Beginner’s Guide: How Many Words Should Your Blog Post Be?
Do you ever wonder how many words your blog post should have? Countless articles give conflicting advice, with one saying that 300-word posts are the way to go while others are insisting you need at least 2,500 words to make your article worthy of reading.
This beginner’s guide will get down to the nitty-gritty parts of explaining why your blog posts should have x amount of words to be considered valuable.
The Short Answer: It Depends
I know, hearing “it depends” as an answer can be really annoying, but that’s really the truth. The length of your blog post is totally dependent on what you want to achieve with it.
The Different Goals
When you create a blog, there should be a goal. Do you want people to comment a lot on it? Do you want a lot of exposure and traffic? Do you want it to be the first thing people see when they search for something on Google?
The goal you want to reach for your blog will determine how many words your posts should have to achieve that milestone.
If you’re after getting comments from your subscribers, writing discussion posts around 300 words is more than enough to encourage discourse. With 300 words, you can briefly describe your topic as an introduction and then discuss your opinion and invite others to share their beliefs and insights.
No need to be shy, you don’t have to sugarcoat things to ask for other people’s opinions; more often than not, they give unsolicited advice. What if you openly invite it?
If what you want is for your post to be shared through different platforms of social media, a longer post would be better. Users tend to share articles with depth and substance, as long as they are not too lengthy.
Writing blog posts ranging from 500-1500 words can capture their attention and get them to click the “Share” button to give your blog the exposure it needs to go viral!
If your heart’s desire is to be top-dog at Google, you need to get your reading glasses and be prepared for long nights of research before you can even start writing your article.
Google recognizes and ranks heavily-researched and scientifically-backed articles of at least 2,000 words. The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) business is tricky but it’s hard to refute their methods because they rely on data and numbers which do not lie.
What SEO Tools Say
Since we know that SEO tools are mostly in charge of deciding whether you get that ranking or not, we looked at different software and checked what these algorithms think is the “ideal word count” for your blog posts.
This keyword research tool showed that all the websites at Google’s first page contain at least 2,000 words and the average word count was at 2,416.
Backlinko reels it in a little and says that a good article length is more or less 1,890 words.
After analysing more than a million articles to better understand how SEO works, BuzzSumo found that over 85% of online content doesn’t even reach the 1,000-word threshold.
Moreover, they noticed a steady trend that articles over 2,000 words actually diminish your chances of ranking.
At the end of the day, these tools are machines processing countless sets of information and deliver their judgement based on that. It’s really nothing personal, but sometimes it feels that way.
Looking at different SEO tools isn’t helping us arrive at a solution. But maybe it’s best to further understand the difference between short-form content and long-form content.
Short-Form Content vs. Long-Form Content
Your content is the lifeblood of your blog, so knowing which kind would suit your industry best is an important step you need to take.
Short-form content is content that is less than 1,000 words. A few examples of short-form content are emails, tweets, captions, and short blog posts.
These kinds of posts have their advantages such as increased readability and the time it takes to actually be read. If you’re using your phones or tablets, it’s much easier to digest a short 300-word evenly-spaced article than it is to fully understand a 2,000-word single-spaced research journal.
However, short-form content also comes with its disadvantages. Because of its short nature, it’s hard to gain credibility from readers because of its lack of depth. Writers can’t go into a long explanation and history of one technical term dropped in the article.
When your readers can’t get valuable information from your article, there’s also a huge chance your website won’t perform as well as you thought. Short-form content is rarely recognized by SEO tools because it lacks authority and research.
Don’t underestimate short-form content because being able to convey so much by saying so little is a skill very few have mastered.
Long-form content, on the other hand, is the kind of content you would normally read when you have a lot of time to do so. These articles are at least 2,000 words long and are normally found in reputable websites like digital newspapers and online magazines.
These articles go into the deep crevices of their topics for the sole purpose of informing their readers or articulating their analyses, if not both.
Writing long-form content is time-consuming but its advantages might make you reconsider. Because your content is so well-researched and data-driven, readers are more likely to trust your website and return for more in the future.
The sleepless nights you’ve endured and the amount of reading up done for this one topic significantly also increases your authority on the subject, which improves your search engine ranking.
Search engines like Google have algorithms that strive to deliver the best to their users. Articles with detailed, valuable, and well-written content meet the standards these search engines have, thus, allowing you to rank in Google’s top ten.
At the end of the day, it’s really up to you as the writer. Some writers are more skilled at writing short-form content while others excel at putting in numerous hours conducting research to get the most accurate piece of information for their project.
Being mindful of your word count helps expand your audience and broaden your digital reach. With an online word count tool, you’ll never have to guess how much you’re writing.