Blogging 101: The 6 Most Common Blogging Questions, Answered

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Looking to start a blog for your business in 2022? In the early days of the internet, a blog post could be as simple as an eye-catching title and a couple of paragraphs. And, in some cases, the blog posts you could find on the first Google SERP committed SEO sins that are unthinkable today.

As the years went by, the Google algorithm became more refined, companies started adopting blogging as a content marketing strategy in mass, and users began expecting more from blog posts. So, when you’re planning to start a blog for your business in 2022, you’re faced with a thousand questions and a thousand different answers:

  • How long should a blog post be?
  • How often should you post?
  • Should your blog be in a subdomain or a subdirectory?
  • How can you optimize a blog post for SEO?
  • How long does it take to see results?
  • Is blogging still worth it?

 

In this Blogging 101, we’ll answer the 6 most common blogging questions. We’ll take a look at common answers, and give you an actionable twist so you can get your company blog up and running.

Let’s get started!

The 6 Most Common Blogging Questions

The ideal word count for a blog post

There isn't an ideal blog post lenght.

If you ask Buffer, they’ll tell you the ideal word count for a blog post is 1,600 words. But, if you check out Hubspot’s recommendations, you’ll find a slightly different number: 2,100 words.

If you move beyond content experts and take a look at what SEMRush says on the matter, you’ll find an incredible answer. In their 2020 The State of Content Marketing Report, SEMRush suggests aiming for a mind-blowing word count of 7,000 words per post. The catch is that these results aren’t segmented by industry.

A 7,000-word piece of intriguing and relevant journalism by a high-profile newspaper will be widely shared, and widely read. But, a 7,000-word blog post for the roofing sector will probably underperform. And, if you’re hiring a content writer, that piece of content could cost up to thousands of dollars. Additionally, if instead of publishing one 7,000-word blog post, you published seven 1,000-word posts, you could get the same results. We’ll explain why later in this article.

The truth is there isn’t an ideal word count you should target. Most estimates place the ideal length of a blog post between 1,500 and 2,500 words. That’s usually enough to provide valuable information and a unique perspective on an issue that your audience cares about.

How often you should post on your company blog

According to research by Hubspot, the ideal posting frequency is 11 blog posts per month. However, this number isn’t universal, and trying to chase that number with limited resources could have devastating consequences for your SEO. At the end of the day, quality outperforms quantity. And most bloggers know this. According to Optinmonster, in 2014, most bloggers were posting several times a week. But now, they usually post a few times per month.

Most marketing teams start seeing results by posting once per week. However, according to the aforementioned Hubspot study, once your blog has published 11 competitive posts, your visibility starts growing significantly.

As we mentioned when discussing the most competitive types of content marketing, a top priority for your inbound marketing efforts should be consistency. You want to show up in your audience’s feeds often, with content that they value and look forward to. So, when deciding how often you should post, start with a low baseline number and expand your efforts when you can.

Where to host your blog

Blogging has tons of benefits. It increases the time users spend with your brand, it helps you build a positive reputation, and it helps you rank on Google. It’s very common to approach blogging, not from a brand-building perspective, but through the lens of SEO. And that’s not necessarily wrong.

According to Optinmonster, companies that blog get 97% more backlinks than companies that don’t. So, blogging is the foundation of any sustainable, long-term link-building strategy.

Companies with blogs bet 97% more backlinks than companies that don't invest in content.

Let’s say you’ve decided to start blogging for your company. You’re ready to produce 1-2 blog posts per week, with a word count of approximately 1,500 words. Now, you’ll face your first big SEO-related decision: Where should this blog live? Should it be in a subdirectory on your existing website? Should it be in a subdomain? Should it have a different top-level domain?

Let’s take a quick look at some pros and cons.

Should you host your blog on a subdomain or a subfolder?

If you build your blog in a subdomain:

  • You’ll probably need to set up a CMS specifically for your blog.
  • You’ll need to design your blog as its own entity.
  • The content on your blog won’t help your main domain rank on Google.
  • Backlinks to your blog won’t benefit your main domain.
  • Google will interpret your subdomain and your main domain as two separate entities.

