Creating a blog post is a skill that's easy to learn but hard to master. The margin of error is so small, as you may write too much, bore your reader, or write shorter posts and miss the point. So, how long should blog posts be?
The ideal length of your post primarily depends on the post's target. We can divide blog posts into micro, short, news articles, mid-form, and long-form.
Micro and short blog posts tend to be below 600 words. They're not good enough for SEO but often yield many comments.
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News articles are often around 750 words. They're the standard length for newspaper blogs. Use those when you're aiming for link-building with other bloggers.
Mid-form posts (1,000-1,500 words) often get more shares on social media than they get comments. But they can still be great at generating comments. They're typically a good middle ground for many bloggers.
Long-form block posts (1,500-2,300+) words are the best for SEO as they rank high in Google. They're often information-rich, detailed, and in-depth.
While the blog length is important, it's better to focus on high-quality content that Google and other search engines will prefer. So make sure you keep the blog article length in mind, but never obsess over SEO data. Those are just one of my many blogging tips I share.
How To Determine The Length Of Your Blog
Determining the ideal blog post length isn't an easy task. That's because blog posts usually have different lengths depending on the topic they handle.
For example, scientific or informational blog posts tend to be fairly longer than your average article length. On the other hand, quick tutorials and guides usually tend to be short and snappy.
So, how long should blog posts be? And how can you determine the optimal blog post length based on the search engines' preference? To do that, you can utilize a manual way of searching and counting, or a slightly smarter way of approach (The easy way).
The Manual Way
The manual way involves going to Google and browsing the most relevant content. All you have to do is write your query in the search box, and the results will show up.
The page one results are often the most relevant and also the highest quality content. You'd then have to open each blog post individually and assess how many words it has.
Normally, reaching the best word count range comes from assessing the top 10 results. However, you might start finding irrelevant content after the sixth or seventh result. So, take the average blog post length of the relevant content only.
You'd then have to individually open each blog post, copy its content into a Word or Google document, and use the word counting tool to assess the post length.
Here are the pros and cons of this method:
- You get to research your content as you assess the word count.
- You get to build a framework of headings in your mind before you even start writing your blog post.
- You waste a considerable amount of time copy-pasting each blog post and assessing the word count.
- You don't get a keyword cluster (Unless you use AI tools like ChatGPT).
- You don't get a suggested number of headings, pictures, or paragraphs.
- Unless you have experience with SEO, your blog post won't be optimized.] enough to land on the first page.
The Easy Way
The manual way is reliable, but it wastes a lot of time. If you're a content writer or someone you know is, you'd probably understand how time is of the essence to writers.
This is when an optimization or content intelligence tool like Surfer SEO can come in handy. As a start, Surfer SEO provides you with the ideal blog post length based on the topic you're seeking.
The blogging tool would automatically do the browsing for you, and find the recommended average word count, as well as the best keyword cluster. These results are based on the top relevant blog posts.
The mean blog post length isn't the only thing Surfer SEO provides. You'd also get the recommended number of images, paragraphs, and headings. The AI tool also gives each article a score (including your own) so you can compare.
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Not only that, but Surfer SEO would also provide you with the best competitive articles tackling the same topic you're after. You may reach or even exceed their score by using as many of the related keywords as you can.
Those articles can act as your research posts, so they'll save the time you'd spend on finding information. They will also allow you to have a general idea of what the best blog posts are talking about, so you can figure out how to top them.
Here are the pros and cons of using Surfer SEO:
- A time-saving method. All you need is a few clicks for your required resources to appear.
- The tool provides you with the ideal blog post length.
- You get the relevant word cluster so you can improve your search engine optimization.
- You get your own space to write posts inside the Surfer webpage itself. No need for external documents.
- You get a peak at the trending articles and their scores.
- Your writing time might be longer as you try to incorporate as many keywords as possible to increase the score.
- On rare occasions, the suggested keywords may not be relevant to the topic at hand.
The Benefits of Long-Form Blog Posts
Long-form blog posts typically have a word count of over 1,500. However, it's hard to determine the minimum required length for a blog post as marketers gauge that differently.
For example, some agencies consider anything below 1,500 words to be short posts. Others consider anything above 750 words a long post.
That being said, long-form blog posts may take more time from you as a content writer, but they can provide various benefits in return.
