How long should a blog post be?

In a past world of information dominated by professional journalists, the digital age has given rise to the independent, amateur writer offering up their own opinions without the need for official credentials.

These bloggers and their blogs have taken the online stratosphere by storm. Now, some of them stand as the most trustworthy voice in any given subject.

At Bird Consultancy, we like to keep our blog up to date with relevant news and opinions which followers of a Manchester PR agency might be interested to know.

But, a common question posed by many would-be bloggers starting out is:

‘How long should a blog post be?’

A popular answer we often here is, “between 500 and 1000 words.”

Where this information comes from we have no idea, and we’re almost certain the people offering up these numbers don’t have a clue either.

To be honest, it’s like asking “how long is a piece of string?”

There could be an infinite number of answers, all with various factors to be taken into account.

What these people should be asking is: “what purpose should this blog serve?”

Because once you have answered this question you can then go back and begin to consider the length of the overall piece, as the two go hand in hand.

The length of a blog post should be catered to the type of response you as a writer expects.

For example if you are looking for your blog post to rank highly on search engines, primarily Google, you’ll want to make sure your post is on the upper end of two thousand words. Maybe even three thousand.

Currently, Google seems to be responding well to long form content, meaning if your post reaches somewhere close to this word count or even a little higher, chances are it will fare better with Google and be much easier to find online.

This wasn’t always the case though, and Google’s preferences are ever evolving, so it’s worth keeping an eye out on what the current trend is whenever you intend to publish your work.

However at the other end of the spectrum, short-form pieces of a couple of hundred words or more don’t tend to fare very well with search engines. but do exceptionally well across social media. Short-form posts should be catered towards garnering interaction online instead of search engine hits.

If you enjoy browsing stories on social media, you’ll probably be familiar with these kinds of posts as they are always the ones to generate a lot of like, comments and clicks.

So, the next time you’re looking for something that’s guaranteed to draw a few eyes on social media don’t make it too long.

But on the other hand, if you’re looking to release something with a bit more of a professional feel to it, seven hundred to eight hundred words is your best bet.

Generally, this is the average length of a story released by professional reporters.

While they’re not the shortest pieces in the world, they still have the potential to garner a decent number of shares on social media.

Probably the best length for something a bit more in-depth, without losing the advantage of shareability.

These are only suggestions, though. At the end of the day, the length of a blog post comes down to one single, unchangeable factor: You.

How long do you want it to be? What feels best for you?

Because in the end you can write a blog post to be a specific length for a specific purpose, but if it doesn’t feel right it’s probably not going to read right to other people either.

This is a topic that people tend to go way overboard on, throwing conflicting and illogical answers all over the place.

The beauty of the format is that this blog post, which currently stands at around six hundred and fifty words, could have been reserved for a few short, simple words:

How long should a blog post be?…

As long as it needs to be.