Have you ever wondered how long a blog post should be? I know I have. So I decided to do a little research. Here is what I found.
There is no concrete evidence to the success of a short or long blog. However, I did found a consensus among professional bloggers and analysts – “people have a short attention span and prefer reading shorter blogs”. The age of A. D.D. I think we all suffer from it just a little bit!
How long should my blog be?
As you write your first or second blog, you should ask yourself, “What is the goal of writing the blog?” Are you seeking to build your followers? Are you providing information that solves a problem? Are you looking for high engagement/discussion? Will you be posting a blog on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis? Once you are able to answer a few of these questions, then you will determine the length of your blog.
There is much controversy on the length of a blog post. One of the articles I read said that a blog should be 200 words, if you are selling a product or service, it’s well written, and contains a CTA (call-to-action). In a short blog, you want your reader to stay engaged and not wonder off by a side bar advertisement. According to the Neilson Norman Group, readers read on average only 20% of a webpage. This evidence supports the theory that shorter blogs are better, but are they really?
What is your goal to writing your blog?
If you are seeking high engagement/discussion then write short blogs that focus on asking questions with 200 to 275 words. Keep in mind that short blogs with discussion based comments are rarely shared on Twitter or Facebook. Hum. Is that important to a blogger? According to Kissmetrics, “a share is harder to earn…the post has to communicate something about the person sharing it or forge a bond between that person and their friends and followers”. In theory, a discussion based blog will have a lower share rate. However, if you have ever read Seth Godin blogs he will disagree about short length blogs. He is the king of short blogs.
Are longer blogs the perfect approach and how many words?
According to John Rampton from Forbes, a blogger should write more than 1,000 words with the ideal number being a minimum of 2,000 words based upon research compiled by serpIQ. Based upon the serpIQ data, SEO’s perform better with longer blogs. Furthermore, posts that contained more than 1,500 words had a 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes. And as a blogger, what are you looking for – shares, likes, or both — resulting in more web traffic to your site?
If you follow Neil Patel from Quicksprout, he will tell you “long is not always better” and that it all depends on the content and the purpose of the blog.
If you are an experienced writer that requires more than 1,000 words, your writing needs to be structured and readability needs to be flawless, according to Marieke van de Rakt from Yoast. Otherwise, readers will bail from your site and never return. A blog should be written using short sentences, easy to understand, and written in simple terminology.
Other consideration for improving “likes” and “share
- Content is king
- Killer Headline
- A message that solves a problem or resonates with your audience
- Can you get your message across with fewer words?
- Frequency – daily, weekly, monthly posts
- Format – use more subtitles
- Images – incorporate infographics
- Video – readers prefer to watch than read
And finally, longer posts (3,000+ words) will increase web traffic. Neil Patel explains that long-form content gets more attention and provides more value to your audience. In a recent study by serpIQ, who used 20,000 keyword searches revealed the Top 10 hits contained blog lengths ranged from 2,475 to 2,000 words.
Longer blog posts have a direct correlation with blog placement with SEO’s. Further consideration for writing a longer blog are users becoming smarter and using multiple keywords in a search. This is commonly referred to as long-tail keyword searches – using more than 3 words in a search. Ok. Now we are getting off track and discussing SEO – that is a topic for another discussion.
How long should your post be?
Here is another finding. Matt Brenning from Business2Business provides a brief guideline. A short post 100-300 words; medium 300-600 words; long 600-2500 words. Are you confused yet? Sure you are!
As a new blogger, there are many factors in considering the length of your blog. Who is your audience? What message are you trying to deliver? Are your blogs written for discussion? Are you writing to provide information that solves a business problem? Are you seeking “likes” or “shares”? Do you have the resources to produce multiple blogs per day, week, or month? Marieke van de Rakt sums it up nicely, “blogs should be greater than 300 words…experienced writer who write over 1,000 words must make sure structure and readability is flawless… less experienced writers should stick with 700-800 words. A post needs to be informative, useful, and leaves the reader feeling glad they read the post, then you have accomplished your goal, which ultimately leads to the post being shared.
What is your opinion? I’d like to hear your thoughts.
P.S. One thing I learned researching data for this blog is that SEO’s like longer text blogs that result in a higher placing in ranking.