Why Blog Post Length Must Always Be Secondary to Creating Value

Glenn C
Glenn Cowan has been a freelance writer for the last couple of years, writing content for a number of clients. Glenn now runs his own website Orange Copywriting, which provides a wide variety of copywriting services. This includes blog content, as well as SEO articles.
Glenn C
Glenn C
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How to create valuable blog postsIt would seem that the debate centering on blog post lengths keeps raging on. There are of course two very distinct schools of thought here. Many writers believe that their blog posts can only really deliver when the word count is in excess of 1000 words. Whilst, others believe that less is actually more.

The people behind the rationale for producing low word count content will often argue that readers struggle with their attention spans. These same readers it would seem much prefer a chunk of information, with the minimum opportunity of distraction.

This blog post will take a closer look at both sides of this argument and perhaps more importantly explore the best scenario.

Shorter is best

As we have already discussed, shorter posts run less risk of the reader getting bored and losing interest. There are fewer things more disappointing than coming across a bloated piece of content. Often these will make their point within the first paragraph or two and then spend the remaining 800+ words almost beating their reader to death.

In many respects this type of writing is similar to when an individual was in secondary school. Maybe you can remember scrambling like mad to get as much fluff and filler into the writing as possible. Desperately trying to get over the magical quota line, well long worded posts can often be a little like this.

The reality is that is that if something can be said quickly in a snappy fashion then it should. In a world where there is already far too many distractions, should you really be wanting to add to them?

No, Long Posts are Much Better

Four or five hundred words is barely enough to determine an issue, let alone explore it properly. However, the internet is chock a block full of short content. A lot of this content offers just about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Why? Because content writers are frightened to death about scaring their readers off.

If you believe that your writing cannot hold a readers interest over say 800 or even 1,000 words then now is the time to hang your head

in shame. Stop now and find an alternative career.

Great writing is worth much more attention than this.

Who Really Cares About Length? Value is King

Having read the above, you might well be unsure of the best approach to take. The reality is that there is probably no clear winner when it comes to just how long a great blog post or article should be.

When writing for the web it is essential to always deliver value. Without it your readers simply won’t return. What’s more they won’t share your “great” post with others. The time that you spend putting it together will have been by and large wasted.

It’s extremely unlikely that a reader will stop reading after 500 words or so if they are finding your content informative and interesting. The reality is that they will want more!

However, on the flip side, if you are being a little long winded in your approach then people are much more likely to stop reading. Most of the time they won’t even bother to hang around for you to make your point, assuming that there actually is one.

Secret: Value Guaranteed

The easiest way to guarantee successful content is to follow a very simple, but essential pattern.

The written article or blog post must have at its very core a simple goal:

  • Identify a problem
  • Offer a solution

This will ring true for the vast majority of all non-fiction written material.

Put simply a great writer will be able to provide an interesting introduction. They will then have the ability to raise the tension a little; of course this is achieved by simply discussing the roots of the problem. After this stage they will then be able to provide a conclusion, or in other words they will solve the issue that the reader has faced.

Practice Makes Perfect

Putting content together in the above fashion can take a little practice; however, with some perseverance great results can be achieved.

Without a doubt it is the most likely way that value can be delivered, without the risk of missing something or worse still droning on till the cows come home. 

Comments


  1. Twitter:
    yes i also really like your views that content is king and length doesn’t matter !but sometimes long posts ruin interest of the reader !
    harshi recently posted..How to Root Sony Xperia Sola !My Profile


  2. Twitter:
    Hi, Mr. Glenn. C, This is very good article, long or short article was highly influential, but the most influential is the quality of the article. Short article can also be good, if it complete and satisfying readers. Too long is not necessarily complete, occasionally swirling and boring. The content must be considered, so that the reader gets the information is clear and complete. Perhaps a combination of graphical and analytical writing will make the article not too short or too long, but still have good quality and satisfying readers. Thank you, to be honest this article is great, successful for you.

  3. I agree, I have been told before that longer post is good for Google ranking but what happens when your readers get bored.


  4. Twitter:
    Hi Glenn,
    I feel the length has to be based on the topic. Some topics can get to the point with little content, while others require more. It all depends on the topic of the post.
    D Hayes recently posted..Hot Rod 1986 Z28 Camaro Discover This Hidden TreasureMy Profile


  5. Twitter:
    Hi Glenn,

    Value trumps all. Love the message here.

    I write 400 word posts. I write 800 word posts. If I solve a problem with either post, I attract readers.

    One stark difference though, and it has to do with Google. After testing, my 600 word posts generate a higher Adsene Pay Per Click than my 400 word posts. Money seems to follow thorough, in depth value. But never stretch out a post for the sake of stretching it out.

