In my previous post, we discussed how often you “should” blog. Today, we look at the ever-evolving “perfect” length for a blog post.
Back in the Dark Ages of blogging (circa 2003), the “experts” advised us to write no more than 250 words.
Over time, as blogging grew up, that figure morphed into 500 words. Then 1,000 words, Then 2,000 words.
Currently, posts of 1,500 words or longer are performing well, in terms of search engine optimization.
Three key reasons:
- Long-form content sets you apart as a go-to expert in your niche. You can write “the definitive guide to…” or “the beginner’s guide to…” and cover a lot of ground in one article. You can even divide your post into “chapters.” (Think of it as a mini ebook.)
- Long-form content includes more topical key words, which makes it easy for search engines to index your post (and thus, for people to discover it).
- Long-form content has a longer shelf-life than short posts. People tend to share them, re-read them, and link to them.
According to Moz research, posts of 1,800-3,000 words attract 15 times more links than posts of less than 600 words.
3 tips for crafting long-form content
Your long-form content MUST:
1. Be superior quality.
Your absolute best stuff. No one wants to slog through 2,000 words of swill. And I guarantee you’ll lose readers if you expect them to do that!
2. Be easy for readers to digest.
People must be able to find your main points quickly as they scan your article. (Assume they’ll be reading via their phone, and imagine all the words and visuals squished into one narrow column.)
Formatting your post for mobile readers means:
Bullet points. (Kinda like what I’m doing in this short, 375-word article.)
3. Include multiple visuals.
Images, graphics, video clips, and SlideShares break up long blocks of text and enhance the text. Two benefits for the price of one!
In the blogosphere, there is no such thing as one “perfect” or “ideal” blog post length. The ideal length for YOU depends on your readers.
So, before you start cranking out a bunch of 2000-word blog posts, ask your readers. Maybe they PREFER short-form content of 150-500 words. If so, stick with short content and insert the occasional long-form post.
If you’ve never written a long-form post (1,500+ words), challenge yourself to try it during the next 30 days.
What topic do you have in mind for a long-form post? Test your topic on my readers by leaving a comment. We’ll give you honest feedback.