How Long Should Your Blog Post Be?

by · July 20, 201212 comments

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of people asking this question. The answer varies quite a bit, so let me be more definitive.

A blog post is as long as you need it to be to make your point, and no more.

But what about the search engines? What about the research about most clicked posts?

Forget them. They measured content that you didn’t write, for people who you don’t care about. It’s like averaging the height of the top 100 chess Grandmasters, and telling you that the optimum player is 5′ 7″.

I’ve had posts that went 2,000 words. (1,988 — close enough.) And I’ve had posts with zero words. (Eleven Words Guaranteed To Generate Killer Search Engine Traffic and Clicks)

Write until you say what needs to be said. Period.

Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Ike Pigott

Ike Pigott

In his previous life, Ike Pigott was an Emmy-winning TV reporter, who turned his insider's knowledge of the news cycle into a crisis communications consultancy. At the American Red Cross, serving as Communication and Government Relations Director for five southeastern states, Ike pioneered the use of social media in disaster. Now -- by day -- he is a communications strategist for Alabama Power and a Social Media Apologist; by night, he lurks at Occam's RazR, where he writes about the overlaps and absurdities in communications, technology, journalism and society. Find out how you can connect with Ike or follow him on Twitter at @ikepigott. He also recently won the coveted "Social Media Explorer contributing writer with the longest Bio" award.

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://twitter.com/KatFrench Kat French

    One of the better posts I’ve done in recent weeks on my personal blog was written on my phone, and I suspect it’s because it forced me to be concise. Bloggers (at least consistent, serious bloggers) tend to be people who like to write. People who like to write often overwrite. Which is bad in a novel and worse in a blog post. 

  • OBVAVirtualAssistant

    Great
    post and really liked it. Most bloggers start their blog and then at a point
    they wont find it interesting to write blogs. This post is really motivating
    and good to read.

  • KF

    This qualifies as a blog-worthy post? How about some stats or data- you’re just throwing numbers at a board! 

    • http://occamsrazr.com Ike Pigott

      Tell you what, KF. You send me fifty of your blog posts I can use to analyze your writing style, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt what your average number of words is. However, even that won’t be revealing in the least, because 900 words on something you’re knowledgable and passionate about will be awesome — Moreno than 400 words where you were bowing to an artificial restriction.

      Let the content dictate the length. When you’re no longer interesting, stop.

      • KF

        So you know how to average things? Kudos. 

        Yes, the topic and writing style can dictate the length in some cases, but you also need to factor in SEO, what’s sharable on your specific branded social media channels, your audience (ding ding!), and other factors sometimes.  I just reread a piece on the New York Times blog that as many commenters pointed out was too long- yet more than 3,000 people read to the end and felt compelled to remark on.  Length is not everything.Your post could have been summed up in a tweet. 

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      I edit the blog. I deemed it worthy. It’s a good reminder for folks. 

  • http://simon-searchmarketing.com/ Geoff S.

    I was once told that what you’re writing should be as long as a piece of string, always stuck with me. So as long as it needs to be to get the job done is how long your blog post should be. I think the post length, on this particular post, says something about the topic perhaps more than the actual words on the page.

  • Pingback: How to Write Cohesively for Effective Content Marketing « Acumium – Agile Thinking for eBusiness

  • http://www.ideasforcash.co.uk/ Darren

    I’m drafting a post in excess of 3,000 words and wondered if it would just not hold the reader’s attention for the length of time i takes to read it. So I went over it several times to tweak and improve, and now it’s longer but better. I’m still going ahead with publishing it!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      You go!

  • Pingback: My two cents… Green Day’s new album, iUno! « youthful ambivalence

  • Pingback: My two cents… Green Day’s new album, ¡Uno! « youthful ambivalence