So what is the perfect blog post length, anyway? If your goal is to keep readers on your website and improve your search engine performance your blog posts need to be long. After all, you want to keep them reading as long as possible. Isn’t that every blogger’s goal?
Your Word Press Yoast plugin will tell you that it recommends a minimum of 300 words. I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that you need a lot more than just 300 words to truly engage your readers. However, you don’t want to make reading your blog post such a long bore that readers just check out. So how do you calculate that magic number?
In real life, I’m a talker. I can go on for days, in case you haven’t already noticed. In my blog posts, I tend to do the same. Then I usually realize I’ve said way too much. I’ll go back, cut pieces out, and then wonder if I haven’t said enough. The struggle is real folks! I never know what’s the perfect blog post length really is.
Recently these thoughts bothered me so much that I began digging around for some answers. So what is the perfect blog post length? Here’s what I discovered.
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Turns out Medium has done a bit of research on the topic. To measure the performance of their most popular content they didn’t focus on the clicks they received but instead on the attention given to their articles. In other words, they looked at how long readers stuck around to read their content.
To figure out their magic number, Medium measured the average total time readers spent reading each post and then compared that to the length of the post.
Did you know that all Medium posts are marked with a time signature that lets you know how long it should take you to read a specific article? I think that’s pretty neat!
What is the Perfect Blog Post Length?
Obviously, ‘ideal content’ is content that readers actually stick around to read. But how long will readers stick around before they move on to the next thing?
According to Medium, the ideal content should take approximately 7 minutes to read. After that readers drop out significantly. In terms of length, 7 minutes translates to about 1,600 words. But there are some other guidelines you should consider as well.
Guidelines for Blog Post Length
Seven minutes seems to be the magic number and the perfect blog post length should be about 1600 words according to Medium’s findings. Interesting since 7 has always been my favorite number. But really this isn’t completely set in stone.
- If your blog post is all content with no pictures, you should stick to approximately 1600 words.
- If your blog post includes images, infographics or charts then your post doesn’t need to be as long — keep it at about 1,000 words.
Regardless of these interesting findings, you shouldn’t force yourself to stretch out blog posts to make them 7 minutes long. Content is still king and regardless of how long, or short your blog post is, if you provide quality content your readers will stick around. I’m sure we can also all agree that crappy content certainly won’t get better because we stretch it out.
What Medium’s findings really mean to me is that it really is worth writing as much as you need to in order to get your point across. And you shouldn’t feel like you need to cater to short attention spans (although we hear about those all the time). Readers will stick around when you have something interesting to say, even if it takes a bit longer.
Now are you as relieved as I am about this? How long do you usually make your blog posts? Have you found your magic number? Leave me a comment in the comments section below.
By the way, this post right here is 663 words long, in case you were wondering. 😉