How long should your blog posts* be?
One of the most important questions I ask clients hiring me to write blog posts for them is how long they want them to be. Most are unsure of the best length, and although some “experts” claim to know it, I’m not sure there really is one.
What it comes down to for me is what do you have to say? I have an aversion to padding blog posts simply to make them longer. While Google algorithms allegedly adore longer content, what about your readers, who likely have short attention spans? It is worth it to attract eyeballs to your blog, only to have them quickly jump ship once they see how long your posts are? If you really want engagement, the answer to that question is probably no.
I’ve written fine blog posts that are 300 to 500 words, as well as others with a four-figure word count. Length for me depends on how much good content there is. And to wrap your head around word count, consider that a double-spaced article on a 8.5×11 sheet of paper usually has about 250 words. Knowing that, does it seem absurd to you that the highest ranking posts in Google may be 2,450 words?
I readily admit to not being an expert on blog post length. Here is what those who claim to be “in the know” think about blog length and value:
- 200–400: Best for discussions and engagements
- 400–600: Bite-sized, digestive reads for those less invested; pretty good for shares and engagement
- 600–1,000: Educational posts great for slowly building SEO
- 1,000–1,500: Can make an impact on lead conversion, drive organic website traffic
- 1,500–2,000: Great for gaining organic search traffic if you include links to influencers, educate readers and provide downloadable content
As you may have surmised, there’s no right answer to question posed in the title. You need to determine what your goals are for your blog and write your posts accordingly. If you find yourself struggling to get to some predetermined word count, however, you may want to reconsider going long for the sake of trying to attract more readers—because they will quickly flee if they are not engaged once they get there.
*Blog posts, which are individual pieces of content, should not be confused with blogs, which is where they are housed.
Can’t get past it
“I wanted to write you today…” When I receive a letter or email starting with that phrase, I cringe. You wanted? That’s past tense. Aren’t you doing it? A better alternative is this: “I’m writing you today…”
Have you been using a comma before too at the end of a sentence? Me too. I recently learned that isn’t necessary, nor are commas required on either side of too if it’s used in the middle of sentence. Who knew?