Blog Length Ruler
Blog Length Ruler

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!

Comments:

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  1. The answer to that is always: it depends on how well-written the post is. If it’s engaging, relevant and on-topic, I’ll keep reading! (Humor never hurts either in keeping my attention.)

    Reply
    • Dave Charest •

      Nice Cindy. This pretty much sums it up, “If it’s engaging, relevant and on-topic, I’ll keep reading!”

      Reply
  2. [...] using blogs for your advocacy project. I wanted to share Constant Contact’s blogs with you. This post discusses blog post length and how to make sure it is engaging. I definitely learned some things. [...]

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  3. [...] about the ideal length of a post or read an interview between two veteran [...]

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  4. Just want to share with you. I usually type 400 up to 800 words, for one topic. If there were connections to other topics, just put the links to them. Additionally, I insert also the image on the post.

    Reply
  5. [...] Ask an Expert: Does the Length of Your Blog Post Really Matter?(blogs.constantcontact.com) [...]

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  6. [...] Ask an Expert: Does the Length of Your Blog Post Really Matter? (blogs.constantcontact.com) [...]

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  7. Well placed and color rich pictures with appropriate captions are also useful in keeping readers glued to your page plus a punchy title in addition to what Cindy has stated. With all these prerequisites in place, I would not mind reading a long article.

    Reply
  8. I always read as long as the post holds my interest. If it’s a blog that I’m particularly attached to, then I’ll put up with a boring paragraph or two because I know that the person will get to something interesting based on past experiences. If I’m reading for the first time, I normally scroll down the side to see how long it is, and if it’s very long and I don’t absolutely adore the first three paragraphs, I let it go.

    Reply
  9. I’ll read anything regardless of length if I’m interested and it’s well written. I can’t read white text on black or dark backgrounds. It bothers my eyes and give me a headache. People who are using a lot of text need to consider physical issues like text size, text color, and screen background color. These are not minor details. If your font is elegant but hard to read, reconsider the format. People underestimate the importance of graphics and physical format and how much it affects readers. Just a thought!

    Reply
    • Blaise Lucey •

      Great point – formatting is essential to a blog, especially as more people access posts via mobile!

      Reply

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