Quality Over Quantity
Have you ever visited a blog that is packed full of content that makes your eyes pop? Then once you’re sitting down, sorting through all of the different articles, you start to lose interest due to all of the errors? That’s because the individual that wrote those articles was too focused on quantity over quality. Quantity over quality is never a good idea, not if you really want to capture readers and keep their attention.
Then, there’s scenario number two – you find a pretty cool site that is packed full of articles – articles that grab your attention right away. The only problem is, it seems as if the writer left so much information out – an article should never leave you off.
In this article, we are going to explain why it is important to choose quality over quantity, give you an idea of how many words you should be writing in each article and then we’re going to give you some ideas on how to figure out what to write about.
Why is it Important?
Long story short, you want to keep people coming back to your blog/site, correct? If so, then you need to appear to be an expert in the field. Not only do you need to appear to be an expert, you also need to have good grammar. You don’t want to pump article after article out to the point where you look like you’re just posting for the sole purpose of posting. Your articles should never look sloppy – readers don’t like slopping writing. If the writing is sloppy, many times, they’ll move forward to a better site. You don’t want that, now do you? Remember, people will be reading the articles you write.
So there you have it – the reason you need to focus on the quality of your content and stop just spitting articles out for the sole purpose of having content on your site.
Do Longer Articles Rank Better?
The question “do longer articles rank better” has been asked by so many people. Honestly, based on the research we have conducted, we believe longer articles rank better. You see, the average content length for a page that shows up in the top ten results for any given keyword in Google had at least 2,000 words. In the search listings, the higher up you go, the more content each page has.
Taking our research a bit further, we discovered that posts that were under 1,500 words in length received an average of 59.4 Facebook likes and 174.6 tweets. Those posts that were over 1,500 words in length received an average of 72.7 Facebook likes and 293.5 Tweets.
As you see, a post that is 1,500 words in length gets an average of 68.1 percent more tweets and 22.6 percent more likes on Facebook than a post that is under 1,500 words. When you combine this with the fact that search engines like Google take social signals into account while ranking sites, it tells you that you really need to focus on lengthier content as it will help you rank higher.
Content is valuable and there is no denying this fact - you should be willing to really dig deep and offer in-depth content – this is much better than offering content that is short. On average, we recommend between 1000-2000 words. However, on the same note, it is important that you do not feel the article with fluff – no one wants to read fluff.
Now that you know why you need to focus on quality over quantity and how long those articles should be, it’s time to get started! However, first, we need to figure out what to write about …
What to Write About
Let’s say you’re trying to write a blog …Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You’ve carved out time to write a blog post, brewed yourself a cup of coffee, and are staring at an empty page or a blinking cursor. Despite your passion for a subject and great intentions to connect with your readers -- you can’t think of a single thing to say. Nothing. Not one word. Your mind is totally blank.
Whether you’re blogging for business or personal reasons, it can be tough to come up with original content that connects with your readers. The good news is that your life is already full of potential blog posts. You just need to know where to look for ideas.
Fortunately, thinking of blog ideas is a skill you can learn. In fact, it’s probably a skill you already have mastered in another area of your life. For instance, you may be a whiz at decorating and always scouring garage sales for unusual decorations. You could be a photographer who views every location as a place to photograph clients. Or perhaps you’re a baker and always on the lookout for tasty ingredients for your cookies. In these cases, you’ve already trained your mind to be open to inspiration throughout your day. You can apply the same skills to blogging. When you do, you’ll see blogging ideas everywhere.
When bloggers/writers struggle to get ideas, it is usually because they are unsure of the purpose of their blog or are unwilling to share themselves with their readers. This chapter will explain how to get over both of these hurdles. State Your Purpose What is the purpose of your blog? Take a moment and write down your answer.
If you couldn’t answer immediately, take some time to think about it.
Yes, it’s an overused metaphor, but it’s tough to reach a destination if you don’t know where you’re going. It’s the same with blogging. Knowing the purpose of your blog/article narrows down the scope of your posts and makes it easier to come up with ideas that are appropriate for your readers.
