There’s a question buzzing around the content marketing world. It’s hotly debated with industry experts on both sides. You’ve probably asked the question yourself. What is this intriguing question everyone is talking about? How long should my blog post be? Let’s review what industry thought leaders are saying.
Coschedule: post by Julie Neidlinger
“Don’t write long blog posts if you only have a short post worth of things to say.”
Darren Rowse of Pro Blogger
“Write enough to be useful, and then stop”.
Nothing is worse than reading a blog post that goes on and on without really saying anything new. Even worse, is a keyword stuffed article! Not only are they hard to read but the search engines you are trying to entice are wise to this trick and you can actually be penalized. Therefore your blog posts should only be as long as needed to get your point across.
The folks at BufferSocial suggest the best blog length is 1600 words. Going a step further, they created an amazing infographic of the ideal length of everything online.
The Write Practice post by Joe Bunting
“Longer is usually better for social shares and SEO whereas shorter is usually better for getting more comments.”
As you can see, one size does not fit all. You need to ask what your purpose is for the post. Are you interested in social shares and SEO or do you want to generate user generated content with blog comments?
“Longer is Usually Better. Longer posts usually perform better on every level. If you’re looking for numbers, a post that is above 1,500 words seems to be in the zone of ideal length.” ~ Neil Patel
I follow Neil and he definitely practices what he preaches! He also goes on to say the length of your blog should be tailored to your audience and your style of writing. As an example he refers to Seth Godin who is another marketing thought leader. Seth’s posts are really short. But it works for him and his target market. Determine your style and what style resonates with your audience.
“We recently ran a blog content audit, and one of the results of the audit was some insight into the ideal length of Buffer blog posts. 1,600 words makes for a good guideline to get started. We’ve found that 2,500-word posts tend to do best for us.” ~ Kevan Lee
I include this insight from Buffer because, while they favor long content similar to Neil, this quote brings up another important step you need to discover the best length for YOUR content. Did you catch these words: “blog content audit” and “best for us.” Ah hah! It’s important to check your own analytics and then decide what is best for you.
“Don’t let the quantity of words dictate the quality of your post.”
Corey is right on target! Don’t compromise quality for quantity. In order to maintain your reputation as a thought leader in your niche, everything you publish should be high quality.
So what does all our thought leaders advice have in common?
· Don’t get hung up on length.
· Write for your audience – and what length they prefer.
· Decide what your goals are. SEO? Social Media Shares?
· Quality is more import than quantity.