As a blogger, do you sometimes feel that the “rules” that you followed last week have changed? For example, are you still writing blog post titles that are close to 70 characters long? What if I told you that it’s now best to limit them to 55? Did you know that research shows that longer blog posts attract more links (which helps your page rank)? Did you know that longer means 1,500+ words? Well, that’s definitely up for debate but there’s plenty of research to support that. At the same time, there are definitely exceptions (think Seth Godin style). So, where can you start? What resources are available that you can refer to for answers to these questions (and many more like them)?
How Do Your Blog Post Titles Show Up in the SERPs?
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how title tags are displaying in the SERPs (search engine results pages) after Google redesigned the SERP format (a few months ago). Simple changes that Google made (such as font sizes) effect how your blog posts display in searches, images, videos and AdWords.
In his article New Title Tag Guidelines & Preview Tool on Moz.com, Peter J. Meyers shows examples of how these changes have affected the search results pages. After his analysis, Peter concludes that while “there’s no magic number“:
“I feel comfortable saying that 55 characters is a reasonable title-length limit under the new design, but keep in mind that your title lengths may vary quite a bit.”
How Many Characters Should Be In That?
A recommended character length for the title of your blog post is good to know but wouldn’t it be nice to have other recommendations as well? While there’s always room for discussion, I found Kevan Lee’s article on BufferApp.com, The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research, offers a lot of insight into the answers to these questions.
In his article, Kevan backs up his findings with research from resources including: Buddy Media, Jeff Bullas, BlitzLocal, Copyblogger, KISSMetrics, Medium, SerpIQ, Derek Halpern, MailChimp, TED and Daily Blog Tips. Hopefully, you’ll find his post as helpful as I do.
For example, would you like to know:
- What’s the ideal length of a tweet?
- How many characters should your Facebook post be (for maximum engagement)?
- What’s the ideal length for your headline on Google+?
- How many words should be in your blog post headlines?
- What’s the ideal length of a blog post (in minutes and words)
- How wide should your paragraphs be?
- How many characters should you use in the subject line of your emails?
- How many minutes should your presentation be?
- What’s the best number of characters for a domain name?
How Can You Write a Long Blog Post That Gets Read?
Recent studies indicate that longer blog posts attract more links than shorter ones. In the article that I referenced above, Kevan Lee suggests that research shows that “The ideal length of a blog post is 7 minutes, 1,600 words”. So, how can you keep your reader’s attention?
Mitt Ray answers that question in his article 5 Must Follow Rules While Writing Long Blog on Business2Community.com. As always, I recommend reading the article for yourself but (in the hopes of piquing your interest), I’ll bullet his points here:
- Avoid Repetition
- Include Images
- Make it Easy to Read and Navigate Through
- Place Share Buttons at the Bottom
- Don’t Force It
Mitt’s uses examples and screenshots from these respected resources: SocialMediaExaminer.com, SocialMarketingWriting.com, Lilach Bullock (Socialable.co.uk), QuickSprout, Ileane Smith (BasicBlogTips.com), BrightEdge.com, SociallyStacked.com to support his recommendations.
How Do You Write a Catchy Blog Post Title?
Hopefully, the resources that I’ve featured this week are arming you with a lot of tips, ideas and recommendations to help you write blog posts that: appear in the search results, grab the attention of your readers and help your blog thrive. Part of writing a killer blog post includes writing a title that will get someone to click on it.
Last week, I came upon 100+ Blog Post Title Templates That Grabs Attention by Pauline Cabera on TwelveSkip.com and I bookmarked it to share with you. In Pauline’s article, she shares the following 6 tips (before going on to share her 100 blog post title templates) with us:
- Use Catchy Adjective Words
- Use Numbers
- Use Popular Search Queries
- Keep It Short & Focused
- Never Mislead
- Don’t Limit Yourself
As usual, I’ve only highlighted the main points here to get you interested and I recommend you hop over to Pauline’s blog and read her article.
What Types of Tools Do Freelance Bloggers Need?
In his guest post (onBloggingWizard.com), Karol K shares 20 Awesome Tools To Use When Joining The Freelance World As A Blogger. What is freelance blogging? Karol defines it as
“. . . about you finding other blog owners that need content, and providing it to them”.
While he’s written this post focused on tools for freelancers, many of these tools can be beneficial to anyone who is blogging in hopes of earning an income. To be more helpful, Karl breaks his list into the following five categories:
- Productivity tools
- Research tools
- Outreach tools
- Writing Tools
- Data Tools
While he’s included many tools and resources that I was familiar with, quite a few were new to me and I’ll be checking them out. Hopefully, you’ll find something new in his list that you can use. (As always, feel free to share your favorite tools in the comments.)
Over To You:
What are your thoughts? Have you started to keep the 55 character limitation in mind when you’re writing your blog posts (or are you still using up to 70)? Did you find the article on the ideal length of “everything” online helpful? Did you find the “rules” for writing, the title templates and the blogging tools helpful? We’d love to know.