Is There An Ideal Blog Post Length?
Long or Short?
Is there an ideal blog length? I’ve heard longer is better. But do readers really want to read a long-form article of 1,500 words or more?
Good question what is the ideal blog length you should aim for. It’s something that’s come up of late – longer is better. But is this really the case? Do your readers want to read a long-form article of 1,500 words or more?
The answer is not definitive but dependent upon what’s needed to get the point across. If you need more words to explain, then use them, but don’t just write for the sake of it.
Use the number of words necessary to solve your readers’ problem. Here’s how to get your people to view your content.
What do your readers want from your blog?
#1 They want an answer to their problem.
They also want a reliable and trustworthy source of information. They also want quality content. So you need data to back it up.
But do people actually read blog content?
Firstly, you need a headline that gets people to click through to your blog article. Remember that only 2 out of 10 readers will click through to your article, the other 8 will only read the headline. Once they’ve clicked through, research by Jakob Nielsen showed that only 16% of the users they tested read the whole article, word for word. The majority (79%) of their test users scanned articles.
So what makes users read blog content?
Readers want content that they can scan. This allows them to work out whether to read the article in full.
To make the article easier to scan :
- use an introduction to tell the reader what the article is about
- solve the problem that the user has
- use visuals – pictures, infographics, charts, tables
- make your language easy to read
- create white space to break up text
- use dot points
- use an F shape of content
- use headings
- use sub-headings
- use short sentences
- make sure your paragraphs are short
- the font size isn’t too small
- try something different – infographics, video, podcasts, downloadable templates
- create quality content that doesn’t waffle on!
Will my blog get read if it’s long?
You’ve got a greater chance of your blog being read if you
- use headlines that work and get click-throughs
- give the reader an answer to their problem when they scan your blog
What turns off a reader? Well for me it’s definitely large chunks of text. I just struggle to read it, especially if it’s long. I’ll happily read a long-form article if it’s going to answer my problem though.
So is there an ideal blog length?
Research by Quick Sprout shows that long-form posts get shared more.
They also quoted that a study by an online article found the following statistics about article length and shares. Articles 1,500 words or more got more shares than shorter posts.
Medium found in their study that the optimal blog post length was 7 minutes which equated to 1,600 words. This was based on attention spans of readers of articles.
If we look at Seth Godin, his posts are short, but he also writes long ones too. A great analysis of some of his articles was done by Julie Neidlinger of CoSchedule where she analyses his posts from June 2015. This great infographic is from her post on blog post length.
But it’s not that simple. There is no ideal as some blog posts that are short get shared. And longer ones get shared too and read. My conclusion is that A blog post can be any length providing it’s a quality post.