How Long Is Your Content?

Last Update: Mar 13, 2020

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"Brevity is a sister of talent" ~ A.P. Chekhov

That's the quote I grew up on.

Much prior to Anton Chekhov, William Shakespeare said "Brevity is the Soul of Wit".

I never thought of myself as being too verbose, but apparently, now I've realized that this talent's sister doesn't want to be my friend, which causes a major problem in my current work.

While some others struggle to write a 1,000-word article, I struggle to keep mine under 6,000 words. None of my posts are shorter than 3,000.

All experts advise that the posts must be as thorough as possible. Apperently, the ability to deliver much information in short expressions is not my strength, especially in English, where I often have to go a long way to explain a concept, while much shorter phrases must be available; my vocabulary is just not broad enough to choose the best wording.

This means to me that in order to have my articles thorough and keep them under max 3,000 words, I must choose very narrow topics..

When I choose a topic and a targeted keyword for it, it seems like narrow enough. I make a plan like Kyle taught and define my headers upfront. But when I start writing, something else always comes to mind relative to the topic, that further details the concept. Or, while doing my research for the content, I discover something that I didn't know in advance and that has to be covered.

Why are the long posts a problem? They are not! That is if you can still write at least 2-3 posts per week.

However, I'm unable to write more than one article per week. I tried breaking my long posts into 2 or 3, but then it takes even more time because the paragraphs are connected to each other conceptually, introduction and conclusion must be changed, more keywords are needed, images also often need to be added when pieces get separated.

Now, I've added the YouTube channel to my workload.

My aggressive but realistic goal was to write one article per week and create one video. I started with "How To"s screencast videos for beginner-bloggers and after the first 40-minute video, managed to keep the following ones under 15 minutes each. I was very close to my goal of 1 post/ 1 video per week... until I decided to do a review video.

This was more than 2 weeks ago. Well, I did "waste" about 3 days of work for the family activities as they wanted to treat me for my birthday. Other than that, I was not even able to write a post to my website (though, I have a guest post that I'm yet to publish) or spend time here and keep in touch with my WAmily.

I'm back now! Two weeks of work are finally online. This new video is 40 minutes long... LOL. I have to say that I've learned a lot about video-editing during these past 2 weeks. Some real waste of time was related to my system not being powerful enough to handle such heavy video files, and it kept freezing.

I'm telling myself that I will not do it again - no more long videos!.. or long posts! Am I lying to myself? 😉

I would greatly appreciate your support for this video in terms of watch time (mute it and let it run while you are doing something else), comments and likes. It's the latest video on my YouTube channel - I'm not supposed to be posting a link here, but I posted the direct link to this video in the YouTube give and take comment thread, or you can find my channel on my profile page under "Follow Julia On".

By the way, if you have a YouTube channel and haven't discovered the YouTube give and take comment thread, please use the link above to join us in requesting and offering support to each other's YouTube channels.

If you haven't subscribed to my channel yet, please do! I'm still too far away from my first milestone of 100 subscribers.

My problem is the inability to correctly estimate the length of the content ahead of time. At first, I couldn't write often because of my poor English writing skills, but now I feel much more comfortable writing, and even speaking in English in front of the camera. Even though writing and speaking in the second language still increase the time I spend on each article and video, I now understand that this is not the main issue anymore.

How do you estimate the size of your content? What is the average length of your website posts?

Do you have any advice for me on how I could improve my efficiency?

Thank you so much for reading, watching my video and subscribing to my YouTube channel, and for your continued support!

Have a wonderful weekend and be well!

~ Julia

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Recent Comments

35

Good afternoon Julia,

Everybody is different and we each have our writing style, short, medium or long.
I think I fall into the medium one around 1500 words.
If you can keep a nice flow and your reader does not think where is the end of this post I think you will be fine.
If you try to change yourself too much it will not be you anymore and neither will it look natural.

Greetings from the south of Spain,

Taetske

Hi Taetske,

Thank you!
I agree that I shouldn't change my writing style. I am working on better planning and narrowing down the topics I'm addressing in each post.
Did you have a chance to check my latest video? It's long (sigh!), but I was thinking about your advice when creating it. I wonder if its visuals make the length bearable.

Have a wonderful weekend,

~ Julia

Good evening Julia,

I did look at your video and think the way of making it has improved.
To make a cut, show some products, talk some more, etc, kind of gives a break and recaptures attention, well done.

Greetings from the south of Spain,

Taetske

Thank you so much, Taetske!

