Most seem to concur that a good post answers a question or completes a thought or opinion with supporting information and is as long as it needs to be. Knowing that answer may not be helpful to those of you who want an exact count, I kept reading.
Corey Eridon from Hubspot, John Rampton on Forbes, and Neil Patel (Quicksprout) all wrote about this. Corey wrote that 100 or 2,000 words – whatever it takes – are all good. John Rampton mentioned that John McTigue of Kuno Creative likes to create an outline before he writes a post to make sure that his content doesn’t stray from his main point.
Neil Patel has an interesting data driven answer (he’s a founder of KISSmetrics, natch) with supporting statistics that indicates more is more. He includes many charts and concludes that “longer posts are usually better,” “have more keyword and phrase variety” and “more link backs” to the post.
I also found a very interesting post in Fast Company that said readers on average spend seven minutes on a blog post, which amounts to 1,600 words. This post includes information on the ideal length for other social media, including Tweets, Google+ updates, Facebook and more, so it’s well-worth reading.
A few of the blog posts about this made mention of Seth Godin’s exemplary short blog posts. I think that the blog post length has to do with the subject and the author. If you’re writing about how-to’s or solving problems for people, you may go longer, providing lists and citing resources. If you’re a known thought leader like Seth Godin, you can get away with a few words that express your opinion about your industry or profession.
I think the biggest dangers in longer blog posts are 1.) rambling, and 2.) not giving the reader subheaders, bullet points and graphics to make the post more easily scan-able. The biggest danger in a short post is not providing enough substance for the reader. To me a “fluffy,” non-substantive post is very disappointing. Since my posts tend to go long, I make sure I don’t stray from my main point too much. I don’t outline my posts in advance, but I do go back through a post before publishing and, if necessary, remove entire sections that stray from my main point, saving them for another topic in the future.
So, bloggers, it’s up to you. What’s your style? What will serve your purpose? I hope you find this post helpful, and if you have other stats to share on blog post length please do!
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