Re-Thinking Your After Blogging To-Do List

by Tracy Vides on December 12, 2014

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It’s not over, when it’s over,” they say.

Just writing up awesome content and publishing on your blog isn’t enough. There’s a lot more that has to go on after publishing. Sharing on your social networks, reaching out to influencers to let them know that they’ve been mentioned in your post, and a lot of those other things you do to push your own content are basic essentials, and you’re probably already doing these.

But then, there’s a lot more that ought to be done. There’s just too much content out there and you’ll now need to do keep doing more just to be seen, heard, and read.

Increase the List Size to 10 or More

Noah Kagan had folks from BuzzSumo publish some findings after analyzing more than 100 million articles. A few things – such as the longer the post, the more shares it garners – really start to make sense and standout like a pimple on a baby’s bum.

"List" blog post are very popular

List-type blog posts are some of the most popular forms of content. However many things you covered in your list, go back to the already published post and take the number up to 10 (if you had less than that in the first place).

So, if you wrote the following:

  • 7 Vacations You’ll Never Get Enough Of
  • 5 Secrets to Startup Marketing That Paul Graham Will Never Reveal

Or whatever else – raise that number to 10. 10 is the new minimum for list posts. The bigger the post is, the more chances of it becoming popular. Also, it’s not just for avid readers. It also becomes a great magnet for content curators. Once your content is added as a part of a collection of a curated list, you benefit from what is known as the “multiplier effect.”

Build Resource Lists From Your Own Content

Say you’ve been publishing for a while. Assuming you publish 3 blog posts per week, over a year of publishing relentlessly, you’d have at least 150 posts.
Chances are that you’ve written about a variety of things related to your business. Now, it’s time to curate this content into resource blocks, each block dedicated to a topic (or category).

Bring all related posts together and publish them all in easily accessible tabular chunks that users can click and read. You can even gate the access to build your email list (but that’s beyond the purview of this post).

After your resource pages are ready, go ahead and promote them just as you’d promote blog posts.

Mix and Match With Old Content

As you promote your new posts regularly, develop a way to mix them with your older posts wherever relevant. Let’s say you just wrote a post titled “X New Tools to Deliver Better Customer Service” and you have a previously published post on “Why Customer Service Helps You Differentiate Enough to Kill Competition,” you could refer to the other from each and promote both as a pair. In the forex market, they trade “currency pairs.” You could do the same in content marketing with “post pairs!”

The “follow-up post” is another tactic that serves you well, especially when you update or introduce new features to your products or services. We have a great example from Shopify: They showcased the features and benefits of their integrated POS system, launched in August 2013, with an introductory post. And when they added more capabilities to the system and revised pricing (in April 2014) they followed it up with a detailed update.

Create new content with follow-up posts

Reformat Facts and Figures

A long blog post can double up as a quick downloadable report, as a script for a podcast, or even be made into a video. Perhaps you can cull out the important points and turn it into a slide deck.

If you use plenty of research, statistics, and influencer mentions within your post, each of these could be a potentially popular Tweet or a Facebook update. Every image used within your post can be fodder for Facebook, Interest, and Google+.

So there, you have content strategy and then re-content strategy. Try to find ways to make your content work for you again and again.

Go Off the Tangent

Stop with the digital marketing hustle and see what else you could do with the content you publish regularly. Can you make a coffee table book with all those pretty pictures already on Pinterest?

How about making little booklets (be sure to include QR codes to mobile-ready versions online) that you can give away to a corporate audience, attendees at a community event, a meet-up, a conference, or a training session?

If you are in a business that caters to colleges, schools or universities, you could possibly reach out to scores of students every day just by doing this. That’s certainly a wider net than blogging, social media or email marketing, right?

Can you package all your videos into a USB drive (self-branded) or a CD and give these to your customers or prospects?

Re-purpose your old content

Offline advertising isn’t what it used to be. But bridging the digital world with the offline world is an old but often-neglected trick in the book.

Pay to Promote Your Posts

Look closely at a piece of content with great comments on LinkedIn or an image with lots of shares on Facebook, and you are likely to find out that it’s being promoted. For most individuals and bloggers though, sponsored posts seem expensive at first sight.

