Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How Long Does It Take to Write a Blog Post?

How Long Does it Take to Write a Blog Post?

Astronomical clock
How long does it take to write a blog post?
Image Courtesy of Judith CC-20

Theoretically, the fastest you could write a blog post is limited by your typing speed- at 40 words per minute, you could type a 1000 word blog post in 25 minutes, plus about 10 minutes to add some pictures.  So I would say 35 minutes is about the fastest most bloggers could write a 1000 word blog post if they have a topic they know well and are experienced at writing blog posts.  Maybe a bit longer if you are typing on a cell phone...

I would say 35 minutes is about how much time it takes to write a journal style blog where you write about what is on your mind, make a few edits, and publish.  The type of blog posts I write are usually more like magazine articles and take longer to produce.

Realistically, it takes longer than the theoretical limit of 35 minutes to write a quality blog post.  It takes time to choose a topic and organize your thoughts.  Depending on the topic you select, you may need to do some reading and research as well before writing your content.

Another step that takes time but is a good investment- keyword research.  If you spend a couple hours writing a blog post, is anyone going to read it?  Keyword research can help you answer this question before you even begin writing.  You can use tools such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool to check what people are searching in Google.  You can also check your potential competition by searching in Google- if the search results using the keywords you are considering are already stacked with high quality articles from reputable sources, you probably won't get much traffic even if you write a great blog post.  You might want to try a different topic.  Keyword research also gives you a chance to focus your content on a topic with high potential before you start writing.

Steps to Write a Blog Post and How Long it Takes

Following are some example time requirements for the steps to writing quality blog posts:
  • Choose a topic idea:  15 minutes
  • Keyword research: 15 minutes
  • Research topic, prepare to write: 30 minutes to several hours
  • Outline, and first draft: 30 minutes
  • Flesh out, edits: 30 minutes
  • Add images: 10 minutes

The total time required to research and write the blog post in the example above is 2 hours and 10 minutes.  This seems like a reasonable estimate of time required to produce a quality blog post based on my experience, although sometimes I spend hours researching a topic, or even decide to take my own pictures which takes longer.

On the other hand, some blog posts that I write take very little time to write.  I can think of some blog posts that took less than an hour to write total, including thinking of the topic idea, writing the post, a some quick edits, and adding a few pictures.  If you know where to look, you can quickly find free high-quality pictures to add to your blog post.  The blog posts that are easiest to write are on topics that you are very familiar with and that require little or no research.

The quickest way to produce quality content for your blog or website is to write about topics you already know well.  Start a niche blog on a topic that interests you- think about things that you know about from work or hobbies that people ask you about.  These can make good blog post topics that you can write quickly and easily to create valuable content.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved. Pro Blogging Journal

Friday, August 2, 2013

Blogger vs HubPages revenue sharing: Where should I host my blog?

Blogger vs HubPages revenue sharing site

There are two types of free hosting services you can use to start a blog.  One is Blogger, also known as blogspot.com.  This is a blogging platform run by Google.  You can get free web hosting and use the Blogger tools to create your blog.  It's all free, and you get 100% of the advertising revenue and affiliate income that you generate.

Advantages of HubPages and other Revenue Sharing Sites

The other type of blog hosting arrangement is revenue sharing sites for writers.  These sites provide an environment where writers communicate with each other about their writing and about how to make more revenue from their writing.  These sites have a social networking aspect built-in.  For example, you can increase your "score" by interacting more with other writers, and you can follow other writers and get them to follow you.  Perhaps the most popular of the revenue sharing sites for writers is HubPages.  You get to keep 60% of the revenue from ads and affiliate income- HubPages keeps 40%.  Other popular revenue sharing sites for writers include Squidoo, Triond, InfoBarrel, and Wizzley.

Why would you take 60% of the income from your blog at HubPages instead of 100%?  The main reasons people use HubPages and other revenue sharing sites are:
  • You get advice from other writers and form connections
  • The revenue sharing site provides simple tools to create articles
  • The revenue sharing site has a high page rank with Google and may get more search engine traffic
  • You get some built-in traffic from other authors on the revenue sharing site
  • You can link from the revenue sharing site to your own blog or webpage to increase your traffic

I have blogs on both HubPages and Blogger.  The writing community on HubPages is a big plus.  It provides more motivation to keep writing when you know some people are following your work and will read your next post.  You will get more comments on HubPages than on Blogger.  HubPages also has great forums where you can ask questions and get help and advice from experienced writers and bloggers.  HubPages give you accolades as you achieve milestones such as number of posts, number of pageviews, number of followers, etc.  This allows you to take into account the experience of people who are offering advice by checking their profile.

