Quality vs. Quantity: Finding the Right Balance for Your Blog

October 15, 2020 Rocky Parker

See the original post on Beyond Bylines.

It’s a question many bloggers struggle with: is quantity or quality more important when it comes to the content you’re publishing?

On one (probably more popular) hand, content is key. Putting out quality content is going to help you attract and retain readers, boost the sharing of your content, and help you and your blog maintain a good reputation both with readers and search engines.

But on the other hand, if you're regularly publishing new posts, doesn’t that mean that your content has more chances to come up in search results?

Well, sort of.

Maybe it’s not about making a choice between quantity and quality and sacrificing one for the other. Rather, it’s about finding the right balance so they can both work to benefit your blog.

Let’s look at how each can impact your site.

Quality Content is Critical to a Successful Blog

With so much information out there that you are competing with for views, you need to ensure that you're creating content that a reader wants to read. And if they do decide to click on your article, the goal should be for them to stay on the page and even come back in the future.

That’s where high-quality content comes in.

Google favors quality because readers want quality. High-quality, engaging content is going to be good for SEO, awareness, and your site’s reputation.

So what goes into quality content?

Provide value

Understand what your audience is looking for. Are they searching for how-to posts, product reviews, industry news, videos? What questions are they asking?

Getting a grasp on the types of content that your audience needs will help you create a post that answers their questions and provides value. If it provides value, readers are more likely to stay on the page, engage with the content, and share it with others.

Not only that, but writing a post that positions you and your site as a source of expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T) is also important to ranking well on Google.

Write naturally

Too much jargon (technical, corporate, scientific, etc.) can turn off a large number of readers. So think like your target audience: Would they understand this blog post? Would they use these keywords in Google search? If not, try adjusting with more natural language.

Craft a strong title

The title of your post is what readers will see first and is the largest factor in their deciding to click through to read it. It's perhaps the most critical piece of each blog post.

You should aim to keep titles concise and to the point. Tell readers right away what the post is about - don't be vague about it. Clickbaity headlines can erode trust from your readers, so while creativity is good, don't overdo it to the point that anyone coming across the post title wouldn't have a clear idea of what you're covering.

Find the right length

There’s no exact answer to this one and no magic number for blog length. But it’s still an important factor to keep in mind.

Ahrefs found a moderate positive correlation between content length and organic traffic up to 2,000 words. However, that correlation turned negative with posts over 2,000 words.

Longer articles tend to be more in-depth and cover more topics, which can keep readers on the page longer and lead to more backlinks and shares. But posts that are too long can deter readers – attention spans are only so long. And on the other end of the spectrum, thin content isn’t going to resonate well with your readers or Google.

In the end, you should use as many words as you need to answer the reader’s question and provide value.

Break it up

Especially with a longer post, it’s important to make sure it’s easy for readers to scan. Most readers will skim the content rather than read it in its entirety. Embrace that behavior and make the key details stand out with formatting choices like shorter paragraphs, section headers, lists, and bullets.

Include multimedia

Readers are naturally drawn to content that has a photo, video, or other visual assets.

Multimedia also boosts the chances that the post will be shared on social media. Tweets with images, for example, see 150% more retweets than text-only tweets. And Facebook posts with images receive 2.3x more engagement than text-only posts.

And if that doesn’t convince you, keep in mind that people remember only 10% of what they hear, but that number jumps to 65% when paired with a visual element.

So whether your post is an opportunity for an infographic, photos, videos, or even GIFs, don’t let multimedia fall off your radar.

Aren’t sure if you can include a photo in your post? Know the rules.

Edit. And edit again.

A poorly written post full of typos or confusing language isn’t going to convince readers to come back again.

Be your own editor and check for the usual mistakes like grammar and punctuation, but also look at the tone and readability. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Would you stay on the page? If not, figure out where the hang-ups are and make adjustments.

Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway can be helpful proofreading tools if you’re operating a one-person blog (and even if you’re not, we’re all human and can miss mistakes in copy).

Finding the Right Blog Post Frequency is Key

Even if you write that perfect blog post, it may not be enough to build and sustain good rankings for your site. You need to develop a publishing schedule to help build both traffic to the blog and awareness of it.

The more pages of content you have, the more pages Google has to crawl, and the more chances you have for increasing organic traffic to the site (assuming the content is of good quality).

When it comes to the number of posts you publish, there are pros and cons on either end of the spectrum.

Blog Quantity - Pros and Cons infographic

In its research, HubSpot provided a range for the ideal number of new blog posts depending on the size of the company and its goals: 1-4 posts per week for smaller blogs and 3-5 new posts per week for larger companies.

But don’t get too distracted by the numbers; the frequency of your blog posts should be what’s best for your company and what you and your team are confident with producing.

Sometimes there are just limits to the amount of copy you can put out. Maybe blogging is your side-hustle and most of your time is dedicated to your primary job. As a one-person blog, you can physically only write so much.

Need to produce more blog content?

  • Work with guest bloggers or freelancers to help build out the library of content. A variety of voices can help attract a broader base of readers. Established writers can also bring their own existing followers to your blog.
  • Create (and stick to) a content calendar. Is your audience not big on reading on Mondays? Maybe skip publishing on these days to ensure you’ll get the most views. An editorial calendar will help you plan ahead for in-depth and recurring topics as well as coordinate posts with things like holidays, seasons, and big events in your industry.
  • Update and republish old posts. If an older post has lost its traction online, look for opportunities to liven it up with multimedia, new data, SEO-friendly tags and structure, etc. And when you're updating posts, don't forget to link to other relevant articles on your site. A strong internal link structure is a big SEO factor to keep in mind (and it'll keep readers on your site longer by providing them with more content to read).
  • Check out these blog tips and tools if you’re looking to create more quality content but are having trouble choosing a topic that will resonate with your readers.

Remember:

To Wrap Up…

Instead of choosing one over the other, you should be factoring in both quantity and quality to your blog strategy.

What schedule of posting works for your audience (and your team)? Once you figure out the posting cadence that works, you need to make sure you’re putting out the best quality content possible. If you find that you are rushing to publish something every day and sacrificing quality, pull back a bit and reevaluate your content calendar.

It’s also key to understand your audience to build a stronger relationship with them. Are they reading longer or shorter posts? What types of content are they sharing (how-tos, listicles, interviews, etc.)? Having a grasp on what’s going to resonate with your audience and provide value is key to your blog’s long-term success.

About the Author

Rocky Parker

Rocky Parker has been with Cision PR Newswire since 2010. She is an audience relations manager and works with journalists, bloggers and content creators to create their targeted newsfeeds from PR Newswire for Journalists. Rocky also counsels on SEO and content writing best practices.

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