How Many Words Should a Blog Post Be?
Word content. How do you know how many words are enough?
"How many words should my blog post be?" is a struggle for many content writers. The internet answers this question in many ways. Another WA member’s blog on the word length of an article stirred me to do some research to see what I could find on the topic.
This has been in the back of my mind for some time. The thing I don't like about long posts is that they take forever to read. Most of the time, even though the topic is interesting, I give up half-way through. If it takes me longer than five minutes to read a post, I don't read it.
This article is about my take on long posts.
The blogs come up when you are on Facebook or reading your emails when you have just a few minutes and are trying to quickly scan them. But you come upon an interesting article and you start to read, and before you know it, your 30 minutes' allotted time has turned into an hour.
If I do not like something, I will not ask my readers to endure it. I believe my readers would rather read a short to-the-point post that takes just a few minutes, and glean the same information as they would from a long-winded post.
To answer the question on how much content is enough, I turned to Google Webmaster Guidelines, which outlines what reviewers of websites should look for. The main thing for a high-quality website is the acronym E-A-T.
E – Expertise, A – Authority, T – Trustworthiness
These are what allof us should look for when evaluating a site for reliability, and what to be aware of when building our own websites. The level of expertise and authority depend on the topic. For a healthcare site written by a doctor, for instance, you would want to see full contact information, including his business address and his credentials, which assures you can trust his information. If this information is lacking, you may doubt his expertise. If you write blogs about shaving cream and other personal-care items, you probably only need an email address for identification.
Whether talking about heart failure or shaving cream, the amount of content does not matter as much as we think it does. The number of words depends on the topic and purpose of page.
High-quality information pages should meet the following criteria:
- Factually accurate content
- A clearly written post
- Comprehensive information about the subject
- Users easily find the products they want
- The products are easy to purchase
- All links work, including the shopping cart
Another website (seocopywriting) said to not worry about what Google wants and focus on your reader. This is great advice. The opinion put forth on this site is that word count represents how long it takes to get your point across, and nothing more.
Clear, concise, and accurate. This should be the guidelines for all writing. Do not“fluff up” a page just to make it longer. Take out the redundant words that add nothing to the content.
This table gives you an idea of the page/word relationship:
As you can see, 5000words is a lot of pages. My college papers were hardly this long! How long does it takes to read 10 pages? More time than I usually have, that’s for sure.
Expound a little bit moreon the subject and you have a great little e-book. This could be a free offering as an appreciation gift for buying another product. Or you can sell your e-book for $.99, $1.99, or $2.99, and make a little extra money on the side.
Another way to break up a long blog is to parcel it into Part 1, 2, 3 and so on. This is a good way to bring your reader back to your website, especially if you space out the parts over a few days or so. Like a great series on Netflix; bring your audience back for more.
For optimal indexing and servicing:
Google recommends your site has fast loading pages, is mobile friendly, and presents useful up-to-date content. (Thank you WA for the first two.)
For your blogs:
- Use short meaningful titles
- Make sure page headings convey the subject of the page
- Use text rather than images to convey content
Annotate videos and images with alt text. A picture says a thousand words, but Google crawlers can't read this language. Alt text tells them what the picture says.
Google happily supplies a checklist for optimal exposure for your blogs. I invite you to try this out and see if it helps the optimization of your site.
A checklist for an optimal blog:
- Have I said everything I could?
Have I overcome all objections?
- Have I showcased the product or service?
- Is the keyword usage seamless?
- Does the copy encourage the next conversion step?
- And most importantly - Have I connected with my reader?
We at Wealthy Affiliates are professional writers. We present our skill or craft for the world to see. Each of us should strive to use proper writing conventions of grammar and spelling. But writing professionally goes further than having an error-free article. The fun of writing is putting ideas on paper and watching them develop into something amazing.
Like any other artisan, we must put our best foot forward.
When composing your thoughts, strive to be clear and concise in getting your message out. By doing so, you have a perfectly-written article that even the pickiest Google crawler will grab onto.
It is the human reader that ranks articles on Google – the more people that read the blog, the more apt the mechanical readers are to pick up on the traffic. What does your audience like to read?
I believe the way to gain an audience and garner people’s trust is to keep to the facts, write interesting articles, and use diagrams and other visuals to aid in getting your point across.
Write and write some more.
How many words should a blog post be? That is entirely up to you.