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How to Determine the Length of Your Blog Posts

Jun 28, 2008
Bloggers seem to wrestle with the issue of how often they should be posting. I do not think this is overly important though as for me, quality is always more important that quantity. I think a bigger issue is determining how long a blog post should be.

When I started blogging, I would publish a new post every single day. Before long, this became too much and I began to cut down by posting two or three times per week. Since making this change, there is no doubt that the quality of my posts has improved. Perhaps as a natural consequence, I have found that the length of my posts has also increased.

It goes without saying that longer blog posts mean more content. Search engines love content, so it goes without saying that the more you write, the more they will love you. Having said this though, you must never lose sight of the fact that your primary objective is to satisfy your human readers, not the search engines.

By forcing yourself to write shorter blog posts, you should find that your posts become far more concise and succinct. It is worth remembering that most blog readers simply scan the text of your posts to pick out the content that is relevant to them. Shorter posts cut to the chase and avoid filler and fluff. Consequently you may find that forcing yourself to keep within a certain word limit advantageous.

On the flip side, you may alienate readers that are looking for thorough and deep analysis. This should not be too much of an issue if your blog posts are free to read, however you need to bear in mind that if you are charging people to access your content, readers will expect far more depth, exploration and analysis.

When deciding on how long your blog posts should be, you should consider exactly what it is you have to say. Of course, if you have a lot to talk about on a certain subject, your post may well be longer than usual. If you only have a few basic points you want to cover, then cover them without filler and padding. As long as you have covered what you want to say, the length of the posts is right.

Similarly, if what you are covering is rather complicated, your posts will probably be longer as a result. Just because you have an average post length, you should not restrict yourself to this limit if you are blogging about something that is rather complicated. Readers will expect some posts to be longer than others, depending on the subject matter of your post.

Something else to consider when deciding how long your blog posts should be is the frequency of your posting. I feel that the more often you post, they shorter they can be. You may actually end up overwhelming your readers if you are posting articles of over 500 words in length every single day!

There is no such thing as the perfect length of a blog post. You should simply write until you have covered all the points you wanted to say. Once you have written the post, go back through it and ensure you have not inadvertently padded it out with filler and irrelevant statements. If you are ever in doubt, it is always worth asking your readers what they think. I see bloggers asking many people for advice. Very often though, they fail to ask the very people they are trying to satisfy ... their own readers!
About the Author
Martin Reed is the developer and owner of a popular UK chat and community website. He also blogs about how to develop successful online communities.
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