The Ideal Length for Blog Posts, Podcasts and Social Updates

Posted June 2, 2021 | Laura Christianson

The ideal length for blog posts, podcasts, and social updates | BloggingBistro.com

When I teach blogging workshops, someone in the audience always asks, “How long should my blog post be?”

My response:

“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.

Blog Posts

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.

Learn why long blog posts are trending.

Learn a simple trick that will help you know exactly how long your blog posts should be.

Opening Paragraphs

40-55 characters. Not words, but characters. For comparison purposes, the opening paragraph of this blog post is 87 characters (not including spaces).

Podcasts

22 minutes. After that, attention and retention rates crash.

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YouTube Videos

2 minutes, 54 seconds. That’s the average length of the top 50 YouTube videos.

Slideshare

61 slides. Presentations are “glance media.” Viewers must be able to process your message within three seconds.

PowerPoint Presentations

slide:ologyFollow 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)

Facebook Updates

40 characters. They get 86% more engagement than posts with a higher character count.

Tweets

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?

Infographic

Here is the full infographic:

Click to download a free PDF of this infographic.

Let’s Chat

Which of these statistics surprised you? Does this info nudge you to change any of your social media habits?

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One response to “The Ideal Length for Blog Posts, Podcasts and Social Updates”

  1. Robby Kautz says:

    Hello Laura, I met you some years ago at Mount Hermon Writers Conference. Thank you for this informative post!

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