How Long Should My Blog Post Be?
Do you keep a journal? I do. As busy as I am, I journal every morning. I have The Five Minute Journal (5MJ) and a plain Jane notebook journal. The former is a guided template (grateful items, plans, thoughts) and the latter is where I let it go (what's buggin' me, what makes me happy, how I feel). Some of the gurus say you have to journal for an hour, others say twenty minutes, and yet others say it doesn't matter. I fall into the last category. 5MJ goes fast, by design, and my other journal gets random lengths. I wish I could write more, but I have time constraints. And the same philosophy applies to blogging. If you're wondering how long your blog posts should be, I've put together some advice based on my experience.
Short Form Blog Posts
Sometimes I have a quick thought. For example, months ago, I wrote about haiku here at RB. It was REALLY short. I brainstormed a long time for that one but wrote little (I would've written a shorter blog post, but I ran out of time...). Guys like Seth Godin write heady articles that are super brief. It's quite challenging. It's focused, strong, and thought-provoking. If you have an important concept, it's worth trying to write it short and sweet. Shorter posts require more editing and harder-hitting topics.
Typical Blog Posts
From an SEO perspective, which you know is my jam, you should aim for a minimum of 300 words. For whatever reason, that's a threshold recommendation to make Google and Bing happy. I'm sure 99% of my posts are in the over-300 range, and probably an overall 90% of my posts are mid-sized. Since I'm usually writing posts geared for content marketing campaigns using SEO, email, and social media, this is the sweet spot. A typical blog post follows the post types I illustrated before, with a beginning/middle/end structure or a list. You should be able to write these posts fairly quickly, especially as you gain experience. And don't forget to invest in editing. Re-read what you write, use tools (spell checker, Grammarly) to fix mistakes, and ask a friend to proof it for good measure.
Long Form Blog Posts
On occasion, it's worth investing in a long form blog post. Although I haven't done it here yet, I'm due to do it. Long form requires a bigger topic, more research, more data, and more time to prepare it. If you're looking to make strong cornerstone content, long form blog posts are your friend. I highly recommend tackling one of these posts every six months. They can be super effective in many ways: SEO, lead magnets, and showing you know your stuff...
How Long Should My Blog Posts Be?
Hopefully the reason you're reading Renegade Blogger is that you trust our advice. Michael and I have been blogging for many years, and writing before we were blogging. One of the places we can look for answers to how long blog posts should be is, well, Renegade Blogger. The most popular blog posts here are Should You Use Humor in Your Blog Posts? (655 words) and the aforementioned 14 Cool Blog Post Types You Can Write (1,231 words). Haiku came in at about 250 words, and hardly anyone read it (hey, it was experimental!). For this blog, I'd surmise we need to write longer content, at least until we're as famous as Mr. Godin, with an emphasis on posting more cornerstones in the near term. I'd surmise the same thing for you. Build your audience with rhythmic mid-range blog posts and semi-annual or quarterly long-form cornerstones. Just keep your momentum however you can. Pressed for time? Write 300 words. Need to build your audience? Write a solid cornerstone and promote the hell out of it. Famous? Then you'll be free to write 200 words about standing in line at Starbucks. :)
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