We can’t stress enough the importance of incorporating a blog into your inbound marketing strategy. Creating content that is relevant and of value to your website visitors is a key component in a successful inbound plan and blogging is a great way to achieve that goal. If you’ve done your research into starting a blog, you know how long your blog posts should be and what audiences you should be targeting in each post. Now, let’s take a look at the time commitment it takes to produce a profitable blogging strategy.
Time Per Blog
According to Hubspot, it should take a content creator anywhere between 3 to 4 hours to research, write, optimize, and publish a single blog post.
While the actual time may vary based on a writer's familiarity with a subject, this is the benchmark you should be aiming for when you are creating blog posts. We broke this down into a sample schedule for you to follow:1.5 - 2 hours: Research Topic, Find Links, Keyword Research, Persona Research
- Research Topic - Determining the topic of your blog article is something that should be well-thought out and a part of an overall content strategy plan or calendar. Once you have decided on a topic, thorough research must be performed so you can establish yourself as an authority on the subject. This research can be done through online search, expert interviews, personal experience, or a combination of the three.
- Find Links - Try to have support for claims made in your blog via source links or links to studies or journals that come to the same conclusion as your topic. If you have photos or graphs to include in your post that correlate with your facts, add them! Visuals are a great way to draw the reader in to your article and encourage them to continue reading.
- Keyword Research - Next, you need to verify that your blog topic is searchable through keywords. Although we've covered the fact that content is more important than keywords when it comes to page ranking, it is still important that your blog topic is of interest to your target audience.
- Persona Research - When writing a blog article, make sure that your target persona will be interested in the subject of the blog. Ask yourself, is this something that my ideal buyer would search for? Would they be drawn in to this topic and feel that I am an established authority on the subject? Will this topic stay in my target persona's mind when they are shopping for this service at a later date? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you are on the right track for a blog topic.
1 - 1.5 hours: Outline and Write Blog, Edit
- Outline and Write Blog - This may seem extremely obvious, but it is still worth mentioning that it is important to take the time to plan out what you will say. Everyone writes and organizes differently, so do this in a way that is most comfortable for you. However you choose to do this, you should make it a priority to ensure your blog flows well and will make sense to your target audience or persona.
- Edit - Even if you are the most seasoned writer or the biggest perfectionist on the planet, you will still make mistakes. Re-read your work before posting it. Take a step away and come back to it in an hour. Have a co-worker look it over before publishing. Remember, you are trying to establish yourself as an authority on your chosen subject. There is no worse way to lose your authority than a spelling or grammar error that could have been easily fixed.
0.5 hours: Format and Optimize, Add Photos and Check Links, Publish Blog
- Format and Optimize - This is something that may not seem imporant at first glance, but it is a step that should not be skipped. You spent 3 hours researching and writing the perfect blog - make sure people can read it. Add headers, section titles, bullet points, and lists. Break up your text in a way that continues to draw readers' eyes down the page instead of just publishing a wall of text. Be sure to add author tags, write detailed meta descriptions, categorize your blog with tags, and perform any other optimization tasks your blog platform offers.
- Add Photos and Check Links - Photos and other visual images will help boost the visibility of your blog, so if appropriate, be sure to add them. Also, check all links associated with your post. Make sure they are directing visitors to the correct place, be it another blog post on your site or a supporting study on a different site.
- Publish Blog - The final step is to publish your blog. Take one last glance through before you hit post. Look for any last spelling or grammar errors, skim through your formatting, and fix any out of place elements. Write up any small snippets you need for social media or website cross posting. Lastly, post your article!
This Seems Like A Lot For One Blog Post...
As you can see from the schedule above, there is more to creating a blog post than just writing out your ideas on the topic. Proper research must be done, with credible sources (journals, studies, statistics, etc.) referenced for each post. Keyword research must be done to ensure your blog topic will be found in search engines. Persona research must be done to be sure your post is tailored toward your target buyer persona and business audience.
Business blogs are much more than a glorified journal entry for your company. They are a part of your sales toolkit and should be a component of your inbound marketing strategy. Because of this, it is important that you spend the correct amount of time developing and producing blogs that are filled with correct and quality content.
The goal of your blog articles is to create valuable informational content for visitors which will position your company as an expert or authority in your field and attract site traffic. This will keep your company relevant in visitors' minds so when they are looking to make a purchase, they remember you before another company.
Interested in learning more about blogging and other inbound marketing strategies? Request a free Marketing Assessment to see how you can incorporate inbound marketing directly into your business!