The Question Of Length
How long should a blog post be? This is a common question most new bloggers worry and struggle with.
As most old stalwarts in the world of blogging just write till they get what they need to say out, all the while trying to make the content sound as interesting as possible. While the noob (a term of endearment for a rookie) struggles and constantly considers the length of his/her blog post.
This is also called word count. As most WordPress and other website creation tools generate a running total, the amount of words per blog post.
Why do people worry about this so much?
People often worry about this because they want traffic, and they want it now. Especially, new bloggers. They expect instant rewards for writing a blog post. This rarely happens for them, as they constantly check out their rankings. It’s so important in this stage, to just keep writing and moving forward.
Who doesn’t love traffic? The more traffic the better, right? Some people call this Google juice or Google love. As the higher your position in ranking, the more “Google love” you receive. Traffic equates to potentially more income for our labors. So, it is no surprise that the new blogger often worries about the length of his posts–sometimes devoting countless hours to this. The length of a post is an important factor to consider though.
I have an answer to the question of length, and my answer might surprise you…wait for it….
A blog post can be any length. There is no perfect length. Some situations call for a short article while others favor an in-depth explanation.
Are you suprised? A blog post length can be any size, as there is no one-size-fits all that applies to every post. Some topics may only need 500 words while others are a whopping 3000 words or even more. It just depends on the niche, audience, style, and subject. You don’t have to hit a mythical word count to be guaranteed a first page position in a search engine result. It doesn’t work like that. There are other determining factors.
General Guidelines For Length
Although, as mentioned above, a blog post can be any length, there are some general guidelines to increase your chances of being ranked well.
- 300 words at a minimum to get some search engine love.
- A longer post will easily rank better than shorter posts. This is because the search engines can determine with its algorithm exactly what your post is about.
What are some of the other factors?
- Frequency – How often you post to your site affects traffic. Some people post only once a week while others write once a day. I personally like to generate at least two a week. Generally, the more in depth, the longer the post.
- Format – Most people will not thoroughly read every word you write; most will quickly skim through, searching for keywords and phrases. Keep this in mind! This is where using short paragraphs, subheadings, and images are crucial. You are trying to make reading your article as easy as possible for your guest, allowing them to quickly find what they are looking for but also providing useful content.
- Medium – This is other information that is not written language. For example: video, infographic, or a meme. You can include any of these, and the length of the written word can become less vital.
If you can effectively get your point across in 300 words and your visitors find your information useful, then the length is most likely the right size.
Sometimes a topic just doesn’t have that much that can be written about it, and you would be hard pressed to write 2000 words. I am no expert on writing, but I have some experience under my belt. A 2000-word blog post is starting to hit the outer reaches of my capability.
Another key point to remember after making a blog post–if you find it’s not getting ranked or it doesn’t get any traffic, and you stress and stress about it and constantly check Google Webmaster Tools to see how well your page ranked…
IS TO GET OVER IT!!! My best advice is to quickly move on and keep writing more content. Some of your posts will rank and others will not; this is just the way it works. Just try to make the best posting you can, and let the chips fall where they may. Just keep focusing on quality writing and providing useable content instead of page rankings.
If you just can’t write another single word on a particular post but want it to be longer, for now, just publish it as is. Then, revisit that post in a couple of days, or a week or two. Then reread it, and I am pretty sure you will be able to add some significant material. As you reread it, if something pops out at you that needs to be said, immediately write what you’re thinking. Edit it later, but just get the thoughts down.
Save the editing until later and just write. Stay within the flow. It is really important to follow the ideas that pop into your head and see where they lead to. You will get better at this with time too. Once you are happy with the length of your article, go back and do the editing.
In order to stay within the writing flow, distraction needs to be limited. Turn off your phone, avoid watching videos (this is my major weakness), and browsing the web. The more focused you are, the better your writing will become.
Do your best! That is all you can do anyway. We are all not writers, and some of us really struggle with writing.
Take a look at my page, How To Write Compelling Blog Post. This might help you find new avenues to increase your word count as well. For example, adding some conversational writing or a personal story, will really enhance the content.
Avoid keyword stuffing; it is unnecessary and will, in fact, hurt your rankings. Most search engines are smart enough and can easily recognize this.
The best advice I have about writing…is to keep writing…daily. The more you do it, the better you become. However, be mindful of the need to improve your craft as well, either by looking into a writing class or finding a good website that would help you with this.
I’ve been at this for roughly a year and a half, and I’ve learned a ton of information and greatly improved my writing skills. If you wish to learn proper SEO techniques, as I did, I highly suggest you join Wealthy Affiliate. You can read my full review here, Wealthy Affiliate Review. It’s what I use for learning about building websites and proper SEO techniques.
If You Have The Will…
Writing isn’t easy. It takes work, practice, and a desire to improve. But all of these things will help contribute to writing great content, which in turn helps achieve the optimal length of a blog post.
I hope this has helped you to increase your knowledge about how long a blog post should be.
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