If there is one question frequently asked by bloggers, it’s this: How long should my blog posts be? And the answer you will get is probably one that doesn’t help you at all. It depends.
You see, the blogging community is often divided on the issue. Some believe that the shorter the better. While others think blog posts should be long. The reason such a divide exists is that both lengths have worked for various bloggers. Again. It depends on what you want your blog to accomplish.
The case of short blogs
You’ve probably heard a lot of supporters who advocate for shorter posts, that is, posts of around 200 words. This is perfectly acceptable if your blog was created to sell a product of service. It’s effective because you get straight to the point with your call to action (CTA). If you want visitors to subscribe to a newsletter or an email subscription, for example, keep it short and pleasant. People tend to have a short attention span and you don’t want them to forget the real reason they brought them to your blog.
That doesn’t mean you can just write a short blog post and call it a day. In fact, it can be more difficult to post 200 word posts. But, if you can make all your points and grab people’s attention, then go for it. But how to attract the attention of Internet users? After all, there are studies that have shown that most people only read between 20% and 28% of a post.
The idea is to grab people’s attention by going straight to the point. You can do this using visual aids like infographics or scannable lists. This type of content is easy for readers to scan and digest.
If you are looking for inspiration on how to properly create a short blog post, you must check out the flawless execution of Seth Godin and David Vandagriff.
Godin is an author, entrepreneur, and one of the most respected people in the land of marketing. And, he’s proven over the years that short blog posts can reach his audience and get his message across.
There’s also Vandagriff, a lawyer who runs a popular blog called The Passive Voice. Vandagriff has perfected the art of curating primarily content relevant to his audience and industry. In fact, he doesn’t publish much else. Just share some content and add a comment every now and then. But, he made it work.
Finally, if you post content every day, you might have no choice but to post shorter posts. Many of us cannot devote 2,000 word articles several times a day. But, posting multiple articles of a few hundred words or less is much easier to do.
The case of long content
On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are interested in fleshier posts. We’re talking about 1,000 words or more. If that sounds crazy, it isn’t. It’s actually quite common.
Why would someone sit down and write so many words? Because it’s good for SEO. Really. It’s great for SEO. And, isn’t that a good thing for any content marketing campaign? Don’t worry, there is research to back up this claim.
According to incredibly detailed research by serpIQ, Google’s top 10 results all have a minimum of at least 2,000. The reason? Because Googlebot, Google’s web crawler, examines every piece of content on a page, like words, titles, and any other information you have shared. So when you have an article that is around 1,500 words long, you have more flexibility with the keywords, which means you are not limited to one or two specific keywords. Instead, you can include a lot more keywords that may not be specific, but are still relevant to your theme. It works because Google doesn’t provide exact results, but results related to the topic.
Speaking of SEO and connection length, it’s also been found that longer posts increase your chances of getting quality backlinks. Again. It’s a big problem.
Another benefit of longer blog posts is the coveted “shareability” issue. It was found that messages containing more than 1,500 words gained 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more likes on Facebook . In other words, the longer the post, the more it will be shared. And, when posts are shared, it means they become more interactive. My longer articles on entrepreneurship generally get three times the interaction compared to my shorter ones. Usually, longer posts trigger more conversations with reader comments, which is a great way to reach and connect with your audience.
Of course, the length of the messages is not everything. So, before you start working on an epic blog post, consider the following courtesy of Neil Patel.
Substance – What is the meat and potato in your post? Can you deliver your message in 200 words? Or do you need 2,000 words?
Style – Perhaps your writing style is more direct. Or, you could be someone who is extremely controversial. Your particular writing style will determine its length.
Frequency – How often do you post on your blog? Once a week? 5 times a day ? We mentioned this earlier, but if you post multiple times a day, longer posts may not work in your favor.
Format – It is suggested to split your content so that people can easily scan the message.
Purpose – What is the purpose of your content? Are you selling a product or service? Are you trying to grow your mailing list? Do you want to inform your audience about your industry? The purpose of your message will determine its length.
Audience – Always remember your audience. Does your content meet their needs, interests, passions and solve their problems?
Medium – When posting content like graphics or videos, word count doesn’t matter as much. The emphasis is on the media presented in this case. Not how many words you had written.
So how long should my blog post last?
If you are looking to engage with readers and improve your rankings, long articles are best. However, if you can get straight to the point with fewer words, that’s great. Shorter messages can be just as effective.
Just keep in mind the considerations suggested by Neil Patel. If you follow these guidelines, the length of your message should become clearer. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer here. It really depends on what you want your blog to accomplish. Always remember first and foremost to make your content epic!