What’s the best length for a blog post?

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

How long should you make blog posts? The answer might surprise you. I know it shocked me…

My webmaster keeps telling me I should write longer posts. “That’s what Google wants,” he says. I’ve accommodated him by agreeing to write one super-long post (a close to 2,000 words as possible) per month. Otherwise, I tend to stick with my regular format: somewhere between 750 and 1,000 words for Tuesdays and roughly 350 words on the other days.

But my webmaster is on the money according to the folks at Snap, a digital agency in Golden Valley, MN. In a recent post on the topic of blog length, they conclude that the magic number to hit is 2,250-2,500 words for 2016. I find this number a little mind-boggling. Who has time to read several 2,500-word articles during the day? (Never mind, who has time to write them?)

I agree with their consensus that a 2,500-word article allows you to better display your breadth of knowledge. And I share their view that, as business people and entrepreneurs, we should turn our brands, “into a resource for the niche that you serve. …[and], that the more words that you can use to discuss a certain topic, the better it will inevitably perform in search.”

But, let me repeat, who has time to read several 2,500-word articles during the day? I used to read Quick Sprout every week for Neil Patel’s wisdom on content marketing. Then I stopped because I discovered his articles were just too long and too detailed for regular consumption. (Typical length = 2,200 words.) I don’t doubt they are widely forwarded by many people, but how many people are actually, you know, reading them?

Compare this to Seth Godin. The man is a marvel. His column length ranges from a mere 130 words to a high of 286 words (I measured a week’s worth). He also refuses to accept reader comments (to protect his own time, I assume). Yet his blog remains widely quoted, widely referred and superbly well written.

I ran the Snap piece through readability statistics and here’s what I learned:

Word count: 2,343 (too long for me)

Average sentence length: 18.6 (a respectable score but towards the high end of desirable — 14-18 words is ideal.)

Grade level: 10-11 (too high for Internet readership. Should be in the gr. 7 to 9 range.)

Flesh Reading Ease: 55.92 (Should be higher than 60.)

My recommendation to Snap? If they want to write anything that’s so long, they should take a closer look at their readability scores before sending their piece out into the world.

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