The point is this: going the paid way for blog posts is something most people don’t do. So, there lies an opportunity for you to treat your content as a product itself and then go all out to promote it where you can, depending on the audience that likes to read your content.

Brody Dorland also talked about syndication as a great way to promote content in his post-publishing things to do list on the Content Marketing Institute blog. You can target specific audience types while you pick the paid route.

Of course, this isn’t a conclusive list, but I hope it adds to the ideas you’ve already come across to promote your content. How do you promote your blog posts at the moment? What do you do after you hit publish?

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Pritam
Twitter:
June 1, 2016 at 11:44 am

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Pritam recently posted..Free Backlink checker tool to check backlinks.My Profile

Lance Kumar April 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm

This might seem like a coincidence but I have also written along the points which you have mentioned here. However your writing skills is really awesome! I would like to add to the part where you have mentioned about the Headlines – It is important to add proper heading formatting to the article as it guides the search engine spider in understanding the content.
Lance Kumar recently posted..Fundamental Concepts of SEO Explained for BeginnersMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 26, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Hi Lance,
Sorry I haven’t replied earlier. Thanks for bringing up using the proper heading formats for headlines. They really can make a difference. That’s why it’s important to use keywords in them.

Thanks for weighing in on this. I hope you have a great weekend.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Safe Are Your Backlinks? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Robin Khokhar
Twitter:
April 23, 2016 at 10:49 am

Hi Sherryl,I don’t know that I am too late or not. But most of the expert advice to go for a particular niche, instead of choosing different niches, choose a bigger niche which could have many things in it.Having different websites sometimes also benefits, because of the link exchange among the own sites and author gives high priority too. Thanks for share.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 26, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Hi Robin,
It’s not too late! I’m the one that’s late in replying to you. I also need to apologize that your comment appeared on the wrong post! I’m fairly certain that you commented one either my initial post about consolidating websites or my follow-up post.

There are definitely pros and cons about having different websites for different niches. That’s exactly how my client, Doreen, ended up in the dilemma that she found herself in.

Thanks for mentioning linking to your other sites. That’s a great tip and something that some bloggers don’t commonly do.

Thanks so much for joining the conversation!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Case Study: Consolidating Multiple Websites Into OneMy Profile

Fabio Alves February 18, 2015 at 4:47 pm

I really enjoyed the tips. I am Brazilian and I found your blog by chance , but I really liked . On the item , we must maintain our list of contacts with dedication . thanks for the tips .
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 23, 2015 at 7:59 pm

Hi Fabio,

Thanks for letting me know that your comment was caught by my spam blocker. I checked out your website and it translates really well. (Thankfully.)

Welcome to my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed Tracy’s guest post.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What Blogging Tips Are You Missing?My Profile

Carol Amato February 14, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Hello, Sherryl and Tracy,

What a great topic for this article, thank you so much for sharing. I learned a lot, and I can definitely resonate with what you are saying.

It’s good to know that list size should be a minimum of 10, and I enjoy posts that are in the list style, but when it gets to be mammoth I think it becomes overwhelming.

I’ve actually thought about building a resource list from my blog posts as I’ve been blogging for four years, however, this project has never made it to the front burner. LOL

Your mix and match with old content is a technique I’ve been following for quite a while, and find it very beneficial.

In the last year and a half I have enjoyed expanding my content syndication Standard Operating Procedure manual. You’ve given me a few golden nuggets here that I’ll be adding. Thanks for the share.

Have a blessed weekend.

˜Carol

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 16, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Hi Carol,

Thanks so much for letting us know that you found Tracy’s post helpful. You know, I don’t know if I’ve ever written a list post before. I may have written one a long time ago but I never think to write them. I should try it sometime.

I like Tracy’s suggestion to build a resource list from past blog posts to build our email lists too. I still need to create something to offer. That would be a good starting off point for me.

