Ask an Expert: Does the Length of Your Blog Post Really Matter?

We’ve debated what makes a good blog before, but we never really touched on the length of a good blog post.

You don’t want to intimidate readers with steep cliffs of unbroken text, but at the same time, you want to make sure the topic you’re writing about gets the coverage and attention it needs.

Essentially, it’s about writing something useful that gets your point across without boring or losing the reader.

It’s a tough balance because there are so many variables in the equation, from audience loyalty to the overall format.

That’s why we sat down with one of our master bloggers, senior content developer Dave Charest, to ask him some questions.

How long, on average, should a blog post be?

My standard answer is as long as it needs to be. Generally, that typically lands you between 500 – 1,000 words. But I’m less concerned with actual word counts and more focused on making sure the post says what it needs to say.

Why?

Simply because it all depends on what the goal of the post is and how much information you need in order to accomplish that goal.

For example, if I’m writing a post to turn someone’s thinking to my point of view, there’s probably a bit of groundwork I need to layout.

I may need to anticipate and overcome potential objections as well as wrap it up with a compelling summary that further illustrates my point.

Are there exceptions to the rule?

No. As long as it needs to be is always right. Okay, there may be exceptions when you look at things like layout. Sometimes a few more words here or a few less there helps you achieve a particular look on the page.

How can you tell if a blog post is too long or too short?

It’s too long if you haven’t edited for clarity and conciseness, which essentially means asking yourself, “Can I say what I mean in fewer words?”

And it’s too short if you haven’t answered all the reader’s questions. Unless, of course, your goal is for the reader to ask questions. In which case, writing something that may feel incomplete is done by design.

If bloggers have a particularly dense subject, how can they make a post engaging?

Dense subjects can usually be handled by breaking them up into parts. Choose one aspect and attack it from a unique angle. Don’t try to put everything into one post.

Are blog posts displacing  longer materials such as white papers and guides?

No.

Topics generally need to be broken down and expanded. White papers and guides are great for putting all those individual ideas together.

Do you stop reading blog posts after a certain word count or do you stick with it until the end? Let us know below!

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