Blogging Tips 101: How to Write Less and Post More
Attention time-poor bloggers: You don’t need to slave away for hours to publish regular, high quality posts.
Rather than spending more time on creating extra content (which isn’t an option for most busy people), focus on creative ways to stretch your existing content further.
By following a few simple blogging tips, you can slice and dice your workload so you get more posts out of less research and writing.
How often should you update your blog?
Short answer: As often as possible. It’s not reasonable to expect that every blogger can post five days per week, but two or three blog updates a week is the minimum you should be aiming for. There are two main reasons that you should try to post to your blog on a fixed, regular schedule.
Google prefers fresh content
As part of its search algorithm, Google uses a web indexing system known as Caffeine. The system was introduced last year – you can read it about on Google’s official blog. The purpose of the Caffeine system is to index web content according to its ‘freshness’. Content that was published or updated more recently is generally considered ‘fresher’ and more relevant than older content on the same subject.
Long story short, Google will show more love to your blog if you’re publishing fresh content on a regular basis.
Regularity is important for keeping an audience
Web users love a sense of predictability. There’s nothing worse than visiting one of your favourite blog sites, expecting to be greeted with a fresh article, only to discover the same stale piece of content that you read two days ago.
Regardless of how frequent your posts are, aim to deliver them at regular intervals. If you can only manage two blog posts per week, make sure they go out at fixed times, for example one on Tuesday morning and one on Thursday afternoon. The WordPress ‘schedule post’ function is very handy for this.
Don’t assume that everyone is following you on an RSS reader and doesn’t care when you post. Let your audience know when to expect a new blog article, and they’ll make more frequent visits to your site.
Avoid making every blog post an epic
A lot of us writers suffer from textual diarrhoea – expressing an idea in 1000 words is easy, but condensing that same concept into 250 words can be a real challenge. Yet hard as it may be, this is an essential skill for all savvy web publishers.
Endless paragraphs of text rarely look sexy on a computer screen. Web users have very, very short attention spans, and like to be fed information in small, easily-digestible chunks.
Don’t treat your blog like a 700 page fantasy novel. Keep your content succinct and focused on your core message. Look at every sentence you’ve written and try to identify unnecessary ‘fluff’ words that you could get rid of.
There’s no real consensus on the ideal length for a blog post, and it would be a silly idea to set a fixed word limit for your article before you write it. But as a general rule, if you’re starting to get bored while writing your post, people are probably going to get bored reading it.
Which brings us to the next strategy . . .
Break your articles into multi-part series
This is one of the most important blogging tips of all time. If you’ve got a solid concept for a blog post and feel as if you could ramble at length on your subject, consider creating an interlinked series of posts, rather than one big fat article.
This is a good idea for several reasons:
- You can get multiple blog posts out of a single concept or subject, meaning you produce more content with less research and brainstorming.
- You can build anticipation and keep your readers excited about the next article in the series. Stay tuned for next week’s instalment!
- Article series are an easy opportunity to internally link your blog posts, which is important for SEO.
Here’s a real life example: a series on going viral with WordPress, which was published here on WPMU last year. All that info in a single blog post would have been way too much to digest, but it made for a very successful run of related articles.
Harness the power of guest posting
As an example, check out ProBlogger. The site is updated with new articles every day, but if you look closely you’ll see that less than half of the posts are written by Darren Rowse himself. He has an endless supply of aspiring bloggers throwing content at him, and he makes good use of it.
If you blog has a decent sized audience in a defined niche or demographic, it’s a near certainty that other less-established bloggers will be willing to contribute guest posts for free.
Guest posting is good for them, because it’s a chance to get their name out there and draw more attention to their own blog. And it’s great for you, because you can put your feet up and let someone else do the hard yards.
If you’re interested in getting some guest writers involved with your blog, have a read of this article on enabling front end posting in WordPress.
Throw your two cents in
We’re always interested in hearing tips, advice and ideas from other bloggers. If you’ve got something to share, please drop us a line in the comment section below.
And if you’re looking for some more WPMU bloggin’ wisdom, check these bad boys out: