Ideal Blog Post Length: Long vs. Short

Ideal Blog Post LengthWhat’s the ideal blog post length? There are as many answers to this question as there are blogs in the blogosphere. However, is there a ballpark how long your blog posts should be? Instead of giving you a number, let me give you some guidelines which will help you determine whether your blog posts should be long or short, and how long or short.

Factors that Determine Blog Post Length

Every blog is unique. Every blogger is unique. Here are some factors that strongly influence the ideal blog post length.

  • Personal Style: Some bloggers just prefer shorter or longer blog posts. Some blogs are known for their short, crispy, to-the-point posts while others are known for their long, detailed, juicy posts. If you fall in one of these categories, you probably want to stick to it. A blog can build an identity around length of the post (remember though that length is NEVER a substitute for quality. This should be obvious by now).
  • Examples:

    Short Posts: Seth Godin’s blog. This is by far the best example I can think of. He’s an expert at what he writes and is able to deliver great value in 100 words or less.

    Long Posts: Self Made Chick is one of the blogs that is known for long, detailed posts. Regular readers expect the posts to be long – more than a 1000 words in most cases.

    Conclusion: Depending on your style, your blog posts can be long or short, especially if you want to build your reputation around the length of your posts. Either way is good.

  • Pillar Articles: A pillar article is usually some piece of content that provides a great value to the readers and attracts repeated visitors again and again to your blog. Pillar articles attract new readers to the blog who find these articles satisfying a need and stick with your blog. Every blog should have some pillar articles that establish your blog’s authority. Pillar articles usually tend to be long. If you are writing a pillar article, then you’re an expert in that area and you would want to share as much as possible with your readers about that topic in one post. It is also a good idea for pillar articles to be comprehensive and complete within themselves.
  • Example: A pillar article about pillar articles written by Yaro Starak of Entrepreneurs Journey. Notice the long, detailed post explaining most aspects of what a pillar article should be like.

    Conclusion: Pillar articles are long. I would suggest posts over 1000 words for pillar articles.

  • Idea Generation: Lots of bloggers use short blog posts to paint an initial idea and ask for reader feedback. Perhaps you want to test a new idea and see how people react to it. You don’t want it to be too long because you want your readers to think from all angles and not just in a direction that you lead them to. In those cases, keep your posts short. These can make for terribly interesting reads!
  • Example: The Atlantic wants readers views on what an entrepreneur-first platform looks like. What do they do? Write a short blurp and let the readers pitch in their ideas. The Economist does that very well too.

    Conclusion: Keep posts that explicitly ask for reader feedback short.

  • Reviews: Reviews are usually detailed posts. For readers to derive value from these reviews, it is essential that you’re an expert yourself and know what you are talking about. You need to research further, look at the pros and cons and lay them all out so that your readers can make an educated decision about the product or service you are reviewing. In most cases, the ideal blog post length of reviews is at least twice as long as your average post.
  • Example: oDesk Review at GeeksMakeMoney. This is a detailed review of oDesk that lays out the pros and cons and lets the reader decide for themselves if they want to join the site.

    Conclusion: Reviews in general should be long, over 1000 words ideally, especially if they form pillar articles for your blog.

  • News: There are many times when you want to let your readers know about an event or news. For instance, if you run a blog on SEO, you might want your readers to know about a huge upcoming change in Google’s algorithm. In that case, you might just link to the main Google blog post and keep your post short. All the information the reader needs is on the other link. However, you can add your subjective thoughts to the issue. In general though, you want to keep these posts short. This happens a lot in certain niches, like technology.
  • Example: There are plenty of blogs on HuffPo that fall into this category. If they are talking about a news released by CNN, they will just link to that news item and provide only a brief write-up leading to that.

    Conclusion: News based articles should be short and link to the source. Detailed analysis can follow in another post. Ideal blog post length of news articles is less than 250 words.

Ideal Blog Post Length for SEO

The ideal blog post length for SEO is hard to determine because Google and other search engines don’t publish this data. There are however several unofficial reports. Many SEO experts believe that blog posts should be of “ideal length” which is usually 250-1000 words. Anything shorter/longer can get penalized. However, this wisdom is old, before all the algorithm changes by Google last year. I am not sure if Google penalizes longer content but it is definitely possible. I know some SEO experts think bigger is better.

As you probably realize, for this blog, I like to write longer blog posts. What’s your average length of a blog post?

Photo Credit: DailyMail

39 Comments

  1. Hi Sid,
    great post ! Honestly I think we marketers should stop being slaves to SEO. As you say Goggle will come up with changes all the time, so instead of focusing on SEO, then write your article as if you are writing it in a written newspaper or magazine. It will set you “Free” and make you focus on your story instead of density of keywords and what have you….. Enjoy wrting articles and You’ll get much more traffic than SEO could ever have provided.. Why ? Because people will enjoy reading from you:-)
    Cheers
    Tina

    • Sid says:

      Tina, that’s very true. Those days are long gone when you could ‘trick’ the search engines into believing your content is good when it isn’t. I think it is always important to write for your readers. That’s the only long-term sustainable way to grow your blog.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Hey Sid,

    Okay, I’ve read about post lengths and I’ve heard from all the gurus but I still just write what I want and I never worry about length. I have certain things I want to say so for the most part I don’t consider SEO tactics and killer headlines. I know, sounds really stupid doesn’t it? But, yesterday was a holiday here in the states and I already have 60 comments on my post about why you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking off. No earth shattering educational post, just my view on working too hard.

