This is probably something that’s never once crossed your mind. Either that, or it’s keeping you up at night in hot sweats, desperately trying to work out to the nearest 10 what the exact word count of your blog posts should be and how you’ll be rewarded. There is no in between. Thankfully, we’ve already been through the latter and now we’re going to share some of our wisdom with you. Prepare to find out just how long your blog posts need to be. But firstly, you’re going to need to consider something.
What are your goals?
What exactly is it that you want from your blog posts? When it comes to blogging, everyone tends to want more. More readers, more comments, more traffic, more sharing, more links, more everything. But which of those means the most to you? Do you want blog that’s engaged with so much the comments section looks like a forum? Or do you want to finally get over 100 shares on Twitter? In this post we’re going to run through the advantages that come from creating content in different lengths, so if you dive into this with a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you should be able to work out what you need to do pretty quickly.
The myth about short blog posts
Every now and again you may come across a blogging ‘expert‘ (or maybe even a ‘guru‘) that will wildly proclaim that all your blog posts should never exceed 600 words. They’ll try and tell you that your reader’s attention spans resemble that of a goldfish but leave out the fact that these little posts have a difficult time ranking in search engines. If that wasn’t bad enough, many companies have released stats depicting that shorter posts are rarely shared on social media. It’s hard to fall into the trap of creating nothing but micro-content because short blog posts are easy and convenient, but don’t let yourself be tempted by the thought of saving an hour of your day.
The facts about short blog posts
Just because the claim that you should never write a blog post with more than 600 words is a load of rubbish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that every blog post you write needs to exceed 600 words. Whilst they may not attract as much social sharing or rank very well from an SEO perspective, they can be very useful when it comes to generating discussions and attracting comments. This works on the simple assumption that, if a reader has had to spend less time reading your post, they will be more likely to spend a bit of extra time replying to it.
If you run a blog with a large audience, you can probably afford to miss out on a bit of social sharing and a good rank position every now and again. That’s where short blog posts become quite handy. Throwing them in every now and again to add some diversity to your content, and to potentially create a lengthy discussion, is certainly an idea we’d recommend you adopt. Also, with all the time you’ve saved creating something smaller than usual, you’ll now be able to sit down and engage with your audience by joining in with the discussion. It’s not all doom and gloom with <600 words.
Longer is the new long
It would seem everyone just wants more and more content as the years pass by. In 2012 it was suggested that 500-700 words was the ideal length for any blog post, but year upon year this has slowly risen. In 2015 it had risen to a recommended 1700 words and statistics released by the kings of data, HubSpot, is showing that blog posts containing over 2000 words are receiving the highest amount of organic traffic and the highest amount of social shares. Search engines absolutely love longer posts, and if they focus on solving something for the reader, they favour them even more. So whilst you may see slightly less comments, you can expect to reach a far larger audience.
So why exactly is it that people are preferring larger chunks of content nowadays? Many are putting it down to the fact that users want to build a community with their social profiles sharing desirable, well constructed and ‘big’ content. As long as your posts aren’t long for the sake of it, or because they include the keyword 5000+ times, then the chances are you’re providing far more value to those that are reading than you would be with a smaller, less detailed post. Sounds like common sense, and it is!
Another reason why long blog posts may well be winning the race is because of the increased ability to include visual niceties. Again, it’s simply common sense, but it works. Attractive video and engaging photos will always encourage sharing and generally just make the reader enjoy the post that little bit more. The longer the post, the more room there is to include these little treats.
Quality over quantity… but both would be great
So now you’re inspired to create massively lengthy blog posts, brilliant, but what if you just can’t do it every single time? That’s not a problem. As we mentioned before, mixing in a few smaller posts with the larger ones will be a great way to not only test how your existing audience respond to various lengths of blogs, but also to add some diversity to the content you’re providing. The last thing you want to be doing is thickening out good posts with a load of pointless information purely to hit that four figure character count. Quality should always be your priority, and quantity can be a nice bonus when you have a lot to say about the given subject.