Ask any content marketing expert how long a blog post should be and you’ll get lots of different answers, but one thing will become clear every one of these gurus will have an answer. There are actually good reasons for having sort, medium and long blog posts, so the best answer is most likely to have a combination of all types of blog posts.
My own personal preference is to develop medium length blog posts as these are long enough to be classed as authority length articles, but don’t take the time a longer length article requires. This means that with my schedule, if the majority of articles I write are this length then I can blog daily and I can meet my goals of writing authority content. I also of course mix it up a little, so you’ll also find some longer and more in-depth posts dotted around the place. Oh and the best answer to how long does a blog post need to be is simple, it’s as long as necessary to answer the question of concern to your audience, it should be one word longer than that.
Short Blog Posts
Short blog posts are great for people who have short attention spans, this bite sized content is therefore great for people to read while waiting in line at the doctor’s office (I personally tend to read my kindle here), or whenever someone has a limited amount of time such as someone having a short break at work. The idea is that you get to the point quickly, you exclude all of the fluff often associated with longer articles. One other major benefit of short blog posts is that they don’t take much time to write, and if multiple posts are done each day especially when you first start your blog (Sandbox Mode) you can gain a tremendous search engine boast.
Types of short posts:
- Curated Content – You collect other peoples content you think is relevant to your audience and that you believe they should look at, and write a short blurb or intro to the content, often giving your own opinion.
- Product Announcements – These don’t always need a long post and can often be quite short. You may just say that the product is ready or that it’s a good product, and link to where they can buy it which is often a longer specialist sales page.
- Opinions and Thoughts – If you have ideas, thoughts or just want to share your opinion about something that you believe will interest your audience, a short punchy blog post is most often the best way of doing this.
Many people are very successful with this type of blogging. A real proponent of short blog posts that get right to the point is Seth Godin and no one can deny his success.
Link to Seth Godin – http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/
Medium Length Blog Post
This is the type of post I tend to write, it forms the backbone of my own blog. I am many other content marketing experts recommend and use this type of post and it does work as it helps establish authority. Blog posts are typically between the 400 to 800 word count and this is considered standard in the industry for a medium length blog post.
Types of medium blog posts:
- How To – This type of blog explains how to do something that is very singular. Sometimes it uses images to get the point across.
- Informational – These form the backbone of most businesses blogs, they certainly do mine. It’s a great length to engage your audience with the information they want without you going overboard with too much information at once.
This length of blog posts forms the backbone of most businesses blogs. These are what I call authority building blog posts as they are the perfect length for telling a story, sharing information and establishing authority. HubSpot.com is a huge proponent of the medium length blog post. Many people only use medium length blog posts and achieve great success.
Link to HubSpot – http://www.hubspot.com/
Long Blog Posts
Another type of blog post that content marketing experts swear by is known as “long-form” blog posts. These tend to be blog posts of more than 800 words in length. These blog posts are the most authoritative you can have, they are also extremely good for SEO purposes. Google respects authority pages the most, therefore creating some longer posts can be great for both your audience and your search engine ranks.
Types of long posts:
- Case Studies – These by definition of what they are need to be long because you’re telling a story about something that is more in-depth. Case studies that are too short will not tell the whole story. People love knowing as much as they can about other people’s lives that is why we all watch soap operas after all.
- Annual Reports – If you have a large enough business that you can create an annual report, posting it for reading on your blog is an excellent way to put content that will interest your audience. These people after all definitely want to know how well you’re doing.
- In-depth Informative Articles – Take this blog post, it’s classed as a long-form blog post by its length, because the topic of this post meant that it had to be slightly longer than your traditional medium blog post.
Neil Patel, founder of KISSmetrics, is passionate about long form blog posts and it works extremely well for him and many other content marketers. However, when writing it’s important to stay on topic, to not deviate and change subjects, and to be able to actually write well enough to keep the interest of your audience throughout the entire post.
The best way to blog in my opinion is to use all of these types of blog posts. If you have a mixture of the different lengths and more importantly ensure that each blog post has a reason for being, is targeted and relevant and is only the length required to answer the concerns of your audience. By doing this you’ll see some great results from all three types of blog posts: short, medium and long.
The purpose of content is to tell a story that attracts and engages your audience, the purpose of marketing is to get your audience to do something and only when these come together, is this content marketing … Steve Cartwright