Are Longer or Shorter Blog Posts Better?

Although I subscribe to the idea that shorter blog posts are better, we’ve all heard that longer is better when it comes to blog posts and to articles in general. But what if you’ve said all there is to say in just a few shortish paragraphs? Should you keep on writing? For me, shorter is better. Of course, that’s generally speaking–there are always exceptions.

Strunk and White

As someone who grew up on Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, I’ve always heard that it’s better to use a smaller, more concise word when it’s available. Have you heard that, too? On the other hand, according to SEO experts, longer blog posts get more attention on the internet. That line of thinking can sometimes lead to bloated writing, with lots of filler. If you’re unfamiliar with The Elements of Style, Strunk “concentrated on the cultivation of good writing and composition; the original 1918 edition exhorted writers to “omit needless words,” use the active voice, and employ¬†parallelism appropriately.” (Quoted from Wikipedia.)

A combination of shorter and longer posts

For me, I tend to focus on blog posts that are around 500 words. Some people will only publish longer posts, while others focus on images in their blog posts, with very few words at all. For example, Matt Mullenweg, founder and creator of WordPress, writes fairly short blog posts, although sometimes there are podcasts or videos embedded.

What’s the best length, though?

The best length really depends (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?). For interaction, shorter is better. To attract those doing research or for SEO purposes, 1,000 words or more is a good length. Those that write “how-to” articles tend to write longer articles, upwards of 1500 words. I like interaction, so keep my articles around 500. In the olden days, 350 words was a good length, but that has grown. It also depends on your audience, or, if you have no audience, then the audience you want to attract.

Are Longer or Shorter Blog Posts Better?

Are Longer or Shorter Blog Posts Better? Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Daily writing to exercise that writing muscle

To get to a longer post, you’ve really got to write a little or a lot every day. Friend Randy Clark recommends writing 500 words a day. By the way, if you get stuck writing, you might like 6 Ways to Never Run out of Blog Post Ideas, by Randy. You might also like this post: How to Quickly and Easily Unleash Your Blogging Creativity, by moi.

Do you have an ideal length?

Do you just keep writing until you run out of steam, or time? Or do you write to a certain length, or is there something else that drives the amount you write and publish? I really do want to know! Let me know in the comments. Or by carrier pigeon. Or send a post card! Personally, I think that it’s important to write no matter the length of your article.

 

Comments

  1. Part of me thinks you wrote this with me in mind. lol Whether you did or not, I’m always up for the challenge. :-)

    You know my theory; write as much or as little as you feel, then stop and move on with life. Since most of my articles include bits of storytelling, my articles tend to be longer than the norm. Probably my comments are also longer than the norm sometimes. lol With that said, I follow my own advice; write until I feel I’m finished, then stop.

    • Hi Mitch,

      That’s generally the best advice–write until you feel finished. I suppose that storytelling, like listening to a story, makes time stand still. That is, you don’t notice the passage of time so much. That’s a really good reason to include stories in articles (and vlogs, too). I was thinking about how blog posts seem shorter and shorter. Videos, too, seem to be getting shorter, along with people’s attention spans. I’m not a big fan of the 15-second video (unless the idea can be encapsulated in that 15 seconds). Longer stories and videos can really capture your imagination.

      Thanks again for stopping by!
      Carol

  2. Great advice Carol. I find a mix of short and long posts works for me.

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