Greetings from the north of the US ;)

~ Julia

Brevity is an issue with me sometimes also, yet tiffany had some great suggestions for you. I usually set up an outline to cover the main topics of the post. If you see there are more topics to include, you can make 2 posts, or just break it up with images if you can on reviews etc.
Best to you.
Bill

Thank you, Bill. I think my posts are well-formatted for readability and navigation. I do write short paragraphs, break them up with relevant images and include the table of contents. I don't think that the length itself is the biggest problem (though, it would be nice if I could cover the same amount of information in fewer words - that requires talent, which I don't have). The problem is that with such length, I can't write often enough to keep frequent updates on my site. I will certainly learn from all the advice I received here and hopefully manage to plan better. Tiffany's suggestions are indeed very helpful.

Thanks for the reply. Take care,
Bill

I use templates and now since I’ve written well over 1 million words, I can estimate a little better. In general, reviews are probably about 2000 words.

Comparisons are longer, and buyers guides or definitive guides are probably 5k+ words. Response posts, list posts, or curated posts can be 2k words. You’ll get a sense of which posts are long and which are short with practice.

You can also use the Jaaxy search analysis tool to look at the length and amount of detail in posts that are currently ranking, then use that for estimating. Considering that you like to be thorough (like me), you may want to consider having a summary and table of contents at the top for your readers with short attention spans.

Tiffany, thank you so much for your great guidelines and advice!

I do have a summary and table of contents.

I've experimented a little and separated two of my long posts into two pages, but not sure if it did any good for me (other than decreasing my bounce rate a little). I'm also not sure how to correctly handle 2-page posts as both pages are targetting the same keyword... Do you have any experience with that?

Thanks a lot for your comment.

~ Julia

You can do a blog series where you have one concept that's split into parts, but I think you may be better off just keeping the post altogether.

Right now, you're experimenting without your audience's feedback--that's not how I would advise you do it. You can hypothesize all day long, but without real feedback from your target audience, it's a waste of time.

Try getting feedback from several ideal customers (100 or more), then you'll have more data. You can download something like Hotjar and watch the recordings of your visitors. See if they're reading the whole thing. If they are, leave it altogether.

In other words, let the post marinate until you have visitors and more accurate data to hypothesize with. Otherwise you can over-analyze and over-complicate things with no real value-add.

I wouldn't make any hypothesis without real data. In the meantime, answer the search query thoroughly and leave it all together. If the post is long but clearly answers the questions, it should be what your audience is looking for.

If you get feedback from your ideal customers that it's too long, consider changing what you're doing once you have sufficient volumes of feedback requesting a change.

Okay, thank you, Tiffany; advice is taken. :)

One of the posts I've split into 2 pages, was the most visited one. My bounce rate was very high. I now see that about 1/3 of the visitors do read the second page.
The bounce rate dropped by about 10%.

The second long post (also well visited) became long because I wrote a review in the early days of the company and was watching its development for over a year making updates to that post. To declutter, I left the original review on the first page and put all of the updates on the second. I kept the most recent update at the top of the first page and pointed out that those who want to see the progress of the company can read its development on the second page. The first page is still well attended, but the second one receives only a few hits, which is okay.

Moving forward, I won't create multi-page posts anymore...

Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend.

~ Julia

Hi Julia. My thoughts are that the length is determined by the topic and the audience.
Some topics do require longer posts.
Younger audiences want short to the point posts and videos.
In my own use of YouTube for research I too like the shorter to the point posts so often. I guess I am young at heart.
Great thoughts, thanks for sharing.
Ray

I totally agree with you, Ray! That's exactly how I see it: some posts can be long, but others could be short. Why are ALL my posts turn out to be the long ones? :) That's a rhetorical question - I know you don't have an answer for me.

Best,

~ Julia

It could be that yours are the perfect size Julia. Besides it sounds like you have the perfect gift for writing posts that are totally informing. Relish that blessing.
Ray

It's kind of you to say that. Thank you.
~ Julia

I never know who to believe Julia. I read or hear that 'the longer the better' then, in the same breath saying that we should keep them between 800 and 1500 words. Plus all the numbers inbetween.
Most of my posts are somewhere in the region of 1250-1500. My longest ever was 2450.
The problem is, I never know the end result when I start. It just goes where it goes, also hoping that it keeps the reader engaged.

Hi Twack,

I used to argue with people suggesting that the longer posts are better. Who is going to read 6K words nowadays?
But then, I noticed that the more successful and experienced the person is, the more he or she preaches for the long and thorough content.
I guess, while nobody reads the whole thing, in the thorough posts, everyone is able to find what is he/she is interested in.
I wish I could make at least some of my posts 1250-1500 words! It sounds like you are in the safe range - not too long, but not too short either.

Thank you for your response.

Warm wishes,

~ Julia

I think that's a really good point, in regard to each person taking what they want from the longer articles. Maybe that's where getting the proper layout is important. Easy to manage bites of information.

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