of having more pages/posts for the search engines to look through.
Another part of the theory is that it keeps each blog post small enough for people to actually read (although it does introduce interesting SEO challenges, such as including keywords enough within a post without “keyword stuffing” and having awkwardly-written text).
People, as a general rule, do not read a lot on the internet unless it is about a subject which they are keenly interested in. So an elephant-sized post is most likely not going to be fully read.
…unless the person who is looking at your post is very interested in it.
I’ll use the post you are reading as an example. If you are still reading, then you are probably quite interested in what has been written for one reason or another. You could be:
- wanting to know how to use this information on your own blog
- ascertaining whether I know what I am talking about and whether or not to hire Terminus Web Group
- a competitor
stealingresearching our material to use in their own communications (true story)
- a collaborator wanting to make sure that we are delivering the same message
- et al
However, if you are a casual reader, then you probably are not reading at this point. A long blog post is a good example of how to write a blog post which the people who are most interested in your product or service are going to read, and winnowing out the rest so that your time is better spent on your best potential customers.
…and here is how to write a blog post which is taken in one bite at a time:
- No long paragraphs. Your information will be lost in them.
- Use bullet lists whenever possible. Keep them short.
- Read your post on a cellphone. More and more people are using them for their internet.
- Organize your post into a few sections and use headers to split them up.
- Use another blog post or page if you have a point which needs extensive explanation.
Like many visual communication concepts, it’s a simple concept once it is understood. This -> WORD <- is the 1,111th word in this post. The post has been written around one keyword, which is included seven times, for a total keyword density of