This is a question that I get asked a lot, to which I always give the same answer!
In fact only yesterday I received a really nice email (via the contact page) from a guy called Scott, who wanted some advice on blogging as he was just starting his first ever blog. He asked a few questions, one being “Is there a word count you would suggest for each article?” i.e. “How Long Should A Blog Post Be?”
Well I think it’s time I write a post dedicated to looking at this burning question that so many of you bloggers ask.
So, How Long Should A Blog Post Be?
This is definitely a tricky one, mainly because everyone seems to have a different opinion about this. A quick Google search on this subject will probably give you a lot of conflicting opinions on the word count/overall length of your blog posts.
Some will swear blind to writing posts that are only 250-500 words long, whereas others will suggest much longer posts. I suppose a lot of it depends on the subject that you are blogging about. After all, if you are writing a tutorial post for Photoshop for example, its better to include as much detail as possible instead of trying to condense it all down into a 250 word post that people probably won’t get the most out of!
Personally, I try to forget about the word count of my posts and just write detailed articles that I think my readers will like/be helpful (hopefully you agree with that!).
Generally speaking though, my posts are about on average 1000 words long. Some much shorter and some much longer! It all depends on what I am writing about.
Short Posts Vs Long Posts
There are advantages and disadvantages to both short posts and long posts that I think we should look at in more detail. So, lets start with short posts.
Short Posts (250-500 words)
Short posts are obviously quicker to write. This may sound like an almost stupid thing to say, but it is important to remember. Depending on the frequency that you post, if you post everyday then shorter posts are easier to write on a consistent basis. Writing 1000 word posts everyday can be very draining and you will probably end up getting sick of your blog.
An additional benefit of shorter posts is that people tend to read them more, as in the whole post. People have short attention spans, so having short posts can encourage people to read through what you have written. Some people get put off by really long posts, which may lead to them navigating away from your website.
So short posts are quicker to write and generally are read more by your website visitors! But hold, there are some disadvantages to consider before you make your mind up.
You can’t include masses of detail in shorter posts, which depending on the subject matter may put people off. If people are after detailed help with something, I doubt you can include everything in a short post.
Also, it is harder to implement On-Page SEO techniques within short posts. This ultimately means that short posts don’t rank as well on search engines as longer posts. So yes, short posts are quicker to write and may get read more often by your readers, but they don’t attract as much traffic!
Essentially longer posts are just the opposite of shorter posts. So yes, they take longer to write and some people will be put off by the length of them, but they do attract more traffic to your site and people value the added content within them.
You can make your longer posts more visually appealing by adding images to break up your article. This way, people who may normally be put off by long posts, will stick around for longer and read what you have written.
It’s much easier to optimise longer posts for the search engines. You can include more keywords, images, body tags, etc. that will help your site attract more traffic.
I’d say, just write what your readers want to read, no matter how long or short the post. Try not to obsess too much about the length of your posts.
How long do YOU make your blog posts? Let me know below, and leave any questions and comments and I’ll try and answer them for you.