I’m glad you found some “golden nuggets” here! Thanks for dropping by and joining the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Did You Know Google Panda 4.1 Rewards Quality Content? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 4, 2015 at 11:47 am

Please let us know how you make out Noelia. I’m connected with a very well-known blogger who is having success with 7,000+ word articles. He’s a travel blogger and that lends itself well to longer posts. I think you should find success with it too.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..People Will Buy From You When They Understand What Business You’re Really In!My Profile

Marie
Twitter:
February 4, 2015 at 9:30 am

I’ve started bumping up the word count on my posts, and yes, it’s working. More social shares and more eyeballs. It works.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 4, 2015 at 11:49 am

Hi Marie,

I’m glad bumping up the word count in your posts is working for you. I found the same thing when I did it! Thanks for letting us know.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Twitter, Content Marketing and Social Media ResourcesMy Profile

Marie
Twitter:
January 1, 2015 at 10:24 am

It’s a good list, and I’m glad I found a new blog to follow. 🙂 I’m adding you to my Bloglovin’ reading list.

I knew that *odd* numbers were best for list posts, but I didn’t realize that longer lists were best. I’ll work on increasing my lists. I had thought it would be the other way – that a long list would be a “too long;didn’t read”.

Thank you!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 2, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Hi Marie,

Thanks for letting us know that you found Tracy’s guest post interesting. I’m happy to hear that you’ve added my blog to your Bloglovin’ reading list. 🙂

I used to think the same way as you about the length of lists and posts in general. Things have really changed over the last year and readers are embracing lengthier content (as long as it adds value). I think that what has happened is rather than blog hopping (and reading rehashed content) website visitors appreciate the time spent on writing good content and going into topics deeper than what we used to be reading.

Thanks so much for joining the conversation. I followed you on Twitter and I noticed that you’re from Nova Scotia. Two of my favorite clients are authors from Vancouver and Manitoba. It’s getting cold up there now isn’t it?
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What Blogging Tips Are You Missing?My Profile

Marie
Twitter:
January 2, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Manitoba tends to be a lot colder than us, although I think Vancouver might be similar since we’re both coastal. We’ve had a really mild winter so far, with just a few nights hitting -10C (14F). I hope it keeps up this warm! We used to live in northern Ontario and -18C (-4F) was the norm for winter.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 6, 2015 at 8:40 pm

We’ve had a mild winter here in Massachusetts so far. Our luck runs out tomorrow when it’s going to hit 0F with a wind chill factor of -26F. I sure am luck I work from home!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Are You Building Your Online Brand? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Ron Killian
Twitter:
December 30, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Great post Tracy.

I’ve been trying to write longer posts and did not know it made that much of a difference. Will keep that in mind. Appreciate you passing on the stats.

I don’t promote my blogs as much as I should but I usually start with blog commenting to get traffic and comments flowing. Though don’t do enough of it. Also been using more content syndication type sites, if they make sense.

Have not really gone the ebook route, but I have been turning longer posts into PDF’s with a download at the end of the post. Don’t know the stats, but I figure at the least it gets my content on readers computers, plus it’s another way to get some promotion in. Could get shared as well. You never know.

Thanks again for the read 🙂

Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 31, 2014 at 12:10 am

Thanks, Ron!

Yes, commenting on relevant posts elsewhere isn’t a bad idea at all and can draw targeted readers to your blog. I also read somewhere that when you publish a blog post, the first comment should be yours, inviting others to share their thoughts. That will set the ball rolling.

Uttoran Sen
Twitter:
December 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Hey Tracy,

Yeah, the length of the article matters a lot. Personally when ever I have guest blogged or wrote a flagship article for my own blog, I made sure to keep it over 2000+ words. This has always helped in getting more social shares.

Along with that I think certain numbers are more catchy like 43, or 61. Keeping the numbers random helps rather than round figures.

Am thinking to do some off line marketing too like giving away branded stuff in 2015. let’s see how that goes!

thanks,
Uttoran Sen,
Uttoran Sen recently posted..Guest Crew Traffic Report 2014My Profile

Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 31, 2014 at 12:05 am

Hey Uttoran,

Yup, the most in-depth articles you write should ideally go on your own blog. If you don’t have one, like me, you simply have to find the best home for it! 🙂

Giving away branded stuff offline is a great idea for bloggers! Do let us know how it goes!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 31, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Tracy,

I’m glad that KeepUpWeb.com is one of the “homes” that you share your articles with! 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 31, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Hi Uttoran,

Thanks so much for letting us know that writing 2000+ words works well for you. Since I started writing posts in the 1000+ to 2000 words, I’ve noticed a significant increase in my direct and referral traffic. Writing quality content really works.

