What's the best blog post length? The answer “whatever length it needs to be” really isn’t helpful when you’re looking for blog length or word count guidelines to work within. My first ever blog post was 50 words. And it took me 2 and a half hours to write those 50 words. If the guidelines said 100 words, I'd have spent 5 hours writing those hundred words! When you're starting to blog you want someone to give you the magic number of words. Sadly, there is no magic word count, no optimum length. No golden number that will make your blogging easier. However, we can use the outlining structure to work out what our basic blog post length is and then add in the value!
A basic blog post structure
- A headline that gets clicked
- Heart Opening Paragraph
- Main points and evidence
- And a compelling call to action
If you think of a sentence having 8-10 words, a paragraph having four sentences and a blog post as outlined in the list above having six paragraphs, then your blog post length could be as little as 240 words, not including the headline and call to action. 240 words won't even give you the green light when you optimise your blog post!
Not only is the short post hard to optimise, but it also won't be enough to give your reader the value they’re looking for. There has to be more juicy content in your post to delight your audience. Research by Neil Patel indicates that to get on the front page of Google you are looking at a 2,000-word post! However, experience has shown me you can do just as good with well thought out content that's 600-1000 words, and none of it will be fluff or filler!
Things that Impact Blog Post Length
Be careful with those headlines…
A blog post titled “Finding inner peace” isn’t nowhere near as impactful as “7 tips to calm a chattering mind.” Finding inner peace is the headline that's not focused and not meaningful so your content could easily wander into 3,000 words.
The blog post needs to cover your topic completely or just touch on one facet of it. That means you can write content that’s deep such as the 365 business blogging tips or something lighter. For example, in a “7 tips to calm a chattering mind” blog post, you might create a list post using meditation as one tip and give a paragraph or two about what it is and how it works to empty the mind.
Or you could just bullet point the ways to make your mind quiet and add in a beginning and a conclusion. You could try writing them both ways to see which method resonates the most with your ideal reader.
If you find that the topic is so deep that you could write about it forever, it could be that you have a book in the making or a series of blog posts. You don’t have to write 10,000 words “ultimate guides to” style posts every time you create a blog post. If you do, you’ll soon come to hate blogging as it’s becoming too time-consuming. Deep topics can impact your blog post length.
I'll be daring and say there's no such thing as a shallow topic, just a topic you don't know well enough. In terms of content, think about what you as a reader would expect and hope to see if you were looking for information on a topic. Would you want one paragraph that just said “If you’re looking for peace and quiet, you can try the stress relief supplements sold on Amazon that cost 2.99? Everyone says they’re good for stress and a quiet mind.”
If you clicked and saw that as the blog post how would you feel? Would you feel that your needs had been met? Or would you feel someone is just selling to you, without trying to romance you even a little bit? Those 31 words… They're better as a call to action than a blog post in its entirety!
Some business owners write in this style and wonder why their blogging doesn't work.
I know my first blog posts weren't much longer than the 31-word example. My first blog posts were micro-adverts. But it's where I started, and I've grown from there and you will too. What a reader really wants is someone to talk a little about their experience and a lot about the reader's needs. The reader wants to feel heard, to feel understood, to feel a connection. Ernest Hemmingway managed to do that in his legendary six-word story “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”
Those 6 words put you through the emotional wringer, but I don't think any of us would've purchased the baby shoes.
No matter how many words you need to format your content properly!
No one wants to land on a blog post and drown in a sea of text. Those paragraphs that are 30 lines deep are off-putting and overwhelming to the eye. You will lose readers instantly. Newspapers learned this centuries ago; they have columns and short paragraphs for a reason.
Readers need to be able to read and absorb the information without your message getting lost.
- Keep your paragraphs short
- Use neat and tidy sentences wherever possible
- Use subheadings to make the post scannable
If you think your blog post is too short, ask yourself what problem does it solve? If it doesn’t solve a problem ask what message does it send? If it’s not sending the right message, then you might find your blog post is the wrong length.
Remember, there is no magic number, no golden formula for perfect blog post length. You just need the number of words to make your reader feel valued. This comes with creating your content and sharing it on a regular basis.