    Start with a longer outline. Work off that. Then steadily write from a relaxed place, intending to solve a problem, not reach some word count. Proceed until you hit 600 or 700 word. You will generate higher revenue per click and perform a bit better in search engines too, as most of the Big Boy blogs are working with 600, 700, or 800 word articles these days.

    Ultimately, do what sings to you. Create value, solve problems, feel good about it, and you will naturally open channels to success which you had previously been blocking. Magical, it seems to be, but it is all based on how we choose to feel at any given moment.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..5 Tips to Help You Quickly Learn Each DayMy Profile

  6. Luis Valadez says:

    Great article Glenn. I feel that it also depends of the topic. If you think you think the topic needs to solved in 1000 words then do it. If not then 500 words is about the right amount of words in my opinion.


  7. Twitter:
    I try not to focus too much on post length anymore. It is what it is and ultimately the readers will decide what works for them.
    Justin recently posted..Silva Intuition SystemMy Profile


  8. Twitter:
    Hi Glenn!
    I’m happy to read your ideas. When i was started to blogging, 400 words are enough. But, time and again i changed my writing pattern and tried to write 700 words. Rihgt now, i have been getting positive result from 1500 words or more. How many words should write in post, that i don’t know, but if your write a content inclding reseach base data, testimonial and social proofs then definately get top ranking.

    Content is a king. So that a content should raise problem and give solution. I bassicaly write on http://googma.blogspot.com . My older posts were so short. But recent post are longer: more than 1000 words.
    Googma Sansar recently posted..Social Media Optimization (SMO) StrategyMy Profile

  9. Hello, Funny enough i don’t mind about length when i write my post. i just write and go straight to the point but still some of my post are long but still interesting. and fun to read… by the way i love this post and looking forward to more of your post. tahnks
    babanature recently posted..Optimizing Your WordPress Database For A Better PerformanceMy Profile


  10. Twitter:
    Yes quality is always better than quantity. Detail is good , but till the time it is really required. No need of endless boasting around your article. ;)
    Umpreet recently posted..Top And Cool Google Fun TricksMy Profile

  11. Glenn, I love reading your posts they are always full of facts (sometimes hard facts) and of course they always offer solution. If I was given a chance, I would suggest you write longer posts just to quench my thirst for more of your stuff. Am sure many other readers are for the same opinion.


  12. Twitter:
    Thanks Glenn
    But I have observed that Most of the Blog Owners ask for a minimum 600 to 750 words for the Guest Posts on their Blog where when they write by their own it is hardly 500 word article. I agree that Value is the King but why Guest Posts are asked for More Words?
    Ravi recently posted..How to Create WordPress Parallax Scrolling effects?My Profile


  13. Twitter:
    Hi Until now i thought the bigger the blog post the better it is to get higher serp ranking..Thanks for the simple explanation i am now more clear about how my further blog posts are supposed to be
    Suraj recently posted..Facebook Newsfeed gets a new look on March 7thMy Profile


  14. Twitter:
    It’s true that value matters, but the number of words matter too. It usually depends on what you’re writing. Of course, if you’re writing about a phone and covering in short in fancy language it’s good; but it’s better that when you can write detailed with the same fancy language.


  15. Twitter:
    Thank you for this post it’s help me a lot because I am a new blogger. And yes I think you are right valuable content is the king length is nothing…
    Alok Dey recently posted..Free Best Domain Name and web Hosting service provider site listMy Profile


  16. Twitter:
    When I started blogging, I believed in writing blog posts that are over 1000 words as I wanted the reader to get the complete picture. I later realized that I am not able to retain the visitors till the end of the post. I think an idea post should be between 200-300 and if the reader wants more, he/she can always check other blog posts.
    Chang recently posted..Taipei Free WIFI : TPE-FreeMy Profile

  17. totally agreed with you. long posts with unuseful stuff can make your readers board. a short post with total useful stuff can hold them. But does long posts can increase SEO..?????? reply must..
    Rajat Prasun Sati recently posted..Sony Xperia ZL C6503 Full Specification & PriceMy Profile


    • Twitter:
      I think that the demise of the 150 – 200 word posts have been testament to Google and the others wanting longer posts. Above all, the search engines want to make sure that their “customers” receive information that will be of “value” to them.

      It is perhaps harder to do this with blog posts that are extremely short. Likewise, a longer post is no guarantee of success.

      As discussed throughout my original post here, it is all about providing that elusive value. If you like, answering the questions that the reader has.