 

But it’s not all bad. Hosting your blog on a subdomain may be a great idea in some cases. For instance, let’s say your company’s website runs on the JAMStack, and your developers haven’t taken blogging into account as a possibility. In that case, your site can’t support a blog without hours of development work. Additionally, every time your marketing team wants to change something about the blog, they’ll have to reach out to your developers, who may be too busy working on your product.

In that case, installing WordPress on a subdomain and giving your marketing team complete ownership of that platform may be the best option.

If you build your blog on a subfolder:

  • You’ll be able to integrate your blog into your existing website design.
  • Your content will help your domain rank higher.
  • Conversions will be easier to digest for users, as they won’t have to leave the website they’re in to move on to your commercial pages.

 

Many SEO experts report incredible boosts in organic traffic after their clients moved their blog from a subdomain to a subdirectory. If there’s a consensus around this issue, it’s that hosting your blog in a subdirectory is best.

How to optimize a blog post for SEO

The 6 most common blogging formats

Now that you’ve decided where to host your blog, the next natural step would be to start writing, right? Wrong. Before you start writing, you should ask yourself a couple of key strategic questions.

Marketers often wonder what’s the best way to optimize a blog post for SEO. Truth is that it all starts with a clear content strategy. First and foremost, you should understand why you’re creating content, and who you’re creating content for.

Once you’ve set your goal and understood your audience, it’s time to find the best formats for you. Common blogging formats include:

  • Lists that share a general overview of an industry or problem in a scannable format.
  • Curated posts, which compile valuable resources and tools.
  • Ultimate guides that can be saved as go-to resources on a topic.
  • How-tos, which help users solve a particular problem.
  • “What” posts, which introduce audiences to an important concept.
  • “Why” posts, which take a closer look at a topic and explain the mechanisms behind it.

 

Analyze these formats and how your competition approaches them. Then, give them a unique twist that aligns with your brand.

Once you know which types of content you’ll be writing, do your research. You can use tools like Ahrefs’ content explorer, to find the most successful content in your niche, and start understanding common trends and user needs. Which keywords and topics you should gravitate towards will depend on your preexisting SEO leverage, your users’ needs, and your chances to outperform your competitors’ content.

Once you’ve decided which keywords you’ll target, it’s time to start writing. In which aspects will your content be better than your competitors’? Will it be more comprehensive? Will it be more entertaining? Will it have more visual content?

Once you’re writing, make sure you cover your SEO bases by:

  • Including your focus keyword on your H1 title, as well as in one H2. Aim for a keyword density of 1% within your content’s body.
  • Using images and infographics to support your content, make it more scannable, and add extra value. Include alt tags in all your images, and use your target keyword in one of them.
  • Writing an eye-catching (but honest) meta title and meta description combo.
  • Including links to your best content.
  • Including outbound links – but not in the first paragraphs, as they may cause users to leave your sites.

 

The 6 key elements behind high-ranking blog posts

How long does it take to see SEO results?

After your first, or second month of creating content, you may be wondering how long it will take to see results.

We won’t be the first to say that content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. In some cases and in some industries, a blog post can become an overnight success, and increase your visibility considerably. But, the general consensus is that it takes approximately 6 months to start seeing an increase in organic traffic from blogging.

You can try to speed things up by leveraging your content distribution channels. For example, if you’re new to blogging but have been producing content for LinkedIn for a long time, sharing your blog posts with your followers will increase its exposure and bring you new traffic.

Is blogging still worth it?

With so many companies blogging, isn’t it an oversaturated market? Should you blog at all?

As we’ve discussed in this article, blogging can bring new traffic to your website, help you rank on Google, and help you build your brand. Customers today expect brands to connect with them to inform and entertain them. And a blog is the most scalable, cost-effective, and accessible way to do just that. So, in short: Yes, blogging is still worth it.

Don’t Let Technical SEO Hurt your Content Marketing

In this post, we answered the 7 most common blogging questions marketers ask before launching a company blog. A blog isn’t just a bunch of text and images. A blog is built with code – in some cases, with tons of code. A small, unintentional mistake in how your blog is coded can keep your posts from being indexed on Google. SEORadar prevents just that, so you can blog without worrying about technical SEO.

With SEORadar, you can monitor your website’s code changes before they hurt your SEO. Discover more and start a free trial today.

This post is part of a series. Check out our 2022 blogging guidelines to discover 6 blogging rules our SEO experts swear by.

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