When it comes to blogging, one of the main questions asked is,“How long should my blog post be?”
This seems like a million dollar question because it involves blog traffic, blog readership and most importantly, search engine rankings.
Anyone who is blogging either already has an audience and therefore is seeking newer audiences, or has no audience and wants to start getting an audience.
And audience is traffic and that traffic is visitors to your blogs who might do one of three things. And that is
a) Stops by your blog site,takes a brief look at your posts and then moves on,
b) Stops by, takes a look,clicks on one or two blog post links and then moves on
c) Stops by, reads your posts, makes a comment and perhaps shares your post and eventually follows you.
The above three 3 points goes to show how visitor interest in your blog posts and the engagement levels differ.
And as you can see, visitor interest and engagement is low on the first 2 points while it is high in point 3.
Your blog posts has as its one objective,to guarantee reader satisfaction. What causes interest and engagement is when the contents gives an orderly and precise indication about the needs
that are going to be met through the blog post that also offers stimulating solutions to delight the reader.
And to do that it must be able to allow the reader to easily follow it every step of the way.
But while reader satisfaction is the norm, there is also the need to understand if in working towards
reader satisfaction,you should be writing lengthy blog posts or limit yourself to writing shorter ones.
So should you be writing lengthy blog posts or shorter ones ?
It would be easy to say that writing lengthy blog posts are better than shorter blog posts, or that writing shorter ones work better. Each can be used to achieve what the blogger wants them to achieve.
And as with anything else in life, there are those who prefer shorter posts over longer posts. While there are those who prefer longer articles over shorter ones.
It doesn’t matter which one as a blogger you choose to adopt in your blogging.
You want to make an impact with your blog post so as to make your audience take the kind of action that you want them to take.
But for them to take that action means you giving them enough information to work with. And here is where you decide the length of the blog post you wish to write.
So how do you decide?
If you were to decide the length of your next blog post, how would you do it? What would you take into consideration in deciding whether to write a lengthy post or a short post?
Here are a jus two considerations that you might want to use. And they are,
1) Search Engine Visibility and ranking
Higher rankings and visibility in search engines are necessary for your blog because you want your content to rank well and be among the top ranking blogs for your chosen topic. According to this Yoast article, you need
“at least 300 words in order to rank well in search engines.”
This is a blog post that tries to offer tips on how to make lengthy(1,000+ word long)blog posts readable and engaging from start to finish.
Comparing long and short articles, it says that while both rank well in search engines, lengthy posts have higher chances of ranking much better.
This is because as the article says,
“Google has more clues to determine what your text is about.”
Or to put it in a better way like this Forbe’s article does,
“Googlebot, Google’s web crawler, looks at every piece of content on a page…so with a post that has like 1,500 words you have more flexibility with keywords, meaning that you’re not limited to one or two specific keywords…but can include
a lot more keywords that may not be specific, but are still relevant to your theme”.
This last point goes to show that perhaps Google loves lengthy blog posts because it has more information to work with.
2) Getting Directly To The Point
So you don’t want to waste too much time with details but want to get your words across quickly. In the same Forbe’s article, a distinction is made between the two types of blog posts.
And it points out that,
“shorter blog posts of about 200 words are acceptable and necessary only if your blog has been created to sell products or services.This is effective because you’re getting directly to the point with your call to action (CTA).”
Getting directly to the point quickly with your message is necessary because as the article points out,
“People have the tendency to have short attention spans and you don’t want them to forget the real reason why you brought them to your blog.”
In The Captivating Power Of Amazing Short Blog Posts the advantages of short blogs are given as being,
- Good short posts get to the point faster
- Short pieces are easier to consume – this is blogging, not scientific research
- Short pieces (with value!) often work better on social media
- Do you need to blog more often? Short posts take less time.
But an article on thewritepractice.com website dispels the myth surrounding short blog posts. In How Long Should Your Blog Post Be? A Writer’s Guide it makes this affirmation,
“Many “expert” bloggers perpetuate the myth that “shorter is better,” that blog posts should never be more than 600 words long…the only way you can get more readers, they say, is to write posts that are short and sweet. Don’t listen to them.”
The author of the blog post,who is also founder and editor-in-chief of the Write Practice, says he has tried and tested many lengths and found out the usefulness of each of them.
And his conclusion is that each length has its advantages when used in the right context. He then goes on to list the 3 fundamental lengths a blog post should have and the context in which it can be used.
1) More engagements and comments
Are you aiming to get more comments and engagements with your
audience? Then as the author suggests, try to write a short post consisting of about 200-300 words that is discussion-based.
2) Social Media Shares
Do you aim to see your post getting shared a lot on social media? The author suggests you make your post 600-1,250 word in length.
3) Getting visibility on search engines
If you aim for visibility and good ranking on the search engines then according to the author, you need to write an authoritative blog post consisting of about 2,500 words in length.
As a blogger your reason for creating content is to talk about a pain point and to offer helpful solutions that satisfies an audience and brings in lots of traffic to your blog.
And because what you need for your post is to have lots of comments and engagments, lots of social media shares and followers,and most of all, high search engine visibility,
knowing the content length of your blog post then becomes important because your article must contain all the key information you want to share with your readers.
And that would mean deciding how much information will be enough for a particular blog post.
It also means deciding how many words will get all that information into making the blog post deliver your message and get your audience to take action.
So what would drive you into deciding to write lengthy articles or short blog posts?
In trying to decide between writing a short blog post and a long one, your decision and ONLY your decision counts. It is your decision and only your decision that will drive you into deciding which one to use.
But from the above consideration it is clear that,
shorter blog posts can be used to convey your messages quickly due to people’s short attention spans. While lengthy blog posts are good for search engine rankings and visibility.
So if you think you can make an impact with your article using about 200-600 words, then a short blog post is all you need for that purpose.
But if in trying to inform your audience you want to give them in depths details, then the length of your blog post will need to be long.
Whatever advantages one might have over the other, what matters is how you convey your message to your audience. If the message is not crafted well to meet your desired intentions,
then no matter the length of the blog post-be it short or long, it will never make the kind of impact that you want it to make. And that is to give your readers quality information that will be of value to them.
So which do you prefer and which do you use regularly? Comment