Blogging

How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?

It is a pretty simple question: how long should your typical blog post be? Well, the answer relies on several factors, but the question itself is almost irrelevant—but many still ask it.

Before going any further, you must look to your audience. So, to keep things simple, let’s say there are two types of people reading blogs: the impatient and the intricate. The former wants to get in and get out as quickly as possible. The latter wants the content to be full and informative. It is essentially a coin-flip.

So, which is it—long or short? Ironically, I feel that this is the wrong question to ask entirely. It is not a question of length, but, instead, a question of detail. The detail you put into an article should determine the length. Some bloggers, unfortunately, do not understand this.

Attempting to “bulk up” an article with unnecessary words accomplishes little but annoys many. There is nothing worse than re-reading the same sentence multiple times, and I have seen many bloggers pull this off. Unless you are an all-star blogger trying to be creative or cute, there is no point in wasting a reader’s time.

If an article ends up being more than just a few paragraphs, it should be a result of taking the time to cover all the details which will be of interest to the reader.

I tend to get quite detailed with my articles, but this comes with the cost of having some readers shy away from the lengthier ones, but most seem to appreciate them.

Knowing your audience also helps. It is obvious that the details are appreciated by Performancing readers; however, every case is different. Using an analytics package like pMetrics is a great way to see what your audience appreciates, and you should build from that.

Some blogs that load on the details:

Some blogs that keep it short and sweet:

To wrap things up, do not judge an article by its length. Use a measure of facts and details to determine its worth. There is an incorrect trend with bloggers asking for 1,000 word posts, but why write a 1,000 word post when it can be done just as effectively with half the words?

To answer the initial question: your posts should be as long or short as required by the details you want to provide with the content. I made the mistake of juicing up my articles with unnecessary words when I started, but I have learned that it is not worth it.

Author: jamesm

18 thoughts on “How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?

  1. That is exactly how I work as well. I always do a lot of relevant research, and therefore, I have a lot to write about. I have been known to go a bit overboard, but I always chop out unnecessary content while editing.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Everything you say is right on. Long globs of text just do not look appealing at all. Subheadings are a necessity. That, or at least have an image or two to break things up.

  3. Short and sweet works quite well nowadays. I, interestingly, like providing in-depth content.

  4. We completely agree: the content should drive the length. If you have said all that needs to be said–stop. If you haven’t–keep writing. Avoid padding and focus on the ideas.

  5. I like to have a mix of lengths – longer, more resource-heavy posts, and shorter one-note kind of things when I have just one main idea and I want it to stand out.

    I do break up the longer posts with subheadings and lists and such, though, because no one wants to read a big block of text.

  6. When I started blogging, my posts were shorter. And then they got long. After a while, I realized that I was trying to stuff things in at the seams when I could have made three or four posts out of the material. So now I am trying to keep the posts shorter. I have a few more blogs now and want to use my content to the fullest instead of jamming everything I can into one post.

  7. Very true, and this is why grabbing the readers attention within the first or second sentence is crucial.

  8. My ideal length is 3 to 4 paragraphs. Nobody wants to read a novel about the latest Limited Edition of a Hershey’s Kiss. Does it taste good or not? and why?

  9. The lengthy post is most often liked by many readers but there are some readers after seeing the big contents just switch over to other blogs.

  10. I have the attention span of a flea….I’m not really an impatient reader, but I do scan EVERYTHING to make sure it isn’t something I’ve already read a bagillion times. I tend to like the longer articles only if they are interesting (duh right?)

  11. Length of post is not relevant. What the readers expect is. While you can’t satisfy everyone, you can learn from the audience what they like. Long posts have higher perceived value but people will appreciate if you can save their time.

    “Concise and compact” often is the way to go, but in several blogs, I expect the posts to be comprehensive with a lot of details.

  12. I’m sure the last thing anyone wants is to realize that after reading your post, they just lost 5-10 minutes of their life 🙁

  13. When it comes down to it, I think you hit the nail on the head.

    It would be nice to see consistency though, but, there is no point in making something that could be two paragraphs into ten paragraphs, ya know?

  14. I was going to post this as my answer “To answer the initial question: your posts should be as long or short as required by the details you want to provide with the content.” but you already did. Coincidentally, I’ve been reading some WRITING TIPS blogs the past few days and they have been giving out the advice to only write as much as necessary to get your point across. So for me, sometimes its a long post while others are short. As long as the point gets across, I don’t think SIZE MATTERS.

Comments are closed.