The reason that I don’t usually aim for 2,000+ words myself is because I’ve been focusing on curating content this last year (in my #FridayFinds series). Since I include links to so many valuable resources, I feel that keeping my posts around 1,200 to 1,500 words is more appropriate. (As it is, it can take a reader quite a while to digest my article and follow the links as well.)

Thanks so much for joining the conversation! I’ve been taking a little time off for the holidays but I promist to be by your blog soon. Happy New Year!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What SEO Tools Do You Use? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 29, 2014 at 7:36 am

Just realized this… and wanted to let everyone know that this post was selected by Marketing Land as part of their everyday coverage of notable articles in online marketing from around the web:

marketingland.com/marketing-day-google-plays-top-apps-2014-slideshare-analytics-zuckerbergs-thoughts-dislike-button-111093

Thanks! 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 31, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Thanks for the link Tracy. Happy New Year to you and everyone who visits here.

Abass Toriola
Twitter:
December 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Tracy,

Great post, I must say. I particularly love the “Pay to Promote Your Posts” part. Most bloggers don’t want to do this, but it has worked well for me in the past.
Abass Toriola recently posted..How to Upload a Plugin to Your WordPress BlogMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 28, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Hi Abass,

Thanks for joining the conversation and letting us know that you enjoyed Tracy’s post. You mention that promoting your posts has worked in the past. What sites have worked well for you?

In the past, I used to pay to be part of Blog Engage. In the beginning that worked well for me but I recently cancelled it. What is working for me now is promoting my posts on Triberr.

This is an interesting conversation. It would be good for all of us to hear what is and isn’t working for everyone.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Things You May Not Know About Google and SEO – #FridayFindsMy Profile

Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 28, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Hey Abass! Yes, there is a strange reluctance on part of bloggers to pay to promote their posts on social media or other blogs. Looks like leaning towards organic marketing an ingrained tendency. However, bloggers should reconsider doing this now by promoting their content in different formats on social media. For example, you could add a related slide deck as a follow up to your latest post on SlideShare or a quick instructional video on Vine.

Thanks for stopping by and I wish everyone here Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!

Kimsea Sok
Twitter:
December 23, 2014 at 10:56 am

That is really nice article and true help. I would agree with you, the more quality article attracted more you share. You know..! Actually, I always wrote the short discussion article since I want to make my blog fresh. It is always go from 500 to 1000 words. However, this week I did stranger article which go with 5000 words plus articles. I found that I get more share and tweet of my article. Thus, to keep more quality is great ways. Anyway, I just you to know that you article is a pretty nice tips and helpful which I ever read. Thanks for sharing..! 🙂
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Susan Cooper
Twitter:
December 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm

That was a really interesting post. What i found most intriguing was the longer the blog post the more shares it gets. I have always tried to keep mine far shorter than 3000 words, probably the 1,000 and under categorey. I find it fascinating that 3,000-10,000 word posts are getting shared the most. Interesting.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Hi Susan,

I can’t help but wonder if your posts aren’t the perfect length for you. Your original illustrations add so much to your post and that goes a long way.

I don’t know if you read my reply to Doreen but I mentioned your blog (as well as hers) as being breaths of fresh air. I often visit your blog to relax. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy a longer article from you. 🙂 You could always experiment with longer posts to see what happens .
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What’s Better Than Blog Updates? Autoresponder Series That Rock!My Profile

Doreen Pendgracs
Twitter:
December 18, 2014 at 1:54 pm

What a fascinating post, Tracy and Sherryl!

I’ve still been operating on the premise that blog posts should be 350-500 words, but then mine have lots of photos, so to me, that’s giving enough!

I’ve never been a big fan of list posts, but I will end the year on my writer’s blog with a list and will be sure to have at least 10 points in the list!

