When I teach blogging workshops, someone in the audience always asks, “How long should my blog post be?”
“As long as it needs to be to get your message across.”
For Seth Godin, that’s usually 100-250 words. Seth’s blog posts redefine the term, “write tight.” He has created his own publishing empire because of his ability to convey meaningful messages in few words.
In this era of tweet-sized attention spans, the KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple) applies to blog posts, podcasts, videos, TED Talks, and Slideshare presentations.
A fantastic infographic (scroll down to view) created by Buffer and SumAll overviews ideal word counts and character counts for online media.
Blog Post Headlines
6 words. People read the first three words and last three words of a headline. Make every word count.
1,600 words. That’s longer than I expected. A rule of thumb: It should take less than 3 minutes to read your blog post.
40-55 characters. Not words, but characters. For comparison purposes, the opening paragraph of this blog post is 88 characters.
22 minutes. After that, attention and retention rates crash.
2 minutes, 54 seconds. That’s the average length of the top 50 YouTube videos.
61 slides. Remember that presentations are “glance media.” Viewers must be able to process your message within three seconds.
Follow the 10/20/30 rule: Each presentation should have 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and contain no font smaller than 30 points. (This info isn’t on the infographic; I found it in slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, by Nancy Duarte)
40 characters. They get 86% more engagement than posts with a higher character count.
70-100 characters. Interesting that tweets, which have long been considered the industry standard for short-form publishing, have an ideal length that’s almost twice as long as Facebook updates. What does that say about the Facebook audience?
60 characters. The nice thing about Google+ is that you can create a separate headline or teaser for each post and put it in boldface. Check out Blogging Bistro’s Google+ page for ideas on how to do this.
Here is the full infographic:
Click to download a free PDF of this infographic.
Which of these statistics surprised you? Does this info nudge you to change any of your social media habits?