How Much Time Does Blogging REALLY Take?

How Long Does Blogging Really Take - Boring Cape Town Chick

How long does it take to write a blog post?

This is a question that many people have asked including publicists, newbie bloggers and those wanting to hire bloggers. Here’s the quick answer: 5 minutes. Here are the steps:

  • Read press release – 1 minute.
  • Download Word press release – 30 seconds.
  • Open WordPress in browser – 30 seconds.
  • Log in and start new blog post – 1 minute.
  • Copy and paste press release – 1 minute.
  • Add images & format – 1 minute.
  • Publish.

In this instant, there will be nothing original about the piece. The ‘influence’ of the blogger will be mediocre and the chances of this exact same ‘blog post’ appearing on a number of other blogs is high; which isn’t great for SEO. Original content always rules the day at Google. Working with influencers gives your brand content a spin, makes is new and fresh, keep that in mind.

How long does it take to write a decent blog post?

This can be anything from 1 hour to 6 hours. That seems like a lot! Can that be realistic? Yip! And here’s why (and the long answer!):

How to write a blog:

This is may be the over simplified version of the question, but it addresses the core issue – how long does it take to write a blog post. For me, there are 5 main elements of a blog post:

  1. Content copy (60 mins)
  2. Editing (30 mins)
  3. Images/Video (60 mins)
  4. Formatting (60 mins)
  5. SEO (30 mins)

And each of these can take 5 minutes or 60 minutes, depending on how in depth a blogger wants to go. Here’s a more realistic breakdown of each feature and why it REALLY takes time.

1. Content Copy

Sometimes word just fall right out of your finger tips and it takes you 30 minutes to write a post. Sometimes you have to wait for other parts or information in order to complete the post, you may get interrupted, or you may start today and finish off another time. Realistically, I would say it takes anything between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

2. Editing

I often find it difficult to write a whole post in full. I edit each paragraph as I go along. This way they lead on from one another in the same tone. Afterwards, I will go back again and re-edit paragraphs or fill in the gaps. Sometimes I remember new pieces and have to include this. This includes proof reading which, if you’ve written yourself you will know proofing your own work to perfection is nearly impossible, but it’s an important step. I’d say this takes about 30 minutes.

3. Images/Video

Image editing can take about an hour; that does not include actually TAKING the images. Actually taking the photographs can take 30 minutes (for eg. a product on a table in good lighting), a few hours (eg. dinner images) or half a day (for eg. road trip). An hour’s image editing is for downloading from memory card, selecting the images you’d like to use, resizing them, adding your watermark and uploading them to your blog CMS (content management system). If you want to rename your images so that they’re compatible for SEO, say goodbye to another few good hours of your life.

Editing a YouTube video in itself can take anything between 4 hours and 8 hours. This is only if you’re including a video.

4. Formatting

Oh lord. If you want to make time fly, format your documents or your blog posts! Eish. This can take 5 minutes (if you keep things simple and have standardised photo sizes) or it can take 2 – 3 hours. Things can get really complicated! This is because headings play a role in SEO, so labelling your headers correctly is important, ensuring your URL is appropriate is encouraged and adding images so that what is being seen relates to your content is also a must. I like to reword things so that my paragraphs look balanced; I don’t like 1 lonely word to be found on a line alone at the end of a paragraph, therefore, I’ll rework the copy so that it’s a neat paragraph.

5. SEO

Looking up keywords so that your blog post can be picked up and ‘filed’ correctly by Google is really important. It also gives brands (and your blog content) the opportunity to be found more easily by those surfing the web. Many publicists simply want transparent, billboard type digital features. Clever PR’s know that SEO will give their client so much more. Easy digital access = more blog views, which is akin to Good SEO = more traffic (and more profitability if you’re an e-commerce store!). Ask your blogger if they SEO their blog posts or provide your own keywords if you know what your client would like to rank for, alternatively, trust the blogger to use terms that will best suit their blog and the post.

What Should I be Paying For?

Paying for content on a blog is absolutely the norm in the 1st world and is catching on in South Africa. It’s important to consider what you’re actually paying for. This can include the time it takes to create a blog post, the service of using a blog at all, the actual online space, advertising budget to boost the post on social channels, etc. Paying a blogger to share news of a brand in their own personal way, supported by a marketing budget to ensure that post reaches the audience is a great way to go and to give your product some natural exposure. Natural in the sense that it’s paired with a blogger’s influence and  not simply an advert paid for in a magazine or billboard. You could ask the blogger to simply post it as an ad! That’s also a service that’s available. It’s up to the brand and blogger to work that out.

In Closing…

Blogging is a lot of hard work if you’re passionate about having a unique and personal product. It’s a wonder why PR companies don’t just start their own blogs and post all their client’s press releases on there. The fact that this isn’t the norm, indicates the value of pairing traditional advertising with digital marketing. SEO is  important as it gives your brand longevity online, long after the campaign is closed (as long as the content isn’t deleted).  While these are the 5 main elements that govern my blog post creation process, post marketing thereof is also important and takes time. It’s important to remember, the more effort you put in, the more you will get out. This applies to both brands and bloggers.

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