Do you find yourself wondering “how long should a blog post be?” If so, don’t worry because we have all the answers you need right here.
Blogging is not a new sensation. In fact, it’s one of the earliest forms of social media still around today. As it stands, it’s one of the most effective and widely used strategies within business and is still at an all-time high. Blogging is the perfect avenue to share content with users, clients, customers, friends or whoever it might be. However, starting a blog can be quite a daunting task. Firstly, how often should you post on a blog? And secondly, how long should a blog post be?
These are all things that need to be considered when creating content to share via a blog. But establishing the length of each post can set the framework for your blog to make the whole process easier. In a bid to answer the question, “how long should a blog post be?” We’ve highlighted some general tips to help maximise your organic performance when it comes to blog posts.
You Guessed It…
That’s right, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the length of a blog post. No magic number to aim for that will work for every objective and every user. The key is to take into account your industry, your blog topic, your goal and your target audience to establish the right word count for your post.
But don’t worry, we can still help with a few measured recommendations.
According to a survey of over a million articles by BuzzSumo and Moz, 85% of published blog content had less than 1,000 words. However, it also discovered that those with over 1,000 words were shared and linked more than short-form content. A different survey by SearchMetrics, found that the top-ranked Google content had an average of 1,140 to 1,285 words.
So, if we listen to the numbers, while there is no ‘official’ word count, it is definitely beneficial to create longer-form content in order to generate more organic traffic. In fact, longer posts attract nine times more leads than their shorter counterparts. Not to mention, achieve a higher Google ranking in the search results.
To better understand the ideal length for your specific industry you can conduct research to find the average blog length for your target keywords. From there, you should aim to exceed that word count. For example, if you discover that the average word count for your keyword is 1200, then you should exceed the 1200 mark.
Here are a few ranges of average word counts for popular sectors:
- Cars – 2,100-2,300 words
- Recipes – 1,600-1,700 words
- Destinations – 1,000 words
- Financial planning – 2,500-2,600 words
- Weight loss – 2,200-2,300 words
- Furniture – 1,100-1,200 words
In addition, it’s a good idea to mix it up with short and long form content where you can. As this ensures you appeal to a wider range of readers.
Quality Not Quantity
That being said, if the content is not valuable or entertaining then it shouldn’t be written. While extended pieces have the added bonus of lending credibility and authority to your voice, that is only true if you are offering quality content. SEO is not just about the numbers, Google is smart and can pick out the good from the bad.
Furthermore, the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit. Therefore, it’s not wise to pack the content with filler words. Just as with any media, you have to grab the reader’s attention in order to keep them on the page.
Short-Form Has Its Place
That’s not to say that short-form content can’t be effective. In fact, quite the opposite. There are many times when less is more.
For example, links, lists and videos to name but a few. The most important thing is to prioritise quality content that is valuable to the reader. Empty words have no place.
Check Before You Post
One of the quickest ways to lose readers and credibility is to publish your post without checking it first. In all forms of writing, it is always necessary to read back through your content to check for any typos, grammatical or spelling errors as these are detrimental to your credibility. When reading your content back, you may also find better ways to structure it in order to strengthen your argument or improve the flow. It’s also important to check links and any facts.
You can always make use of online tools such as Grammarly to give you a helping hand.
Readability and Design
Whether your blog post is 500 words or 2000 words, it is essential to remember the importance of readability.
- Bitesize Paragraphs: If you think about the content you have enjoyed reading, you will realise that it probably wasn’t one large chunk of text. From a reader’s perspective, it’s far easier to remain focused if the content is delivered in digestible paragraphs.
- Use Bullet Points: By using bullet points, shorter paragraphs, and standalone sentences, you create enough white space to reduce the overwhelming impact of heavy text. Just like we are now.
A single-line transition can be very effective for readability!
Font and Text
It will come as no surprise when we say that it’s important to ensure the font you choose is simple and readable. A safe option is Sans serif fonts due to their modern look and the ease with which most people can read them. Although you might be tempted to use multiple fonts, we recommend that you restrict your use of fonts to a maximum of two.
However, where possible, a single font is best.
Instead of using multiple fonts, a great option is to make use of bold, italics, or underlining, should you feel that particular content needs some emphasis, though, these should be used sparingly. Another option is to adjust the font size. However, remember not to make it too small as some readers may struggle to read it.
Sticking to a style guide for each of your posts can make them uniform and easier to digest for the reader, helping them to distinguish between titles, headings, and content.
Organisation and Spacing
Just as chapters break up long text in books, breaking down your blog with section headings and paragraphs can help make reading more effortless, as well as help those looking for something specific, find it more easily. While longer posts offer thorough information, you also want them to appear inviting to the reader.
Additionally, it’s important to keep paragraphs to a maximum of five to six lines before starting a new one. People are busy, therefore it’s easy to lose focus, the more challenging your post is to follow, the more likely you are to lose the reader. Furthermore, bullet points, quotes, lists and images are all helpful strategies to prevent endless blocks of text. As it happens, list-style articles are the most consistent performers in terms of most shared.
Including examples in your text is also a great way for readers to remember your content, subsequently making them more likely to share it over other posts.
Images and Video
One of the best ways to break up content is with images or video. This has two benefits; one being that it makes it more digestible to the reader, two being that Google algorithms like multimedia content. Therefore, your organic performance is likely to be higher. However, as with everything, use them logically and don’t over do it. Depending on the length of your post, an average of three is a good number.
For many people, the purpose of a blog is to encourage engagement, raise brand awareness and to be seen as an authority within your industry. But, in addition to having appealing and engaging content, you will be rewarded by the interaction from your readers. An open dialogue is more likely to garner comments and shares than a post that talks only at you.
That’s why it is so important to respond to all comments. By responding to people in the comment section or answering questions in your next post you’re building a tested relationship with your readers. As a result, they will come back to read more of your content, especially if you’re consistent with publishing. This gives you a dependable number of repeat visitors that will help grow your audience base and potential reach.
Go Out With A Bang
Despite not being a formal piece of writing, it’s still a good idea for your blog to have a conclusion. This gives you the opportunity to round everything up in a neat little bow for your reader, making your content more memorable. In short, reiterate key takeaways and make sure you have answered any questions the reader might have had when clicking on your blog post in the first place.
So when asking yourself “how long should a blog post be?” Remember the following:
- Research your keyword and the average blog post length on this topic.
- Make sure your content is valuable to the reader.
- Keep to a simple style guide for easy, digestible and consistent content.
- Use an engaging, relatable voice.