Thx for getting me thinking about ways to increase my audience.
Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..chocolate ecstasy at the Pure Jungle SpaMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 18, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Hi Doreen,

I don’t write many list posts myself but at the end of 2012, I wrote a ” Top 6 SEO and Social Media How-To Posts of 2012″ that was popular. I’m thinking of doing something similar this year (probably recapping my #FridayFinds posts). I’ll make sure to incorporate Tracy’s tip to include at least ten too.

As for the length of your posts, I’ve never found them to be short. Your articles are always entertaining and sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from learning and enjoy a short diversion for a while. I get to do that on your blogs. Another person who writes shorter, more entertaining posts is Susan P. Cooper. I find both of your blogs like a breath of fresh air. 🙂

So nice to see you here! Thanks for dropping by!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Top 6 SEO and Social Media How-To Posts of 2012My Profile

Doreen Pendgracs
Twitter:
December 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Thx so much for your kind comment, Sherryl! I do try and keep my blog posts short and peppy so that people can read them quickly, and hopefully learn or experience something with a fun, light-hearted way.

Like you say. It’s all about finding your own blogging voice and work with that in a real and authentic way.
Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..chocolate ecstasy at the Pure Jungle SpaMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 19, 2014 at 5:15 pm

You’re welcome Doreen. You’re a story teller and your pictures do add tremendous value to your posts.

I love that you chose your “Chocolate ecstasy at the Pure Jungle Spa” to link to! As I was writing this, that picture of you getting the “Chocolate Decadence” treatment popped into my mind. Tracy mentioned “1,000 words” and that picture is just one example of how true that is..

Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 19, 2014 at 2:40 am

So true, Doreen! Of course your 10 pictures a post make up 10,000 words for you! 😉

Tim Bonner
Twitter:
December 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Hi Tracy

I like the idea of building resource lists from older content. I’ve been thinking of building some “cornerstone pages” as Copyblogger describes them for a while but there’s always new material to write! They’re a great way for people to find things easily so I will make some time to get at least one set up this week!

I’ve been meaning to add some older posts to my autoresponder sequence too for email marketing purposes. It makes sense to drive some traffic that way and keep them alive.
Tim Bonner recently posted..Blogging Sometimes Takes An Unexpected DirectionMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Hi Tim,

“Cornerstone pages” . . . I learned about those years ago and still haven’t really embraced them. Thanks for the reminder! I’ll have to check out what you do. 🙂

I hear you about there’s always new material to write. In the past, when I have updated old posts, it’s taken me so much longer than I expected that I question whether it was the best use of my time or if I should have just started fresh.

What I should do is re-purpose some of my content into slide shows. Tracy’s post reminded me of that and I know Ana Hoffman is a big advocate of doing that.

As always, thanks so much for dropping by and adding your insight to the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Website Signals SERPs and Title Tags #FridayFindsMy Profile

Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 17, 2014 at 11:50 pm

Hi Tim,

Yes, building cornerstone pages is a great idea… hope they work for you! In addition to email, auto-tweeting selected old posts and sharing them on G+ is also a good way to give them a new life. Mike Allton of The Social Media Hat and Jeff Bullas do that with some success, I believe.

All the best for both!

Mi Muba
Twitter:
December 17, 2014 at 1:50 am

Hi Tracy and Sherryl

It’s like putting a new life into an almost dead thing.

In frenzy to publish more and more to be noticed at a wider level many bloggers forget the importance of inventory management.

It is equally must to give full attention to your already produced products. If they are related to info industry then their updating, innovating and promoting is a must chore to offer all your customers the best product from the available list.

The tips you shared for renew, recycle and revive the old posts are very useful and one needs to allocate time regularly to do this task to never let any of his product gets stale.

Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful post of great value.
Mi Muba recently posted..6 satanic thoughts that never let you be a pro bloggerMy Profile

Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
December 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm

We all quote Neil who is an advocate of long posts and I had read his post from March (that you linked to) in which he said that depending on the topic a post it could be long or short. He cites Seth Godin who is famous for his extremely short posts. I agree with Catarina that few bloggers are going to write 2,000-3,000 word posts. Those who do often have researchers getting the facts and finding sources to link to. Mere mortals like us who don’t have that kind of help need to be content with shorter posts. I’m just not going to break a sweat over it.

