how long should a blog post be

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It's something every blogger asks themselves at one point or another isn't it? How long should a blog post be - what is the perfect post length to achieve more traffic, more engagement and those elusive top rankings in search?

In the words of my wise Mum, how long is a piece of string?  You see, there really isn't a perfect length.  It all depends what you're writing about, what you want to achieve with your post and how valuable your content is.

Not sure what I mean? Read on... 

Blog Post Length: The Statistics

Here's what happens when your blog posts hit the following word counts:

200 Words: If your posts are 200 words or under, Google will class them as 'thin content' and is more likely to look at them critically.  That means poor search results - boo! 🙁

300 Words: This is considered the very minimum length your blog posts should be in order to stay safe from Google's critical eye! If you use Yoast's awesome SEO plugin (and if you're not, you should!) then this is where you'll get your green light for word count.

2500 Words: You've now hit the average length of the majority of blog posts which reach the top ten in search rankings.  Yep, it's the big hitters like these which tend to perform best when it comes to getting organic search traffic.

So all my blog posts should be 2500 words??

If you go by the above statistics alone, the answer is simple.  How long should a blog post be? Around 2500 words of course!

'But wait!' I hear you cry...

'That's SUPER long! I'm not sure I have that much to say!'

'I'm not sure my readers can be bothered to read something that long...'

'I post DAILY! There's no WAY I can write that much each day!'

Ok, before you run off to quit your blog for good - I actually wouldn't recommend writing 2500 word blog posts every time.

Why?

Because everything you just said is true.

You may not always have that much to say, you may not always have that much time and your readers may not always want to read that much!

Gah! So how long should a blog post be?!

how long should a blog post be?

The real answer is, it depends... When planning your posts, consider these things to help you work out the perfect length.

Why are you writing the post?

The fact is, the end result that you're aiming for may well determine how much you write.  Are you:

Teaching your readers something?

These 'how to' posts tend to be the ones which perform well in search - because most people are searching Google for practical advice on a particular topic.  In this case, longer posts do better because they contain more information and so more value for the reader. Google wants to show users the content which best answers their question.

Making a point or raising awareness on a particular issue?

If your post is more along the lines of 'I think xyz and this is why...' then you may find that you get your traffic more through sharing on relevant platforms such as forums and social media.  In that instance, the question of how long a blog post should be is now less about search rankings and more about making your point in as impactful a way as possible.

Trying to start a discussion?

Perhaps your purpose is more to create engagement and to encourage conversation on your blog?  If that's the case, then you may want to experiment with shorter blog posts that take less time to read but which inspire and invite opinions and comments. In effect, your post itself just acts as a catalyst and the bulk of the content will take place in the comment section.

Just blogging for fun?

If you started your blog because it's a great hobby and you love to write about trains or garden gnomes or whatever it is that lights you up, then stop stressing about post length! It really doesn't matter and shouldn't dampen your enjoyment or passion for blogging!  Do your thang and that's all that matters. 😉 

Umm, I'm still not sure how long my blog posts should be...

If you're still feeling foggy on the subject of blog post length then try these little tricks to help you get a whole lot clearer....

Experiment with post length

Ultimately, every blog  will be different. There are always exceptions to rules!  So experiment with your own posts and see what feels right for you.  Seth Godin has a fantastically successful blog and generally writes under 200 words per post! Go figure...

Ask your readers how long they want your posts to be

I think I probably give this advice in just about every post I write...  If you're not sure what is going to resonate well with your readers, then ask them!  Do it now! Go write a post on whatever social media channel you love the most - 'Do you like it when I write longer posts or do you prefer to read something short?'....

Check out the posts which are currently in the top ten rankings

If doing well in search is important to you (and if you're blogging as part of a business it SHOULD be!) then go check out the other posts on the same topic that are already doing well.  How long are they?  Could you do better?

On writing long blog posts...

So, you've decided to go for length and aim for those top search rankings have you?  Nice.

Before you get writing, here are a few top tips if you will, on how to write long posts and keep your readers attention...

Give your readers practical advice (9 times out of 10, that's what they're searching for)

Avoid fluff.  The second you start to ramble (especially if it's for the sake of increasing word count) you'll lose your readers - along with your chance of ranking

Break up your content use a range of paragraph and sentence lengths to add interest.  Use images or info-graphics to spice up the look of your page.

Don't forget a great headline! You don't want to put all that hard work in to writing a 2500+ blog post and then no one clicks because your headline is snooooozerific!

Size isn't everything... Go quality over quantity every time and you won't go far wrong. Don't have the time or inclination to write a long post this week? Go for something shorter and snappier.  Variety is the spice of life after all!

Final Thoughts

You know what?  Just don't stress about the length of  your blog posts. 

Focus on writing about what your readers are searching for.

Focus on creating posts that are value-filled and fluff-less

Focus on making your posts as engaging and enticing as you can 

If you do all that, your posts will be the exact length they need to be.

FREE Blog Post Checklist!

Oh - and if you need a helping hand to write a blog post that rocks your readers' worlds then you should definitely grab your free Blog Post Checklist!  Simple steps to the perfect post every time! 😉

Get your FREE Brilliant Blog Post Checklist here!

PS - This post is around 2500 words.  I didn't plan it that way.  I haven't used 'filler' to get me there.  I just wrote as much as I could to help people who are searching for an answer to the question 'how long should a blog post be?'.  

How did you find it?

Colette Broomhead

Helping you to leave your 9-5 behind for good and create a business and life you love.