How Long Should Each Blog Post Be? A Data Driven Answer

blogging

People often obsess over how long their blog posts should be. There’s a lot of information out there regarding the “perfect” length of a blog post, but a lot of that data is conflicting.

Content is really important when it comes to search rankings, so if you are going to leverage content marketing, you might as well do it right. But before we get into the ideal length for a blog post, let’s first go over a few shocking myths:

Myth #1: Shorter is the only way!

The shorter-is-the-only-way school of thought believes that a blog post should be as brief as possible. They insist that once you cross the 200-character threshold or so, you’re sunk. No one’s going to read it.

Seth Godin is one of the greatest marketing minds of our age. How long are his blog posts?

They’re really short.

seth godin

That 66-word wonder is 3% the length of the article you’re reading right now.

For Seth Godin, shorter is killer. It matches his audience, his style, his message, and his approach.

I am not Seth Godin.

The takeaway is this. Shorter is not always better. Shorter is sometimes better for some posts, in some situations, and some of the time.

Myth #2: Longer is the only way!

Another school of thought subscribes to the it-must-be-long-or-else approach.

I see people wondering about this all the time.

count tweet

In a radical pendulum swing, away from the short-content fans, these content marketers rave over the long post. They insist that the most successful and high-converting blog posts should be in the multiple thousands of words.

My about page has over 2,000 words. If you count all the comments, you’re up to more than 10,000 words, which is the equivalent of a small novel. By contrast, my landing page is only 20 words.

Yes. 20. With one zero.

I’m comparing pages that are not blogs, but the point is the same: long is not always better. It simply depends upon your purpose and the message you’re trying to communicate.

Myth #3: People don’t read content on the web.

This is the most egregious of the myths, and it’s been around for a long time.

Back in 1997, Jakob Nielsen published an article titled “How Users Read on the Web.” His answer? “They don’t.”

readability

Nielsen was being blunt to make a point. His point was that people tend to scan online content.

The myth lives on, however. For a long time, marketers have churned out spun content, cheap content, and crappy content…lots of junk content. According to this strategy, they would throw mud on the wall of the Internet, thinking it would stick in the form of indexed pages, high-ranking keywords, and better search results. Their content was not written for people to read because, hey, people don’t read!

That’s just not true.

People do read content on the web, even if they tend to scan headlines or linger on pictures. The web is driven by content. The cliche “content is king” is true.

All three of these myths should be shunned in favor of a more strategic approach to content length. Longer is not necessarily better. Shorter is not necessarily better. And people do actually read your content.

It’s not all about length.

When it comes to web content, length is only one of the factors to consider. You’ve got to consider a host of other issues. Take into account how all these other factors affect the length of your post.

  • Substance – this is the most basic consideration. What are you trying to say? What’s the substance? If you can say it in 100 words, then you may want to do so. If it requires 2,000 words, that’s fine too.
  • Style – some writing styles lend themselves to content that is short, brief, and to the point. Other times, the style is more conversational and interactive. Style will affect your content length.
  • Frequency – how often you post affects how long your posts are. Some bloggers may post only once a week, but when they do, it tends to be a very thorough blog post. Other sites pop out short ones every day. It’s just a matter of how much the content marketing team can manage. Good content takes time!
  • Format – the way an article is formatted has a massive impact upon its readability. I tend to use a lot of subheadings, a sprinkling of images, and short paragraphs. It’s important to break up your content into chunks so people can scan it.
  • Purpose – every good content marketing plan has a purpose…many purposes, actually. The ultimate goal is conversions, but within this broad goal, there are sub goals. Other goals may be to spread brand awareness, drive social engagement, grow email lists, provide education or improve SEO. Different purposes will naturally mean differing length requirements.
  • Audience – a huge part of content creation is knowing your audience: their needs, their interests, their passions, and their problems. Your goal is to create content your audience is going to read.
  • Medium – not all content is words. When I post an infographic, I typically use around 100 words to introduce the topic. The rest of the words are in the infographic, which don’t really translate into an accurate word count metric. If you post a video, meme or infographic, word count becomes irrelevant.

By no means am I saying that content length isn’t important. I’m saying that length isn’t the only thing you should be concerned about.

