When it comes to blogging, there is a lot of debate over whether or not the length of your blog posts really matters. The answer is that it depends on what you are prioritizing; and what you are prioritizing depends on your business goals.
Blogging is great for generating visitors, improving search engine optimization, and growing your audience. Different length blog posts serve different purposes.
If your key focus is generating visitors and a steady stream of blog traffic, generally, the more posts you have, the better. As soon as you have finished writing one, you can share links to it on social media and via email. If traffic from your target audience you are already connected to is your goal, the length of the post does not really make much difference. As long as the quality of the writing is good and relevant to your target audience, you should have no trouble driving traffic to your blog.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO will bring you traffic from the search engines. In most cases, these will be people you have not connected with yet. Your goal will be to get onto the first page of the search engine results, and ideally, into one of the top three slots. Studies have shown that shorter posts might rank in the top 20, but longer posts that are considered highly relevant will usually get into the top three slots (by longer posts, I mean posts of 1000-3000 words in length).
One of the reasons this might be the case will be due to keywords. They help determine relevance, and smart content marketers will use them in the headline, excerpt or summary (if you have chosen a WordPress theme with excerpts enabled), description, and within the text itself.
Longer posts will also tend to be broken up with subheaders, which search engines love. They are often keyworded as well, and make it easy to scan the page to see what it is about.
Your Editorial Calendar
A key consideration in how long to make your post will also depend on how often you want to publish fresh new content. Some bloggers publish once a day, others once a week. In terms of consistent content marketing, it’s probably best to publish every day if you possibly can. However, this might mean shorter posts in order to keep up with that sort of output.
If you aim for at least 600 words, you will get attention from the search engines. If that isn’t possible, try to write at least 300 words, and make sure the content is keyworded properly.
The Needs of Your Audience
Asking about the ideal length of a blog post is a bit like asking, “How long is a piece of string?” The answer is the same for both: However long it takes to do the job required.
Some topics can be covered in 300 to 600 words, others might require thousands. But each post should have a beginning, middle and end, and allow readers to feel they have been on a journey of discovery and learned something. Don’t just crank out any old post for the sake of it.
If you have a really detailed topic, feel free to write to the right length. Then publish as is, or divide into two. Sometimes a series of two to five blog posts will keep readers coming back for more.
My rule of thumb is to blog as frequently as I can, with as complete posts as I can. Sometimes they are long, sometimes they are shorter, but I try to publish consistently in any case.
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