This is a question that a lot of, if not all, newbie bloggers will ask when first starting out with their blog, as they’re unsure as to what will work best for their readers, for Google and also for themselves. In this post, I will explain the ideal blog post length, how to structure your blog post and also how long it should take you to write each post.
How long your blog post should be, really depends on the subject matter that you’re covering, however, research does show that blog posts of over 3,000 words tend to perform the best on Google. This is mostly because these posts tend to be jam-packed with high-quality information, covering every possible question within a certain subject, and as such have greater re-share value.
That’s not to suggest that you just jump in and write 3,000+ word articles each and every time you write a post, as you’ll surely burn yourself out soon enough. As I’ve already mentioned, the word count really depends on the problem that you’re solving with your post.
Answering a Yes/No question? Write a shorter, 1,000-word post. Writing something a bit meatier, like a listicle? Shoot for closer to 2,000 words. Writing an ultimate guide on a certain subject? That’s where your 3,000+ word blog post comes in.
In any event, the best way to judge how long your blog post should be is to analyse the competition. Check out rival posts on the same exact topic and see how they’ve ‘answered the problem’. You always want to have the mindset of improving on their content. So if you spot something that they’ve forgotten or not thought of, then feel free to write an article (in your own words) that is better than theirs.
Can a blog post be too long?
Perhaps you’re being ambitious and want to know whether a blog post can be too long? You might assume that if a blog post is too long then people just won’t read it, but you’d be wrong. SEO expert Neil Patel has conducted some research on the very matter of blog post length and found that blog posts between 3,000 to 10,000 words performed the best. You can check out his findings here.
For longer posts, you will definitely want to break the content up as much as possible, into bite-size sections to make it more user-friendly for the reader. I also recommend including a table of contents at the top of the post, with anchor links to each respective section (heading) just in case the reader is looking for a specific answer within the post.
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How long should blog post titles be?
Since we’re on the subject of how long a blog post should be, we may as well cover the ideal length of the blog titles too. Two things to consider when it comes to blog titles is how it looks on desktop, and also how it looks on mobile. If you’re using a plugin like Yoast SEO then you’ll be able to see a preview of both versions prior to publishing.
Google has recently changed how title tags and meta descriptions display in the search results. In the old days, it used to be a strict 60 character title tag limit and 156 character description tag limit to ensure that your titles and descriptions were displayed properly.
Now, you must manage your title tag to a specific pixel width of 600 pixels. Generally, anything under 70 characters for the title tag and 156 characters for the meta description will display correctly. Anything that goes over that length may get cut off.
How to structure your blog posts
Now that we’ve got blog post titles out of the way, you may be wondering how to attack the rest of the blog post. I like to approach each and every blog post in the same manner, as to speed up the writing process and make everything much clearer in my head, but also for my readers.
For the most part, each and every blog post that I write will start with an introduction, followed by the answer to the main question of the blog post, supported with some further paragraphs that develop on that answer. Following that, I will also answer supporting questions that the reader may be asking (in their head) before I finish off the post with a conclusion.
When I’m drafting up a new blog post, I actually make a habit of inputting each section as a heading (i.e. Introduction, Answer, Related Questions & Conclusion), so as to know exactly how I’m going to structure that particular post. I’ve written a more detailed post on how to structure your blog posts here.
How long should it take to write a blog post?
Even when using the above structure, the time it takes you to write a blog post obviously depends on the length of the post. When I write a blog post for mikewalterz.com, a short post (of 1,000 words) can expect to be done within a few hours. A medium-sized post (of 2,000 words) can take a full day or two depending on my mood. A long, 3,000+ word post can take a few days – if not a week.
You also have to factor in the point of how well you know the subject that you’re writing about, for instance, I always recommend doing research on a particular subject before you start writing, even if you’re well-versed in the subject. This helps to write the best possible content available on the internet. Even so, if I am familiar with the subject then the words come easy.
In the case of the longer, 3,000+ word blog posts, you definitely want to be doing your research beforehand to ensure that you cover every possible question that your reader may have, and also so that you can put together some original statistics and information that will separate you from your competitors.
What should I write about?
Since I’m in a good mood, I’ll also let you know how you can find new blog post ideas on tap too 🙂 The best place to find new blog post ideas is to check out AnswerThePublic, which is a website that will show you the latest search queries that have been made based on the keywords that you’ve chosen.
This means that you get to see a live view of the what, when, how’s and who’s that your potential readers are searching for right now. In turn, you can write a top-quality blog post that best answers their specific queries, assuring that you give yourself the best chance at increasing your web traffic. Check out the free version of AnswerThePublic today!
Research shows that posts between 3,000 to 10,000 words tend to perform best on search engine rankings, however, these are respective to the type of content that they’re written about. It’s much expected to write closer to 1,000 words for a post that is related to a simple Yes/No question. These are just guidelines however and the focus should instead be on quality and not necessarily quantity.
Do you have any feedback or questions on this post? Let me know in the comments below!