Okay, so let’s get straight down to business – how long should your blogs be?
This is a question I get asked quite a lot – and I always get the sneaking suspicion that the person asking me is hoping that I’m going to say “Don’t worry about it – your blogs don’t have to be very long”!
Sorry, I’m about to burst your bubble! However, while quality definitely trumps quantity, the more quality you give, the better.
Let’s break it down…
Under 300 words
This is not a blog – it’s a photo with a long caption.
However – there are two caveats here:
If your business is very visual, for example, fashion or photography, and you are using striking and unique imagery, then you can allow the pictures to do the talking.
Seth Godin, the granddaddy of content marketing/blogging sometimes writes blogs that are only ten words long. However, he also writes a blog every day. Literally every single day, including Christmas day. And just because occasionally one of his blogs is only two sentences long, it doesn’t mean that they don’t pack a punch. Anyway, my point is that if you’re going to write a post every single day, then, by all means, use as many or as few words as you wish. But let’s face it, who’s really got time for that? In which case, read on…
300 – 450 words
This is what I’d call a mini-blog or a placeholder blog. For use only sparingly.
For example, many of my clients publish weekly blogs, but during the summer holidays or at Christmas, for example, their businesses may be in shut down, or they know that their audience is otherwise distracted by the general busy-ness of the festive period or pre-occupied drinking cocktails on the beach themselves, and that there’s not a great deal of point in putting out a lengthy blog that’s not likely to get read.
Therefore, instead, we’ll post a cute “Happy Holidays! This is what we’re getting up to, hope you have a great time and see you next year.” article to ensure it doesn’t seem as if my client has just “checked out” because it’s eggnog/piña colada season.
Also, of course, sometimes there’s just not that much to say about a subject, and when it comes to blogs, there’s nothing worse than a waffle. So, if you can keep it short, sweet and still meaningful, then hit that “publish” button. But first ask yourself – is that really all you’ve got to say on the subject?
450 – 600 words
You’re getting there, and this is a respectable length for a blog. We’re all busy, and your readers will appreciate coming across something that interests them, and that doesn’t take up their entire lunch hour to read.
However, do check that you’re sharing enough value here. It’s super-annoying to click through to a post from Facebook or a newsletter because its title suggests it’s going to solve a problem you’ve been experiencing (or whatever), and all you find is a lengthy reiteration of the title, a humblebrag about the author’s awesome #laptoplifestyle, a couple of bullet points, and a call to action which involves you giving away your email address in exchange for a cheatsheet that is apparently going to solve the problem you thought was going to be solved by reading the blog in the first place.
600 words plus
Ah, the blogging sweet spot!
This Goldilocks word count gives you enough space to sprinkle your SEO keywords about without ruining the flow of the article, and allows you to give your readers some real value – which means that they’re more likely to share your post on social media!
Once you get over 600ish words, don’t continue to write for the sake of it (remember – quality over quantity), however the closer to 1,200 you get, the more these SEO and social media sharing benefits are known to increase.
More than 2,500 words
Uh? Sorry, I drifted off halfway through. I’m going to give you three options here:
Edit, edit, edit. Does it really need to be this long? Are you repeating yourself? Using too much flowery language?
Chop it up into several different blogs or create a blog mini-series on the topic that you’re writing about.
Add more value, make it longer and create an e-book.
As I mentioned in my blog about The 3 Things Your Blogs Need, the best way to work out the ideal length of blogs for your business is to test and measure. Analyse your social media and website metrics to find out which of your blogs have been most popular with your audience, which are driving traffic to and around your website, and which are converting sales.
And just in case you were wondering, the word count for this blog is 873 words.
Does your business even need a blog? I get it – creating content can be time-consuming and confusing. But that’s where I come in. In my unique Mistress of Your Message program, together we’ll figure what you need to be saying, how to say it, who to say it to and where to say.
Sound good? You can find all the information here…