One of the first quandaries that many people come across in the world of content marketing is word count.
Should blog posts be long?
Should blog posts be short?
Does it really matter?
The long and short of it: word count matters a lot.
The length of a blog post can determine everything from its position on search engines to how likely it is for readers to share it on social media. Hit the nail on the head with blog post length, and you could be in for a wild ride of high traffic, links, and social shares. But if you miss the optimum level, you may find that your posts never get seen by the people you are trying to reach.
Before we dive into defining the ideal length for a blog post, there’s one important factor that needs attention: quality.
More important than the length of your blog posts, is the quality of your blog posts.
Great writing, great value, and great readability are essential elements of producing a successful blog post. To this end, it’s unlikely to come as a surprise that the ideal blog post length is a blog post long enough to satisfy the reader…
Long-form Content Is King
There’s a time and a place for short-form content, but if you’re after results, then long-form is your safest bet. According to research by Curata, short-form blog posts generate 9x fewer leads than long-form blog posts.
Long-form content writing can offer more to readers, giving them the belief that you are providing them with value and quality. With a short blog post, you run the risk of circumscribing the topic and not providing readers with the information they need, turning them off to future offers that you may share.
Longer blog post writing can provide real depth and leave readers feeling like they’ve just read something of value – you answer the reader’s questions and satisfy their need to understand a topic. If you are sharing the information from a position of authority on a topic then long-form writing will help you to prove your worth to those who may have been initially unsure.
Long-form content delivers what the vast majority of readers want: scanability. 79% of people scan content – all the subheadings, lists, and images in long-form content make for a great reading experience. Plus, when you are creating content, readability is also vitally important and by breaking your long-form content into manageable chunks, you will really be able to reach the widest audience.
An educational and informative blog post should be the only blog that the reader requires on the topic, educating them enough that they can move forward with a decision, a purchase or purpose that has been supported by your content. That being said, there’s a difference between writing for the sake of it and writing because the topic requires it. Putting quantity over substance is a recipe for disaster!
What is the Ideal Length for a Blog Post?
Depending on what you consider to be the ‘perfect’ outcome of your blog post and which research you look at, the ideal blog post length can differ slightly:
- 2250-2500 words – According to an analysis of 6,192 HubSpot blog posts, this is the optimum word count for organic traffic.
- >2500 words – In the same HubSpot analysis, this was the optimum length for social shares and links.
- 7 minutes – According to Medium, posts of this length have the longest average reading time.
- 1890 words – After analysing 1 million search results on Google, Backlinko discovered that this was the average word count for first page results.
- 3000 – 10,000 words – In an analysis of 100 million articles by BuzzSumo, this length received close to twice the average number of social shares as short-form articles (<1000 words).
While there’s some variation in ideal length, blog posts of around 2000 words seem to achieve better results all round, helping you to maximise your reach across a range of audiences who are all looking to use your blog to help them.
Are Shorter Blogs Redundant?
Don’t despair! Short-form writing can absolutely feature in your content marketing strategy and be extremely successful, as long as you know when to use it to its optimum potential! As we’ve mentioned, there’s a time and a place for short-form blogs.
Take the question: How long does it take to boil an egg?
What are the chances that the reader is going to want a 3500-word blog post charting the history of egg boiling practices over the last few centuries? It’s more likely to be the case that the reader wants to know in under thirty seconds exactly how long it takes to boil an egg.
It’s essential to let the topic determine the word count! This blog post you’re reading now, for example, is just 1250 words long, but covers everything we feel is relevant for the reader without extra, useless words added just for padding. If we discover some more information at a later date, then we can always enhance and expand this blog – as can you with yours.
Shorter blog post writing is straight to the point and great for connecting with and engaging the reader. Longer content performed better in the BuzzSumo article analysis, but as there were roughly 16x more shorter articles (<1000) than longer articles (>2000 words), the impact is still there.
If you want to share something short and snappy, don’t be afraid to opt for short-form articles. Equally, when you are writing a post and are struggling to make it long-form then maybe you should consider if you are extending it just for the sake of writing more – if this is the case then remember our overall principle; quality is far more important than quantity!
A good blog post of roughly 2000 words or more has the potential to deliver great things. However, given that Google has around 200 ranking factors – including everything from dwell time and backlink quantity to SEO and organic click-through-rate – other factors, and quality especially, are essential for a high-ranking blog.
If you produce unique content that people want to read, and optimise it for visibility and readability, then people will read it. However, if you are not sure whether you have the time or writing skills to create a blog that will work for you then it may be worth considering a content writing service that can complete the work for you.
A copywriting service is a business that works solely on creating high-quality content for clients. They can produce work on a wide range of topics and will work with you to create a plan that meets your specific needs. Copywriters are adept at finding the niche angle you are looking for so that your long-form or short-form content always hits the mark.
The great thing about these services is that they take the pressure off you and give you back time to focus more on your business needs and goals. Ultimately, a copywriting service provides your voice in a more honed way – helping you to grow your following and convert more consumers into sales.
At Anglo Content, our blog copywriters understand the importance of quality. When you outsource blog content writing to our talented writers, you’re guaranteed to get blog posts that engage readers, no matter the length.