So, you’ve done the groundwork and know that blogs are an important part of any online business strategy. You even know what you want to write about and have well-thought-out plans on how best to engage your potential customers. You’re all set to write your first blog post but suddenly a thought hits you: ‘How long should I make this thing?’ We all know that attention spans are limited in this day and age, when the whole world seems to be on-demand; where exactly is that Goldilockean sweet spot in which you can engage your readers without boring them?
First of all, your absolute primary goal blogs posts is to rank highly in the search engines when people search terms related to your blog or business. Engaging readers is also hugely important, but first of all you want to be seen so you can actually get readers interested in what you have to say (and sell!). In that regard, your blog posts should be no shorter than 300 words. In fact, when it comes to page rankings, longer is better; a 1,000-word post will fare a much stronger chance of appearing at the top of search results than a 300-word one.
The problem, however, is that 1,000-word posts are tough to write well. They require strong writing skills that not every SEO writer wields, and compounding that is the fact that large blocks of text can scare off your potential audience, who might not want to invest in a 3,000-word odyssey. If it’s badly written, they won’t be inclined to share it around either. So once you get people in, the next problem is maintaining expectations; which begs the question, what exactly is the perfect length for a blog post? Well, if you put your trust in Medium, the answer comes not in words, but time; their research tells them that seven minutes is the optimum reading length for a standard blog post.
That’s the sweet spot to aim for time-wise, but it really does depend on your writing skills. Also, some people read quicker than others, so mileage can vary. What is for certain is that the human attention span is always alive and kicking while we’re being entertained, and readers can be entertained by a 300-word post or a 5000-word post, dependent on content. So while there’s no hard and fast rules for the perfect blog post length, you can follow some principles to help you keep on track. Make sure your post is 300 words or over to begin with then judge the rest by your writing skills and what you have to say. Try to keep the post about one thing only and not veer off on too many tangents, and make sure your not overexerting yourself; if you’re prising out one word at a time, you’ve probably overshot.
Bear those simple guidelines is mind, and you won’t go wrong with the length of your posts!