I’m also saying that length is just one factor out of many that influence a content marketing strategy.

Now that I’ve set forth this information, I’m going to make a case for longer content.

Longer is Usually Better

If you look at the data below, you will have to agree with me. Longer posts usually perform better on every level.

Let’s go through the reasons why this is true.

The first is the fact that a higher word count typically results in more search traffic. There are more than 200 factors that influence how your content ranks in the SERPs. Evidence suggests that the more content your page has, the better chance it has of a top position in Google results.

SerpIQ studied search results rank based on content length. Here’s what they found:

content length

The higher the Google SERP position, the more content the page has. Notice that every one of these first page results has content exceeding 2,000 words.

Google’s web crawler, Googlebot, is responsible for indexing your site. When it does so, it looks at every single word, tag, and particle of information (with a few exceptions like rich media files and dynamic pages).

There are different content types that get indexed — page title, headlines (H1, H2, H3, etc.), metadata, alt tags on images, etc.

The more content you have, the more of it gets indexed. The more that gets indexed, the better it will perform in searches and results. It’s just that simple.

The more variety you have, the stronger your keyword potential

The sheer variety of words is also an important factor that can improve your SEO.

For instance, let’s say you’re creating a short blog post on “writing great headlines.” You’re aiming for 200 words. In a post consisting of a couple hundred words, you’ll probably use the search term “writing great headlines” and maybe one or two variations on the theme. Good enough.

But what if you were writing an article that was 2,000 words long? You’ll get to use a variety of other keywords that are related:

  • “how to craft a killer headline”
  • “creating great headlines”
  • “writing better headlines”
  • “tips for a great opening line”
  • “an effective title”
  • “the title of your post is important”
  • “it’s a winning headline”
  • “because these words in the title…”
  • “those first words and their magnetic power”
  • “sizzling hot titles”
  • “some of the most popular headlines…”

You can use a lot more variety when you have a lot more content. The more variety you have, the better you’ll perform in search queries. Remember, Google isn’t just delivering results that have an exact match to the query. It delivers results that are semantically related.

I googled “creating a great headline” and got these results:

google search

The first result is about writing “magnetic headlines.” The second result has to do with “catchy headlines.” I didn’t use “catchy” or “magnetic” in my query, but Google is smart. It knows that I’ll like these results.

When you write longer posts, you’ll be able to leverage the power of long tail keywords and latent semantic indexing. The spread of keywords creates a more effective matrix for search engine ranking potential.

The greater your word count, the more link-backs you’ll get.

One of the biggest SEO factors is gaining high quality backlinks to your pages. The longer your post is, the more likely it is to gain backlinks.

I’ve mentioned before that long content garners more link-backs. Here’s the proof from a Moz test:

moz word count

The correlation couldn’t be clearer.

moz link count

From a sheer data perspective, you can’t argue against this. Longer content gets more link-backs. More link-backs means better SEO. Better SEO means more conversions and revenue.

Longer content gets shared more

A popular online journal ran the numbers on how shareable its content was from a length perspective. What the team discovered was that longer articles got shared more.

social shares

Once the word count exceeds 1,500 words, it’s in the golden share zone.

My own research on Quick Sprout confirms this. All of my posts that are more than 1,500 words receive 68% more tweets and 22% more Facebook likes than the articles with fewer than 1,500 words.

For all the talk about making posts “shareable,” it turns out that the defining factor is content length.

Conclusion

I want to warn against getting hung up on content length. There’s no magic formula on word count that’s going to put your rankings through the roof.

At the same time, I’ve shown you the data that proves that longer content gets better ranking, higher indexing, and more sharing.

If you’re looking for numbers, a post that is above 1,500 words seems to be in the zone of ideal length. I’d shoot for that if I were you.

Just because long content trends better doesn’t mean that yours automatically will. It helps to have an active social presence, rock-solid copy, and stuff worth talking about.

How long are your regular posts? What differences have you noticed between long posts and short ones?

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Comments

  1. This is a perfect example of high quality content rising to the top. Now, it doesn’t always take thousands of words to create value for your readers, but that’s the case more often then not.