    I believe that you should write from the heart no matter the length and then build up those relationships with your readers. If you can do that, you’ll have a successful blog.

    There you have it, my opinion on this subject. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week.

    ~Adrienne

    • Sid says:

      Adrienne, that’s very true – and I know your style of blogging! However, it really depends on why you want to blog, don’t you think? As in, what you consider successful blog. For some it is comments, for some it is traffic, for some it is money. I am totally with you though – this post was just meant as a very rough guideline if someone wants. If you can connect with the reader, be genuine and share what you got, nothing like it. Thanks for dropping by, appreciate your input as ever!

  3. Matz says:

    Personally, I don’t prefer any length in blog posting since what matters most on my part is the content.

  4. For me, generally 1000, 1200 words with 6-8 % keyword density is preferred. I think not only the size, the readability should also be counted for.

  5. zura iphone says:

    Hi Sid, like Tina said and agreed. Now we are actually finding what great potentials long and lengthy articles are written for. At least nowadays it s really shows in SERP’s and unique informative post/articles are getting the benefits.

    For us, we keep in between, and like you, depend on the topic. We hope we can brush up our writing skills (coming from Malaysia) and improve by the variety of content length. Thanks for your taught and insights.

    • Sid says:

      Thanks for dropping by Zura. There are so many different criteria search engines take into consideration it is hard to isolate things. And it changes dynamically. I usually write posts on the longer side to include as much detail and information as is necessary for someone to learn something good. I am glad you liked the post.

  6. Like other major luxury rental complexes including the 1,400 unit Silver Towers and the 905 unit
    New York by Gehry, Mercedes House has chosen to accept the Insurent Lease Guaranty Program in order to give more international and credit-worthy domestic renters the opportunity to quickly get an apartment at Mercedes House by
    using Insurent as their apartment lease guarantor.
    Jobs as scientists are the norm, added to which are lifestyles and personalities that are at complete
    dysfunction with mainstream society. Assisted
    living apartment provide a good environment where people can feel at
    home and receiving the care they need from time to time without
    being disturbed by anyone.

  7. power says:

    Hi tһeгe! This is my fiгst visit to your blog!

    We are a team of volunteеrs and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us valuable infⲟrmation to woгk on. You һave done a outstanding
    job!

  8. Sofia says:

    This article really brings to light the issues that people face on a day to day basis

  9. Marlin Ur says:

    very good submit, i actually love this website, keep on it

  10. minecraft says:

    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing
    very good success. If you know of any please share.
    Kudos!

  11. minecraft says:

    Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

  12. minecraft says:

    This is the right blog for anybody who wants to find
    out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that
    I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic that’s been discussed for decades.

    Great stuff, just great!

  13. minecraft says:

    It’s in reality a nice and useful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  14. minecraft says:

    It’s an amazing paragraph for all the internet people; they will obtain benefit from
    it I am sure.

  15. minecraft says:

    hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve certainly picked up anything new
    from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this website, as I experienced
    to reload the website a lot of times previous to
    I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your
    web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect
    your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot
    more of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you
    update this again very soon.

  16. minecraft says:

    Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and
    I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  17. minecraft says:

    This is a topic that is close to my heart… Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?

  18. minecraft says:

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was
    wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like
    yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not
    very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers

  19. minecraft says:

    Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice
    written and come with approximately all vital infos.
    I’d like to peer more posts like this .

  20. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and
    I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  21. Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this
    piece of writing i thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant article.

  22. I am really loving the theme/design of your website.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility
    issues? A few of my blog audience have complained about my website
    not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera.
    Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?

  23. What’s up to every body, it’s my first go to see of this website;
    this web site consists of remarkable and truly good
    information in favor of visitors.

  24. I don’t even know the way I ended up right here, however I believed this post used to be
    great. I don’t know who you might be but certainly you are going to a famous blogger when you aren’t already.

    Cheers!

  25. Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post.

    Many thanks for supplying this info.

  26. I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet users, its really really
    nice post on building up new weblog.

  27. Very energetic post, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

  28. 護膚 » Summerpig World~ 護膚 » Summerpig World~

  29. Nice weblog here! Additionally your site lots up very fast!

    What host are you the usage of? Can I get your affiliate link for your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  30. Tonie Binder says:

    As far as I’m aware, this is definitely the best source of additional income. Check it out, you will thank me later – http://bit.ly/2PAgEoC

  31. 【保養】爆肝熬夜。隔天依舊閃亮登場的肌膚秘密♥ Dr.Douxi 凍齡熬夜奇蹟霜 @ B2B崔咪TRAMY :: 痞客邦 :: 熬夜霜!!!!!聽到這個名稱是不是很嗨~~~ 今天這篇是合作文♥好啦,我知道大部分的人和我一樣, 都有熬夜的習慣…. 恩…你們都幾點睡…. 12點??(自以為早) OH NO!這樣就是熬夜

  32. 花弦之願 says:

    薄膜型睫毛液,令睫毛增長及增厚、根根分明美睫,打造更豐盈濃密的魅惑眼妝。

  33. 劈價 – 傲翔科研美學有限公司Arrogunt-Hover 劈價 – 傲翔科研美學有限公司Arrogunt-Hover

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *