Jamie Harper

Jamie Harper

Spend days duking it out with synonyms, sometimes for global brands.

How long should your blog posts be?


Since businesses began recognising that content marketing is, you know, pretty useful, digital media mavens across the globe have weighed in with millions of words on one simple question:

How long should your blog posts be?

Hmm. Would you be surprised to learn that a lot of the so-called experts out there disagree with one another?

You’re asking the wrong question

You could spend the next decade reading every opinion piece on how long your content should be. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Because when it comes to judging the quality of a piece of content, length is a lousy metric.

And here’s why...

Things are pretty crowded round here

There are no limits with online publishing. No print costs, no ink costs and no spatial constraints. That has led to a lot of articles that are way more bloated than they should be. Add in the fact that the ease of self-publishing dilutes quality control and you wind up with a www that often substitutes brevity and quality for immediacy and, well, ego.  

“The more you say, the less people remember. The fewer the words, the greater the profit.”
— François Fénelon, writer and theologian

What about SEO?

Okay, there’s evidence to suggest that articles longer than 2,000 words help you rank better in Google - and that articles longer than 1,500 words are more likely to be shared on social media. Yet there are more than 200 factors that influence where you figure in Google’s search results.

And you aren’t writing for robots.

You are writing for humans

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher

Your word count is irrelevant. Instead you should focus on writing something that matters to your reader. Something that they will value, learn from, laugh at or whatever your purpose is. And you should aim to do it as crisply and clearly as possible.

The word count is a bi-product of creating a message that resonates with your reader. To paraphrase Chris Ip from Columbia Journalism Review, satiate the reader’s desire to learn rather than your desire to write.

How long should your blog posts be? As long as they need to be.

“You know that I write slowly. This is chiefly because I am never satisfied until I have said as much as possible in a few words, and writing briefly takes far more time than writing at length.”
— Carl Friedrich Gauss, mathematician and scientist

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Jamie Harper

London Design Works.

Communication pervert with BA (Hons) in English Language Studies and 1.25 million words in the portfolio. Spend days duking it out with synonyms, sometimes for global brands. Spend downtime wondering what kind of hands the person who invented shrink wrap has.

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