Performancing Metrics

How Long Should My Blog Posts Be?

How long should my blog posts be?  I’m asked this question all the time, and I always give the same answer.  It’s up to you.

I’m not trying to be vague with that answer, but your blog is your little place on the web and the honest answer to this question is that it’s entirely up to you to decide what you want to publish on it.  However, if you want your blog to grow and have a chance at being well-trafficked and popular, then there are some general guidelines that you should keep in mind as you write your blog posts.

First, blog posts are typically written in a more conversational, casual tone than articles, newsletters, websites, and so on.  Just as you wouldn’t want to drone on and on during a verbal conversation, you don’t want to bore your readers with what many bloggers refer to as bloggorhea (i.e., the blogging version of verbal vomit).

Second, people who consume content online usually prefer to digest small snippets of content that they can read and respond to quickly.  Save the lengthy paragraphs and pages and pages of the written word for a white paper or research report.  Keep your blog posts short and sweet.

Third, too much scrolling is never a good thing online, and that applies to the length of your blog posts, too.

So how long should your blog posts be?

Again, it’s up to you and depends on your goals for your blog.  If you want your blog to have a chance of attracting and retaining a sizable audience, then keep your blog posts succinct.  Lengthy posts can be broken into a series or edited to a blog-friendly word count.

While there is no magic number for blog post word counts, I’d recommend keeping your posts under 600 words.  In fact, if you can keep them under 500 words, that’s even better!  It’s important to write at least 250 words or so for search engine optimization purposes, so don’t write posts that are excessively short.  However, if your post is over 800 words, shorten it or break it up into multiple posts.

For example, this post is just over 400 words, but I’ve made my point.  There is no need to bore you with more details.

Bottom-line, don’t try to communicate too many ideas in a single blog post if doing so makes your post lengthy.  A focused blog (like a focused brand) is a stronger blog.  The same theory holds true for blog posts.  Focus is better than trying to be all things or do all things for all readers.

What do you think?  How many words are too many for a blog post?

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Comments

  1. Alamin ) says: 8/12/2010

    Hi, thanks nice post. Actually i don’t care whether my post long or short. I just try to complete my idea completely. If it takes only 100 words it’s ok. If it takes 2000 words then it’s ok too. I just ensure that i won’t waste my readers time by using unnecessary words

    Reply

  2. Shevonne ) says: 8/12/2010

    It really depends on the topic and the blogger. The only thing to keep in mind is that usually people are quickly reading their feeds, so you don’t want it to be a book.

    Reply

  3. Debra Stang says: 8/13/2010

    I’m afraid I’ve ben known to suffer from more than one case of bloggorhea. If I’m enthusiastic about a topic, I can go on forever about it, which is good when you’re putting a new spin on old articles, but not so good in a blog post. From now on I’ll try to stick with the 500 word rule. Honest! :-)

    Reply

  4. Jaco ) says: 8/13/2010

    Susan
    Thanks for this post. I’m new to blogging I’ve only been blogging since the end of April. I’m learning quickly how web users read the web. They only scan pages. I was writing posts up to 1,000 words to my own detriment. Now I’ve just started writing posts of 300-450 words. Trying to make posts more succinct and also adding related video from authoritative bloggers. I’m also linking out more to sources. So while my word count has come down the post is still rich with related information. This is a wonderful post on a timeless topic. :)

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  5. Hippy Hop says: 8/14/2010

    Oh yes, it really depends on the blog owner on how long their posts should be. But to consider the readers viewpoint, posts should be between 300 to 500 words. This will keep your post short and easy to read. Long post can become boring at times which makes the reader stop reading halfway.

    Reply

  6. Marcia Frost ) says: 8/16/2010

    This is an interesting subject that I’ve often struggled with. I try to keep my posts around 400-500 words, but last week I was on a road trip with many stops and there was just no way to do it (I was already breaking posts up to different days). My posts averaged about 800 words. Would you believe I had a 50-50 split of readers who told me the posts were too long and those who said they loved reading all the detail?!

    I think you’ve got to just do what feels right and keep listening to the feedback. Avoid doing long posts all the time and keep them for really special stories.

    Marcia

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  7. Barbara McDowell Whitt says: 8/20/2010

    Susan, I just came back from reading in one of your books about blogging at Barnes&Noble in which I learned that I am a “niche” blogger. I make a daily post from my 1960 diary. I am always eager to make the next day’s post. Because of my subject matter, a word for word compilation of what I wrote 50 years ago to the day, my posts are usually less than 100 words. My longest posts at the end of my project will still be just over 100 words on most days.

    Reply

    • Susan Gunelius ) says: 8/20/2010

      Barbara, I’m glad you found something interesting in my book! And I am really glad that you provided the URL to your blog with your comment. What an amazing blog! It’s fascinating to read about a person’s life in their own words (from that time) from a time period that younger generations can only learn about in books or movies. I love your niche blog! :)

      Reply

  8. KJ says: 3/10/2011

    I think important question is – what exactly do you want to accomplish with your blogpost – if you want to build your authority longer posts even above 1000 are better. For high click through rate (adsense) keep it below 500, even below 400 – if your readers scroll adsense block above the fold they might not see it again (they will just click “back”)

    Reply

  9. sudha says: 10/27/2011

    Excellent article. And it proves your point. Long enough to get the information out thoroughly, yet not so long that it becomes boring. And no repetition in your points–which is a blogging personal pet peeve of mine. It’s left me interested enough to want to read more of your other articles

    Reply

  10. Alan Seidel ) says: 5/21/2013

    I think it depends on the topic. Some topics…bang it out in 300 words or less. Some topics like “Understanding Women” might have infinity number of words…just kidding!!! Great article and post!

    Reply

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