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We Answer Your Questions About How to Create Great Blog Content

Today’s episode is all about answering your questions about how to create great content for your blog. Don’t be shy about asking us questions in the comments below! Your question could be featured next time.

In This Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). Today we answer these listener questions:

  • Should I share personal posts on my business blog?
  • How often should I be posting on my blog?
  • How do you develop compelling content?
  • What days of week/time of day are best to post?
  • How did you come to have the great writing skills that you use to blog? Did you ever get any formal training?
  • What have been your most effective techniques for engaging readers? What types of posts have generated lots of authentic comments from your readers?
  • Where do you get your ideas for content? Do you have any techniques/tips to share?

Further Reading and Resources for Creating Great Blog Content

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hi. This is Darren from ProBlogger. Welcome to episode 41 of the ProBlogger Podcast where today, we’re going to do something a little different. I’m going to answer some questions I asked on our Facebook page at a few days ago for people to submit questions that they’d like me to answer on today’s show.

I had quite a few questions submitted but also had a number of people email me questions as well. I want to tackle some of those today, particularly, questions around content. There were quite a few questions on other areas that I’ll tackle on the future show, but today, I want to focus on the content creation side of blogging. You can find today’s show notes where I’ll include some further reading on each of the questions where I can find it at

Today’s first question comes from Stephanie Hammond from the Motherhood and Sex blog. I haven’t checked that one out yet—it sounds interesting—but the question Stephanie asked is, “How often should I be posting on my blog?” There’s no one answer to this. Really, it will depend upon your situation, the topic that you have, and a whole heap of other factors. There are a few things that I would say. There are certainly some pros and cons of different frequencies. Quite often I’m asked, “Should I be posting daily?” That seems to be the most common question that I get.

There are definitely some benefits to doing that. Daily or even more than daily can help you get into the groove with your writing. If you’re writing or posting frequently, you’ll be needing to write frequently. That can help you certainly to get into that groove.

I personally find that if I go away for a couple of weeks and don’t post for a few weeks, I find it a little bit hard to get back into that groove. Regular posting means regular writing which is good for you as a writer. It also means that you’re producing more content. Hopefully, because you’re practicing more, you’ll improve in your writing.

I also find that more regular posting helps you with reader engagement and reader expectations. If a reader knows that every day, for instance, that there’ll be something new on the blog or every weekdays—Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—they begin to show up at those times. That can help with engagement.

Also, the more you post, the more doorways you have into your blog over time. If you’re posting everyday, that’s 365 doorways into your blog from Google at the end of the year. If you’re only posting 52 times a year, weekly, that’s only 52 doorways into your blog, which is more than if you only post monthly or less.  The more that you post, the more doorways you have into your blog both through Google, social media, or potentially other people finding your content and sharing it on their sites.

It’s also worth knowing that the more you post, there can also be some cons. There can be some costs that come. Firstly, if you’re posting too frequently, it can lead to blogger burnout. You can actually dry up in terms of your inspiration and ideas to write about. It can also lead to reader burnout. If you’re posting too much content, readers can get a little bit overwhelmed by it and actually engage less with you. It can also lead to a lower quality of content. This is where you really need to be paying attention if you decide to increase your frequency but you notice the quality of your producing is going down, that’s a warning sign.

Here are a few questions that you can ask to help you work out how often you should post. Firstly, how much time and energy do you have to give to your writing and creation of content? Remember, as you’re doing that, there are also other things you need to pay attention to on your blog like promoting your content and engaging with readers. How much time do you have? How much time do your readers have to read content? How thirsty are they for that content? 

If you’re writing for a type of reader who’s a very busy type of person, they may not be able to handle too many posts. How big is your topic? How big is your niche? How much is there to actually write about in your topic? These are actually really good questions. I saw a blogger once who started a blog on a particular model of a printer. There wasn’t a whole heap to write about that printer after the first post. They wrote a review on it and then they realized that they didn’t really have much more to say on it. That’s an example of a very small niche, a very small topic, not much to say. Frequency of posting, probably once, ever. 

There are other topics that have a constant stream of topics that you can write about. Gadgets, for instance, is one type of blog. There’s Engadget and Gizmodo, these blogs that produce content sometimes up to 20 times a day because there’s just a never-ending stream of things to write about on that. It’s going to vary a little bit depending upon the topic and the niche of your blog. 

Another question to ask is how long are the posts that you write? How much time do they take to write, create, but also to read? If you’re producing lots of long posts, that can be quite overwhelming to write but also to read. If you’re publishing three posts a day and they’re really long meaty posts, your readers aren’t going to be able to fully engage with them. Less frequent is probably good for longer posts. If your posts are 100 words each or less, a picture and maybe 50 words, you can probably produce more of those yourself without burning up. Your readers will probably be able to consume more as well.

