Blog Post Length – How Long Should I Make My Blog Post?

Blog Post Length

Blog post length is something that many bloggers think about and is one question that I get asked a lot online.  So exactly how long should a blog post be?  Well this is what I’ll be discussing in this post.

Short Blog Posts vs Long Blog Posts

If you read online about this subject you will see that there are generally two viewpoints as to which is the best approach – short blog posts or long blog posts.

Of course another BIG factor is the subject matter that you are writing about.  Certain content (i.e. tutorials) will naturally be longer as you would need to explain in greater detail, whereas other content (i.e. news) may only need to be brief.

Now, both long and short posts have their advantages and disadvantages, so a lot depends on you yourself as a writer.

Short Blog Posts

Advantages

Short blog posts are obviously much quicker to write.  This is a major benefit if you have a site that needs to publish lots of content, perhaps daily or even multiple times a day.  In comparison, it is much harder to write out a really long blog post (i.e. 1000+ words) on a daily basis, as that can take its toll on the writer.

Short blog posts can encourage visitors to read the entire post.  People don’t have long attention spans online, so short, quick to read posts are a great way to get the information that they want.  This is particularly noticeable on news or magazine based websites as they publish a lot (not all) of bite sized content for their readers.

Disadvantages

Short blog posts don’t tend to include a lot of information.  Whilst they may be good for news related items, anything else really requires more info for readers.  You couldn’t hope to explain the inner workings of a subject in 300 words or less.  If anything, trying to do that would just end up frustrating your readers and encouraging them to go elsewhere to find what they were looking for.

Short blog posts can be harder to rank in the search engines.  Now I’m not saying that they can’t because plenty of short posts can rank well, but I do believe it is harder for them to do so.  This is because of the way SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works.  For search engines to determine what your content is about, they look at different aspects of it.  These are referred to as on-page SEO techniques, so obviously the sorter your post is, the less of these you can include to help you rank.

Long Blog Posts

The advantages and disadvantages of long blog posts are basically just the reverse of short posts, so to make it easier I’ll just list these as bullet points.

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Long blog posts take much longer to write,
  • People won’t generally read the whole post, instead preferring to scan through it for the information that they are after.

So Which Is Better – Short Blog Posts or Long Blog Posts?

A lot will depend on the subject that you are writing about, but if I had to choose I would lean towards longer posts.  This is simply for the fact that they are easier (not guaranteed) to rank in the search engines.  That is something that you should really focus on doing as search engines can send you a lot of traffic if you can rank well.

Essentially though, there is no “better” type.  As we have discussed, both have their pros and cons.  If anything, people should try to stop thinking about blog post length all together and just focus on producing the best quality content that they can.  Try mixing it up a bit on your site and produce both long and short posts – long posts to help rank well and explain topics on greater detail and shorter ones to keep your readers interested and up-to-date on news in your industry.

What is your opinion on blog post length?  Do you prefer to write/read short blog posts or long blog posts?  We want to hear your opinions, so please let us know via the comment section below.

6 thoughts on “Blog Post Length – How Long Should I Make My Blog Post?

  1. Interesting post bizzebee. I probably prefer to read longer posts as long as they are worth reading. I would agree that shorter posts can generally be quite vague.

    Nice tip about mixing it up though and publishing both types.

    1. Hi Jemma,

      Yeah, I much prefer to read longer posts than shorter ones. I think they are much more suited to blogging as there is often a lot of information to digest.

      It can be worth mixing it up and posting both types, but if I’m honest, you should just forget about word count altogether and just write your posts as long as they “need” to be. That is probably the best approach to take.

  2. Hi Matt,

    I think it’s important to get the balance right, whilst overall I am a fan of the longer posts, because I think they deliver more value. But if a post doesn’t need to be long, then theres’ no need to pad it out.

    I think if people are serious about their online presence then they need to ensure that they are writing at least 3 decent sized posts that deliver quality content per month. To rank well you need posts people want to read and share, whilst some viral nova type sites will rank well with posts that are video or snippets, I think for the most part your whole ethos needs to be value.

    Clair

    1. Value is KEY! That’s why I’m of the opinion that word count shouldn’t really matter any more. If the post is of “value” and of a high enough “quality”, then that is all that really matters.

      Quality longer posts are much easier to produce than quality short posts, as you can include a lot more useful information. A lot depends on the niche though.

      I’d actually disagree with you on the “…3 decent posts…per month” as I feel people should really aim for at least (at the bare minimum) 1 a week. Not only is it easier to get into the habit of writing 1 a week, but search engines actually monitor how active a site is. If you can show that you are publishing regular content (ideally several times a week) then they will view that site as being an authority site – which can lead to better rankings.

  3. This is a hot topic on GooglePlus right now, @Matt. Great post, bud.

    There are three underlying trends:
    a piece of content will take as many words as it takes
    »» everyone agrees (Mark Traphagen, Ronnie Bincer, David Amerland – the list is endless)

    are you too lazy to write short? (Brian Clark, CopyBlogger)
    »» brevity, while retaining full message, is the key to engagement (and subscribers)

    Featured articles are featuring in their own rite in SERPs
    »» Schema mark-up and 2,000+ words (QuickSprout) minimum requirement

    The way it’s going, from observations we’ve made, is that shorter blog posts are actually being posted on GooglePlus (pages or personal). The longer, featured articles are finding their way onto websites and blogs.

    Certainly, if you’re posting a very short article and it’s crammed with keywords and/or links, Google is at best going to pass over it, at worst, lay the smack down on your website.

    The minimum wordcount update for our clients’ blogs and sites we’re producing is 700 words.

    That’s not to fulfil some minimum requirement. That’s because we’re of the opinion that if it doesn’t take 700 words to describe, will it be unique, add value and, above all, be worth writing about in the first place?

    Besides actually producing content fit for your audience, on-page formatting (readability), NLP (natural linguistic programming) and interpreting content into a meaningful, coherent topic (to encourage social signals and increased authority) are more important than the number of words.

    Now, if only we can get the millions of webmasters who still specify numbers of words when hiring copywriters to understand that, we’re half way there.

    1. That’s interesting. Hadn’t really thought of publishing shorter posts on Google+, but I can see why that may be a good platform to do so.

      As for minimum word count, I do the same with my other site (OnlineIncomeTeacher.com). I only allow guest posts that are at the minimum 700 words long – even then however, some are just not up to scratch.

      Quality is what is really important. Just wish the countless submissions that I have to turn down everyday would get that too.

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