A while ago I complained on Twitter that I was seeing a lot of posts on blogs that are 25 of this or top 50 of that. You know the regular giant list posts. There are some blogs that is all they do and while I do subscribe to some blogs that create these giant list posts they are slowly being weeded out of my feed reader. On the other hand I have also noted that many blogs create blog posts that are just short snippets. Short enough in fact that the whole post could have been posted on Twitter instead of their blog. This has gotten me thinking about what the best blog post length is.
While I don’t spend a great deal of time worrying about how long or short the posts are here I do try to have posts that are roughly 200 words long. So how long should your blog posts be? According to a quick Google search several people have stated that a nice blog post length is roughly 250 words.
Personally I find long posts do not hold my attention while too short of posts often do not have enough information. What do you think? How long should blog posts be?
8 thoughts on “The Perfect Blog Post Size”
Lee, a better question would be to target post lengths to your audience. If you’re writing to other bloggers, notoriously known for a short attention span, than the 250-300 limit seems okay. However, if your audience has no clue what a blog is, doesn’t have one themself, and your subject calls for some length, than it’s perfectly fine to go over that arbitrary limit.
Once again, it comes down to writing for your audience. 😉
About those list posts…too many people read Problogger who tells them list posts are a great linkbait. While that may be so, especially if you’re targeting Digg, they don’t work for everyone. And unless someone comes up with a unique list, I too tend to pass them by. I only have done one, a post about 15 great romantic lighthouses to spend with your sweetie for Valentine’s Day. And that was over a year ago. Haven’t done one since. 🙂
When I started blogging, many of my posts were way too long and lacked pictures. I realize now how hard that made it for readers to stay interested.
Over time, my posts have gotten shorter. My best post length is 500 words if I can keep it there. In the last year, I doubt I wrote a single post more than 800 words. Sometimes I do post short (250), but I try to shoot for 500. It’s a good fit for me and my material.
My blog post length is all over the place, from 100-word commentaries to 1500-word mini dissertations. I’ve tried to keep them short, but I usually have a lot to say. I’ve also broken long articles into multiple parts to keep them shorter and spread new content over multiple days.
I don’t think I could keep to 250 words on average for a post length. Heck, I have enough trouble keeping comments on other people’s blogs that short!
But I agree — I’m really pretty fed up with blog posts that are nothing more than lists of the “25 Best” or “50 Must-Read” posts about a specific subject. These posts consistently reach the top of Digg, Del.icio.us, and other bookmarking sites, but I suspect that’s because no one has bothered to actually follow the links — and discover it’s the same darn posts over and over again.
I agree with you about the too short of a post. So much information online now is just a repeat of other information and snippets. I think 200-250 is a good size. I hate it when I am searching a subject, and I land there and it is one of those “paid” answer sites, and has 3 lines you can see.
I want real information on topics I am searching. Like this one, so hey, Thanks!
This is what I do,
As my site is setup with google analytics, I started posting longer posts. I did some research on how many words the average person can read per minute. I took those results and compared them with the amount of time spent looking at the longer blog posts and calculated what the best number of words would be based on that. I found that if you can reach keep the reader content they are far more likely to click on another article than leave your site. This has decreased my bounce rates, increased my time on page and also increased my page views. Thus creating a better experience for my readers. Its not an exact science as there are always variable. You can only try different things and then if all else fails, just stop writing, because if people aren’t reading your articles fully its probably because you can’t keep their attention with your writing.