Writing blogs

When you are writing blogs or article posts, you usually have more freedom in terms of space to write. But how long should your blog posts be? And how do you write them in a way that makes them interesting for your readers?

Writing blogs

In most cases, you will be writing blog posts or articles to go on your own website. The aim of these articles is usually to drive engagement with your target audience. To make them think better of your brand because of the value of the content you are giving them. It should be part of your communication plan and your website experience

It may be that you have started building a reputation as an expert and been commissioned to write articles or blog posts for other sites or media companies. In which case, the commissioner of your article will  give you direction in terms of what they are looking for.

But if you are writing for your own website, it can be difficult to know what to write about and how to do it.

Blog title image

Topic research 

If you have done your market research, you should have a good view on the types of topics that will interest your target audience. But it can be difficult to narrow down the specific topics you want to cover. For example, this site has a whole section on marketing, but that’s a huge subject to cover.

So, we broke down our coverage of marketing into more manageable chunks. Based on the types of role and skills required to do marketing. And we also used a couple of specific online research tools to narrow down the focus even further. These tools help direct you on what people might be looking for.

Research tools

The first of tool we use is Google Autocomplete. We won’t go through a detailed view of how to use Google Autocomplete here.  We already cover this topic of researching on your own in another article. But if you have a broad idea of the topic you think will interest your reader, it’s a great place to start refining the scope of your writing.

If your topic is ‘making cakes’ for example, there are a lot of articles on making cakes already. But Autocomplete, gives you ideas like ‘making cakes in a piemaker’, ‘making cakes games’ and ‘making cakes in advance’. These that might give you a different direction for writing about ‘making cakes’. 

Similarly, Google Trends covered in the same article gives you lots of ideas for what might be relevant.It can give you different ways of writing about a topic from a core central theme. And if you want to be even more specific, you can do Keyword Research in the Google Ads keyword research tool which we cover in more detail in our digital marketing section. 

laptop google search

How long should your blog post be?

As long as keeps the reader interested. There is no pre-defined answer to how long a blog post should be. It should be long enough to give value to the reader. But not so long that the reader loses interest before reaching the end. We’ve found somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 words to be about the right range for a decent sized blog post when writing around marketing, creative and e-Commerce topics. 

When we were doing our own research on this topic, we came across this study on medium which put 7 minutes as the ‘best’ time it should take a reader to read your article. Given people’s time pressure and attention spans, that’s a fair length of time to aim for. 

But really, once your blog posts are up, you should also be checking your Google Analytics metrics. These will tell you how long people are spending reading the content. And when people drop out without reading or click off to other pages.

And adding comments or feedback links to your blog posts can be another great way to find out if your content is engaging.

A woman ready to write with pen in hand and a notebook at the ready

Structure

You should also give some thought to the structure of your blog post. Each blog post will have a clear beginning, middle and end. 

The beginning

We typically write an opening paragraph to give a flavour of what the content will be. You are trying to grab the reader’s attention without looking like you are trying to grab their attention. The ‘click-bait’ style of writing that you can find online might work in short-bursts. But if the content doesn’t add any more value, you can end up irritating rather than engaging your reader. 

The middle

For the middle section of your article, that’s really where you want to be conveying the main couple of points. We’ve generally aimed to write around three broad themes per topic for the following reasons. 

Writer writing showing writing skills
  1. We know that three is about the right number of points readers can handle when reading a blog post or article – we covered this in our section on Analysis and how to tell a story
  2. Three sections gets us up to about the right word count
  3. We do call ourselves three-brains so it kinda fits in with our brand identity too.

  

If we find we are writing too long, we look to break up paragraphs. We also add sub-headings to make it easier for the reader to follow. When you are writing for search purposes, long paragraphs and sections without subheadings can give you a poor readability score.

A side note on lists

If you start to research blogs and articles, you’ll also see that lists are a very popular way of creating blog content. The Top 10 ways to bake a cake at home. 50 ways to improve your website. 1,000 best way to set up your own business.

We can’t argue with the popularity, but our build would be to think about the context of how someone might be reading the list.

We’ve tended not to use lists like this on our blogs and articles because we know most people will be reading the content on a desktop or mobile. And so are reading the content as if they were listening to the writer give a speech or having a conversation with them.

Lists we feel work when they are used as a specific tool to give away that the reader can use to check-off items they should be considering So they work much better as say infographics or downloadable pdfs. They would much better on say Pinterest or Instagram than on a standard web page like this one.

Your structure should also include options for what the reader can do next. Do you have other similar or relevant content you can link to. This can be woven through the text itself or included as a short list of ‘further reading’ like we have on this site.

There’s a common expression when writing for online about having “no dead ends”. There should always be a link for the reader to find somewhere else to go.

The end

We recommend you do your research around the article or blog topic. Look at what your potential readers might actually be looking for. Write it with them in mind.

Use your word count to keep an eye on the length of your article. You don’t want to go too long or too short. And think about what the best structure of your article should be covering the beginning, middle and end. Try not to end too abruptly.

Following these tips should give you a good start at writing good quality blog posts and articles. But really, practice makes perfect.

Three-brains blog

We post articles on marketing, creative and e-commerce topics on our own blog on this website.

We try to follow the basic ‘rules’ for writing blogs we’ve outlined and like to think we are usually, if not always successful.

Do feel free to comment on any of our blog posts. 

Woman writing at old desk

Three-brains and Writing

We specialise in coaching and advising on how to best meet your writing needs, either using writers, managing it in-house or building your own writing skills to make your creative more impactful and more efficient. 

If you want to know more about how we can support your writing needs to grow your business  through our coaching and consulting services, click the button below to send us a message.

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