Blogging

How Long Should Blog Posts Be?

Blogging word cloud

Before we get into the post, I’ll quickly answer the title question about how long blog posts should be. They should be however long you want them to be, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s chat about some factors that might come into play.

Your own writing style

You may already have your own sweet spot. In your WP stats, if you look under the “insight” tab, it will tell you your average word count per post for each year. Mine is currently 675. This is the highest it’s been; the lowest was 547 in 2018. I’ll occasionally go over 1000 words in a post, but that’s definitely the exception. My minimum word count I aim for is about 450ish.

Other people are naturally inclined to write longer posts. If you want, you can try to go against your natural tendency, but that sounds likely to be frustrating. You’re probably better off going with your natural style, and then if you feel the need, coming up with targets that are in keeping with that style.

What kind of writing you’re doing

If you’re writing poetry, your posts are most likely going to be short. If you’re writing serialized fiction, maybe they’ll be long. There’s no one magic word count that’s going to fit all types of writing, so go with what works for you.

Breaking up the text

If your post is all in one paragraph, unless it’s really short, it becomes pretty tough for readers to follow. Sometimes I’ll give it a valiant try by scrolling up a line at a time, but eventually, I’ll probably give up because my brain can’t make its way through a big wall of text in an orderly fashion.

If you break it up into shorter paragraphs, it’s easier to read. How short? Up to you. Some people will do 1–2 sentences, which definitely makes for easy reading, but paragraphs don’t have to be that short to be readable. There’s lots of room to find a happy medium that works for your writing.

Similarly, if you break up your paragraphs with headings, it makes longer posts easier to read. My concentration is lousy, but if you give me headings, I can read a long post.

SEO and all that jazz

From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, longer is better. There’s a reason for that, and it may not be the least bit relevant to your blog. Search engines are trying to provide searchers with relevant information. A longer article is likely to be more comprehensive, and therefore more likely to give the searcher the information they were after.

How does that apply to you? Possibly not at all. My posts that do well in Google searches aren’t particularly long. Google’s algorithm is a very finely tuned machine, and a single factor like article length isn’t going to magically transport you from page 20 to page 2 of the search results for a related search term.

On the low word count side of things, my Yoast SEO plugin tells me that posts less than 300 words are a bad thing, but again, it’s not a deal-maker or deal-breaker.

Readers’ attention

Are you writing for yourself or for your readers? Probably some of both. Different readers are likely to have different preferences around post length. If you see that shorter or longer posts are getting more or less traffic, you can tweak your writing accordingly if you so desire.

Alternatively, you may be better off writing the number of words you want to write, and then using tricks like short paragraph, headings/subheadings, and images to make the post more reader friendly.

But your readers don’t care what SEO experts have to say, or what blogging gurus have to say. So, if you’re going to write for anyone other than yourself, write for your readers, not for the blogging should police.

For tips on blogging basics, check out the New Blogger’s Guide to WordPress.

The Blogging & Writing Tips page has more advanced info to take your blogging to the next level.

34 thoughts on “How Long Should Blog Posts Be?”

  1. Excellent advice. If I were marketing things for monetary purpose I would follow every single step here.

    Alas, I ignore all of it in my blog.Except for the white space/paragraph spaces/headings etc. It’s so important even for shorter articles, to have those breaks. For your eyes, your attention span, etc.

    Great article Ashley. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I think it’s a totally different ballgame for people whose blog only exists to support their business, and the advice that’s geared towards them doesn’t really apply to anyone else.

  2. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your blog post should be long enough for you to put your point across; for example, if you can put your point across in 750 words, there is no need for you to write 900.

    My blog posts are over 1000 words.

    Truthfully speaking, there are those people who love long-form content (And the same thing applies to short-form content).

    For the record, your Yoast SEO Plugin is right in letting you know if your blog post is under 300 words because anything less than that is considered as “Thin Content” in the eyes of Google.

    In regards to SEO, articles that are in the range of 2000 words to 2467 words tend to do way much better on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages.

    1. That’s such a good example to not write 900 words when you can say something in 750 word.

      I know longer articles are supposed to be better SEO-wise, but my posts that have done really well in Google search results have been around 700-800 words, so I’m not sure how much length actually factors into the overall equation.

  3. When I pay attention to “the blogging should police” (love that, by the way), I end up doubting myself. It’s nice to hear that writing in your own style — without regard for search engine relevance and/or monetization — is perfectly okay. I would much rather truly reach a handful of readers, than make a profit off of half-interested, perceived reading obligation. Thank you, Lovely Lady! ๐Ÿ’•

  4. Oh yeah, I can see how having no paragraphs would be a disaster. Definitely need to break up the space!!

    My posts have “free words” added on because I don’t write the advice columns (most of the time–sometimes I field questions from Yahoo answers), so that’s interesting. I’ve also started trying to separate the weight loss content from other content with asterisks, because I’ve got a lot of weight loss followers! Wow! I wasn’t expecting that, but they’re all following me! Now, if I could just lose some weight…

    You’re right about poetry posts being the shortest, topping only photography posts, I’d guess.

    I agree that people should write as much or as little as they feel like, especially if they’re not trying to monetize, which would be a headache.

    Please keep your fingers crossed for LuLuLu. She’s in pain, and Dr. Google says it’s hip dysplasia or a torn ligament or joint issue, etc. I’m calling the vet first thing in the morning tomorrow!! Will keep you posted!!

  5. I won’t really bother myself on how long or short my post is. But I have realized that some bloggers write extremely long post without pictures or at least headings to at least attract readers to the post. That’s actually bad. I don’t bother reading such posts cos they hurt my eyes and they are boring too.

  6. I always appreciate your advice Ashley (Between you and Renard’s World) I feel like like I am learning to navigate blogging. It definitely full of learning I really do appreciate your articles and words of wisdom. They have been very helpful.

  7. I’m sure my average count is pretty low as I often post poetry and art. I would say your posts are among some of the longer ones I tend to read here on WP, but they aren’t too long. I think when you are sharing informative posts, they tend to be longer just so you can explain everything well and clearly.

  8. I agree completely. Writing for the “blogging should police” would not be nearly so interesting as appealing to the relative handful of people who actually follow my writing and vice-versa. My WordPress blog is basically a hobby or pastime of mine. I’m not out to make money and I don’t get many views. But I’ve definitely met some very interesting people — of whom you are one.

  9. Helpful tips Ashley.
    Thank you.

    My average is 220 words
    I feel it should not be more than 300 to 500 words and if more than 500, my feeling is people start scrolling, which is not encouraging.

    Things also depends on whether one is trying to monetize from the posts.Then the rule of the game changes.

    Those who write for themselves, SEO becomes immaterial

    To my surprise my posts are being found in Google searches though my posts rarely crosses 600 words .I do not understand this .

    Renard and yourself help us so much by your guidance especially to the newbies.
    We are thankful to you both.

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