Jamie Harper

Jamie Harper

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

How long should your blog posts be?

Copywriting
Jamie Harper
Wed, 25/11/2015 - 11:45

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

READ NEXT: » How often should your business be blogging?

Make your dent in the www. Hire our copywriters.

Jamie Harper

Copywriter,
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.

Learn how to master the web with our newsletter Get great insight into the web industry from our team of experts.

More posts in: Copywriting

Copywriting

Why your writing isn’t finished when you think it is

In a digital world built on immediacy, a little patience will transform your writing.

Copywriting

How long should your blog posts be?

The definitive answer to this much-debated question might not be what you were expecting. Props to you if you already knew.

Copywriting

People don’t understand your writing. Here’s how to fix it.

Playing a simple game of catch can teach you a lot about getting your message heard.

Copywriting

Win over new blog subscribers with a few simple words

There’s something ridiculously easy you can do to build an instant connection with new subscribers.

Copywriting

And never start a sentence with a conjunction...

There never has been - and never will be - anything wrong with starting a sentence with and or but. Here’s the skinny.

Copywriting

The importance of writing with purpose (and how to do it)

Irresistible copy requires you to zero in on a few fundamentals.

Copywriting

1 sentence that will help you stick to your blogging schedule

Keeping your blog updated with prime cuts of content is hard. This little trick may help to rein in your stress levels.

Copywriting

What school didn’t teach you about writing for the web

If you’re dubious that your academic years were the biggest influence on your writing, here’s something to ponder.

Copywriting

Still think content is king? Think again.

When it comes to growing your presence online, the popular message is that quality content rules the roost. Fair enough, right?

WriteFull
Copywriting

New app claims to automatically improve your writing

With the European Commission and Harvard University among its users, Writefull has some pretty heavyweight ambassadors. Just don’t expect it to turn you into Hemingway.

Copywriting

How often should your business be blogging?

It must be one of the most frequently asked questions in the blogosphere: How often should you post?

Ban this word from your business. Right now.
Copywriting

Ban this word from your business. Right now.

750,000 words capable of being wrought into sentiments that would bring a tear to the eye of Dickens

Christmas
Copywriting

5 last minute tips for your email marketing this Christmas

Lights festoon the streets. Shoppers wear stroppy faces. Somehow, Christmas is here already. That means it’s time for three things: mince pie scoffing, mulled wine quaffing and making the most of your Christmas email marketing.

Yourself
Copywriting

Want persuasive copy? Stop thinking about yourself.

Question: People come to your website to read about your business, right?
Wrong.
They come to find the answer to a problem.

Typewriter
Copywriting

Why you should and shouldn’t write your own content

Sometimes the closer you are to something, the less you are able to see it.

Typewriter
Copywriting

Why creating good written content is like scoring a symphony

Beautiful melodies build up one note at a time. What’s mind-blowing is that this unit, the individual note, means next to nothing on its own.

Keywords
Copywriting

Want to rank well in Google? Stop freaking out about keywords.

So you want to appease Google in a post-Hummingbird world? Keywords matter way less than most people realise.

The truth about scan-reading online
Copywriting

Is your content really ignored? The truth about scan-reading online.

You know all that painstakingly crafted content on your website? Yeah, your visitors aren’t reading it. At least that’s what a number of experts would have you believe. Wrongly, in our opinion.