For example, long-form content allows you to share multiple internal or external links. This will enrich the information in your blog post and improve SEO.
It also allows you to show expertise in the field you're writing about as you are tackling the information in depth. Let's have a look at how that can benefit you:
Increases Time on Page
Long-form content increases the time a user would stay on your page, especially if your content is well-written.
The more users spend time on your blog post, the more search rankings it gets. Not only that, but longer posts often have a bigger room for generating discussion. This can translate into more comments and shares.
However, you need to be careful not to fill your post with fluff, even if you use the correct keywords. Content with little value will hurt the overall credibility of the post.
Instead, make your post more engaging. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
- Use a catchy headline: Instead of going for the typical (How to do something), try a better attention grabber like (Handle this difficult task within seconds!)
- Use storytelling: It's much easier for the eye to follow a story. The wonder to know the end of a story keeps the brain much more attentive that just reading through a bunch of information.
- Use Humor: People pay good money to go watch someone on stage who just talks to make them laugh. Inject some relatable humor in your blog post to make it more interesting.
Provide More Opportunities for Selling
Remember the links we mentioned earlier? They can become a fantastic method to sell or promote products.
These products can be yours, so you'd benefit whenever someone makes a purchase. Alternatively, you can still benefit from affiliate links to products that aren't yours.
A long blog post will also allow you to show more than one product on the same page. Pair that product display with trusted purchase links to increase your chances of landing a sale.
Builds An Audience
Longer blog posts are often favored by search engines. When you keep your content within the ideal blog post length long enough, you'll start building a stable audience.
This is especially effective in the how-to blog posts. When you consistently follow a similar pattern in your blog content, you'll have a dedicated target audience.
You may also expand your audience by partnering with other bloggers and influencers. This will help you expand your niche to new people.
The Benefits of Short-Form Blog Posts
Shorter blog posts are quicker to read and easier on the eyes. Longer blog posts may be rich in information, but sometimes all you need is a snappy blog post to find what you need.
Additionally, shorter posts take far less time for a content writer to research, write, and proofread.
However, these snappy posts may not benefit from the SEO that long-form content has. You'll have less room for information, keywords, and links.
Additionally, shorter posts often mean less time spent on the page, resulting in reduced traffic and domain rating.
Don't let that discourage you, a short blog post can still offer a lot:
Easy For Blog Readers
As mentioned earlier, some blog readers prefer a short post that gets straight to the point. In fact, you may end up with more traffic on your blog than you would have on using longer content.
How? Imagine looking for a specific piece of information in a pool of 3,000 words. With the walls of text ahead of you, it might seem quicker to just close the page and look for another post.
On the other hand, finding what you need in a short blog post may encourage you to continue reading, especially if the content managed to grab your attention with a good hook.
What happens then? You spend more time on that page, improving its website traffic.
Make Quick Sales
Having multiple products or links in the same blog post can be fruitful for your sales, but it can sometimes backfire.
When you compare multiple products and sources in the same place, you might accidentally create a sense of hesitation in the reader's mind. That is often more prominent when the products you're demonstrating have similar features and specifications.
On the other hand, having a few examples of products can sometimes be beneficial as long as your short post is formulated correctly. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Know your audience: You need to adequately understand your audience and their needs. A perfectly written post won't matter if it's not directed to the right people.
- Illustrate the problem and the solution: Once you demonstrate how a problem can affect the reader's quality of life, immediately follow by mentioning your solution to it.
- Provide a clear CTA: You must provide a call to action at the end of your post. This will help the reader know where to go next.
- Optimize your content: A high-quality post will go nowhere if people can't see it. If you want to land on that first page, then you have to be within the recommended word count and write the required keywords.
It's a long shot to assume that there's a perfect blog post length. Depending on your topic, target audience, and type of blog, your post length may vary.
You may manually break down the top results in Google for their word count, keywords, and ideas. This will expand your knowledge about the topic at hand and allow you to create a mental framework for the blog post.
Alternatively, you may go for the easy method and use Surfer SEO. All you have to do is feed it with your target keyword, and it'll show you the number of words you need to be within the recommended word count.
It'll also provide you with the number of images, headings, and paragraphs you need. Last but not least, it'll show you the top posts that tackle your required topic for comparative and research purposes.