I often come across bloggers debating how often they should be posting – for me this isn’t particularly important as I feel quality is far more important than quantity. Having said this though, just how long should a blog post be?
Quality is always more important that quantity
When I started this blog about building online communities, I published a new post every day. This soon became unmanageable, and I soon cut this down to two or three new articles per week. I have no doubt that since making this change, the quality of the content I post has improved dramatically. Articles are also longer, and often cover a number of points related to the title of the article.
The pros and cons of long blog posts
The longer your posts, the more content you are creating. The more content you create, the more you are likely to be picked up by the search engines. As a result, you are likely to attract more search engine traffic if you post long blog articles.
Having said this though, if the quality of your content is poor, you will not be satisfying your visitors. Remember – satisfying your readers if far more important than satisfying the search engines.
The pros and cons of short blog posts
If you write short blog posts, you should find your writing becomes far more concise. Most blog readers only scan the text of an article and pick out the parts that are of interest to them. Shorter blog posts tend to cut to the chase and cover essential points only – this means you are far more likely to satisfy this type of reader as they don’t have to trawl through any ‘filler’ to find your ‘golden nuggets’ of information.
On the other hand, you risk turning off readers that are looking for in-depth content that thoroughly addresses and examines the issues you mention in your post. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you are publishing free content, but be aware that if you are charging people for the right to read your posts, you should be offering work that is of a higher quality – often this leads to lengthier posts.
How to decide on the length of your blog posts
The length of your blog posts depends on the following issues:
- What you have to say
If you have a lot to say on a topic your posts will naturally be lengthier. If you don’t have a great amount to cover on a certain topic, don’t pad out your post to meet a mental ‘minimum word limit’. Write what you have to say, and if the quality is there then that post is the perfect length.
- How complicated the issue is
If the points you raise are rather complicated in nature, it makes sense that your posts will probably be longer as you will spend more time explaining them. If your blog posts are normally only around 250 words in length, don’t feel as though you need to limit yourself to this for every post you make. Your readers will expect you to write longer posts from time to time if the topic you are writing about demands it.
- How often you post
I would say that the more often you post, the shorter your articles can be. If you are posting every single day, or more than once per day it makes sense to write shorter posts. If you only write new content a couple of times per week, your readers will probably expect longer posts and more in-depth analysis if they are to return.
At the end of the day, there is no ideal blog post length. It depends on a number of factors, which I have touched on above. My advice would be this: write until you have covered what you want to say. Then go back through the post and proof read it. Cut out any unnecessary text or waffle. Keep your posts concise and to the point. Never ‘pad out’ an article, and never feel restricted to an artificial word limit.
If in doubt, ask your readers what they want. Ask them if your posts are too long or too short. Ask them if they want to see shorter posts on a more frequent basis, or longer ones on a less frequent basis. Ask them if they want to see more analysis in your posts. As long as you satisfy your readers, you will be doing the right thing.
How long do you think blog posts should be? Should the articles I write on this blog be longer or shorter? If you are a blogger, do you set yourself minimum or maximum word limits? Share your thoughts and opinions by leaving a comment below.