Other questions asked, how old is your blog? Sometimes, in the early days of your blog, it can be good to have more content so that new readers have more to explore. How much do you have to say right now? How much energy do you have for your topic? Most bloggers go through bursts, where they just naturally have more to write, so you need to pay more attention to that. 

Of course, the last question to ask yourself is, is the quality of your posting suffering because you’re posting too often? That’s probably my main question for you. How much can you sustain without burning up and without lowering the quality of your content? The last thing I’ll say is I think regularity is really important. It’s not so much that these many posts are the right amount of posts, it’s about being a regular. That’s good for you as a writer, to get into the rhythm of creating content, but it’s also good for your readers because they begin to know when to show up. 

I hope that answers your question, Stephanie. I will link in the show notes to a post that has more that you can read about.

Another question comes from Martin. Martin asked, “How do you develop compelling content?” This is a really tough question to answer in just a minute or two. A few thoughts on it. Firstly, you really do need to be in tune with your readership—the needs and the problems they have. What’s compelling to one person will be very different from what’s compelling to another person. That’s based upon who they are, their needs, and their situation. The more you’re in tune with who’s reading your blog and who you’re trying to reach, the better position you begin to create compelling content.

Be as interactive as you can with your readers. Invite their comments, invite their participation, and leave room for them to share their situations and their stories. That’s going to help you to understand them, but it also makes your content more compelling because people are not just finding what you write interesting. If you’re leaving space for people to contribute, they actually find the community compelling as well. 

Experiment with different voices and different styles of writing. Find out what your readers actually find compelling. They may actually find that when you share personal anecdotes if that’s compelling or that’s something they really respond to. Or you might find that they respond best when you don’t write many words at all, but you use more images or you use talking head videos. Different readers are going to respond to different types of content, different voices, and different styles of content. Mix it up and really watch to see what people are responding to. 

Another thing that I’d say in creating compelling content is you want to create content that builds momentum over time. What I find is my readers become more engaged when I’m writing a series of blog posts about a particular topic. For example, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, which was the series of podcasts I produced on this podcast from the first 31 posts. Readers really responded very well to that because they felt that I was taking them on a journey over that month. 

So, if you can create some momentum. It doesn’t need to be a month of posts. It might be three days of posts. Build some anticipation, create content that builds upon previously written content. That’s going to have a big impact on people. They’re actually going to feel like you’re being more thoughtful with your content and they’ll be more thoughtful on how they respond to that as well.

It comes down to knowing your readers and watching how they respond to what you’ve previously done. One of the things you need to do is to get into your blog’s statistics and metrics. Work out how people are responding to your content, what they are reading, what they are searching for on your blog, and really pay attention to any questions they’re asking. If you’re responding to their actual needs, their actual problems, it’s going to be so much more compelling for them.

The next question comes from Michaela Clark who’s from Tradies VA—good Aussie blog; it was good to hear from you, Michaela. She writes, “As you know, I have a business blog for tradies. Occasionally, I want to put a personal post up. For example, on my 39th birthday, I wanted to post my list of 40 things to do before I’m 40. What are your thoughts on personal posts on a business blog? Not about parenting, cooking, et cetera, but more personal growth type posts?”

That’s a great question. Many business bloggers I come across have this exact question. I’m glad you asked it. Again, there’s no right and wrong answer for this. There are certainly some pros and cons of being personal on a business blog. It probably comes down to the type of brand you’re trying to build and the type of business that you have. I guess what style of being personal on your blog is you going down the root of it.

If you have a small business and you, as a person, are at the heart of that small business, it will benefit you from people who know who you are and what your story is. I think injecting some personality in your blog is probably a good thing. There’s probably other styles of business where it’s probably less appropriate.

It’s really going to depend upon your personality and the type of business that you’re building, so I can’t really answer that one. I think being personal on a business blog has the potential to make you more relatable and to break down some of that suspicion that people have of brands sometimes. I think sometimes people see a brand and they’ll say, “This logo,” or “this building.” People have this perception. 

ProBlogger, for instance, I get emails from first-time readers occasionally. I get the sense that they think I’m this corporation and there are hundreds of people working behind the scenes. The reality is I have a small team and they’re all part-timers. To actually show who you are, to show what you do, where you work, and inject some personal stuff into your blog can actually be a powerful thing. It’ll make you a little bit more relatable. 