    When we do our writing we don’t aim for long content, but usually it just ends up that way. We try to cater to the user, and usually it ends up to be a surprisingly long word count. But – just care about your readers and you’ll reap the benefits!

    • Great point — often, if you just concentrate on giving the reader as much value as possible, the content just seems to go on and on, resulting in a higher word count.

      Exactly as you said — your reader comes first. Word count is second.

    • Scott, thanks for these great additional points. Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

  2. Heil Neil, my regular posts has about 600-700 words, but I have had set up new business plan.

    I want to post at least 4x per week 1200+ words high quality articles(tutorials), 2x 500-700 words articles and 1x infographics.

    What you think about this plan, make it sense for you?

    Btw as always, all your article is pure value.. So thanks.

    • Jan, that’s definitely a great plan that I think can yield terrific results. Please keep me in the loop on your progress :)

      • I love the posts – I love your thinking on things…

        But I think it’s interesting…. The average APA formatted page (for term papers etc) is 200 words (sorry – I used to be a professor). So if you think about it – if a goal is to write 4x 1200 words per week – you’re writing 4, 6 page term papers every week. ;-)

        Or – if you’re looking at books – to use your example Neil – 1200 words yields roughly 1.5 books each month.

        I’m not disagreeing at all – I love content. BUT: the question I would pose back is how often should we be posting 1200 word+ articles in a given week or month?

        cm

  3. Finally, a thorough piece on this long debated topic! Data driven proof is great but 1,500 words might be too long for someone who writes very often. But as you put it, lt all DEPENDS!

  4. Great article, but I think it’s too long. Just kidding! I am a true believer in quality content and knowing your audience. Customers will keep coming back if you focus on quality. That’s why I like your site Neil.

  5. Neil,

    Is it possible that these are a little skewed because your posts over 1,500 words are more like books then they are blog posts? All those Advanced Guides on SEO, Content, Link Building were very long, but its also safe to say those weren’t really blog posts per say.

    I’m just curious as to if those might have skewed the data. I see that in the graph you made the data shows that the longer a post is the more shares and links it gets.

    Best,
    Ryan

    • Ryan, to be honest I am really talking about all content in general. Guides are awesome because they can get you so much more exposure and fulfill the “in-depth” requirement. Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

  6. I find that it really depends on the topic being discussed. There are times when I can roll off a 2,500 word post and it does great. Other times I can write that much and nothing sticks. It really all depends on how the content is being delivered.

  7. Hi Neil

    I’ve read many a times in your posts that longer content works better and i personally tried it on my blog. Believe me the results were shocking, some of my posts are raking #1 in Google for very competitive keywords. I’ve become a fan of 1500+ words articles.

  8. I have been having moderate success with short posts (300-500 words) but after reading this article I’m thinking maybe I should devote the extra time into longer posts. Thanks for the advice.

  9. Hey Neil,

    A long time reader, but this is first comment.

    Let see, 4686 words article is ready to be published.

  10. Hi Neil ,
    I think you forgot to add this part in your content marketing guide ;).. Awesome post . I always prefer to write longer posts. But Longer posts (quality content ) takes a bit of time and effort. While writing longer posts its better to do good research before you write, because you may struggle in the if your research is not done well .

    Cheers!!!

  11. I focus writing a good post. If it is 700 words or 1700 words doesn’t matter to me as long as the post accurately addresses the key point that I set out to address.

    I have noticed that my longer posts do perform a little better but I feel that if I was just to pad out my shorter posts to increase the length, the quality would drop and they would actually perform worse.

  12. Thank you for this killer article. I’m now going to make a 3000+ words article for my company :)

  13. Thankx for the article Neil, it was help full. But i think in the and, good content doesnt have a sizes.

  14. Thanks Neil,

    These data factors are interesting.

    Having had experience as a data analyst, I smile (kindly) when I see the quantity researches you mentioned. There are many many factors are to be considered. But anyway, this information is much-much better than nothing.

    And the very valuable part of your post IMO is the conclusion.
    Also, I’d add an obvious thing, that in addition to the quantity factor there should be always quality in the first place.

