One of the questions I get asked the most as a blogger is “How long should my blog post be?” The answer to that is a hard question to answer. What should your average word count be? Does word count matter? It is quite obvious that a blog post should be somewhere between a sentence and a novel, but where on the spectrum should it fall? Here are some ideas on average word count.
Average Word Count is a Personal Decision
For the most part every blogger has a different idea of what their average word count should be. What’s good for my niche might be too high or low for you niche. For example, say my main blog is about technology news and yours is about theoretical physics. Chances are my word count is lower than yours. Granted if you are blogging about theoretical physics, you and I have more than just word count that differentiates us.
The question is what do you think your word count should be? You know your readers more than anybody else, and it is your readers that matter. Most blog readers don’t want to read 10,000 words each and every time. However, you will have some loyal blog readers that don’t mind longer posts. New readers on the other hand, will want shorter, more to the point blog posts.
You want your readers to stay on your blog posts for as long as possible, and you also want them willing to click on links to your other blog posts to avoid a high bounce rate. If you present your readers with a ton of long form articles, they will get tired out and leave.
There is a reason why Top 10 lists are so popular on the blogosphere. Readers just simply love to read posts that are easy and quick to read.
Know your audience
The key point in all of this is to know who your readers are and what they like. If you audience is primarily loyal readers, the occasional longer article will be loved and cherished. If, on the other hand, your audience is mostly traffic from search engines, shorter posts that grab the reader’s attention right away will be better for your traffic and bounce rate.
A great way to know how long your posts should be is to conduct a survey. There are several plugins and websites out there that offer survey services. Choose one and set up a survey, during which you can ask your readers if they like the occasional long form article.
There is a minimum!
Google doesn’t like really short articles. As every blogger should, keep SEO in your mind at all times when writing your blog posts. Google takes blog length into account as well, so you should keep that in mind when trying to figure out how long your posts should average. Usually the minimum that Google will pay attention to is 300 words.