I’d love the quote, “People do business to those that they know, like, and trust.” I think injecting something of yourself into your blog can help with all those three things. It helps to further know who you are, to like you, and to trust you. However, if you do get too far off-topic with your personal posting, it could feel a little awkward for readers. They might say, “That’s too much information for me.” You really want to think about the content that you’re creating. It sounds like you already are, Michaela, by saying you’re not going to write about parenting or cooking. You want to write more about personal growth. I think that’s probably a good way to go, personal development stuff. 

If you can show what you’re writing in a personal way actually relates to the rest of what you’re writing, I think that’s probably the ideal. If you’re writing personal development stuff that shows how what you’re writing about can benefit the business of your readers, then I think that makes sense, particularly on your blog.

This is what I’ve done on my own blog recently by writing about my own health journey. Health and well-being don’t really fit on ProBlogger because it’s not about blogging but I can work really hard to show how it did have an impact upon blogging. It was really well-received because I did that. If I just did this post in the middle of nowhere about personal health without tying into the rest of my topic, I think I probably would have more pushback on that. 

The other thing I’d say is to experiment with it and start slow. Don’t switch your blog suddenly to be a personal development blog. Just throw in the old post every now and then. It shares a little bit more personally. See how that goes down with your readers. I hope that helps, Michaela.

I’ve got another question here from Sharon. Sharon asked, “What time of the day is the best to post?” A lot of the answers to today’s questions have been “it depends,” and this is another one of those. It really is going to depend upon a number of factors. It probably depends mainly on when your readers are online and likely to see your new posts.

When I publish a new post on ProBlogger, I know that triggers a number of things. Firstly, it gets pushed out onto our RSS feed. Those readers who are subscribing via RSS will suddenly see it appear in their RSS feed readers. I want it to appear there when I know they’re going to be awake and potentially reading their RSS feed. It also triggers a tweet on my Twitter account that there’s a new post up. Again, I want them to be potentially awake and there to see it.

I’m trying to publish my post when the majority of my readers are online. Most of my readers are in the US. Scheduling when they’re awake is really important. I also have quite a few people in Australia.  The time it works best for me—it depends a little bit on daylight savings—is when Australia is waking up. When Australia’s sitting at the breakfast table, I find that’s when they’re on Twitter for the first time of the day or that’s where they’re on Facebook for the first time of the day. I find anything that updates around that time is going to get them. It’s also towards the end of the day for my US readers. That’s a time that often works quite well for me on ProBlogger.

On Digital Photography School, my main blog, more of my readers are in the US. In fact, the vast majority of them are. We do have Australian readers and other parts of the world, but certainly, the best time then for us is about 3:00 AM Australian time. That’s because that’s earlier in the day in the US. Really, it’s about trial and error. You want to be testing different times and seeing what happens. 

One thing that you can do if you’ve got a Facebook page, check out the insights there. They have a great statistic there, a graph or a chart there that shows when your Facebook followers are engaging most on Facebook. They’d be times where I’d be paying particular attention to it. If they’re on Facebook at that time, they’re probably also on other social media, checking RSS feeds and that type of thing.

The other thing that you would also want to pay attention to is the time you send your emails if you’ve got an email newsletter. Again, we find that the best time for us—we tested it quite a few times—is around 11:00 at night Australian time which is early in the morning US time. Our readers seem to respond really well if we send them an email when they’re just getting to work or on the way to work.

You just got to keep trying different times, see what works, see what translates into the amount of traffic that you might be getting, the number of comments that you might get, or other important metrics for you.

Mike asks, “How did you come to have the great writing skills that you use on your blog? Did you get any formal training?” Thank you, Mike. I’m not sure I do have great writing skills. I’ve practiced a lot. Probably, that’s the main answer that I’ll give you. I’m not sure I’m the greatest writer in the world, but I’ve certainly written a lot of posts.

The last time I counted it up, it must’ve been over 10,000 posts. Malcolm Gladwell talks about the need to have 10,000 hours (I think it is) before you become good at something. Certainly, that’s been the case for me. For me, I’ve never had any training in writing beyond high school. Even there, I wasn’t the best writer, but it’s something that I always enjoyed doing. I think that’s probably part of the reason that my writings are well-received. It shines through that I’m enjoying the process of it. 

For me, it’s really about practice. It’s really about the more posts that you write, the better you get. It’s also about understanding who you are writing for and personalizing that. I very much visualize who I’m writing to as I’m writing. I write in a very conversational style of writing. 

Many of my best posts actually started out as emails to people or me imagining that there’s someone there on the other side of the post. I’m really trying to think about who is going to be reading it. Sometimes that means I actually visualized one of my actual readers that I’ve met at a conference, for instance, or sometimes it’s me imagining my avatar. I’ve talked on the blog and in this podcast before about creating avatars or personas that you write to. Understanding that, readers, are really important.