  15. Nice insight Neil. Most of my posts tend to be long by length. It would be interesting for me to assess the shares and compare them in Webmaster Tools for positioning on keywords.

    Thanks for the insight, it’ll give me a good way to research what works for me.

  16. As usual, Neil, very useful content. As a personal blogger, writing longer posts takes quite a bit of time. In the past, most posts I’ve written are in the 600 to 800 word range which equates to about an hour of typing and about 15 minutes of promotion. I would usually do 2 or 3 a week. After looking at the stats, it might make more sense to do one extensive post per week in the 1,500 to 2,500 range. As one person, I only have so much time. Which strategy do you think makes the most sense?

    • John, I would definitely look at what is yielding the most engagement and traffic then go from there. As long as you are following all of the guidelines and not getting penalized you are good :)

  17. Thanks for this breakdown, Neil. This is very helpful as I’m just about to relaunch my blog and trying to figure out what my strategy will be. Based on the data presented, I will be striving to write 1500+ words in each of my posts.

  18. The debate of long vs short posts has now finally come to an end with this article. I already started using this strategy when you recommended this in one of your previous article.

    I am 100% sure about the result. Thanks neil for providing the community with the most accurate details on every important topics.

    Your way of thinking is definitely going to change the way SEO is implemented.

  19. I think that the Jakob Nielsen in Myth 3 is partially correct and I think that it’s good to identify the different reader types out there and write for each of them. Websites must contain a double readership path, so that you can tell your story for the people:

    1.Who read every word on your page (like for me on Quicksprout articles :).
    2. Then for the skimmers who only read the header, bold and list tags within online articles.

    That’s just my two cents, what do you think?

    • Jason, I think you are spot on with your assessment. Some people are great at skimming an article while others really get into the nitty gritty of it all.

  20. Hello Neil Sir :)

    So the main thing is Google has nothing to do with it Whether you have long article or short article. There are many site like GSMArena, Cult Of Android and other tech site who were actually posting short post sometime 5-6 lines.

    That sometime crazy. Well Now it is understandable, Long post have hing SEO impact, better sharing on social media + you can do better ON-page seo with it.

    I was actually hoping to see something like this. Great Fan

    Peace :D

  21. My motto has always been don’t use a single word you don’t need, and don’t leave off a single word you do. It gets frustrating when writing for other publications who are very specific that your idea has to fit withing 500-600 words or 900-1100 words. Not all topics are the same. Not all ideas require the same number of words. Ditto with outbound links.

  22. You have any data of how adding longer posts help the overall rankings of a site?

    I noticed with my site that when I hired a writer and more posts were added with a longer word count then average that my main keyword started to improve further without that I achieved any additonal back links, as I don’t really have a reader base.

    I think it makes sense as the site gets less thin that way!

    • NikO, right now I don’t have the data in front of me. However, I will try to create a post along those lines.

      • I am sure that would be a popular post, for all the same reasons that people used to fret over “keyword density”. However, I think the same caveat needs to be there. More text is more sharable only because you can cover a subject authoritatively that way. But sometimes a picture says a thousand words. And sometimes, when a spammer sinks his teeth in, a thousand words say nothing at all.

        Interesting timing on this discussion, as we are having a related discussion in the comments over at http://kingged.com/blogging-dead-blog-sucks and we’ve dragged your name into the discussion.

  23. You are correct that longer posts are being liked by Google as now Google is relying to provide all answers to your queries in a single post. Probably Seth Godin is an exception as he is able to make a punch even in small posts.

  24. I always try to write in-depth contents for my readers. Sometimes the articles are more than 2000 words and sometimes they are not. According to me, the number of words used to write an article varies. It entirely depends on the topic you are writing about.

  25. Wow! Neil this can only come from an expert that you are. I have gotten a very strong point from this post. I’ll practice it in my next post coming up on Wednesday ;)

  26. I feel good reading this blog post(without caring how long or short it is),that’s what matters i guess.May be longer content performs better as the data shows,but from a user perspective engagement is what matters..:-)

  27. I’ve tried to argue these points for a while (best length depends, but your posts are probably too short), but clumsily. Nice to see solid examples and grat data here, Neil.

