What should be the length of a blog post? #Blogging Insights 13


How long are your blog posts on average?

The annual site stats show average words I’ve written per post (year-wise) as:

2015– 79 words
2016– 152 words
2017– 235 words
2018– 176 words
2019– 175 words

Avg likes and comments per post were the least in 2017, followed by 2015. This indicates that less than 100 words per post or more than 200 words per posts has not worked out for me.

But I can’t say that I completely believe the stats. Because I have three types of content

1. short formpoetry usually summing up in 30-50 or sometimes, 70-100 words, depending on the topics, my mood, etc.)

2. long formmusings which are usually in 150-200 words.

My Let it Bleed and Our Garden of Gratitude posts are also long form but they have repetitive guidelines.

3. photosMoments which are just photographs with captions and a description for visually impaired in about 20 words or so.

The point is I have never depended on the length of the content. I write freely, not worrying about content length.

Also, my readership initially developed because of poetry. So this could be another reason for not getting views on long posts. I actually have no niche.


Given the option, would you rather post long form or short form content?

It totally depends on the topic and mood. But writing 1,000 words in a post is really not my thing. I don’t prefer reading posts which have been over exaggerated just to increase the word count.

On the other hand, if the long post (of 1000 or even 2000 words) is having quality content, such as it is educating me about something or a story (I mean fiction) that makes me curious after first few paras, I will definitely go on to read it till it till the end.

The content I post is usually not educating people and is definitely not creating curiosity. It’s simple and straightforward. So, I stick to short form.

Here I’d like to add that my initial observations showed me that my lengthy musings posts did not get much engagement. But somehow, it is getting better now.

Another thing I’d like to mention is that I have tried to post content in parts sometimes. Usually it has been poetry. There was a poem titled ‘Who is she?‘ that I posted in four parts. It worked out for me because this particular piece had each part ending on a mystery which was revealed in the next one.

(FACT: I planned to post the parts separately because when I originally shared it on the blog, it just had three parts. So posting the fourth part out of the blue would have seemed stupid. And thus, I decided to post it like that. ANOTHER FACT: I said in the fourth part that it was the final part, but now I feel that I might write a fifth part of the poem in a year or so. Let’s see what the future holds.)

Other poems that I have posted in parts were on request of readers. After I posted them, readers expressed the wish to read their sequels.


Time is short and the attention spans of social media users shorter still, why do you think the search engines prefer longer content?

I work in the digital department of a media house. They keep on telling us to make our news piece lengthy. The reason is this: Google ranks those articles which have quality content. If your content helps the users, Google will rank your article.

But my blog is more about poetry. I feel I have been trying to make a shift towards musings too. But time will tell what I feel like writing more.

Coming back, I have two options: either I ignore Google rankings, SEO and other technical stuff and post whatever I want to OR I focus on writing lengthy articles and forget why I started to blog.

I chose the first. Not because our span of attention is short but because blogging is my safe place.

Now coming to the answer of the million-dollar question, I have read a couple of articles on WordPress (I don’t remember whose they were) which indicated that even short form of content can be ranked on Google. How? Google also values engagement on the blog. So, if your short blog post has comments, it has chances of getting ranked. What I could comprehend from those two articles was that the words in the comments section get added to the word count of the post. Comments mean people found the content worth reading, implying that the blog has quality.

I really don’t know if that’s true or not. I’ll continue posting whatever suits me.

FACT: I realised before writing this post that it might turn out to be lengthy. I thought of posting it in three parts. But now, I feel that I have been talking about the length of the post. And I think this post can be taken as experiment to see if long form works on my blog. Since this post is educating about blogging, it might work.

What is the average length of the posts you write? Do you focus on the length or your mood?

Does the length of the post matter when you begin to read a post? Or does it depend only on the content?

Do you have anything to add to help all of us crack the secret of getting engagement on our blogs?

For your knowledge, this post has managed to reach a total of 950 words.


In response to Dr Tanya’s Blogging Insights # How long is the ideal blog post?

Looking for inspiration to write?

