The answer to the question “How long should a blog post be?” can vary depending on your business, and the topics that you choose to write about. A lot can depend on individual styles from author to author, or business to business.
Generally speaking, a blog post should be something that a reader can manage within one sitting. I’ve seen excellent blog posts come in anywhere between 100 words and 2,500 words. That is quite a range, so let’s unpack what each might look like.
A short post (100 – 300 words)
A quality post in this range is generally trying to get an idea out. It is concise, and recapping something of value for the audience.
This can be extremely effective if the thought or idea conveyed within the post is of high value. One word of caution on writing a post of this length is to not leave out any needed context.
If the reader gets through a post this length, and has more questions about your topic than answers, your post is probably too short.
When I worked in the journalism industry, I had an editor who used to love to tell reporters to let the story dictate the length. That’s good advice for a blog post, too. Make sure you’re including everything.
Medium length (300 – 600 words)
This is probably the most common length for a blog post. One advantage to a post this length, is that it is the minimum length requirement for Google to index the content.
Google typically doesn’t index content shorter than 300 words for its search engine rankings. So if search engine ranking is your goal (and if you’re starting out, it probably should be), your content should be at least this length.
Posts in this range have the ability to lay out an idea, and explain its merit in an understandable way. They generally take less than five minutes to read, which is a huge plus in a crowded industry or platform.
Longer posts (600-2,500 words)
Posts in this range can receive great search engine rankings, and maintain a high readership. Generally, this range is good for taking a complex idea, and unpacking it for your readers to understand.
Think about it this way, it’s going to take more words to explain the intricacies of automobile performance, than it will to explain the benefits of a certain type of bubble gum. But this isn’t anything new. Customers would have more questions about cars than gum, due to the complexity of the product and the different price ranges.
Don’t sell your readers short. They will read posts in this range, if they are well-written and valuable.
Some tips for producing long form content:
- Make sure the content is valuable to your audience (something they’ll want to know about).
- Make sure it is well-written with minimal spelling and grammar mistakes, strong verbs, and with an engaging voice.
- Use shorter paragraphs to keep people moving through your content.
- Break your content up with subheads and bulleted lists to make it less intimidating.
- Choose great photos, and consider breaking up your content with multiple images.
So, Really…How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
Sometimes it’s good to vary post length to engage all types of readers. Some might prefer the shorter, or longer posts. The answer to this question can vary widely for so many different reasons.
It’s OK to experiment with a little trial and error.
Whichever you choose for a particular blog post, make sure that you are putting the right amount of thought and effort into your content. Make your headlines enticing, and your calls to action compelling.
Ultimately, there is a readership available no matter the answer you choose for “How long should a blog post be?” The quality of the content just needs to be high. Make sure that you are giving your readers what they are looking for.