    IMO, two key factors to consider in determining ideal content length are competition and ROI.

    Competition needs factored in at the beginning of each content strategy and also for each post — since you need to outdo or differentiate from not only your niche but also whichever specific topic you are writing about.

    Being ROI-minded comes into play in determining what your “sweet spot”, or avg length baseline is, since there will be diminishing returns once you exceed that sweet spot. More links/traffic just ain’t always worth the cost after a point.

    Of course, in the end, it comes down most to doing the article justice.

  28. Thank you for providing EXACTLY what I was looking for. Do you have any articles or advice on when to market or share your posts to get more traffic?

    Considering the sheer brilliance of my blog posts, I’m sure that many people would want to read them ;)

  29. HI Neil,
    Another great post full of high quality information that is very satisfying.I tend to go for up to 1000 word for every blog post i write.i think i am comfortable with that.
    By the way i was expecting that today you would write about Google’s webspam team’s latest action against myblogguest.com
    Google has panelized the site and it is not ranking anymore even for it’s brand keywords.what are your thoughts on it?

    • Makes sense as Google has stated how they don’t like people using guest posting as a link building tactic.

      • yes that’s right but the there’s a strong voice in the seo community that it was not a fair move by the webspam team.
        Ann smarty herself said that they were not involved in any kind of buying and selling links but because they were the biggest guest blog community Google hit them to make an impact.
        Besides you in your guides have recommended myblogguest to find guest blogging opportunities so i am confused that what happened suddenly.they seem to be a quality network

  30. Neil
    I just subscribed to your site this morning and lo and behold! A new post from you! I think to write good content short posts are alright but people are looking forward to learning something from your site. In order to teach someone anything of value it does require a longer post – giving relevant examples as well as substantiating with research data.
    I am learning how to do that. Thanks for your valuable inputs.

  31. Great post as usual Neil. When I first started my site a few months ago all my writing ended up being 800 words give or take and now when I go back and read them I am actually disappointed in them because they really don’t provide the value I want to give to my potential readers. I have been working on a thorough How To post this past week and the word count is at 2700 right now with screen shots and all the nuts and bolts. After reading quicksprout, backlinko, and even videofruit I think I found that the sites I read myself tend to be very specific how to with complete instruction posts. These also seem to be the only sites I feel like commenting on and following. Next up for this post is proofing, making it pretty on the site and promotion (and re-purposing). I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  32. Great Article. it’s really helpful. Your all Tips is Really helpful for all Blogger. thank you very much for Sharing With us.

  33. Hey Niel, great post. I think longer posts works better than short ones.

  34. Neil, it’s very true that the type of content, longer or shorter, depends on the type of visitor a blog has. I have generally seen blogs related to design and Photoshop tend to do well with shorter content like tutorials but marketing blogs do well with longer content.

    It’s nice that you’ve pointed this out and the notion that longer content always performs well should not be there. It totally depends on the niche.

  35. Hi Neil,
    This is a very informative guide. In general, the above are true but i doubt that very long posts would be fair for all kinds of niches.
    According to me, first comes your niche – on topic you are writing about. Your reader should be able to understand what you are conveying.
    BTW, thanks for providing your research. Your articles help a lot.
    Thanks

  36. Awesome post Neil, as always. But, IMHO, if you want to really kick your post up a notch…

    I start by writing a 1k word post in notepad. Then I grab the first 600 words or so and create my site post with it. I leave the last 400+ words for revisions. I then “revisit” those posts every week or so and add a paragraph or two, and possibly a video, plus add a link to another post on the site which has the same features. Over the course of a few months the article becomes an incredible feature piece.

    I find there is always some bits of information that should be included. So no, I don’t add blah blah blah to puff up the wordcount, it’s usually good info which could be another post…

    IMHO, revisit your posts. Your sitemap is a living, breathing animal which must be fed.

    Anyone else try this? As well, Neil, your thoughts? Test?

  37. I have observed that content that has technical application which has the instruction style tends to get more word count as I would want my readers to apply the know-how without bothering to mail and ask how anymore. However i deliberately discipline myself to keep content relatively brief not because i want more readership, because i realize we live in a fast pace society, everyone values TIME, i try to dignify my readers by not keeping them too long. This helps them to appreciate my long post that are always deliberate that i want to to practice something here.
    Kind regards.

