When anyone starts a new blog for the first time, the biggest question they usually have is just how long their posts ought to be. It would be lovely if that question could be answered with a simple number, but the truth is that how various blog posts perform involves many more variables than a simple word count. To help you understand how long any given blog post should be here’s some information to help you figure out which length is right for you.
Word Count Is Based On Goals
Blogging serves at least three purposes: (1) blogging promotes your site’s search rankings, (2) blogging attracts visitors, and (3) blogging helps you spread branded messages that promote your ideas and provide vital brand touch-points to a wide audience. How long should your content be? It depends on which of these three purposes you’re trying to serve.
According to Snap, long-form content performs better for SEO purposes. Naturally, content length isn’t the only variable that influences SERP performance – that is also dependant on keyword density in blog posts, load times, CTR’s, and social performance. But it’s clear from research that size does, in fact, matter.
But what about actual, human visitors? Blogging is part of your content marketing strategy, so articles should theoretically be attracting traffic from your target market and helping to convert them into leads or sales. Content length serves this purpose as well, but it’s hard to say exactly how long articles should be in order for optimal performance. Blogs should be long enough to help with organic search, but short enough that visitors aren’t bouncing. The exact number of words will depend a lot on your particular audience–are they looking for a quick answer, or a detailed tutorial? Make sure you have an effective call to action at the top and bottom of every article, and internal links sprinkled lightly throughout each article.
For spreading your message and creating brand touchpoints, you want your content as concise and as visual and as shareable as possible. Cut the fluff, pack the useful information in as tight as you can get it without making it incomprehensible, and blast it out to social media.
Regardless of your strategy, you should keep track of your blog post length with a simple tool like wordcounter.io, and keep an eye on your keyword density by running your content through Small SEO Tools’ checker or webcomf’s plugin.
Say What You Need To Say
You can’t treat your blog like you treated your assignments in high school, where you filled it up with “fluff” to meet the teacher’s required word count. Being concise is one of the most critical skills that any writer can master. When you write a blog post or an article, you want to say what you need to say, and nothing more. You can and should use anecdotes or data to make your point, even if they diverge slightly from your main argument, but you should always avoid writing things for the sake of putting more words on a page.
Listen To Your Readers
Over time, if you blog consistently, you’ll start to see comments from your readers. Listen to these comments and take them to heart. They can be invaluable in determining the types of articles you should write in the future. Furthermore, regularly check your analytics. If you see that long posts are more popular than short ones, then it might be time to take a break from the brief pieces and focus on longer articles that flesh out your subject matter.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding how long a blog post should be until you understand your audience and your strategy. Instead, follow these guidelines to create content that your reader enjoys, regardless of length.