I have written a few blog posts discussing the length of blog posts. It is a very interesting topic with experts taking different sides. Each time I read different blog posts about blog post length, my opinions sometimes change.
The ideal blog post length could very possibly be one of the biggest enigmas the blogging world knows of.
There Are Two Blog Post Lengths
Super long and super short. The super long blog posts are thousands of words long. These blog posts typically outperform the shorter blog posts on search engines. In the eyes of many SEO experts, longer blog posts equate to more traffic.
From a content standpoint, writing longer blog posts makes it possible to use examples to strengthen your claims. If a blogger claims that Facebook advertising is a great way to get more blog traffic, then I’m sure you would want more information. You may also want a case study which shows a brand using Facebook advertising to get more blog traffic at a low price.
Shorter blog posts solve problems that longer blog posts either create or ignore. Shorter blog posts prevent information overload. Imagine reading the 5,000 word blog post versus reading the 250 word blog post. The 250 word blog post can be read much quicker.
Shorter blog posts are designed for a high retention rate. Visitors are more likely to read a 250 word blog post word for word than a 5,000 word blog post. Longer blog posts are designed for more minutes per visitor. Even if a visitor reads 20% of a 5,000 word blog post, that person spends more time on the blog post than the person who read all of the 250 word blog post.
What Should You Do?
You can either choose writing short blog posts or long blog posts. There’s no in between. What you should do depends on four things:
- What you are trying to accomplish? Do you want more blog traffic from the search engines? Do you want to construct your blog like a restaurant (when people come, they stay longer) or a fast food restaurant (people come more frequently but don’t stay as long)? There is nothing wrong with constructing your blog like a restaurant or constructing your blog like a fast food restaurant. And unlike the case with traditional restaurants VS McDonald’s, it is possible for both types of blogs to provide value.
- What stage of the writing journey are you in? Writing a 250 word blog post is less time consuming than writing a 1,000 word blog post. If you are a new blogger, writing the shorter blog posts every day will allow you to build a strong commitment towards blogging. If you have been blogging for a few years, then you most likely have enough commitment to write 1,000 word blog posts.
- What is your writing style? If you find it too tedious to write 1,000 word blog posts, then that’s not your writing style. At the same time, if you believe 250 words isn’t enough to convey your message, then go for the longer blog posts. In the end, blog visitors will only stick around if your blog posts are valuable.
- How much time do you have? If you are a blogger who can only find 15 minutes per day to write blog posts, then shorter blog posts would be your cup of tea. If you are a blogger who can commit an hour per day to writing blog posts, then you have enough time to write 1,000+ word blog posts. At that point, it’s a question of whether you would want to write blog posts of that length or not.
The One Thing All Bloggers Need To Do
Regardless of which writing style you choose, there is one thing that you must do. You must make your blog posts easy for your readers to properly digest. That means smaller walls of text, shorter sentences, and tiny paragraphs.
Imagine how different this blog post would be if it were one massive paragraph. If it were, I bet you wouldn’t have reached this point.
When I write my blog posts, I make sure no paragraph is more than five lines long. Most of my paragraphs stop at the 2-3 lines range. If I make them longer, it becomes more difficult for people to read them on their computer screens.
That’s one of the reasons I create small breaks of text like this.
But the way you organize the text of the blog post is just one part of making a blog post more easily digestible.
The second method is just as valuable, and it is something I often forget to do. You must include relevant pictures throughout your blog posts that strengthen the meaning of your content. I don’t always do that on my blog. Some bloggers go as far as adding 10 different pictures per blog post. You can see how I used pictures to strengthen my content in a blog post that got published on Jeff Bullas’ Blog.
The pictures provide value and illustrate my points more effectively. My brother refers to these types of pictures as food for the eyes.
Not only are pictures food for the eyes, but they are also food for the brain. Pictures (especially infographics) have received more attention over the years because of staggering facts such as the human mind being able to comprehend an image 60,000 times faster than text. We like to see pictures, so give us food for the eyes (and brain) whenever you can.
The length of your blog posts depends on your writing style and ability to provide value. The ultimate goal of every blog post is to provide value. Some bloggers achieve this goal with 250 words while other bloggers achieve this goal with 5,000 words.
Some blog posts provide more value than others, but word count isn’t the only factor that determines the amount of value that gets provided.
This topic on the ideal blog post length will rage on for many decades to come. Some data will suggest writing 2,000 word blog posts while other data may suggest shortening your blog posts.
In the end, if you can enjoy blogging while providing value, you’ve hit the right blog post length. What is your ideal blog post length? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have any tips for writing better blog posts? Sound off in the comments section below.