How long should a blog post be? Over the years this has changed. You still have many that will swear that smaller blogs are more effective. They may tell you that smaller blogs are easier to write.
One might say that this allows you to write a greater variety of blogs more often. You could also point to people being so busy today. They may ask, “Who has time to sit down and read a long blog?”
And you can understand why one might think so. After all, most people have a very limited attention span, Especially when you consider computer screen reading. It’s a lot different from sitting back in a comfortable chair and reading an old fashion paper or book.
Times Have changed
Times have changed, and so has people’s habits. The world is fast paced. So fast paced, that a delay of seconds will make a
In the pre- Java-script 90s, when websites were created purely from HTML, and computer hard drives worked at megabytes instead of gigabytes, it used to take actual minutes for a site to load. In fact, we used to log-on through phone lines and wait for that strange gurgling FAX-like screeching noise to end before we were logged in.
But, that didn’t seem to bother us then. But now… If a website takes a few seconds to load, … we’re gone!
That’s how the world is today. We need to take this into consideration, when we write our blog. You have to ask the question. “How long will I keep the attention of my reader?”
How long will you keep the reader’s attention?
Well there is an average time a person will spend on one article on the internet. That time is a whopping…SEVEN MINUTES!
Seven Minutes? That doesn’t sound right. What about all the time people spend on Facebook and YouTube??? They will sit in front of their computer screen for hours. How can you say the average person will only read my blog for seven minutes???
That’s a very good question. And it deserves a good honest answer. Your blog is not Facebook or YouTube.
Facebook and YouTube are incredibly skilled at designing their platforms to keep you entertained… even mesmerized by their links and videos. Although you’re not conscious of it, you really don’t stay on one post or site very long. They have it set up so that you are lead from one to another.
They even get to know what information you prefer by monitoring your actions. Automatically they show you what you enjoy watching, what you are interested in. Before you know it you’ve been on their social media site for hours.
But, with your individual blog it’s very different. Seven minutes! That’s the limit.
How Many Words?
But that still doesn’t tell us how long your blog needs to be. That only tells us the average amount of time an interested person will spend reading your blog.
The way you can figure out how long to make your blog to factor in the average speed a person will read a computer or mobile phone screen.
The popular understanding is that the average person reads at about 250 words a minute. So now we just have to multiply 7 X 250. That gives us 1750 words.
That’s a pretty large blog! And, I might add, that it’s a very general rule. In other words, you have to consider your audience. Age, education and language all have a big effect on this number.
But, if you get anything from this calculation, — it does show that our blogs don’t have to be short. In fact, there are major reasons why you want your blogs to be longer.
Why longer posts are better
Longer blogs rank better with the search results. Why is this? Simply put, longer articles go into greater detail and explanation. They tend to be viewed as more authoritative, and more specific. Subjects can be considered in more detail.
So, it’s understandable that all things being equal, a longer blog post will wind up getting more traffic.
You need to consider your audience
Now, that being said, that puts you somewhere between a rock and a hard place. You want your blogs to be long enough to rank higher in the search results and receive more traffic. But, you know your readers will only stay around for 1750 words at the most. So what do you do?
You just need to reach a happy medium. Consider your audience.
My goal is for my blog to be international. I know that many of my readers don’t speak and read English as their first language, so the 250 per minute may not apply as a rule. So, I’ve determined my maximum to be around 1000 words.
You may determine yours differently. But, most importantly — consider your audience.
Why longer can work better
But, won’t making two 500 word blogs be easier and actually rank higher than one 1000 word blog? In a word…NO.
As we discussed, longer blogs just rank better. They’re no harder to write than short blogs. In fact, they can be easier than short blogs. They give you more freedom of expression
Don’t forget your call to action
On the other hand, if you find that your blog is going to go beyond 1500 – 1700 words. Thats okay. Just make sure you start putting in strong calls to action at about the 1500 word mark.
It’s around this point that the reader may be ready to move on. But if at that point, you have an enticing call to action and link the reader to another internal blog post– the transition to a different place in your site may re-set his attention span to stay on your site longer.
If you’re like me and write medium size 1000 word blogs, then a good place for your call to action can be at the end of your blog. Remember, to always have one there. It could be an offer for more free information in return for their email. It may be a link to some free special training. But whatever it is, it needs to be always tailored to what your blog post is about.
Of course, well discuss more about hat at another time.
As you can see, there is a real science to blogging and generating the type of traffic you need to to build a real business. There is a little of a learning curve and it takes training.
That’s why I recommend “Wealthy Affiliate”. They have a training platform that, in my opinion, is unmatched. Click here and sign up to try it for free… Yes, I mean free, you don’t need credit card details, just test it out…