Check out HubPages to Increase Your Skill as a Writer and Blogger

If you are new to blogging or are having trouble staying motivated to produce more content, give HubPages a look.  It's free, and you'll learn a lot there about writing and search engine optimization (SEO) if you participate in the forums and study the FAQs and training materials.  Since HubPages makes more money if YOU make more money, they are motivated to help writers become successful.


Copyright © 2013 Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved. Pro Blogging Journal

How long should a blog post be to get the most traffic?

How long should a blog post be?

Ball of string
How long should a blog post be?
Public domain image by Ryj

A common question among bloggers- how long should blog posts be?  Blog posts that are too short won't do well in search engine results, and advertisers may not value advertisements on short posts since readers may only spend a few seconds on the page.  Blog posts that are too long take a long time to write and people will not read the whole thing.

What is the best length for a blog post?

When I was in high school English class, we were assigned to write a term paper.  One of the students asked, "How long should the paper be?"

The teacher replied, "How long should a piece of string be?"  That was his entire response.  After some thought, this makes perfect sense.  The best length for a piece of string depends on its purpose.  If you are using a string to make a straight row in your garden that is 10 feet long, the string should be pretty long- at least 10 feet.  If you are using the string to tie around a small package, then a 1 foot length of string may be just right.  My teacher was telling us to make the term paper the right size to carry its message.

Selecting the best length for a blog post is a bit more complicated because you are really trying to make several parties happy.  You want your readers to read and value your post.  You want search engines to rank your blog posts high in search engine results.  And you want advertisers to see your blog post as a valuable property so you can get maximum advertising rates.

So how many words in length should a blog post be?

Google seems to like longer articles in search engine results pages.  Blog posts about 1000 words in length seem to rank well.  This length seems to satisfy readers, search engine bots, and advertisers pretty well.

If you have a lot of content on your topic, a longer post makes sense.  Some writers break their writing up into multiple parts.  As a reader, I find this really annoying.  For example, you search for the answer to a question and click on a search engine result.  This takes you to a page that is labeled page 1 of 10, and the answer is not on the first page.  I click away from this sort of website.  It is simply to tedious to click through page after page looking for information.

I would rather see a longer page with everything on one page, or multiple posts on separate topics.  Blog posts divided into part 1, part 2, part 3, etc. make it hard for me to start reading.  If I am on part 1 and see that there are more parts to the article, I might not even start reading.  If a search result takes me to part 2 of a multi-part post, I might think I need to read part 1 first, so will not start reading part 2.

The longest post I have published so far is about 2500 words.  This post was meant to be a reference with all of the essential information on my topic on one page.  The intent was not necessarily for the reader to read it all at once, but to find parts of it relevant and bookmark it for future reference.

Here are some thoughts on blog posts of different lengths:
100 word blog post: too short
250 word blog post: OK for a short answer to a specific question
500 word blog post: OK for a topic of limited scope
600 words: Google issued a recommendation in 2014 that posts of 600 words or more will maximize appearance in search engine results
750 word blog post: Shortest length for an in-depth article
1000 word blog post: Best length for a blog post.  Works well for readers, search bots, and advertisers
1150 word blog post: Great length if you have enough content, even better than 1000 words
1500 word blog post or more: Consider breaking your post into separate topics 750 words each

Sometimes a short answer is what people are looking for, but to make a successful blog post, you may need to go beyond the short answer.  For example if you are writing about "What color is the sky?" you might come up with a one word blog post: "blue".  You can include your one word answer, but then expand on why the sky appears blue, what colors appear in the sunset and sunrise, etc. to make a complete blog post that will perform well on your blog.

Blog post length advice

Remember that longer blog posts give you more opportunities to use your keywords and rank higher in search engine results pages.  Also you get readers to spend more time on your blog, which is valuable to advertisers.  Plus longer blog posts give you more time to showcase your writing and perhaps get readers interested in you as an author.  If you have short blog posts, try to think about ways to increase the scope of your topics a bit to reach at least 500 to 600 words.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved.  Pro Blogging Journal