Ruler-CoverIf writing blog posts is intimidating to you (and it shouldn’t be with this guide), sometimes it helps to set a goal for yourself. If you have an idea of the number of words, or length, a post should be, you can start to plan how you’ll use your content. Let’s consider a popular blog length recommendation.

The Distraction Factor

Hmm, sorry, did you say something? I was taking a BuzzFeed quiz on my phone.

We’re a distracted society. We have tablets, eBook readers, phones and watches to keep ourselves occupied throughout the day and well into the night. Everywhere you look, someone or something is begging you to get online and click. Just as you are getting distracted, so are your readers.

Because blogs aren’t usually pictures or video, but text, we have to be extra careful to create blogs that people will read. This is why it’s important to pay attention to length as well as content. There’s a “sweet spot” where your readers will get to before they are distracted and flip to something else.

Ideal Post Length Breakdown

What exactly is the ideal length for a blog post? According to Medium, it’s about seven minutes of reading. By evaluating on-screen reading times, they found that after seven minutes, users navigated to something else. But in those seven minutes, the average reader can read about 1,500-1,600 words.

It works for SEO. Quicksprout compiled several studies to find out that longer posts get ranked higher, tend to get more backlinks and get shared more. If you are aiming for a post that gets shared more and is ranked higher, you should definitely consider this length.

Expanding a Blog Post

Let’s say you have a great idea for a blog post but you’ve only managed to get a few paragraphs out of it. You certainly don’t want to add extra words just to get to 1,600, but you can go a little more in-depth on your topic to flesh out your post. Some things to consider:

  • Does the topic have an interesting backstory or history to it?
  • Could you include statistics or studies to back up your information?
  • Can you add a fun anecdote or real world story related to the topic?

Do the research and elaborate on these posts and you’ll get to 1,600 words in no time. On the flipside, if you have too much information, why not turn it into a series?

Don’t Make Me Write Any More!

Sometimes you just can’t get to 1,600 words. That’s okay, not every blog needs to be, or should be, this length. For example, this post is a little over 500 words in length, but we find there’s value in both long and short posts for Roundpeg’s audience. You can make it your goal to strive for 1,600 words, but give yourself a break every few posts. It’s not a terrible idea to have posts of varying length to appeal to a wider set of readers.