    • Johnson, they will typically make time if the content is great. They can often save time in the long run with valuable information here and now. That’s just what I have come up with in my experience of reading great articles :)

  38. Great Post! I will try to implement longer pots on my blog. But at the end of the day its always Quality over everything else.

    Thanks Neil!

  39. My fear is that everyone is going to try to pump out 1,500+ posts by writing ones with a bunch of filler.

    I would write 1-2 a week if possible, then sprinkle in shorter post, infographics, videos (do really well with time on site and retaining readers), etc.

    Sometimes, less is more.

  40. Good Post, Thing is I’m a fantastic reader but a lousy writer! If I can manage 150-200 words I’m have a good day.

  41. Love it! And it makes sense.

    What happens is:

    1) It immediately gets rid of 99% of outsourced crappy content that’s under 750 words

    2) Forces everybody to write longer and be “experts” in their field.

    3) Aggregates all the power at the very top.

    Why do you think people need to still hire SEOs when all they need to do is write really indepth content?

    Sam

  42. How does this information relate to an ecommerce website? I do write content of varying length (nothing close to 1500+), but this is a shopping site, not a reading site. Any guideline for ecommerce?

  43. Score! I almost always write longer posts (because I’m generally answering questions in detail) and used to worry that they were too long. Thanks for backing up my natural inclinations!

  44. How much do the findings differ by industry segment?

    Can you please share info on the nature of websites/businesses that appear in top N rankings? My hunch is that these are publication / training oriented businesses. I understand that I may be asking for something that provided in tailored consulting packages.

  45. Re-read the post. Not satisfied with
    1. The greater your word count, the more link-backs you’ll get.
    2. Longer content gets shared more

    I know that’s what results shows, but anyone have an explanation on why would people (or we) have more tendency to share/give backlinks to a content that written longer or with a more word counts?

    Is it because
    1. Longer Content will explain everything better?
    2. Longer Content brings out the ‘smart side’ of us, so we can show how ‘smart’ we are by sharing those lengthy content?

    As for me, i can rarely read anything beyond 1000 words, they bored me to death. Unless they are supported by (info)graphics, stats and other fun stuff. Or the content are too interesting to stop halfway (which i rarely found in this Content Marketing era).

    Any explanation Neil/Guys? scientific explanation should be better.

  46. Great post! That table on longer content get shared more was very eye opening. I am usually a skimmer so that is why I think I write shorter posts. But I’m not writing for me, so I’ll definitely work on some longer posts and see how they work out.

    Thanks Neil!

  47. I think it’s also important to be concise, if you’re writing for people not just search engines.

    I remember reading something by a famous author who said he spent almost as much time taking words out as he spent putting them in, in the first place!

    I guess if someone is writing long posts, that’s good and fine, they just shouldn’t be wordy posts.

  48. Thanks for awesome article Neil ! Loved it really and worthy to read on my way to college

    Previous I believed size of article doesn’t matter but from know will try to dig more deep with useful info for readers

    Regards
    Vinay

  49. I just want to ask you Neil that will i be able to drive huge traffic to my innovation information site which will not post articles instead it will provide details to the users.So if i buy your pro plan for 1 year WILL it help me as competition in my Niche is very low.

  50. Everyone have a common question, how long / how many words will be better for each post? If we think both about sense of readers and optimize for Google, everything will be looks like messy.

    you have published a valuable post and everything will be clear now by reading your content.

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Mohammad Reaz

  51. Neil this was one of the most helpful post ever.
    I used to write a maximum of 600 words article but I guess it’s time for me to change my style of writing.

  52. I always tested the length of blog posts and found that a blog post having subheadings, pointers under the subheadings and also having more than 1000 words did wonder and still grabbing a large portion of my traffic from search engines.

  53. Great post is what I can say.

    Now I can carry on with my short posts ;)
    Yeah I don’t like writing long posts and you can make it out through my short comment

  54. Neil, thanks for clearing up the word count debate. I’m going to keep these points in mind when creating my content in the future.

