Blogging is the single most effective SEO tactic. It increases traffic, helps you establish thought leadership, and lets you show up for an essentially unlimited number of keywords over time. But what kind of investment does it require?
In-house vs. professional blogging
If you write your own blog posts in-house (and some 40% of business owners do their own blogging), you can expect it to take longer than a professional blogger needs to get the job done.
Hubspot asked marketers in one of their surveys. Global responses showed that a 500-word blog post took an average of 1.5 to 2 hours. Orbit found that a 1,000 word blog post took an average of 3 hours and 16 minutes, an artificial number if we ever heard one. But it makes sense that a 1,000 word post should take a bit less than twice as long as a 500 word post.
So how much will it cost you to have your blogging done in-house?
Do the math. If you plan to post your company blog three times a week, you should expect to pay your team member about one day’s salary plus benefits (8% or so) each week. That number will of course vary enormously depending on what you pay the individual you choose to do your blogging.
Don’t stop there. You will in effect be losing one team member for one day each week. Does your chosen individual have that much free time?
The best scenario here is that you have a poet on staff who spends several hours a day staring out the window drinking coffee, wishing he were able to spend his time writing. Get him educated on SEO and divert that wasted time toward your company blog, and you could have a good set up.
In the real world, you may have someone who is a pretty good writer on staff, but they probably have plenty of work to keep them busy. You’ll have to find someone to step on and take on that extra day’s work each week. Will there be additional costs?
There will probably also be a learning curve. Unless you have an actual blogger on your team, the chosen blogger will have to learn to use your software.
Is there a correlation between time and quality?
I taught college writing for decades. I told my students that I didn’t want to see the stream-of-consciousness paper they threw together over breakfast on the day it was due. “Nobody should have to read that,” I said firmly. Research, an outline, editing — these extra steps are essential for your best writing, even if you are a good writer.
For people who are not good writers, it’s even more important.
With that said, it is possible to get a good idea about a subject you already know well and write a popular post quickly. It’s also possible, and often worthwhile, to spend a lot of time on research and have a valuable post as a result.
It’s also possible for your team members to spend a lot of time on a post and get poor results. They almost certainly will spend more time than a professional writer would. This can affect your ROI for blogging, even if you’re pleased with the quality overall.
Is there a correlation between quality and SEO?
Yes. We’re impressed by the fact that Google can increasingly tell good writing from bad. What’s more, Google typically prefers well supported articles with a single simple thesis. This is a particular kind of writing.
We have some clients who enjoy writing the occasional blog post, but can’t write for Google very well. Their posts may be especially appealing to some of their readers, and often do well in social media or get strong requested links. But they don’t usually perform as well in search.
Make sure, if you choose to produce blog posts in house, that you understand how they perform and use them strategically.
The bottom line
We have built a lot of websites with blogs. If we’re not going to be blogging for a client, we make sure they are called something like “News” in the navigation, so readers won’t expect regular blog posts.
The percentage of clients who blog regularly at their websites:
Professional blogging means you get regular blog posts of consistent quality. Consistent blogging is a lot more effective than haphazard occasional posts.
Contact us if you need help and support for your blogging strategy. We get excellent results for our clients. You could be one of those clients.