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ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated
2013

How Long Is Too Long for Blog Writing?


There are many questions new bloggers ask themselves as they embark on the journey of blog building. One of the most important questions regards how long the posts should be. There are several answers to this, depending on the type of blog and the purpose of the blog. For example, what a company blog length needs to be is a little different from what an informative blog about cooking or photography techniques should be.

Word count pertaining to search engine optimization (SEO)

In general, for all blogs, a blog between three hundred and six hundred words is the best way to be sure your content ranks on a Google search page. Another contributing factor to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is filling the content with a certain percentage of the keywords used as tags in the article or blog. The old idea of blogging and SEO was that if the word was not mentioned enough, it was not relevant enough to rank high. Conversely, if the content contained too high a percentage of the keyword, then the content was treated more like spam information than legitimate content.

The good news is the way Google searches for words now; the Google algorithms have become so intuitive that they determine the quality on the content purely on relevance with a very secondary recognition of the keyword percentage. Google thinks that at least three hundred words and generally under or up to six hundred words are the minimum and maximum to be rated high in a search result. Since Google has enhanced the way they select what is considered "quality content," this means that the content needs to be consistently relevant throughout the article or blog. In non-technical terms, this means that the most significant and relevant content will be picked up, as opposed to the previously limited perimeters of what was identifying quality content.

If the blog's message or point requires more words than six hundred, you can write up to one thousand words to provide enough of the information. There will be no problem unless the piece is cohesive and the content is of poor quality. Keyword stuffing will no longer be enough to guarantee traffic to your blog.

So for the average business blog, somewhere between three hundred and six hundred words should work. However, the content needs to make sense and have the complete idea of what the message in the blog post is supposed to be. Other blogs providing helpful instructions may need one thousand words, and that is fine as long as you remember that the key is consistency, no matter how long the blog is going to be.

Length for personal interest blogs, creative outlet blogs and photography blogs

This could be pertinent to a small business blog designed by and for a single owner business through which you are selling products that you make by hand such as candles, jewelry, paintings, handbags and purses, or any other creative craft for which you have a consumer base. For these types of blogs, keyword search engine optimization and appropriate length should also be considered.

If you are not selling anything but your ideas, thoughts, photos and artwork, but you would like to rank high on a Google search page, you should also follow the guidelines that three to six hundred words is good, but you can go up to a thousand if and only if you stay true to the topic for the duration of the post.

You might be telling your life story or documenting your engagement, and eventually, your wedding day; or the upcoming birth of a child could inspire a set of expectant parents to create a video blog post every day from the point of discovering the pregnancy until the child is five or ten years old. This would allow the parents to have something to share with their child when he or she is old enough to understand. You want to make create posts with a lot of photographs, but if you would like to include the inner workings of nervous or excited parents with a baby on the way, the word count is not as important as telling the story or anecdote or explain the information with as much concise clarity as possible. If the story requires no more than three hundred words to get the entire point across, that is fine, but so is a post that is a thousand words long.

Length and keeping the audience awake

For all blogs, it is important to keep all boredom or loss of interest at bay by recognizing the very short attention span the internet has created in many readers. It has come to the point that many people are not really reading anything. They are scanning everything they can but they are not reading anything with much scrutiny. This is why your length should be something short enough that scanners, who constitute a significant portion of the drivers on the lanes of the interweb, can read.

Keeping the audience entertained with high-quality content can be done with one liners if they are funny enough but you could put five one liners in each blog to get closer to the minimum of three hundred. If you are working on a long, ongoing fiction piece, for example, you should tell your story in very short sections. This helps with both the need to be concise and consistent, as well as keeping the audience waiting for more and giving it to them anywhere from once a week to several times a day. People want to read their news, blogs and story blogs quickly and then move on to the next hunt for information and entertainment, so make every word count.

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