As Neil puts it,”Just because long content trends better doesn’t mean that yours automatically will. It helps to have an active social presence, rock-solid copy, and stuff worth talking about.” Agreed.
Jeannette Paladino recently posted..Millennials Likely to Use “Buy” Button on Facebook and TwitterMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Hi Jeannette,

Even my longest posts aren’t over 2,000 words. Then again, my longer posts usually contain curated content. So, while my post by itself may be a 4-minute read, if someone were to follow the links and read those articles, they could easily spend a half hour reading one of my #FridayFinds posts. (Another example would be the article that you wrote for my blog on Google semantics.)

So, I believe that there are a lot of contributing factors to the actual “length” of an article. For example, Catarina often embeds video into her articles. Those videos usually feature leading experts. While what they’re saying doesn’t add to the number of words in her post, the value of the content does increase the length of the article in both time and value added.

That’s a great quote from Neil! As always, thanks for adding your insight to the conversation. I hope you’re having a great week. I’ll be by soon to check out your post about millennials using the buy button on FB and Twitter.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are You Confused by Google Semantics? SEO Tips You Need.My Profile

Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

Totally agree, Jeannette! No need to break into a sweat over post length. And as Sherryl points out, you never know how much time your readers are going to spend following links or watching videos embedded in your posts.

That said, I do like to keep my posts at least of medium length. I’d rather have readers ingest more of *my* content and see the links/videos for what they are – supplementary information. If I don’t have much to say but want to say it all the same, I simply tweet it out.

Yes, Seth Godin gets away with short posts, but don’t forget that he wrote a couple of bestselling books first! And if Neil Patel has researchers for help, it helps to remind ourselves that they’re mere mortals too! 🙂 If they can do it, so can we, even if it takes us longer at the outset.

sherman smith
Twitter:
December 15, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Hey Tracy,

My list post are usually between 5 and 9. Why did I chose these numbers? Well it’s usually because I come back the post because another point I wanted to make pops up in my head LOL… But I thought it was a great idea to make the list post shorter. Well looks like I’m going to give at least 10 a go in the near furture.

I really like the idea of mixing and matching old content. I have quite of few posts that are quite similar to each other that I could do this with. They definitely compliment each other and are very resourceful so that my audience can take the tools I showed them to apply instantly!

Thanks for sharing Tracy! I hope you have a great week! Thanks for having her as a guest Sherryl!
sherman smith recently posted..What You Can Track Using Google Analytics For OptimizationMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 15, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Hi Sherman,

Your comment made me smile. I can picture your list growing as more thoughts pop into your head. 🙂

It will be interesting to see if increasing the number of items in your lists has an affect on the popularity of your blog posts. I hope it does. As for me, I haven’t written a list post in quite a while. They are popular. Maybe in 2015, I’ll give it another try.

As always, thanks so much for joining the conversation. I see that you’ve written another post on Google Analytics. I will definitely check it out soon!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Re-Thinking Your After Blogging To-Do ListMy Profile

Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 16, 2014 at 1:16 am

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on long vs. short, Sherman! 🙂 You could also try and club together old posts, quickly add 2-3 new insights, remove the irrelevant bits, change the headline (!), and have a new long-form post instantly. This works well for blogs like yours and Sherryl’s, where there might be some old posts lying around that aren’t getting much traffic anymore, but the topic is being talked about at the moment.

Thanks again for the words of encouragement and you have a great week too!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Hi Tracy,

I do brush up old posts sometimes. The thing is that I tend to spend longer doing that then you’d expect. What I haven’t done is change the headline. Now, that’s an interesting thought!

Since I started using the “Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer” tool (from the Advanced Marketing Institute), I’ve been writing better headlines. (Readers have told me this in the comments, on social media and in personal emails.) So, your suggestion to rewrite the headline makes a lot of sense.

