Debate amongst those in the blogging world, and certainly among those who write extensively on blogging tips and advice is, “how long should the ideal blog post be?”
Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) in the next installment Blogging Insights #13 – How Long Is The Ideal Blog Post. asks that very question.
Dr. Tanya gives us this preamble of where she was coming from in regards to this post.
Short-form VS Long-form Content
Before I launched my blog a couple of years ago, I read quite a few posts and articles about blogging. All of them said that the search engines preferred content to be around 2000 words. This, I learned, was called long-form content.
I paid for a plug-in called Yoast which all the articles said I must have (more about this in a later post). This plug-in which works on a traffic light kind of system would not give me a green light unless I crossed 300 words. I dispensed with Yoast since the WordPress Business Plan that plug-ins operate on was quite expensive and not really doing anything for me.
By this time I had discovered that short-form content (1200 words or less) seemed to be doing very well for many bloggers whose work I admired.
Her questions are:
How long are your blog posts on average?
Doing a quick bit of looking at stats from 2020 to 2017, my average post length for each year is:
2020 – 905 words
2019 – 763 words
2018 – 792 words
2017 – 656 words
Which averages out over those four years to be 780 words per post.
Given the option, would you rather post long-form or short-form content?
Obviously, it appears, I post in short-form content.
I have written many that are much more than those numbers above. One constraint I have is limited time to write, so I’ve developed the habit of writing more concise and shorter pieces.
Ultimately, when it comes right down to it, I write until the post until I believe the message it contains has been delivered. If I can do it with fewer words – wonderful. If it takes 1450 words, that’s okay too.
There are a few pieces I have written, that I have broken down into two-part or three-part series. Mostly done that way to keep the word counts lower and to separate the content into more meaningful or distinct chunks.
Time is short and the attention spans of social media users are shorter still, why do you think the search engines prefer longer content?
I have no idea about the search engine stuff and that side of things.
For myself, I prefer reading posts that are smaller in length. Unfortunately, I don’t have the attention span to read a long post. I need lots of visuals and paragraph breaks, highlights, bullet points and other devices in order to keep my attention.
I did read from a blogging expert that suggests keeping posts short and engaging with graphics, bullet points, block text and highlights, etc in order to keep the reader engaged due to the very reason of short attention spans.
In the end, though, it will depend on “what you are blogging and writing about” and “why are you doing it” that will dictate how long your posts should be.
Thanks again to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her adding to the depth of this exceedingly important issue that all bloggers, whether professional or novice has to grapple with.
For those of you out there in the blogosphere where do you fit in with all of this?
- short-form versus long-form content
- does it really matter?
I would love to hear what you think about this.
— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —