A while ago, I wrote a blog post about whether the length of a blog post mattered or not. When I wrote that blog post, I looked at it from the perspective of how long it takes to relay the message. While there are some long blog posts out there, some blog posts can relay the same message in a few sentences. Seth Godin’s Polishing Junk post is a perfect example of how you can relay the same message in a few sentences.
However, the length of a blog post does have an impact on the search engines. Most of the top blog posts on search engines are over 1,000 words long. You are not getting as much traffic as you could be getting if you stopped at 500 words. You’re not even getting as much traffic as you could be getting if you stopped at 900 words. Although there is no golden number, the data suggests that you should write 1,000 words or more for all of your blog posts.
According to serpIQ, the Top 10 blog posts that appeared on search engines for certain keywords (serpIQ tested over 20,000 keywords) had over 2,000 words. Coincidentally, some of the most successful blogs have posts that are over 2,000 words. One of the first blog posts that appears when you search “blogging tips” is Buffer’s 16 Top Tips From Blogging Experts From Beginners. The blog post was over 2,000 words long, and most of Buffer’s blog posts tend to be that long. Although the Buffer App helps out with this, the site has an Alexa Rank under 2,000. In addition, that blog post was shared over 4,000 times on different social networks (over 2,000 times on Twitter alone).
You may be wondering at this point how you can add more meat to your blog posts. Chances are you want to write 1,000 word blog posts so your traffic numbers go up.
Writing longer blog posts has another advantage. If you write longer blog posts, your visitors will stay on your blog for a longer period of time. According to Alexa, the average visitor stays on Quick Sprout for 3 minutes and 29 seconds, and the average visitor stays on Buffer for 4 minutes and 6 seconds. These two blogs have numerous blog posts that are all 2,000 or more words long. It takes more than two minutes for most people to read a blog post with 2,000 or more words. As more people stay on your blog, your sidebar will get more attention. If you have an effective sidebar with the right widgets, people will stay on your blog longer. When people stay on your blog longer, they will also be more likely to subscribe to your blog and buy one of your products.
One of the easiest ways to add more meat to your blog posts is by submitting queries on HARO related to your blog posts. Instead of writing down 10 tips, have 10 different people each explain 1 tip in great detail. Then, add all of those people’s explanations in your blog post. It saves you time because most of the content is already provided for you, and you are able to publish a blog post with 1,000 or more words.
As you write more content, it will be easier for you to write 1,000 words in your blog posts. I got comfortable with writing two blog posts every day which made it easier for me to write one 1,000 word blog post every day. The best way to get better at anything, especially writing, is with practice.
Another option you have to write longer blog posts is by doing your own research. For this blog post, I did research to identify how writing longer blog posts has an impact on the search engines. Adding research allowed me to go more in depth with statistics instead of me just saying, “Longer blog posts do better in search engines.” Doing the research allows you to further clarify why what you are saying is true and why your visitors need to implement these tactics now.
Although you may want to write blog posts that are 1,000 words each, avoid rambling at all costs. It is possible to write a 1,000 word blog post in just 500 words, and it is possible to write a blog post shorter than 500 words that gets the same point across. When you write long blog posts that are over 1,000 words, those blog posts need to contain quality, non-repetitive content. A big mistake many people make to get over 1,000 words in a blog post (or over 2,000) is writing the same sentence with different words over and over again until the blog post exceeds 1,000 words. Writing repetitive sentences does not help you in the search engines. Although writing longer blog posts does help, the rules of quality content still apply. Once you get someone to visit your blog and read your blog post, you want someone to stick around long enough to read the entire blog post. That means your blog post, from start to finish, needs to be really good.
Many bloggers are quick to get discouraged by looking at their current blog posts. To go from writing 250 words every day for your blog to writing 1,000 words every day for your blog is a big transition to make. However, there is a very easy way for any blogger to write 1,000 word blog posts. One of the biggest lies in blogging is that once you publish a blog post, no more new content can be added to that blog post. In reality, all you need to do to add more content to one of your blog posts is to go to your blog’s dashboard, go to the blog post, click edit, add more content, and then update the blog post. Just because the blog post you recently published has only 500 words does not mean you can’t bring that blog post up to 1,000 words by the end of the day. Not only is this an easy way to have more blog posts that are over 1,000 words long, but this will also give you the confidence you need to write more 1,000 word blog posts in the future.
Writing 1,000 word blog posts every day is a challenging task worth accomplishing. As you get better at writing more quality content faster, you may want to bump it up to 2,000 words per blog post. Writing an extra 500 words for your blog posts every day and adding 100 extra words to your existing blog posts every day can be the difference between getting 100 daily visitors from search engines versus getting thousands of daily visitors from search engines in the long-term.
What are your thoughts on writing longer blog posts to rank higher on the search engines?
Bruce Rose says
Thanks Marc for your information. Would you recommend blogging every day?
Marc Guberti says
Blogging every day will allow you to become a better writer and provide better content for your readers.
Marc, why do you send out new posts by email in their complete form? Surely this reduces traffic to your blog site?
As I understand it, you should send out the first few paragraphs and then have people visit the site for the rest of the content?
(if you have addressed this elsewhere, please just point to the answer.)
Marc Guberti says
By providing all of the content in one email, the reading experience for a subscriber becomes easier. In the end, the subscriber is still reading your blog’s content minus the annoying redirect that in some cases takes forever.