At this point in time we've all heard that we should be producing content. "Content marketing" is the hot thing to do right now, and with constant reminders from Google about its hate for uncreative content, and a wide variety of other sources barraging you with vast quantities of content at any given time, it can be super overwhelming.
The trouble with content generation is finding the necessary balance for how you create your content, especially for a small business that doesn't necessarily have the manpower you need to generate posts every hour.
Balancing quantity and quality in blog posts is difficult to do, especially when it feels like you are constantly having to choose between one or the other.
Which Should You Choose: Quantity or Quality?
Ideally, you won't ever have to choose between the two, but we all know there are times when it feels like you can't have the best of both worlds! You have to choose...but do you?
Follow these 3 steps and start generating content that is both:
1. Create a Schedule...And Stick With It!
This is one of the best things you can do when blogging: set attainable scheduling expectations for yourself. If your running your blog all by yourself decide how many posts you can reasonably do each week, and what days you're going to post, and stick with that schedule! Typically twice a week is the sweet spot when it comes to keeping your blog updated but not burning yourself out.
If your lucky enough to have some consistent help with your content, remember to set expectations for them as well. Give them each a day during the week to have a blog post ready, and hold them to that expectation. Convey the importance of these blog posts to those who are helping you, and make sure they know their contributions are important and valued.
You may be asking how many blog posts does my marketing need in order to be effective? It's entirely up to you, though typically 2-3 times a week is plenty for a small business blog. And remember, you never want to be burned out or inconsistent in your blogging. It's okay to write a lot one week, and not the next, but make sure you are spacing out your blog posts to keep your blog consistent. Most platforms will allow you to schedule posts in advance, or you can set a reminder for yourself to schedule a post on a specific day.
2. Set Standards
Whether its just you cranking out the blog posts, or your gathering posts from others, you should always have some clearly defined standards for your posts. And no, don't get sucked into the idea that you need a certain word length or need a certain number of SEO keywords. Instead, focus on the quality of the blog posts for your customers.
Your blog should always be about the customer first. This means that you don't want to stuff your blog posts with keywords or generate boring information that you think will get a high ranking. Instead focus on what your customers want to read. And remember, they are the ones who will be searching for your blog. So if your writing about subjects potential leads actually want to know the answers to, your odds of being found organically have gone up.
So the next question to ask yourself is how good should my blog posts be overall?
You may not feel that writing is your strength. But keep in mind that "good" is a relative term. Focus on writing clearly and plainly in a way that makes logical sense to someone who might happen across your post. You are writing about your industry and what you know about, so focus on that, and not trying to be the next Charles Dickens.
In fact, most people are not going to read much more than your title, your bulleted or numbered points, and maybe the conclusion and introduction. So focus on creating a strong skeleton to hold up the paragraphs you have written and you'll be well on your way to producing that quality content. This means creating blog headlines that work and having a strong format for your post.
Which brings us to the next point:
3. Switch Up the Format
This is one reason why length is not always necessary when it comes to blog posts. Some of the best posts are mainly images, with very few words. Or some blogs do whole series of posts that define terms in their industry in 100 Words or Less.
Also think visually. Infographics and slideshares may not have a lot of words because they don't have a huge blog post to go with them, but they are providing you with just as much, if not more, information than a typical blog post. So don't feel that the quantity of words in your content is as important as the quality of the words you are using.
The beauty of Infographics, slideshares, under 100 word posts, images, and other such unique formats is that they make you focus on what you want to say and say it clearly and concisely. This can be an excellent exercise, especially if your losing focus in your blog posts, or like to use a lot of unnecessary and extremely boring business lingo.
Ideally, you will work up to some lengthy, meaty blog posts, but don't pressure yourself. And remember you shouldn't be generating the same type of content over and over again. Create a variety of posts so that there is something for everyone who may visit your website.
4. Don't Be Afraid to Get Detailed
Wait, you say, how detailed should my company blog be? And didn't you just tell me I can keep it under 100 words?
That's part of switching it up, and making sure your audience finds a variety of content. Typically longer articles are shared more, and the longer the article the more detailed it is going to be. Don't be afraid of being detailed, just remember to steer clear of getting caught up in the lingo that may not be familiar to your audience, or a subject that may not be of interest to your audience. Provide your audience with a sense of your expertise, not a natural sleeping pill.
Keep in mind when trying to balance your blog's quality and quantity your limitations, and focus on what you are capable of. You are capable of educating your audience and providing them with something that is actually valuable and useful, so do just that. And don't stress out if you can't craft the perfect sentence to express your idea. Focus on providing solid information, not praiseworthy prose.