How long should the ideal blog post be?

If you believe in the idea of inbound marketing as a potential wave of the short-to-intermediate term future (in reality, it’s already here), then you need to be blogging on your organization site and creating content that draws in the relevant people you’re looking to draw in. A lot goes into this process, but when creating “blog” type content (not E-Books, or white papers, or videos, or any other content stream), what should you be focusing on?

There’s a good post at Buffer on this topic recently, which contains this infographic based on an analysis of 100 highly-ranked blog posts:

Blog Post Best Practices

In sum, remember these elements:

1. Good headline — Eight of 10 readers read the headline; two of those ten read the actual body.

2. 55 characters or so for the headline — this is important for SEO and how you’ll display in search results (after about 55-60 characters, the headline trails off into ellipses, which may discourage clicking).

3. Open with a story — This can lead to 300 percent more engagement.

4. Use multiple visuals (3.2 photos per post) and sub-heads/bullets for scanning — Remember, attention spans are not as good as we think they are. People scan.

5. Don’t be afraid to re-share at 11pm (using something like Buffer) or on a Saturday — Social shares for blog postings tend to spike at those times.

6. Have a plan — You can’t define any “calls to action” or content calendar for your blog if you don’t know what your blog is. Where should it drive people? How can it relate back to sales? How is it tied to social? (Oh, and yes, please have social buttons.)

7. Remember: there’s no exact science to any of this, and things outside these specs may take off majorly for you. But these are some good steps to remember for consistent success in the blogging / content creation arena. The space changes often, as does digital/social as a whole, so try to stay on top of best practices as much as possible.

Ted Bauer