The length of your blog posts is a big deal, right?
It can be, but it’s not the be-all and end-all if your blogs manage to get your message across in fewer words than you thought you would.
Many writers do worry about the length of their work though and whether they need to write more or less than they have done.
Although it can feel like a tough situation, it isn’t something that needs to cause any apprehension.
When writing a blog post there are no strict guidelines for lengths to aim for; objectivity does not exist within this realm of writing.
It’s like asking someone how long the perfect book should be. Who knows and who’s qualified to answer that?
It depends on such a multitude of different factors that there are no concrete ‘you should be writing x amount of words’ rules.
It rests on the author’s judgement. Whether they feel they’ve written too much or too little, and, more importantly, on the topic in question.
If you know the topic you’re writing about well and have planned what different aspects you’re going to discuss then you should have at least some idea of how long the article is going to be.
Look at similar bloggers in your niche. Read their work. It might give you some direction.
What do the experts say about blog length?
The experts have their theories and if you’re struggling, they’re often not bad recommendations to base your word count on.
We all want people to read our work; there would be little point in writing it otherwise. The professionals do claim that word count has a big effect on what type of engagement you see from your audience.
Do you want to create a discussion?
Do you want people to share your work?
Is ranking well on Google and the other search engines important?
These are just some of the things you need to consider before beginning to write; research has found that the word count affects all of these. So firstly, figure out your goal(s) and work from there.
Some general ideas
The consensus is that the larger your word count, the more likely it is that your writing will be scouted by Google.
If your work is appropriately saturated with keywords and is useful, quality content then you’ve every chance of being seen and judged positively by Google. We all want to be there in the number one position on the first page, don’t we?
This isn’t always the way it works though.
There are many articles that barely eclipse 300 words and yet theirs is the feature snippet for many of Google’s more popular searches.
These articles only discuss the most necessary arguments. They’ll still offer the same level of value to the reader; they’re just devoid of the superfluous waffle that so many articles come with.
At this end of the scale there are the shorter pieces of content. These can make their way onto Google’s first pages.
They are however much more likely to be the pieces of work that are used to create discussion and interaction with readers.
Examples of microblogs include Twitter and other such social media. This is where many people go to comment on ideas and create a discussion.
If you’re getting hundreds of retweets on Twitter posts, for example, then you can expect a high amount of comment engagement too.
Microblogs are excellent for frequent sharing as you’re only posting a small amount of content so in theory it should take less time to produce.
The average blog post used to be within the 300-1000 word region. This number fluctuates all the time though.
Longer posts tend to be more effective in the world of content marketing so word-count averages in blog posts is increasing.
Write what needs to be written
The heading of this section is the advice that we’d give to anybody if they asked us this question.
If you want your work to be shared but cannot write more than 200 words about it then find something else to write about.
If you can’t think of anything else to say, then don’t. Nobody wants to read something you didn’t want or need to write, it’s a waste of effort for everyone involved.
It is, after all, the content which makes your stuff worth reading, not whether or not you’ve exhausted everything you have just to increase the word count.
You can write 10,000 words on a topic, but if most of what you’ve written is of little to no value then its creation is almost futile; you’d be much better writing a 500-word piece that offers something to those reading.
If it’s good enough, it’s long enough. Think of your writing in this way.
If you think it’s long enough but isn’t good enough, edit it.
And if it’s neither good or long enough then you’ve got a bit of work to do.
It’s a lot simpler when you think of it like this.
If you don’t think that anything else needs to be said and you’ve exhausted all meaningful avenues of discussion within the writing, then great. You’ve done your job.
There is nothing to say that a 200-750 words piece of writing won’t be shared by the thousands anyway.
If it’s good enough and useful then there’s every chance it will.
What’s the answer?
There is no right or wrong when it comes to writing blog posts.
You should know yourself how much you can write and whether you’re overdoing it or not.
It makes sense to trial and error a few times and get a feel for your surroundings until you find what you’re looking for, whether it be shares or interaction or something else.
If you’ve got a goal in mind and can produce the quality and length of content that people are going to enjoy and take value from then you’re as ready as you’re ever going to be.
The best way to approach it is to start writing and experiment. Eventually you’ll find the sweet spot and from there you’re away.
Always remember though; content is king. Don’t write merely to stack your word count.
For ways to help you find more time to blog we’ve put together a short list of things you can do.
You should always find time to blog.
If you need help with any element of your content writing, fill out a contact form below.