Reading time: 2 minutes
Clients often ask us about the ideal length of a blog. It’s an important question since blog creation is the main fuel for many content marketing programs. That said, I don’t think this is the right question. It should be: “How do I get people to read my blog, and does length have an impact on readership?”
Unfortunately, you’re going to hate me for saying this, but when it comes to blog length, it depends.
Many people have tried to figure this out by looking at blog lengths, Google Analytics scores, and other engagement metrics. Here are some of our favourites:
- The Write Practice – advice for writers
- Yoast – makers of WordPress SEO plug-in
- Buffer – content marketing organization
- Neil Patel – SEO and marketing expert
The quick summary is that you always need good content: quality beats length every time. It doesn’t matter if your SEO tool says it should be longer; if people are reading your blogs, you don’t want to puff them up with filler.
What guidelines do we use? Based on a mix of those expert sources above tempered by our own experience in the autotech space, we use the following as a rough guide:
- 750 words is good for online presence and attracting links from other blogs
- 1,200 words is long-form content designed to maximize sharing on social media
- 2,400 words is cornerstone content on detailed topics designed to improve SEO
We don’t often write content shorter than this guideline; more often than not we find that covering a subject adequately cannot be done in less than 750 words. It is interesting to note that two of our most popular blogs are at the opposite ends of the spectrum – Nancy’s blog about LinkedIn profile pics is a mere 551 words, while my Why is Marketing Such a Dirty Word blog is over 4,000 – and as of today they’re our two most popular pieces.
We always focus on quality first, so we never restrict our length to these numbers, nor do we keep writing until we hit a magic word count. What we do, however is use these numbers to estimate time and cost, and to get an idea of a piece’s appropriate length based on intent.
This blog is short and to-the-point, and at 572 words, it’s under our normal minimum. But it does the job without filler, just like it’s supposed to. We’ll let you know if it gets read!