If, as part of your work in learning how to blog effectively, you read other blogs (I highly recommend this), you may be puzzled by the widely ranging lengths of different posts. Are you confused about the ideal blog post length? A lot of people ask me how many words they should strive for.
Who Needs to See Your Blog Post?
Did you know when you blog you are writing for humans and spiders (bots)? Yes, spiders can read. It is really only worth blogging if both “bods” (human readers) and “bots” like what they see. Ensuring bods read and bots index your posts means readers will return and bots will index and rank your site higher on the Search Results pages. That is your goal – to rank high enough so that a prospect looking for someone with your expertise will find you.
The Ideal Blog Post Length
One decision all bloggers need to make, and many struggle with, is how long their blog posts should be. This depends on the author, your blog style, topic, and your audience. There are many different approaches but it’s about discovering the one that works best for you.
A Few Basic Guidelines
Experts agree that Big G (Google) and the other search engine algorithms reward posts that are at least 500-700 words. These posts get higher ranking.
However, you can always write shorter content to link to in social media posts, such as responding to a simple question posed to your audience or culled from an email in your inbox.
Longer content performs better in today’s internet landscape and there is no upper limit (from a search engine perspective) on how long a blog post can be. However, there may be upper limits imposed by how much time it takes you to write a blog post.
Put together quality material but don’t get so caught up in perfectionism that you make it another business. Blogging needs to be balanced with other aspects of your life and business.
Let’s say you are shooting for a longer post. There are several ways to maximize the impact and improve the readability of longer posts. Break up text with links and images, and use headers to divide the content into chunks.
Remember there are 2 factors to consider in order to determine your ideal post length.
1. How much you’re willing or able to write.
If you don’t have a lot of experience writing, you may find it challenging or even difficult to plan and write long content. However, you can create long content by connecting a few related pieces of short content together.
2. What your target
The best and fastest way to discover this, is to write content at different lengths and see which posts perform best. Even though long content generally performs better with search engines, you also want your readers to consume your content fully and have them engage with it.
Once you start publishing your blogs, pay attention to which blog posts get the most engagement and this will give you a specific guideline suited to your audience. Your ideal blog post length may vary with the topic and the amount of time you must write. It is fun to vary it.
Pat Iyer is an editor, author, book coach and ghostwriter who helps individuals create books that encourages their expertise to shine and advances their businesses. She has written or edited 48 of her own books.
Pat began blogging in 2009. Since then, she has written over a thousand blog posts for entrepreneurs, attorneys, legal nurse consultants and patients.