Also, try different voices. You need time to develop your voice. That’s a slippery thing to grasp. What is my voice? A lot of people talk about developing a voice. I guess it’s the position you come from in your writing. Are you going to be a teacher? Are you going to be a fellow journeyer with your reader? Are you going to be a professor? Are you going to be a journalist? Certainly, there are different positions that you can come from in your writing.

In the early days of your writing, you want to try waiting all of those styles to see what works for you but also what your readers are resonating with. Also, being a reader is really important and actually watching how other people write in books, in media, but also on other blogs. That can inform the way that you write.

The last thing I’ll say is you just need to keep practicing. You just need to practice, practice, practice—the only way that you will improve your writing. You can learn about writing all you like but the more you practice, the better you get.

For me, there came a time where I was able to afford to get someone to help me with the editing of my writing. That certainly has helped a bit. It’s particularly around spelling and grammar which is not my strength at all. If you can get some help with it in that way, whether it be proofreading, editing, or having someone do some teaching with you, I think that can be well-worthwhile as well.

Shawn asks another question, “What have been your most effective techniques for engaging readers? What type of posts have generated lots of authentic comments from your readers?” This question isn’t just about creating great content for your blog, which is the theme of today’s podcast, but it’s also about engagement which is another thing I’ll do another show on in the future. There are definitely certain types of posts that I think do tend to get more engagement for readers. Some of the types of posts that I found do get higher amounts of comments than other types of posts are these ones.

The first one is personal stories. This is by far the one that has worked best for me in terms of getting engagement. When I am personal with my writing and with my speaking, that is the time that I tend to get overwhelming responses from readers. When you step out of your comfort zone a little, when you reveal who you are, particularly when you reveal an area that you may have messed up, have a failure in or make a mistake in, or you had personal success or some sort of a personal triumph, those are the posts that (for me) always get the most engagement. Also, telling other people’s stories as well but less so than my own stories. That’s always the way for me. 

Opinion posts can get a higher amount of engagement. When you give your opinion, you’re going to see a lot more of your readers give their opinions. That may or may not be something that you want on your blog. You need to be a bit careful about that. I think adding opinion is certainly one way that differentiates you from other bloggers but also brings about some engagement.

In a similar way, any kind of post that takes on some sort of controversy or some sort of debate. In Digital Photography School, we did a post about Nikon versus Canon or Digital SLRs versus mirrorless cameras. Some kind of “this or that” type of post where you express your opinion can trigger all kinds of comments. Again, it can become a negative conversation quite quickly if you’re not careful. You need to moderate that and set the boundaries of that.

Another type of post that we do quite regularly on both of my blogs over the years is question posts or discussion-related posts where the post itself is couched as a question. It’s purely there to engage your readers. You may not actually really write much at all. You may answer it yourself or you may choose to simply open up a discussion. That obviously is going to trigger engagement. Similarly, if you run a comments competition, that’s probably the number one way of getting comments on your post but you don’t want to do that too often on your site.

The other thing I find that works quite well is when you run a challenge or you give your readers homework in some way. On Digital Photography School, every Friday, Saturday, we run a challenge with our readers. We name a theme and ask our readers to go away and take a photo on that theme, then come back and share their photo. Anything that you get your readers to go away, do something, and then share what they learned or what they did does increase the engagement. 

Similarly to this podcast, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, the first 31 days we taught something every day. I teach something every day and then I ask people listening to go away and do something. I found the comments on our show notes, particularly in the early days of that challenge were huge, massive amounts of engagements. This was where people were engaging one another, sharing what they’ve done. They’re probably the main kind of posts that I find gets more comments and more engagements. I’d probably be starting with those if that’s something that you want to work more on.

I’m going to call it quits there. That’s episode 41 of the ProBlogger Podcast. I do have some more questions, but I think we’ve probably gone long enough for this episode. I’ll do another episode in the coming weeks where I’ll finish the questions on this topic of content. Thank you so much for those of you who’ve asked the questions.

If you do want to go to our Facebook page at and scroll back a little, you’ll find where I did ask you to leave your questions. I’ll also include a link to that post in today’s show notes. Today’s show notes are at 

If you do have a question you’d like me to tackle either in this format where we do a few questions in the show or if it’s a big question, I’ll tackle it as a whole podcast episode. I would love to get those questions. Again, you can leave those questions in today’s show notes or over on Facebook. I look forward to chatting with you in the next episode of the ProBlogger Podcast.


How did you go with today’s episode?

What did you learn from today’s episode? Did it answer some of your questions? Do you have a question for future Q&A episodes?

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Problogger call out for listener questions

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