Tuesday 17 February 2015

What is the Magic Number for a Blog Post?

When I first started blogging, I was told that 500 words was the ideal length for a post, just enough substance for the reader to bite his teeth into but not so long that he doesn't read until the end. However, recently I have heard that longer posts are the way to go.  How long, then, is the ideal blog post?

Is there a minimum length for a post?  Bloggers recommend that posts be at least 250 words in length to optimize your search engine results.  On the other hand, if a post exceed 1000 words, some bloggers recommend that it be broken up into a series of posts.

Most bloggers seem to agree that the each post should be written succinctly.  Headings help break up the text and make the post more scannable for the reader.  Short paragraphs are preferable to longer ones.

Blogger Neil Patel outlines several factors which affect the length of a post.  They are:

1.  Substance:  What does your topic require?  If it is fun and lighthearted many a short post is best.  However, if it is a serious subject, or a controversial one, it likely requires more substance.

2.  Style:  What is your writing style ex. short and brief versus long and conversational?

3.  Frequency:  If you post rarely, chances are each post will be lengthy and well thought out.  If you most every day, your posts are likely to be shorter.

4.  Format:  Do you use subheadings and short paragraphs?  These techniques help break up a long post.

5.  Purpose:  If you run a business blog, you might be pitching a product.  If your blog is personal, you might be telling a story or trying to spark a conversation.

6.  Audience:  What are the needs, interest, passions or problems of your audience?

7.  Medium:  Do you include infographics, videos or podcasts?  If so, your word count is less relevant.

According to Neil Patel, long blog posts perform better than short ones on all levels.  There are over 200 factors which determine how your content ranks in SERP (Search Engines Results Page).  The more content you have, the better chance you will achieve a top position in Google search results. Therefore, more readers will see your post.  According to one blogger, the ideal length for a blog post is 1600 words -- the magic number (https://blog.bufferapp.com/optimal-length-social-media).


P.S.  In case you're wondering, this post is only 400 words.  

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