  55. Nora McDougall-Collins :

    When I see a blog post that is only a couple of paragraphs, there generally isn’t enough in depth thought developed for me to bother with. Those posts should be on Facebook.

  56. Interesting article. Despite all your lovely research, I will never read or write a post longer than 750 words (actually thought this article was too long, and hence skimmed it). I like clean tight micro-content, and if someone can’t say it succinctly, they have lost my interest. Sorry, just my two cents, and obviously not the same opinion as others:)

  57. Neil, you are killing man…!!!

    Awesome post. Really has serious answers for the newbies those who always hunt for word length..

    I am sure this is gonna help them..

    Just one thing have you too noticed that writing a long post has improved your traffic???

    Any answers???

    Cheers. :)

  58. Nice Blog Neil,

    I just want to share my personal Experience with all my online marketers friends (including you too Neil).

    First When I was a new blogger I usually Write Short but informative blog, let say about 400 words. My user likes my information. Then I thought If my 400 words works well for me than What happen If I write more than 1000+ words Blog? I try to write a blog which has a more than 1000+ words. In the starting It is a little bit difficult but after that I really enjoy the blogging. My user likes too. And In the month of march I write almost 5 Blogs (one blog around 1500+ words). I achieved 20% increase in my traffic and I reduced 25% bounce rate of my site and also I got 10 times more Twitter liking.

    I just want to say that Try both the techniques (shorter blog as well as longer blog) and track the result. Which one is better for you and then implement.

  59. It reminds me of this quote-
    A BLOG POST is like a SHORT SKIRT… long enough to cover the important bits and short enough to remain interesting.
    That being said, I have several affiliate sites. Sure I could drag out a post to 1500+ words about how to winterize your koi pond but really it can all be said in less.
    Just the facts ma’am.
    I have a blog about things that make me smile. I keep those around 400 words. Short and to the point and maybe the readers smile too.
    Yoast in his SEO for WordPress claims 300 word recommended minimum

  60. Neil, You always come out with great stuff.
    I agree with you about the post length. There is one post on one of my blogs that has more than 1500 words and gets the most traffic. I can see from the stats that the longer posts are fetching most traffic.

    Some people say that a picture speaks a thousand words. If I have a picture and then 500 words to go with it, will that do the trick? This is not a joke (serious stuff, what to you think).

  61. I’ve always been suspicious of people who talk about the ‘ideal’ blog length. It doesn’t exist.

  62. Neil,

    This is a great post. I really liked the graphs that proved what you are saying. Opinion is interesting, but facts are the best.

    Thanks for all you do to help us be better bloggers.

  63. Well presented article! I have to agree that it depends on the topic that the author wants to express to its readers. After all, if the content alone is worth reading then readers will just read regardless of how long or short it is.

  64. Nice article here. I have only just started out with writing articles and have made sure to stick to around 300 words as a minimum. I know a lot of people are saying this is a myth and whatnot, but even I personally think your articles has to have SOME meat on its bones.

    As for articles with 2000+ words, I think I am just not at that level of writing yet. I can’t think of many topics that I could write so many words about. Especially if the article contains next to no fluff.

  65. Personally I have troubled concentrating on an article after a certain amount of words so I like to keep my articles short and sweet to about 400-700 words. I know the readers in my niche appreciate this because I tend to get straight to the point of the article rather than waffle on a bit.

  66. Thanks for the in-depth article about post length. Yes, longer length posts usually at higher SERP rankings. But, it is also necessary to write in interesting and informative ways.

  67. Neil
    Nice article and conclusion makes sense.

    Long blog posts with poor content are probably not shared as they are long, boring etc.
    So, I would be interested to see how the variability in shares for examples changes with post length (is how does standard deviation change for the ranges you mention?)

    I bet its easier to get a few shares for some pithy points in a short article than a few shares for a poor monster blog post.

    I guess it would test the hypothesis that if you’re going to write long, you need to make sure you write well too?

    Any chance of seeing the SD version for the ‘shares’ table?

    Thanks.

