Should you focus your time and resources on a blog? Why Short-Form Blog Posts Are No Longer the Atomic Unit of Content Marketing Strategy Short Blog Posts Are Losing Search Visibility One of the chief purposes of a blog is to capture search engine rankings. This kind of content is good for satisfying subscribers, but not great for long-term search visibility. The Way People Consume Content Is Changing Last year, mobile internet use outstripped desktop use for the first time ever. While desktop users might have spent more time reading blogs and visiting websites, mobile traffic is concentrated in apps like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. You’ll end up with a more efficient use of your time and resources, and content assets that get the job done. Long-Form Assets For example, if your goal is to top the rankings for a specific keyword, roll three posts’ worth of effort into crafting a long-form resource. Video can be embedded in a blog post, but also find another life on Facebook and YouTube. They can serve their blog audience, but also reach out to a new audience through the YouTube app. A single influencer co-created asset can achieve far higher visibility than the most comprehensive blog post.
For at least a decade, the 500-word blog post has been the atomic unit of content marketing. Marketers like Joe Pulizzi and Marcus Sheridan built their entire careers on blogging. In Joe’s case, he started the blog without a business plan or a product, and developed both after building an audience through insightful, valuable blog posts. Even TopRank Marketing relied on blogging as a tactic for building thought leadership and establishing authority.
When new clients partner with our agency, they’re frequently looking to follow in Joe and Marcus’ footsteps. They want 15, 20, 30 short blog posts a month as the foundation of their content efforts.
That typically translates into requests for “X blog posts a month.” However, we’re more likely to think in terms of content units—the amount of effort the content team will put in, rather than the specific output.
Should you focus your time and resources on a blog? Are there better ways to serve your audience? Here’s how our agency is changing the way we think about content.
Why Short-Form Blog Posts Are No Longer the Atomic Unit of Content Marketing Strategy
Short Blog Posts Are Losing Search Visibility
One of the chief purposes of a blog is to capture search engine rankings. You write useful content, people find it via search, they subscribe and keep coming back for more. But short blog posts aren’t great at capturing rankings anymore. There’s just too much short-form content out there for even the most optimized post to rise above it.
Quality Beats Quantity
Longer-form content tends to dominate search rankings. Comprehensive, in-depth best answer content will not only rank higher for the main search term, it’s more likely to include (and rank for) long-term keywords as well.
Just ask Neil Patel, of Kissmetrics fame. He posts 1500+-word blog posts on the regular. You’ll find his posts on any list of highest-ranked or most-shared content on any topic he addresses.
Most of us don’t have the time and resources to post best answer content every day, but that’s okay—a steady drip of high-quality content is still preferable to a deluge of shallower takes.
Blog Posts Are Temporary by Design
The very structure of a blog means that old posts are less likely to be read than…