      Thanks for your valued comment, Rajat.
      Glenn C recently posted..Fluff Content: Your Own Site Could Be Guilty of Not Providing Enough Nutritional ContentMy Profile


  18. Twitter:
    Agree with you. Always I try to keep my blog post short and simple. But I hear search engine gives more importance to longer post than a shorter one. Thanks for sharing.
    Lakhyajyoti recently posted..Top 7 Google Chrome Extensions for WebmastersMy Profile

  19. Ashutosh says:

    Thanks for this post i’ll surely help me because i thinking to be a blogger and i need tips like you share .


  20. Twitter:
    300 words posts , which is the minimum word require by google for a good seo content, are this too long?
    Steve Wec recently posted..Top jeux htmlogiste 1!My Profile

  21. I don’t think that word count is a direct indicator of value. Some bloggers go for quantity and that’s fine, but it’s also boring and repetitive. As long as the topic gets the point across and hits the keywords you’re looking for then you’re good.
    Robert Koenig recently posted..Toby Keith Bassist Killed in Car AccidentMy Profile


  22. Twitter:
    Nice summary there Robert.

    Couldn’t agree more!

    Thanks so much for commenting :)
    Glenn C recently posted..Fluff Content: Your Own Site Could Be Guilty of Not Providing Enough Nutritional ContentMy Profile


  23. Twitter:
    Excellent points Anurag,

    Thanks for taking the time to check out this post and for the comment :)
    Glenn C recently posted..How to Bore your Blog Post Readers to DeathMy Profile


  24. Twitter:
    Is there such a thing as strategic writing? sometimes I write just enough to pull the reader in and spark their curiosity. Whether the post is 500 or 800, it doesn’t matter. I write enough to tell a complete story, and leave just a little bit out to encourage readers to visit other parts of my blog. Generally though, I stick to 800 words or less. I find anymore would be a little long.
    Pat Drummond recently posted..Why it is Worth Paying for Online Access to your Credit ReportMy Profile


  25. Twitter:
    Hey Glenn,
    Nice post and Yes, we have to not depend on the post length and should write complete thing whatever we research about the post and have to write till our satisfaction. Thanks for sharing this post.
    Sudipto recently posted..Sony Xperia Z Vs BlackBerry Z10 Vs Samsung Galaxy S IV ComparisonMy Profile


  26. Twitter:
    Post length doesn’t make any sense. We should take care of the quality of the post rather then focusing on the length of the post.
    Prakash recently posted..Download Kik Messenger for Android Smartphones | TabletsMy Profile


  27. Twitter:
    Long posts are only good to search engines.
    Shorter posts are more friendly to actual readers. Seriously who wants to read 800 plain words?
    Leslie Edwards recently posted..The Basics On How To Make Electronic Music: Drum LoopsMy Profile


  28. Twitter:
    Have seen and read many blog posts on this subject but for the first time I have to agree that this one is the correct way to do it. For me length it not important but conveying what I wanted to convey is the point.
    Keral Patel recently posted..Five Reasons You Should Have Your Own WebsiteMy Profile


  29. Twitter:
    Hey Glennthanks for the well explaination. I am a new blogger so i am trying to learn day by day.Thanks and take care.RegardsChetan Gupta


  30. Twitter:
    We must consider post length medium while writing posts,! Like 500 – 600 words are enough, Seth Godin says lots of things in 100 words others can’t say in thousands of pages too so quality matters.
    Jafar Dhada recently posted..Whatsapp for PC, Whatsapp for Windows 7/8/XPMy Profile


  31. Twitter:
    Your article is absolutely true. Alot of bloggers are writing content just to satisfy the likes of Google. Write great content that will help your target niche solve a problem and you’ll get a ton of shares and mentions. Keep it short and to the point.
    Chin recently posted..PINK DRESSMy Profile


  32. Twitter:
    I am in hundred percent agreement with Glenn. The length of the post : Short or long is immaterial as long as we are providing value in our post. One of my favorite SEO blogger (he is also named Glenn) from Viperchill always writes long marathon posts of at least 5000 words per posts. However, they are so mesmerizing and useful from SEO point of view that every posts is worth its weight in Gold. On the other hand, some of my favorites spiritual bloggers writes vertiny posts of 50 to 100 words revolving around a quote. Yet they have so in depth meaning in them that we keep reading them again and again.
    William recently posted..Which is the best dictionary app for Android?My Profile


  33. Twitter:
    think Length of the post depends in Topic but still I want to say that about 700 words Blog posts are enough to give full explanation of any topic and also this length is considered good for search engines.
    Atinder recently posted..How Long a Blog Post Should Be?My Profile

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