  68. This is the good stuff. Id never considered variety.

  69. Hi Neil, thank you for another insightful post. Lately, I was checking the length of major blog posts for a guide.
    Your data-driven analysis comes really helpful. I agree with you on the determining factors, especially about substance, purpose and audience.
    I think a content-rich post, long or short, will always proof valuable and shareable to readers. Cheers

  70. I think epic content is effective in its own right, as you can send the thing through StumbleUpon to great effect. There’s nothing wrong with a concise blog, though, especially when you take into consideration your audience. This is what you should shape each article around.

  71. Though the content and style are the king while writing an article but the length of the article also matters a lot.many people love to read well explained details article whereas some others prefers short to the point article.Generally I try to write 800 to 1500 words on my blog.Is it OK or should I need to increase the length?

  72. Fantastic post Neil! I really like your 7 key factors to consider when writing a blog post.

    I recently experimented with a very long post. . . 6,000+ words. http://bit.ly/SMMW14WrapUp What helped its success was that it included highlights from a recent event with 130 of the world’s leaders in social media and content marketing; not to mention a couple of secrets from practitioners at Citrix, SAP and Adobe. However, this type of post is not for the faint of heart, both from a reader and writer perspective. I’d put this post in the “Experimentation is Key to Innovation” category, where sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail.

    • Michael, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the feedback. I truly believe you are onto something. You just have to try your hardest and hope to get a bit of good fortune :)

  73. Thanks or sharing the info Neil!

    In my opinion with all the powerful set of tools Google Analytics provides us with, I guess experimenting is one of the best ways to find out how long a blog post should be… depending on the engagement level, bounce rate, time spent etc it’ll be easy to monitor performance of a blog post and take a decision.

  74. Thanks for this, I was wondering what my word count should be on my own blog. I’m a newbie so good advice like this is great

  75. Hi Neil, Awesome blog ! I really loved it. I like your long posts and they are all very usefull.

    can i ask what is the name of the plugin you use for the social network share on the left side of the article ?

    looking forward to hear back from you ! I appreciate it

  76. Write for people not search engines, right?

  77. Wow I never took into account the full benefits of either posting long or short contents. I just knew that it would benefit your readers as long as you stuck out your neck to offering value.

    Just look at copyblogger.com and how they are brief but very value packed in their posts.

    Looking at what you stated about getting ranked through not just exact phrased keywords but also closely related keywords was not so much an eye opener but more so a more strategic outlook on content strategy.

    Thanks for the lessons within this post. Awesome

  78. I’m finding them for my sister. I’m trying to find the most recipes with pictures and the ages of baby for the recipes. Blogs are usually where I would expect to find them..

  79. Hi,

    I wrote a post about “The Ideal Length” too!

    http://www.online-consulting.net/seo/was-ist-die-ideale-laenge/

    Greetz from Munich
    Philipp

  80. I’ve come across this post and the other blog post you’ve written about reaching 100,000 visitors. In that blog you mention that quantity, without sacrificing quality, is one of the major keys to increasing SERP.

    In your example, you started off with 5 posts a week right away (i think). Were those 5 weekly posts 1,500+? Mainly, I guess I’m asking is in your opinion, would it be better to do one 1,500 post a week, or five 300 word posts a week, if improving SERP/SEO was the only goal.

    • I would do 5 posts a week that are at least 1000 words. Assuming you aren’t writing junk, the more words you have on the page, the more keywords you will be found for.

  81. All of these in-site pop up adds make me want to never visit your site again, regardless of your content marketing knowledge.

  82. Thanks for the article, Neil. Your website is a phenomenal resource for bloggers.

    One thing caught my attention: the word count data from Moz.

    Am I missing a decimal point? People are writing 35,000+ word blog posts?

    I have been reading blogs for years, and I have never seen a 35,000+ word blog post. 3,500 words, I can understand. 35,000 seems pretty extreme.

    Can you please confirm the Moz data? Thanks in advance!

  83. Thank you Neil for this great blog post.

    As you mentioned, it all depends of the purpose of the post

    In my site I have pages with 100 or less words for describing products.

    For blog posts I always type 1000 + words

    But, I think that is important to not get obsessed with length, if you can explain something in 50, 100 or 1000 is OK. To me, it is more important the “substance” that word count

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