PureNews

PureNews is an amazingly sleek and powerful news theme with unlimited color variations.

View full feature list Check out the live demo Buy this theme today

How long should a blog post be?

Posted by on 6th Oct 2009 | 13 comments

How long should a blog post be?I’ve been hanging out at the ProBlogger.com forums over the last week. One topic which keeps springing up in the writing content section is post length, something which most new bloggers always seem unsure about.

Undoubtedly, new bloggers compare their post length to blogs they read regularly (usually blogs within the same niche). Which encourages these bloggers to emulate successful blogs rather than doing their own thing. This isn’t always necessarily a bad thing but it’s important to blog the way you want, rather that the way you think you have to.

Post Length : Long or Short?

I believe that you should write articles to suit your writing style. There is no point trying to write in a manner which feels uncomfortable to you. If you prefer to write long 1,000+ word articles so that you can explain everything in detail, then that’s exactly what you should do.

Likewise, if you find it difficult to write long articles, short blog posts will work out better for you. Put simply, you should not write an article of a certain length if it’s difficult for you.

It makes sense to compare your own blog to others in the same niche, but it shouldn’t dictate what you do. Here’s what I wrote on the subject last week on ProBlogger.com:

I don’t think that short or long posts are better for any particular niche. I think you should write the posts you want to write. If you want to write longer posts then I say go for it (particularly if you feel more comfortable writing longer posts).

Infact, this could actually work to your benefit. If all other sci-fi blogs are writing short posts, you could carve out a niche by writing long, funny, detailed articles. For example ’10 successful sci-fi shows with terrible acting’ or ’10 Sci-Fi films that make no sense’, that kind of thing.

Be Consistent

An important thing to remember about post length is consistency. Readers get used to a certain writing style, a certain posting frequency and a certain post length. Change isn’t always welcomed, particularly by those who subscribed because of the way you usually post.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t mix things up a little every now and then. You shouldn’t hold back from doing a short news post if you normally do longer posts.

It’s worth pointing out that you don’t need to stick to long or short posts either. You can mix things up from the start if you want and no doubt, your readers would get used to a mix of short and long articles. Infact, BloggingTips regularly has short news type posts and longer articles which go into a topic in more depth.

The rule is there is no rule

Please view this post as a guide rather than the right or wrong way, as I really don’t think there is a right or wrong way to blog. With technical aspects of blogging there is usually a correct way of doing things and an incorrect way.

Though with many blogging topics like writing style, marketing etc, it comes down to a personal opinion rather than someone being right and someone being wrong. If something works for you then keep doing it. And don’t let me or anyone else tell you otherwise.

I will leave you with a quote from UFC owner Dana White, which he said during an interview with Fight Magazine about the legend Bruce Lee. I think it illustrates my point about blogging :)

“If you look at the way Bruce Lee trained, the way he fought, and many of the things he wrote, he said the perfect style was no style. You take a little something from everything. You take the good things from every different discipline, use what works, and you throw the rest away.”

As always, I’d love to hear your opinion on all of this :)

Kevin


Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

13 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Diana on 6th Oct 2009

    well that is me told then.. most of my blogs seem to have a life of their own and are roughly the same length.. although one, on a trip to Normandy which covered 4 days was a bit longer and covered different things.. but thanks for the affirmation that it is what is right for you is the answer!

  • Posted by Rob Mangiafico on 6th Oct 2009

    It's like the old saying "How long is a piece of string?". I think overall you should have a target length that the majority of your articles adhere to (more or less), but varying up the content size as appropriate for the topic at hand is likely the best practice to write effectively. Some topics require brevity, others a long diatribe.

    Write to the length required to cover your topic without going on and on or without covering it sufficiently. Vague, huh? ;)

    Rob – LexiConn

  • Posted by Jordan Cooper on 6th Oct 2009

    Kevin, it's nice seeing you on the ProBlogger forums!

    You're spot on here. The question, in and of itself, is too vague for there to be a specific answer. It DOES really depend on your niche.

    For instance, my blog covers a specific video game title. In that type of community, I'm used to writing "guides" that can easily encompass 20-30 pages of tangibly published text – hence why I tend to laugh a bit when people consider only 1000 words to be "long". :)

    It's a great benefit to visit other blogs within your niche or at least ones that are generally similar in coverage. Either see what seems to work or go the opposite route of supplying a content length that actually isn't being served.

  • Posted by David Stillwagon on 6th Oct 2009

    I agree with the others who have left comments. I try to be consistent in the length of my posts and I try get to the point without padding on any words

  • Posted by Kevin Muldoon on 6th Oct 2009

    Thanks for the comments guys, think most of us are on the same page :)

    Rob – Write to the length required – very good point. That's something I never covered in the post but is a very important thing to remember. :)

    Jordan – Great blog you have there. I've been a cm fan since the amiga days. I still end up buying football manager every year but I try and limit how much time I spend on it as it just consumes you!!

  • Posted by Chad Mustard on 6th Oct 2009

    I think a more important factor to worry about then length is how interesting the post is. The post could be three lines, but full of drivel. The post could be interesting for 500 words and then lose me. The post could be 3000 words and captivate me the entire time. The post can be any length as long as it is keeping your readers interested.

  • Posted by Sarge on 6th Oct 2009

    Agreed! It doesn't really matter how long your blog posts are as long as you provide value to your readers which keeps them reading your posts whether it be a long or short post.

    Consistency is another important factor. If you have long-term readers the last thing they want is a dramatic change in the way you blog. (unless of course the majority have requested the change ;)

  • Posted by Susie McCray on 6th Oct 2009

    I agree with you when you talked about mixing it up. To me, the length of the blog depends on the subject matter. I write both poetry,prose, reviews. My poems are usually short, whereas my story entries or book reviews are longer.

  • Posted by Muzi Mohale on 7th Oct 2009

    I tend to write long post when motivated by something (the sudden drive to deal with a particular subject matter), however I'm more comfortable writing short posts.

  • Posted by Terry on 7th Oct 2009

    Good article and tips. I hope they will help beginners to create a good blog

    Terry Forsey

  • Posted by purwokerto on 7th Oct 2009

    yeaah, I agree with you Bos. keep on writing, blog is one of place we can pactice our write ability.

  • Posted by deakaz on 7th Oct 2009

    Personally I think it depends on the type of post your writing. If it needs alot of explanation e.g. how to type of post then it should be pretty long. Another thing you have to keep in mind is your audience and what they are used to, I myself don't like reading to long of a post. Anyway, great tips to keep in mind for bloggers!

  • Posted by David Gillaspie on 13th Oct 2009

    I work with the standard 1,2,3; beginning, middle, end; setup, twist, conclusion; into, body, ending. It's what I learned in screenwriting classes, 1/4, 1/2, 1/4. It feels right and still follows the no rule rule.

    Good stuff. Thanks.