Right, let’s get one thing straight right away — there is no RIGHT or WRONG answer to this question.
How long should a blog post be?
However damn long you want it to be.
That’s the answer. It’s YOUR blog. You make the rules.
I’m not going to spend the entirety of this blog post telling you that your blog isn’t good enough or your posts aren’t long enough. I’m just going to tell you some stuff that I’ve learned over the years. You know: those little tips n’ tricks that you can only really pick up from a few years of experience.
When I first started blogging/article writing …
… about a decade ago, every project required 500-word pieces, usually in batches of five, ten, twenty, etc. Every now and then, I’d have a request for one or more 750 or 1,000-word article, but it was 500-words more often than not — keyword-rich, no “filler” words or “fluffer” sentences.
Fast forward a few years, “micro-blogs” became fashionable. Teeny-tiny little pieces (250-300 words) that really got to the heart of the matter and released as much information as possible in a short space of time.
Again, fast forward a few more years and this turned into social media captions and posts — packing as much information as possible into as few words as possible. Images also became more and more important. In this day and age, the image is almost more important than the words.
A bit later on, longer content requests were popping up in my inbox every five minutes. An eBook here, an essay-type piece there, anything from 500 words to 20,000 words … and sometimes, even longer than that. Micro-blogging was/is still very important, of course, but people want more than just the overview of information: they want something much more in-depth than that. They want all of the information you have, and then some.
And then listicles or list-style pieces became fashionable. These are often 1,000 words long and more, split down into smaller, easier-to-digest chunks, and they’re also the most popular type of content request I get these days, alongside eBooks and PDF guides. I could talk about the pros and cons for listicle-style pieces forever, but I’ll save that for a future blog post. It’s probably going to be a long one … with very few cons!
Why all the information, Kim?
The reason I’m telling you all of this stuff is to make you aware that there’s a place for every piece of content, no matter how long or short it is. There’s no perfect answer to the “how long should a blog post be?” question, but I do have a few recommendations.
You know, just in case you’re interested.
BLOG POST LENGTH TIPS
1 – Make it 500 words or longer.
You absolutely can publish a blog post that contains fewer than 500 words, but that particular piece of content might be better suited to a different platform.
Can you make the blog post longer?
If you can, you’ve got more of a chance of it becoming popular. Compounding blog posts are typically longer and contain more information than non-compounding blog posts.
Can you make the blog post shorter?
If you can’t make it longer, maybe you can cut some stuff out of it. If there’s not quite enough content to create an information-packed blog post, transform it into a social media caption instead. Facebook has ridiculously large limits on post/caption length, and you can fit a fair bit into the Instagram caption space, too.
If you can’t quite make a ‘proper’ blog post out of it, use it for social media content. Don’t waste it.
2 – Make sure it’s easy to read.
If you’re adding more words or you’re publishing a post that contains 500 words or more, you’ll need to think about readability — whether or not it is easy to read. I’ve created a whole blog post on this, plus the SEO plugin I use to make the entire process so much easier.
You can find that here > What Is Blog Readability? (The Plugin I Use To Make My Blog Posts More Readable).
Lots of things can make your blog post more readable, whether you use the WordPress plugin or not. These include adding more white space and line breaks, using images, and also incorporating headings and subheadings.
3 – Read the post out loud.
Are all the words in that blog post absolutely necessary? I’m a talker. I can go on and on and on and … well, you get the idea.
One day, I started reading my blog posts out loud before I published them to the blog and I realised just how much I waffled on. This was definitely the case with my vape website. I’d smell a new eliquid and it would remind me of a cake that my Nan made once, and then I’d talk about another time that me and Nan were baking and blah, blah, blah.
All I’m saying is: it’s easy to go off-topic. That’s fine if the new topic is somewhat related to the old one, but if you’re just waffling on about nothing in particular, it might be worth cutting that section out.
Don’t stuff your blog post full of crap and fluff just to add more words to it. There are PLENTY of ways in which you can make your blog post longer, with more information and relevant details that’ll actually help your audience.
4 – Don’t forget to add links.
Always add links to your old blog posts. The longer the new blog post, the more of your older links you can add. I’m not saying that you should stuff the whole thing with links to every other blog post you’ve published, but scattering them about here and there will actually help your audience.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but that’s exactly what I’ve done with this blog post. I’ve included links to other blog posts that I think might be helpful, and they’re relevant to what I’m talking about.
5 – Understand your audience.
Some people like quick, flash-read, 500-word pieces. Other people prefer longer, 2,000-word posts. Which of those two brackets does YOUR audience fall into? If you don’t know, why don’t you just ask them?
Twitter and Facebook polls are great for this kind of thing, and because you’re asking a question — and for opinions — people are going to be dying to tell you what they think you should do. Internet users LOVE doing that …
(You’ve noticed, right?)
Ask them whether they prefer quick reads or longer and more information-packed pieces. Better yet, try both approaches and see which one proves more popular for you. Publish something that is 3,000 words long and promote it as you usually would, and then publish something that is 500 or 600 words long and do the same thing. Which one has the most readers? Repeat if results are inconclusive.
Do you want to know what I think?
I think you should just write blog posts.
If they end up being 2,000 words long and filled with everything you know, awesome. If they’re only short, 600-word pieces that cover everything you wanted to cover, awesome. There’s no point in spending three days working on that shorter, 600-word piece, trying to make it longer, if you’ve ticked all the boxes you wanted to tick. You could have published one, two, three more blog posts in that time.
Finally, there is nothing to stop you from coming back to that shorter blog post and adding more information to it, later down the line. You’ll then have the opportunity to re-share it like a new blog post, marking it as “updated”.
I hope you found this blog post helpful today, but I have a few others that you might like: