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How long should your blog post be?

May 17th, 2007 · 10 Comments

Stuart over at Modern Life Is Rubbish has collected some interesting data on ideal length for blog posts. He’s used the Technorati Top 100 as his sample and looked at the average word count.

Every blog is different so it’s not something that’s easy to quantify. As he says, a celebrity gossip blog will tend to be more concise than a blog that is written as a technical reference tool.

So how long is the ideal blog post?

Stuarts research has shown that half of all blogs have an average of less than 250 words per post. As I suggested in my writing for the web post last year, this makes sense. People find it a lot harder to concentrate on reading off a monitor than they do from the printed page.

However is 250 words enough? Can you get your message across in less than 250 words? Are you giving the search engines enough to accurately categorise your post? Should you be looking to aim for 500 words as Aaron suggested?

Stuart concludes his post by asking the same question and I particularly like his take on it.

If you can express your point in fewer words, your readers might just thank you for it.

Whilst it’s important to write with the search engines in mind, you should always write for your readers. The Googlebot will keep coming back – your readers won’t.

Word Count – 234 😀

Tech Tags: ,

Tags: Blogging

10 responses so far ↓

  • Rory // May 18, 2007 at 6:32 am

    Mike, not that I want to get obsessive about this but, is there a tool for counting words, or is it done the old fashioned way?

    I think knowing how many words would be a good way at least of training a writer to streamline as much as possible.

    (hidden question : What do you think of my wrangled Cutline theme?)

  • Mike // May 18, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Rory – I tend to use my fingers 😉 Just kidding. I cut and paste content into MS Word and use the word count function.

    New theme – well it’s definitely a change from the old one and I like the way you’ve made it your own.

    The only thing I would say is that by moving the sidebar across to the left it now means that your main content is a quarter of the way down the page as far as the Googlebot is concerned. The accepted SE friendly practice is to get your main content as high up the page as is possible.

    There is a way around this by specifying an absolute position of the sidebar in the css file and then calling it after the content on the page itself.

  • Rory // May 18, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Oh, blast! I knew there’d be a catch.

    So, I “position: absolute” for the sidebar – and I’m guessing I then have to “float: right;” the content and header_img (well, I tried it in Web Developer and it seemed to hold up.)

    Can you confirm if this is right, Mike before I forge on. I really appreciate your help.

    And, if you haven’t noticed, Brian Gardener over at Cutline is asking Cutline users to Showcase Your Cutline Website. It would be nice to have a few up there that weren’t just the generic Cutline look.

  • Mike // May 19, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    I’ll respond to the WP theme question via email, if that’s OK Rory. It could be a long one 😉

    In the meanwhile thanks for the heads up on the Cutline showcase. Submitted my site last night and already seeing people coming to visit the site.

  • Tracey-ann // Dec 22, 2007 at 3:59 am

    My post are on average about 200 words. I too find it hard to read articles long.

  • Lori // Dec 22, 2007 at 4:01 am

    I am defeated at the look of a long article.Keep it short and simple I say.

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