Now that you have me thinking, I know of a handful of really short posts that I wrote when I first started blogging. By today’s standards, they’re a little weak on content but if I were to combine them into a new post (with a spiffy headline that tied them together), I could be onto something. Thanks!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Re-Thinking Your After Blogging To-Do ListMy Profile

Catarina
Twitter:
December 14, 2014 at 8:57 am

Like your idea of using old content to build lists. Or making pdf/video/podcast out of a long story that should interest your clients/readers.

The findigs that the longer the post the more shares must be correct because I have heard it for a long time. Can’t help wondering how such research was done?

Unless you write like a journalist on the New York Times it’s unlikely it will happen to you. Personally reading is how I get by in life but I still rarely read a really long article online. Don’t think I have ever done so on a blog. We only read long articles if the content is super interesting and the person writing it has really managed to draw us into it and want to know more. Most bloggers are, unfortunately not, in that category.
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Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 14, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Extremely well-put, Catarina! You have the guts to say it: Most NYT journalists, let alone bloggers, simply cannot come up with super-interesting, long articles time and time again. For example, here’s a piece of content that took a team at The New York Times months to create: http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/

Such quality of content creation is out of bounds for you and me, and we don’t have the readership to justify undertaking the effort. Which is why I suggest repackaging old content every now and then.

I guess longer content attracts more shares because it appeals to a wider audience in the niche that you’re talking about. Neil Patel has some articles on content length that might interest you:
http://www.quicksprout.com/2012/12/20/the-science-behind-long-copy-how-more-content-increases-rankings-and-conversions/
http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/03/31/how-long-should-each-blog-post-be-a-data-driven-answer/
https://blog.kissmetrics.com/2000-word-articles/

However, be mindful that
– Neil apparently contradicts himself at certain times.
– Some of the research was done a couple of years ago, when attention spans were longer (even a couple of seconds matter).

Finally, here’s hardcore research that says people are likely to read only 20% of your blog posts: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-little-do-users-read/

Thanks for stopping by!

Catarina
Twitter:
December 16, 2014 at 8:27 am

Thanks. Agree with you that the key to getting people to read your long articles even if you cannot write is if you cater to a niche.

Started out as a journalist and was an editor in chief of a business magazine in Sweden when I was 25. Have since worked with the majority of top publications in the world.

A huge problem in this respect is that all people believe they can write. When I was 25 I used to say to “freelance writers” that maybe they should consider other professions. But they only get angry so I just told them that we would keep them on file and contact them when we need their services.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hi Catarina,

In an earlier #FridayFinds post, (“What Blogging Tips Are You Missing?”), I referenced an excellent article by Kevan Lee called “The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research”.

According to the research that Kevan referenced (Medium.com): “The ideal length of a blog post is 7 minutes, 1,600 words”.

What length article would you consider to be too long to read? In his comment below, Ryan Biddulph mentioned writing 7,000 word posts. While I’m a fan of his blog, I have to admit that I find myself scanning more when an article is that long.

If you’re interested, you can find Kevan’s article here: keepupweb.us/1GoW9kj.
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Catarina
Twitter:
December 15, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Yes, I remember that article, Sherryl.

Honestly I’m convinced that the research that shows that long articles are shared more than short has included top media, such as NYT, think tanks and all other kinds really reputable websites with long articles. If it looked at blogs only the result would be different. Unless it was only blogs written by famous people such as Paul Krugman.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 15, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Catarina,

I haven’t had a chance to dig through my analytics lately. So, I can’t share solid numbers with you but I can tell you that since I started writing longer blog posts, the amount of direct and referral traffic that I am receiving has increased significantly.

I now try to blog between the 1,200 and 1,500 word range. Previously, I tried to limit it to 800 words. When I was writing shorter blog posts my direct and referral traffic paled in comparison to organic search. Now, organic search is in third place. I am very happy with those numbers because organic didn’t drop. Direct and referral increased.

