Columbus marketing firm shows close up of old fashioned typewriter key with the word "Publish" on it

How long should your blog posts be?

We've been writing (and reading) blogs regularly for 8 years now, and we're often asked how in-depth should a blog be?

But as with most things, there's no one simple answer. It depends on the forum, the audience and the subject matter.

There's been a lot of discussion in the SEO-world lately about whether a 500-word blog is better than a 1,000-word blog. Or a 3,000-word blog. (This blog is one of our shorter ones at 700 words.)

Arguments for, and against, long blog posts.

A funny article called "You Won't Finish This Article" is about how hardly anyone reads entire blogs can be seen here. (I have to admit I didn't get all the way to the bottom of this article either, so he is spot on!) But I did read more than  half and  it is an extremely well-researched,a nd written, article.

Other recent research, which you can read here, suggests the longer the blog post, the more it is shared.

The other consideration is: just how much time do you have to dedicate to researching and writing your company's blog posts?

It's not hard, it will take more time than you think. We spend several hours a week doing our blog posts. Sometimes, we write 2 or 3 a day, sometimes, once or twice a week. It all depends on our schedules. When we have a break, you can bet we try to pile up on writing the blogs to post them every other day. We think the time you have is the greatest determination of how long your blog posts will be. But the most important thing (obviously) is that they're educational and informative.

If you're a marketer, you have to be a content creator.

However, the most important thing is to start. If you're a marketer, you also have to be a blogger and content creator and get your blog posts out there... whether they're 500 words or 3,000 words.

What we DO know about writing for the web from the reader's perspective is:

  • writing original content that people find interesting enough to link to, Like or share is the most important thing
  • none of us have much time to read, so shorter might be better, and then you can just link to a longer post
  • are your readers interested enough in the subject matter to require more detail, or not? If so, turn it into two shorter posts
  • always use keywords in your post, but not more than 5% of the word count, so as not to upset the Google Gods

From your perspective, consider:

  • is the prospect of writing longer posts preventing you from getting them done? Then short is the way to go! 
  • your time is valuable, too, so if you only have the inclination to write short posts, do that
  • if you're looking for comments, research shows longer posts are better at getting readers involved

No matter which format your write, be sure to get the word out about your posts through social media, too. No matter how good your information is, you can't always go by the "If you build it they will come" theory.

One final note: we believe writing blogs, like any marketing effort (which is exactly what it is), needs to be short and to the point, and good images help. We can't tell you how often we see dumb stock images for blog posts. It's the one area even good blogs fall short. So be sure to spend some time thinking about your images and not making them an afterthought. Subscribe to a stock photo service, and don't look for the obvious images to a post. Think about your image and post from a prospect's perspective.

One other question we wanted to answer:

How often should you blog? The answer: more often than the competitor who is ranking higher than you in Google.

As a Columbus web design firm, our competition is tough. The good Columbus marketing and website design firms write a lot, and have been doing it a long time, and that continuity helps them out. So we have to keep up on our blogs without fail.

However, if you don't have the time to write blogs, it is some thing we can help you with, as you "ghost writers."