Every few months we get some new advice from a blogging guru saying that our blog posts need to be longer, or shorter, or that they should be broken up into 10 pages of bite-sized chunks… it can make you crazy. Let’s talk about this. How long should your blog posts really be?
It would be great if there was a magic number that guaranteed the best results, wouldn’t it? But that’s like asking someone to tell you how long your conversations with other people should be. Sometimes it’s nothing more than a few words or sentences; sometimes you have a nice long talk. It all depends on how much you have to say to each other, doesn’t it?
The same approach works well with your blog posts. Sometimes you’re sharing just a quick tip or a recipe for example. In that case, something around 200 to 300 words will do just fine. Add a pretty picture and call it good.
Other times you want to go into a little more depth. You want to cover different aspects of a topic, share some examples and give your readers as much information as you can. In those cases make it as long as you need to make it. Long posts are great. They help establish your authority and if the content is great, they are often shared on social media. Plus long posts give the search engines a lot of text to sift through and give you more chances to rank for long-tail keywords.
The best advice is to mix longer and shorter blog posts. It will make your blog seem more natural and organic. Don’t force yourself to reach a certain magic word count if you don’t have that much to say on a topic. Keep it short and to the point. Your readers will thank you.
If, on the other hand, you have a lot to share in a different post, go for it. Break the longer content up into small paragraphs and help your readers stay on track with subheadings and bullet points. Make it easy to scan longer posts so your readers can get an idea of what the content is about before they commit to reading it all.
And if you’re finding yourself writing a few thousand words, consider breaking it up into a series of blog posts instead. It will help both you and your readers from getting overwhelmed with one long post. Link from one part of the series to the next to make it easy for your blog readers to follow along.
Above all, enjoy the process of writing and pay attention to what your readers prefer. If your short posts tend to do better, consider keeping your posts short and to the point. If you’re getting a lot more engagement and social media shares on longer posts, combine a few of the shorter blog post ideas into a longer one. And whatever you do, don’t get hung up on a number of words.
How long are your blog posts?
(And if you are counting, this post is 515 words all total!)