At the same time that I started writing longer posts, I also started using the free “Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer” (from the Advanced Marketing Institute). So, I can’t scientifically prove if longer posts, better headlines or a combination of both are the key. It could also be increased visibility thanks to my blogging community (which could also be a result of longer posts and better headlines). All I know for sure is that I’m happy with the direction that my blog is going in. 🙂

As always, thanks so much for sharing your insight and asking questions. It certainly helps keep the conversation going. 🙂

Catarina
Twitter:
December 16, 2014 at 8:30 am

Sherryl it doesn’t surprise me. When you started writing longer articles you were already an established blogger with regular readers. What would have happened if you wrote long posts when you started out? Maybe you would have got away with it because your articles contain a lot of interesting information. Mind you I don’t know if they did when you started blogging:-)
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Catarina,

I’d like to think that all of my articles have been intersting. 🙂 Well, at least well written.

When I started blogging, (back in 2010), the majority of the blog posts that I read were somewhere in the 500 to 800 word range. I actually used to write longer articles and then edit them down before publishing them. I was concerned that web visitors wouldn’t want to read a lengthy post.

All of that was before I found my “blogging voice”. Once I did become established and visitors were engaging with me, I found that I could write longer posts and they were received well. It’s been been about a year now that I started writing posts over 1000+ words.

What is the average number of words that you write in your articles? I know that you often incorporate video into your posts. Since we’re being educated as we watch them, it seems that (while we’re not reading that content) it in some way does affect the length of your posts.

Catarina
Twitter:
December 18, 2014 at 4:49 am

What’s interesting in the context is that if you write an article for a newpapers online edition only the top quality ones allow long articles. For small newspapers they demand that you cut your article down to about 400 words.
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Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 16, 2014 at 1:25 am

Completely agree that long articles do better on reputed websites. But that’s a given, and applies to any post. When Justin Bieber tweets “Oh my god!” he gets a couple of thousand re-tweets. When I do the same, Twitter stops just short of deleting it. Lol, you get the idea.

My personal experience is, long posts compel you to think more, and consequently dissect the topic in ways that your readers haven’t thought about. This gets you a slightly wider audience, and experts on the topic (who wouldn’t otherwise give your post a second look) take notice too. And if they happen to share it, you get some nice ripples going…

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Hi Tracy,

Thanks again for contributing this guest post. It’s always nice to have you here.

That is so true about Justin Bieber being able to get thousands of re-tweets on an “Oh my god! post and most of us would never get away with it.

The same goes with posts from Seth Godin. Writing short articles is part of his brand. If I started doing that, I think my readers would think I was giving up on my research and teaching (which is part of my brand).

Ryan Biddulph
Twitter:
December 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Those big list posts work so well Tracy. I keep on adding numbers each week. 23 tips, 21 tips, or some high double figure number seems to draw in people who crave content, or who crave gobbling down loads of content. Really, the higher the number the better. Just make sure the quality of your post is solid and you’ll draw in more visitors and long term readers.

In addition to peppering in big numbered posts I’m also publishing 7,000 word posts these days. Save my most recent review, I’ve really gone super in depth to make a big time impact online. I figure, if I just publish an eBook sized post that I’m likely to garner some attention online. Folks like volume, and value, and I intend to bring both to my audience once each week.

Thanks Tracy!

Ryan
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 14, 2014 at 11:42 am

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for letting us know that big list posts work well for you. I recently came across an article list that contained 100 tips. It was strictly curiosity that drew me to it. I expected to find a long document that I wouldn’t want to spend the time going through. Instead, the author had created a slide show of the tips. It turned out to be fun, quick to read and interesting.

I’m always in awe of bloggers like you who can create the amount of quality content that you do. The thought of writing a 7,000 word blog post sounds a bit overwhelming to me. (Honestly, much more than a “bit”.)

Have you written any posts on productivity tips? (If you have, I either missed them or don’t remember reading them. 🙂 Maybe the key to added productivity is happiness and blogging in paradise just agrees with you!
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Tracy Vides
Twitter:
December 14, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Thank you for the first-hand insights, Ryan! Have you done any analysis on how well your 3000+ word posts compare to your 1000-1500 word posts in terms of traffic/comments? Also, I find that people generally turn their 5000+ word posts into ebooks. Have you found if that affects readability – i.e. someone downloads it and never gets down to reading it?

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