For bloggers, the answer lies in a question. Why do we blog in the first place?
There can be a myriad of reasons – from enjoyment of the process to a desire to share knowledge or help others. But for many, blogging is a business tool, which can be used to generate awareness of the business or individual’s credibility, reputation, knowledge, approach and even personality.
Clearly, there are many ways of achieving increased readership and awareness, whether through social media and online opportunities; use of email and newsletters; sharing, liking, following and making pertinent, relevant and interesting remarks on other people’s blogs; guest blogging works well in both directions, especially if you can get interesting writers with credibility to contribute. These will actually increase your readership because they’ll tell all their mates and colleagues that they’ve written a guest blog – and where to find it.
“I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to write a short one”
But this particular blog is concerned with size, or length, which, combined with frequency, can be important in terms of readership. Starting with frequency, and two aspects in particular:
- What do the search engines need to find you and increase your readership?
- What do your readers want once they’ve found you?
Search engines rate frequency quite highly – particularly when the blog is relatively new. So when setting out, it’s useful to provide a blog post several times a week – aiming for quality, good headlines, good subheads, and not forgetting that search engines need key words and tags. Getting people to comment and discuss is also extremely useful and will spread the word.
Readers, on the other hand, are less concerned with frequency – and more concerned with quality and content. Especially if they have “followed” your blog and are receiving emails or feeds which have to stand out from all their other emails and feeds. So, while it is helpful to write and post regularly, writing when you have nothing to say will lead to a dull blog, and readership will plummet (though surely there are enough new developments and topics every day across industries and technology to keep blogs interesting, original, relevant and useful).
As far as size or length is concerned, the fact that the excellent quotation above has been attributed to so many individuals – from Mark Twain to Ghandi, Pascal to George Bernard Shaw and more – is evidence of its truth.
Seth Godin, in my view, has it absolutely right. He blogs frequently, sometimes more than once a day. But he doesn’t feel obliged to write reams every time. He simply says something relevant, interesting and full of insight – and does so either in many or just a few lines. As a result, I – and many others – always take the time to read his latest blog – even if only fleetingly.
That, for me as a reader, is the measure of a successful blog – relevant, insightful, and a good read. And in those circumstances, size is only relevant in that it needs to get all the points across as neatly as possible.
Of course, you may disagree – in which case, just reply below and let’s start a debate…