How long should it take to write a blog? The answer to this question is very simple and it can be determined by asking yourself a follow up question, which is… what do you want to get out of it when you write a blog post? The better your blog post is, the more you’ll get out of it – but that takes time.
I absolutely believe in taking the time to write a helpful blog that customers want to read and share rather than just write something because it’s time to publish another blog post. An easy to write post that’s full of personal opinions or telling a personal story can take 30 minutes to write – depending on how fast you type. But if you want to write long lasting content that helps people solve a problem, includes researched facts, showcases your expertise in a particular subject and keeps clients coming back for more then you should probably set aside 1 to 2 hours to write a 500 to 1000 word blog.
That may seem like a lot of time but when it comes to growing your business the rule is: you’ll get out of it what you put into it. I would much prefer to take an hour out of my schedule to write a great blog post once a week rather than write things that no one wants to read. If your content doesn’t achieve an intended goal and no one wants to read what you wrote then it’s a complete waste of time.
For example I’m writing this blog post to encourage other small business owners to start a blog. If I can convince even one person that content marketing will help grow their business online then my mission is complete. The whole purpose of Well Said Content is to help you better communicate with clients – and blogging is one way to do that.
To help you get started here’s a guideline of how to organize your thoughts and time to write a blog:
Step One: Pick your topic (5 minutes)
When it comes to information sharing online content truly is king, as long that content is helpful – helpful to both your clients and to your business. You want to write good content in a blog post that answers a question or solves a problem for your clients and potential clients. When you solve a problem you become the go to person for that product or service and that’s good for your business.
Step Two: Choose three helpful key points and write about them (30-45 minutes)
This is obviously the longest part of the process because it’s the meat to your bones. This is where you share real life examples, link to other resources to back up your points and explain the WHY to your readers. If you suddenly had flashbacks to your grade 11 English class, don’t worry it IS déjà vu.
Every good writer will tell you that your work needs structure. Words on paper don’t always tell a compelling story. In order to make your point clear you need to start with a topic, write an intro and conclusion, state your three to four points and then fill in the helpful information for each of those points. It’s classic English class and it works.
If the information is helpful readers are more likely to share it with their friends and followers, that’s good for your business because new potential clients will discover you – and by a referral to boot. Having your content shared is the gold medal of blogging; it’s the whole purpose as to why we do this.
FACT: According to Social Annex 81% of online purchases are influenced by their friends’ social media posts.
Step Three: Find resources (15 minutes)
The days of writing content just to have content are over. That was back in the AOL chat room days of the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie You’ve Got Mail (one of my favorites by the way) when blogging was just getting started. Nowadays the internet is saturated with blogs about everything from teens writing movie reviews to businesses such as TD Bank connecting with clients through words.
It’s not enough just to have an opinion; you need to prove your point. Luckily the internet is full of information that allows you to do that with a quick Google search. Notice the reference fact above: the statistic was probably the nail in the coffin that solidified social sharing can help your business grow, even after I talked about it for two paragraphs.
Step Four: Reread, edit and add links (20 minutes)
When you’re writing a blog thoughts can come rushing out like Niagara Falls. Don’t ever hit publish until you reread, spell check and edit your work. You may have to walk away, grab a Starbucks and come back with a fresh pair of eyes. The last thing you want to do is publish work that looks unprofessional – that’s brutal.
You also want to add links back to other blogs or pages on your website. A blog post with just text is called a dead page because it doesn’t lead clients anywhere else. Like Carole King says in the Gilmore Girls theme song “Where you lead, I will follow.”
You want the reader a.k.a. the customer to stay with you after they’re done reading so send them somewhere else with links (through the right click, hyperlink function) to your website or social media accounts. Notice my Twitter plug below. If you didn’t notice it yet, you will now.
Step Five: Share on social media (5 minutes)
Now that your blog post is well written and contains helpful information you are ready to post it live on your website or LinkedIn profile. Did you know that you can blog on LinkedIn? This little effort can help grow your business with the magic of social sharing.
For example after you’re done reading this blog post hopefully you share it on Facebook with your other small business owner friends or post it on Twitter for all of your followers to read (tag @TahnyaKristina). The action is much appreciated and of course good for my business. You found this blog post so helpful that you shared it on social media and now I may get a slew of new clients and it didn’t cost Well Said Content any extra moolah. One effort in writing a blog post can reach an unlimited amount of readers without additional time or cost on your part and that’s golden for your small business!
Total time: 90 minutes
So now are you inspired to write a blog?
I started writing this blog post at 10:30 am and now it’s 11:50 am – just under schedule, but a solid 1 hour and 20 minutes out of my day. Hopefully you find the information helpful because I think it was time well spent.
Be sure to come back next week for more easy tips on how to write good content and learn how content can be the key to your small business success.