If you use blogging to market your business, you know that writing good blog posts is only half the battle. Knowing how to title them, share them and when to post them can make all the difference in whether your blogs get read, commented on and shared—or ignored.
The Colossal Content Marketing Report recently analyzed 1.16 million posts from 4,618 blogs by publishers including content marketers, individuals and media companies. Here are the “blogging best practices” the study found, and the takeaways for your business.
When Should You Post?
If you’re posting only on weekdays, like 87% of the blog posts in the study, you may want to rethink your strategy. Blogs posted on weekends actually got more social shares on average. Saturdays were the top day for sharing: Although just 6.3% of posts in the study were published on Saturdays, these posts got 18% of all social shares.
Similarly, while most blog posts go live during work hours (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time), most engagement with and social sharing of posts occurred after hours–from 9 p.m. to midnight Eastern, with a big spike from 10 to 11 p.m.
Takeaway: Try scheduling some posts for weekends and/or sharing posts on social media later at night rather than during business hours.
What Should You Title It?
On average, most post titles were 40 characters long, but those with longer titles (up to 60 characters) got the most shares. Once post titles went beyond 60 characters, however, social sharing declined drastically.
Should you ask a question in your blog post titles? Survey says “Yes”—while 95 percent of blog post titles didn’t include a question mark, those that did received almost twice as many social shares as the average. Keep in mind, though, that posts with two or more question marks had the least amount of shares. You should avoid exclamation points, too—posts with exclamation points got less social shares than average.
Takeaway: When you title blog posts, look for a middle ground. Questions spark interest, but don’t go overboard. And don’t capitalize like a tween girl by using exclamation points.
Where Do Readers Share?
Most social sharing of blog posts took place on Twitter and Facebook: Twitter accounted for 38.6 percent of total social shares, Facebook Shares for 26.7 percent and Facebook Likes for 33.8 percent.
Takeaway: Have a presence on Facebook and Twitter to share posts and amplify your blog’s presence online.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.