Probably the most frequently asked question among bloggers is this: How Long Should My Blog Post Be? And then the answer that you get will more than likely be one that doesn’t help you at all. It all depends.
See, the blogging community is often divided on the issue. Some believe that the shorter, the better. While others stand by the thought that blog posts should be long. The reason why such a divide exists is that both lengths have worked for various bloggers. Again, it depends on what you want to your blog to accomplish.
Here’s A Case For Short Blogs
You probably have heard plenty of supporters who favor shorter posts. These are posts that are around 200-300 words. This can be perfectly acceptable if your blog has been developed to sell a service type product. This is especially effective because you’re getting to the point quickly and directly with your call to action (CTA). For example, if you want visitors to subscribe to a newsletter or email subscription, you should keep it short and sweet. Most people have the tendency to have short attention spans. So you don’t want them to forget the real reason that brought them to your blog.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you will be able to simply write a short blog post and then call it a day. In fact, it can be more challenging to actually write posts that are 200-300 words. But, if you are able to make all of your points and also grab people’s attention, then go for it. But, the real challenge is how are you going to grab the attention of online surfers? According to the Nielson Norman group, studies they have completed show that most people actually only read between 20% to 28% of a post.
The goal is to catch the attention of people by directly getting to the point. You are able to do this by using visual aids like info graphics or lists that can be scanned. This type of content makes it easy for readers to scan and digest.
Finally, if you plan to post content every day, your only choice may be to create and post shorter posts. Most of us can’t create 2,000 word articles multiple times a day. But, it is much easier to post several articles that are a few hundred words or fewer on a regular basis.
Here’s A Case For Long-Form Content
Now, on the other side, there are many people who are big supporters of blogs that carry more weight. These are posts that contain 1,000 words or more. If you think this sounds crazy, it’s not. It’s actually a fairly common practice.
So you ask the question; Why would someone want to sit down and write so many words? The simple answer is that it’s good for SEO. Actually, it’s excellent for SEO. And, this is a very important element for any successful content marketing campaign. And there is plenty of research to back that claim up.
According to some extremely detailed research from leading industry sources, the top 10 results from Google all contain a minimum of at least 2,000 words. What is the reason? This is that Googlebot, Google’s web crawler, looks at every bit of content on a page. These are items such as words, titles and whatever other information you may have shared. So, when you create a post that contains 1,500 words, it gives you more flexibility with keywords. This means that you are not limited to one or two specific keywords. Instead, you will be able to include a lot more keywords that may not be specific, but will still be relevant to your theme. This works because Google doesn’t just provide exact results, but results that are related to your subject.
When considering SEO and the connection to length, it has also been found that longer posts will increase your likelihood of obtaining quality backlinks. Again this can be important to the overall success of your website.
Another advantage of longer blog posts is the coveted “ability to share” issue. It has been discovered that posts that have more than 1000 words have a much higher probability of being shared on social media. In other words, the longer the post, the better the opportunity that it will get shared. And, when posts are shared, it causes them to become more interactive. Usually, the longer posts stimulate more conversations with reader comments. This is a great way to reach out and connect with your audience.
The drawback of blog posts containing more than 1000 words is that they can become more difficult to read. You are going to need some competent writing skills to be able to write easy-to-read articles in excess of 1000 words. Also, large quantities of text could very well intimidate your audience.
Poorly written and lengthy articles will not be read all the way through to the end. People will have the tendency to click away from your website fairly quickly. These articles will probably not be shared on social media and people probably will not return to your website to read more. Ultimately, poorly written and lengthy articles will not rank well in Google merely because the user’s experience has been bad.
The best way to write a successful lengthy blog post is by making sure that your post is extremely well-structured and very easy to read. If your post is extremely long, add some type of an index at the beginning of your post. Make sure that your paragraphs are clear and short. Add quite a few subheadings. Be sure to write in an attractive style. Your sentences need to be rather short, you shouldn’t use complicated vocabulary and stay away from the passive voice.
Of course, the length of your post isn’t everything. So, before you start working on a long epic like blog post, you will need to take into consideration the following elements for success:
- Substance – What are the nuts and bolts of your post? Are you able to deliver your message in 200-300 words? Or, do you need 1500- 2,000 words?
- Style – Your writing style might be more direct. Or, maybe you are someone who is extremely controversial. Your particular writing style is going to determine its length.
- Frequency – How often are you making a post on to your blog? Is it once a week or is it five times a day? It was mentioned earlier, but if you post several times a day, the longer posts are not going to be in your favor.
- Format – It is suggested that you break up your content so that the reader can easily scan the post.
- Purpose – What is the actual purpose of your content? Are you selling a service or a product? Are you looking to increase your email list? Do you want inform your audience about your specific industry? The purpose of your post is going determine its length.
- Audience – Always take your audience into consideration. Does your content meet their wants, needs, interests, passions, and have the ability to solve their problems?
- Medium – When you post visual and/audio content like graphs or videos, word count will not matter as much. The main focal point will be on the media that has been presented in this instance. It will not be how many words you have written.
Conclusion On Blog Length
If you’re looking to connect with your readers and improve your ranking, longer posts are preferred. However, if you are able to get to the point with fewer words, that is fantastic. Shorter posts have the ability to be just as effective.
Your blog post should always contain at least 300 words. Otherwise your post is going to have too few words in order to rank with the search engines. If you’re an experienced and accomplished writer, you could write very lengthy posts that contain more than 1000 words. You need to make sure that the structure and readability are perfect. If you aren’t the best writer, attempt to maximize your word count of your post to about 700-800.
If you are able to follow these guidelines, the length of your post should become more apparent. It’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong answer here. It actually depends on what you want your blog to achieve. Always remember is that you want to make your content legendary.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post on How Long Should My Blog Post Be? I hope it has been interesting and has been able to provide some assistance to the reader. Please feel free to leave Comments and Questions below. Take care.