If you’re blogging for fun, the purpose of your blog is probably obvious. You’re writing to share your love of quilting, to record the homeschool journey of your kids, or to help stay motivated on your diet. Personal blogs are easy to write when you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your subject. You ask yourself, “What happened today?” and ideas flow naturally. Your readers get to enjoy your quilt projects, follow your homeschool journey, and maybe get a bit more motivated in their battle of the bulge.
If you’re a business, the ultimate goal of your blog is to increase your profits. It’s that simple. Every post should increase your visibility and ultimately entice people to buy your products, use your services, or come to your events.
Have a Place to Capture Ideas
What we have learned is that no matter who you are, you can’t schedule inspiration. Ideas usually show up during boring tasks that leave our minds empty, such as driving, shoveling snow, or showering. These ideas come quickly and, if you ignore them, leave your mind just as fast. The secret is to be prepared. Carry a journal in your purse. Keep index cards in the bathroom and beside your bed. Make sure your phone is accessible when you’re exercising and use the dictate feature to capture ideas.
Write in a No-Judgment Zone
Stop judging yourself and start writing. Don’t censor yourself. Don’t worry about your grammar, sentence structure, or word choice. Turn off your computer’s spell and grammar checks, so you’re not sidetracked by errors. If you can’t think of the right word or need some additional research, insert some dashes and move on. And don’t interrupt your flow by going down the rabbit hole of Internet research. When you’re done, edit your work and focus on the quality.
Allow for Revisions Recognize that a good idea is only the first step in writing an article. To prepare the final post, you’ll need time to think, plan, write and revise. So give yourself time to do a good job.
Check Your Calendar
There are special days every month that can inspire posts. You’ll find both traditional and unusual holidays at www.holidayscalendar.com. Here are some examples of how holidays can inspire your posts:
New Year’s Day. This celebration is held on January 1. Share your resolutions and goals for the coming year. Recap successes and failures from the last year. Describe how you set goals and how you plan to stay on track over the next 12 months.
Valentine’s Day. February 14 is traditionally the day we celebrate love. Profile a couple who’ve been married for more than fifty years. Showcase your products that contain the color red. Write about how exercise has helped strengthen your heart.
Tax Freedom Day. This is the day, which occurs the last half of April, that the average American has earned enough income to pay their tax obligations for the year. Tax Freedom Day is the perfect day to blog about ways to reduce taxes or to how to use couponing to stretch your salary.
Earth Day. Celebrated on April 22, Earth Day is a world-wide event to promote environmental protection. The first Earth Day was held in 1970. Share how you will celebrate Earth Day (or why you choose not to). Describe the value of community gardens and how they help the environment.
Memorial Day. Held on the last Monday of May.
Comment on Current Events
If you’re struggling for content ideas, glance through your local newspaper or visit a national news website. You’ll find a wealth of ideas, such as:
Births and Deaths. For weeks in 2013, the world waited for Princess Kate to give birth to the next generation of British royalty. This could inspire posts about how to select the best wall color for your nursery, a description of your battles with infertility, or a discussion of how to use men’s clothing for maternity wear.
Celebrities. How about how that time when 19-year-old Justin Bieber has just been arrested for the second time in one week? (He was charged with drunk driving in Miami and assaulting a limousine driver in Toronto.) This can inspire posts on why we need stricter enforcement of drunk driving laws, a time when you were disappointed by a celebrity idol, or a choice you made that you now regret.
Disasters. Unfortunately there are a lot of disasters – including tsunamis, oil spills and shootings – to write about. Your article may be about how to protect your home from a hurricane or how local wildlife was affected by a forest fire.
Fairs and Festivals. Every region has some cool local events.
Politics. Long Island is overpopulated with white-tail deer. These animals cause car accidents, damage commercial crops, and destroy home gardens. There are many political stories that can inspire content ideas, just look through the news and see for yourself.
Something as simple as a visit to a pet adoption event can inspire posts about how to select a non-allergenic dog breed, your adventures in adopting a stray cat, or how you dealt with the death of a child’s hamster.
Regardless of who you are, whether you’re writing a blog or working on a professional site, it is important that you focus on the quality over quantity. Yes, it’s neat when readers visit your site and find a lot of articles, but if those articles aren’t good, it’s not going to create the positive attention you hope for. In due time, the good articles will start to pile up and your future visitors will have a lot of reading to do.
Add to Flipboard Magazine.