29 thoughts on “What should be the length of a blog post? #Blogging Insights 13

  1. You flash out all the important arguments for and against long/short content.
    I write long content mostly, because that’s what suits me. However, I also dabble in creative writing, which is of varied length. Imagine a 1,000-word-long poem…

    When it comes to NROP, they are usually around 1k words. It’s because I want to include all the research, opinion, and arguments. Some of my CW pieces are 99 words (plus guidelines, etc.). Others up to around 1k because that’s what short story submissions that I write for require.

    Like you, I believe it depends on the content. Some is more suited for fewer words, some for a lengthier post. I can try to please Google or my Readers, but ultimately, I do what feels right to me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. A 1,000 word long poem can be there. But it needs to have a story worth it 😝

      In the end, it’s all about being pleasing ourselves and not Google or Readers 😝

      Your NROPs remind me that long form posts need time. That also reduces the frequency of posts in a month. So length and frequency are inversely proportional.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. NROPs are new related opinions and CWs are creative writing pieces.

        Goldie uses initials to classify her posts

        Like

  2. Thank you so much for your detailed and valuable response. I am going to save it and read it again.
    You have discussed each question so well and also added a lot to my knowledge. I completely agree that we should write for ourselves and our readers and not for the search engines.
    I am honoured that you have chosen to experiment with longer content in response to my questions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you found it helpful.
      To update you, if I check the stats of this year, this post has got 50 per cent of the views in comparison to the post with max views, that too in 22 hours.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Also, likes on this post are much lower than average likes/post. Comments on this post almost equal to the average comments/post.

      When comparison is done wrt stats of this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I tend to keep my posts at 100-150 on the long side. Most of my posts are fewer than 100 words. My view is that attention span is shorter for many these days and I want to be respectful of people’s abilities to read really long posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes I agree on the short attention span. There’s a news app in India, it gives us all the news in 60 words. They do link their short pieces to the longer articles written by other media houses, so that ppl who want more details can get them. I see the app has grown much popular coz of short content thing over the past few years.

      Like

    1. It depends on the topic you’re writing about. It depends on what kind of readers you have. Over time, you may have gained readers who enjoy reading long posts. If you start posting more of shorter things, your engagement may reduce. It’s like if you are writing about mental health and one day you wake up to start writing book reviews. People who were coming to your blog to know about mental health may have no interest in reading book reviews.

      I’m in no way trying to say that any post is too short or too long.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I understand. Have you ever tried breaking up your long post into parts? Just curious to know if it worked out for you..

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am a rambler whose expertise is in randomly spitting out whatever is plagueing my mind at any given time. I have tried short posts, long posts, ‘when will this end’ novella posts, poetry, articles…I have tried to get the categories and tags right, post at a time that seems to get the most views and…I surmise there is no magical formula. The posts I poured my soul into got like 3 likes and 1 comment. Then I spew some frustration about my dysfunctional family, defiant child, and how I hate everything and everyone and I get 20 likes.
    It has literally given me headaches trying to figure out how to reach a broader audience with my discussion and admissions about mental health issues but there is no rhyme or reason I can discern. So…I keep writing for myself, even if no one reads it. I started this as my therapy, not to get likes or deemed some literary savant so..Staying true to myself seems the way to go.
    You do you, I do me, and let the chips fall where they may.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes time to get the kind of audience that you want. Infact, more than likes, I prefer engagement via comments. Many people tend to just like posts without even reading them. But yes, at the end, writing for our satisfaction is what matters.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 🙂 I specialize in long-form content and I started off my blog with it.

    By the way, long-form and short-form content are appreciated by people.

    I genuinely believe that the most important thing is that a blogger’s blog posts are of value to their viewing audience.

    Also, some people tend to get carried away with length.

    I have always said, “If you can put your point across in 750 words, there is no need to stretch it to 2000 words.

    Search engines do go for the longer pieces that are over 1000 words.

    Another important factor to consider is that articles that are around 2000 words and over are usually well-written (And, that is the type that Google likes).

    Some people have tried to trick Google by filling their articles with fluff (That doesn’t work because Google’s algorithm is really advanced and most people can tell when an article is poorly written).

    So, not all long-form articles are useful to the reader.

    Always remember, nothing beats quality writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you Renard. I also keep on reiterating that if you can tell something in 100 words, you don’t need to write 1000.

      You made a good point- quality over quantity. Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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