A: Ideally as long as you need them to be to get across the point or points you want to make in a clear and concise fashion.
However there are some guidelines and I have several thoughts on this:
1. You can have a blog post as short as 250 words if that is enough to get a clear message across. Also, sometimes you don’t have a lot of time and you want to be posting to your blog with some regularity and if you haven’t done so in a few days you might just take 10 minutes to hammer out a short post and get some fresh content even if it is not the greatest post in the world.
2. There is debate about whether or not a long blog post is a turn off or not but the debate seems to be equally divided.
3. Most consider 500 words to be a good length for a blog post. Many of mine are longer than that even though my goal was to get 400 to 500 words focused on the topic. However, many times once I start writing and then go back and edited what I wrote I find myself expanding upon a few things for better clarification and the posts end up having another 100 or 200 words added to them
4. A lot of people, and I actually recommend this, say that if you write a 1,000 word post to break it up into two 500 words posts if at all possible and get more out of the time and energy you spent creating those 1,000 words as you now have two blog posts for the same amount of effort.
Sometimes that is not always possible. Take for example my post on Squidoo links:
Are Squidoo Links Worth The Effort?
This post ended up being very long at 1,350 words. I thought about breaking it up to focus on the linking aspect and then have a 2nd post regarding the idea of getting content up on Squidoo in order to get exposure to a new and different audience; that is people that go to Squidoo to look for information or just like to surf on that particular site.
But the actual main topic of the post was whether or not taking the time and effort to create and keep in good standing a Squidoo Lens was worth it so I felt that I needed to keep in the parts related to exposure of your content on Squidoo as this added more value to what you would get for putting your time and effort into a Squidoo Lens.
So after a minute or two of thinking I decided to leave it as one long post. I did consider that if I did break it into two posts I could always link from the post that focused on the linking question to the post that addressed the idea of getting your message out there to a new audience. Yet again for some reason I just decided to leave it as one long post.
A lot of times I start writing and after 300 or 400 words I look back and realize I have wandered off topic and actually have 2 different topics going on and in this case I separate them and focus on taking each one and working for that 400 to 500 word mark.
Final Note: For longer posts really try to use subheadings that give an outline of the blog post so someone scanning through it can find something that really catches their attention and they can read that part and maybe they will read the entire post.
I hope this gives you enough information to be able to make your own judgment as there is no real hard and fast rule.
Q: What Do I Sell On The Internet?
I wrote a blog post to answer this question (Thanks for giving me a topic to write about!) and that blog post is here:
What Do I Sell On The Internet?
Also please note this is addressed as far as the importance of choosing your target market in my “Online Marketing Training Course” email series which you can sign up for in the right hand column
Q: I know there are tons of information about SEO out there but what are a few important basics I can focus on and not spend a year learning all about SEO?
A: I’ll keep this focused on what is called ‘On Page SEO’ and The basic factors I consider most important and that I concentrate on are:
1. Keyword Phrase ONLY! In The ‘Title Tag’ That The Search Engines Read Located At The Very Top Of The Source Code
2. Keyword Phrase ONLY! In The ‘Tag’ That Appears At The End Of A Post Defined In The Source Code By: rel=”tag”
I put a tag on almost every webpage I create even if it is not a blog post. You’ll notice the tag for this webpage is ‘Online Marketing Questions’
The code I use is here and notice that I have only the ‘ rel=”tag” ‘ as some themes will combine this with the ‘category’ and I want the search engines to know the focus of this page with a very clearly defined ‘Tag’ only.
Online Marketing Questions
But understand you need to use the full code between the paragraph codes. I can’t put the code here because the browser will not show it as text but display it as a ‘Tag’ as the code tells it to do that.
3. Using The Keyword Phrase In The ‘Headline.’ This is the actual title that most people see, the title of your blog post for example is considered the headline when talking about SEO, and as close to the front as possible. You’ll notice I have a lot of headlines for my blog posts that are set up with this formula:
Keyword Phrase: Human Appeal With Defining What The Post Is About
4. Keyword Density In The Body Of The Post. I try for a keyword density of 2% without going over. This is known as ‘SEO writing’ but it can be difficult at times to include the keyword phrase enough times to get close to 2% and not have something that becomes a very uncomfortable read.
A lot of times I’ll only have 1% or 1.3% and stay with that as I don’t want to ruin a good piece of writing.
As you mentioned in your question there is an awful lot of information out there on many different aspects of SEO but I feel you have the right approach. If you spend all your time learning everything there is to know about SEO you aren’t going to spend have much time to do an actual marketing that can begin to get you traffic to your website. You’ll be a student of SEO but will not have done anything and find you’re not getting any visitors to your website
Last thing is to keep it simple for ‘Off Page SEO’ just get as many decent backlinks as fast as possible. Thanks! Scott
P.S. I use the “All In One SEO Pack” to easily do this plus allow me to add a good meta-tag description which I considered to be very important as far as getting traffic to your website and I am planning to make a video on how to set this up and explain the how and why of using it.
Q: What the %@$%# is FTP?
A: FTP is actually simple because you only have to understand how to use a simple piece of free software. FTP stands for ‘File Transfer Protocol’ and when I first heard that I freaked went I went to look it up and understand it BUT! only you need to really know is two things:
1. An FTP program, and there are a few good ones that are free, (See #2) connects your computer to your website on the internet. This allows you to upload files, be that they are web pages, a blog theme, videos, pictures or images. etc.
You DON’T have to know how it works, the software does it for you. I am sure there are many electronic gadgets you have that you don’t really know how they work, but you know how to use them. All you have to do is use it, not learn everything there is to know about the whole process.
What you’ll see is your computer on one side and your website on the other side and you can very easily upload and download files.
2. FileZilla is the FREE FTP program that I use and I’ll have to get a video up showing the entire process from downloading and installation all the way through using it and what the various icons/functions do.
Tags: Online Marketing Questions