What’s the Right Length for Your Blog?

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What’s the Right Length for Your Blog? by Vikram Rajan

{3:07 minutes to read} There really isn’t one perfect length for blog articles. But given people’s short attention spans these days, you should make sure that readers remain interested from beginning to end. If you’re using your blog as a marketing vehicle, keep your articles short and simple.

Don’t try to exhaust the whole topic in any one article:

No blog article can do complete justice to any topic. Books can easily be written on the simplest ideas. In fact, 8 years ago I came out with a book called 365 Marketing Thumb-Rules, where each page was a “do or don’t” marketing rule of thumb. The concept was that each rule could be a book or multiple books in itself. You’ll end up having many blog articles over months and years for any one idea.

Make your readers hungry for more information:

Marketing common sense tells us that, when they are finished with the blog, readers should have more questions than when they started. And hopefully, some of their questions can only be asked one-on-one because of their specific nature. Many codes of ethics & compliance regulations prohibit lawyers, financial advisors, and accountants from giving counsel and/or advice in a blog article.

Be attentive to attention spans:

Attention spans tend to be around 3 or 4 minutes at most, especially for online reading. Although popular TV shows maximize their ad revenue by going to commercials almost every 3 minutes, most TV shows double the length of time to every 7 minutes (after a cliffhanger). That 7-minute time is double the “reading run time” I recommend a blog article to be. Incidentally, 7 minutes is around the length of time that it takes to read a newspaper column. It’s interesting to see how the average number of words decreases from a magazine cover story (2500 words), to feature story (1500), to a newspaper column (700), and, nowadays, to a blog article (300 – 500 words).

Know your audience:

There is a school of thought that says longer blog articles can sometimes be effective. If you’re writing to an audience of your peers, then an article can be longer, more sophisticated, and more detailed. For example, in my industry—marketing—blog articles can easily be 1000-1500 words. But generally, those are marketing blogs written for other marketing bloggers.

At phoneBlogger.net, we feel that shorter blog articles (300 to 500 words) are usually better. We do put the floor at 300 words because fewer than 300 words can sometimes have a negative impact on search engine optimization (SEO). We recommend that our clients label articles with read lengths (what we call a TimeStamp) for two reasons: 1) It lets the reader know how short and quick the read is, and 2) it reminds our clients how short or long their articles are.

How else are you conscious about the right length for your blog articles? Have you seen a pattern between article length and response?

Vikram Rajan, Co-Founder of phoneBlogger.net

 

Vikram Rajan, Co-Founder
Telephone: (888) 952-4630
Email: Vik@phoneBlogger.net
Website: phoneBlogger.net

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