“Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.”
Do you believe in the philosophy of Goldilocks? Because if you do, it’s no wonder that you’re looking at this article to find the right amount of content for your blog posts.
So what is the optimal word count for writing a blog post? Some argue that it must be short (less than 700 words) while others recommend you write very long (greater than 2,000 words). So the question is: Which side is telling the truth?
This blog will hopefully answer your concerns about finding the right word count for your article. I’ll show you the benefits of writing a long and short blog post and explain the important factors that will affect your decision.
Factors That Affect Content Length
What determines the optimal word count of an article? The short answer is: it depends. I know it’s not a good answer, but allow me to mention five key factors to decide on with every article you write.
1. Type of Blog Post
Certain types of blog posts naturally tend to be longer while others are short. For example, ultimate guides and list posts would normally take 2,000+ words to deliver, while news posts and media-rich content (infographics or videos) would take less words to explain.
2. Posting Frequency
What is your content schedule and frequency? You may be writing one post a week, 2 to 4 times per week, or maybe you write an article every day. To maintain that schedule, you would definitely have to compromise the length of your articles based on the amount of time allotted for every blog post.
3. Amount of Resources
Do you have a lot of things to say about the topic? There’s no point holding them back, so you add them into your website. Research data, statistics, expert citations, case studies, personal stories and other special information would contribute to the length of your blog post. So you should take them into account as well.
4. Your Chosen Niche
Let’s face it, not all niches are created equal. Some are tutorial-based (how to lose weight), some are news-oriented (latest gadgets), and some are media-rich in nature. For travel for example, it might be enough to explain the destination with a handful of images, so less words is needed to guide your readers.
5. Blogging Goals
Before you write an article, I’m pretty sure that you have a purpose for writing it in the first place. Are you aiming for search engine rankings? Do you want more social shares or comments? Do you need some leads for your business or more importantly, sales? Whatever is your goal for blogging, it will affect the way you create content, especially word count.
Why Write Long-Form Content?
Here’s the deal. Most bloggers blog because they want to be found in Google. After all, organic traffic is the best source of customers on the Web because it’s free.
If SEO is your main purpose for writing content, then there’s no question that long-form content is the best route to take. In fact, Google loves long-form content because their search bots can better identify what your content is about. The more words they index, the more keywords you can potentially rank for.
A study by SerpIQ indicates that the average length of a blog post in the #1 spot in Google is 2,450, with the #2 and #3 ranging around 2,400 words as well. Knowing this should give you an idea how many words you need for your post.
Another obvious advantage of long posts is providing more value to your readers. If done right, a big fat article can produce a lot of social shares, comments, and backlinks, which further improve its ranking in search.
However, the biggest drawback of 2,000+ word articles is creating them. It can feel overwhelming to research, draft, and edit the entire post, with the fear of messing it up. Plus, you need to find a way to get your readers hooked until the end of the article by adding rich media and proper formatting.
Why Write Short-Form Content?
Unfortunately, short posts make less impact on search engines simply because of its size. Even though it has less potential for engagement, there are some unique benefits to it as well.
Some readers love short-form content because they’re easy to read. Even if you’re not good at blogging, a 3-minute post would be something your readers want to read in their free time because it’s convenient.
The best part of writing in smaller sizes is the ease of making one. In just one hour, you can have a 500-word blog post ready for publish. This is how power bloggers benefit from writing short but concise articles, as they can produce more than one article a day as a result.
In some special cases, producing thousands of words would not be necessary as well if your topic relies heavily on media like images and videos, so you should take note of that.
Not only are they easy to read, they can also be a good start for beginners. Writing 1,000 words or more might feel like a daunting task if you only have few posts in your website. So starting off between 500 and 700 words can help build your confidence in writing.
Rule of Thumb: Write Your Post Until It’s Complete
There is really no magic number when it comes to word count of blog posts. Even when experts recommend 2,450, the length would still depend on the factors I’ve mentioned above.
Also, if you worry too much about word count, it could become troublesome. Suddenly, you’re either adding more fluff or taking away important details only to adjust your post length. You may have met your goal, but the quality suffers as a result.
That’s why it’s important to keep writing until your blog post is complete. Remember, quality content is what stands out from the crowd. Whether you can deliver your point in 2,450 or 700 words, then go ahead and write. Quality should be the deciding factor when your blog post will end.
The best content strategy is to have a mixture of both. Create long and short articles regardless of your niche then see which type resonates with your readers and focus on that.
Another option is to write medium length posts (which is what I’m doing) that fall between 700 and 2,000 words. Add images and YouTube videos to further spice it up.
Whatever resource you can get that is relevant to your audience, put it in your blog. Your readers will love you for doing that.
For more blogging tips, here are some of my related posts:
How long do you normally write your blog posts? Share your answers in the comments below and let’s talk about it.