How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
When it comes to blog posts, is there such a thing as an ideal length or publishing frequency? A perfect blog post is a unicorn – it sounds great, but it is non-existent. The success of a blog post utterly depends on its quality, which largely hinges upon special personalized elements. If you have a blog post, what exactly should you be doing in order to have an effective publishing strategy? This article will provide a breakdown of some tried-and-tested elements of a successful blog.
Word count is one way to grab people’s attention to your blog post. The graph tells us that blogs should contain somewhere between 2,350 to 2,425 words – content that is rich in information. This is the word length that a good blog should aspire for. However, the information presented on the graph can be misleading. The problem with inflexible and very restrictive charts such as this one is that it provides very specific information that yields more questions such as:
Is there a specific set of keywords that this chart applies to? How do you identify these keywords?
In the given chart, there is no way of knowing whether the 5,000 keywords were navigational, informational, or transactional. The keywords are not classified, which render them irrelevant and meaningless.
Are the keywords that are relevant to my own blog yielding the same results?
Each blogger has specific keywords that mean something to them. If a certain blogger were to get the average content length based on keywords that are relevant to them, it would most likely not yield the same top 10 results. Also, there are certain keywords that require a small amount of content versus keywords that require a lot of content. This then brings into question whether a longer or shorter article is better based on the keyword requirements. This means that getting the average content length is not important.
Does correlation mean the same as causation?
In this case, correlation of data does not necessarily indicate interconnection. Since we’re looking at the average, there is no direct relationship between correlation and causation.
Since data from keyword set averages is not an ideal gauge to determine the best content length, bloggers should focus on the following:
- Check whether your target keywords are working
Search the target keywords in the search engine results page and see what works and what doesn’t work, making sure that the content associated with the target keywords are effective.
Be innovative and have the courage to challenge the length of the top results by coming up with much shorter content as needed. Even if the top results are within the word length average, if a blogger can give a shorter, more concise article that answers the searcher’s query, it will be more valuable to the reader. Truth be told, there are many who rank well but are over-creating content and searchers do not appreciate that. If this is the case, they usually look for lower-ranked sites with more useful content.
- Matching content goals with what the searchers are looking for.
When bloggers create content, it should have an appropriate length. This means that if there is a specific query, a short and quick answer should be enough. There is no need to write a thousand words with loads of information. On the other hand, if there is a complex query that needs to be answered with a longer-than-average post, then the blogger should not hesitate to create a longer post with unique content.
How Often Should a Blog Post be Published?
When it comes to the frequency of publishing blog posts, there are several data available that tells bloggers the ideal number of times that they should publish. In answering the question, “How often should I publish?” bloggers should take the following into consideration, especially when they see charts like the one shown above:
Which sites were analysed to come up with the data?
Bloggers should always ask whether the sites that were analysed are within the same sector or at least target a similar audience. If this is not addressed, then you might as well be comparing apples to oranges. Bloggers should also take a look at the content quality and the strategies used at obtaining traffic. Were the strategies used savvy and steered in the right direction?
What is the quality and value of the traffic?
Based solely on the chart shown above, there is really no way of determining the quality and value of the traffic.
What other features matter aside from raw frequency?
- Matching goals to content schedule
It is important to stick to a set publishing frequency that the target audience will come to expect and associate with the brand. Whether it is every week, every month, or every quarter, it does not matter. What matters more is consistency, which would help build a pattern for both the audience and the organization.
- Consistency is just as important, if not more, than raw frequency
The target audience should get used to a consistent publishing schedule which they would look forward to. Rather focusing on how often the blog is published, the focus should be on building a loyal set of readers and subscribers.
- Posts that get the target audience’s attention, increase readership, and subscription and significantly improve conversion.
What is more important is not how many times a reader visit but the rate of conversion per published post. The bottom line is that content strategy is more than just quantity of visits, but quality of posts that lead to conversion.
One aside about publishing frequency that is worth mentioning is that if the blog is in its earliest stages when the goal is building a long-term career in blogging or publishing, it is ideal to publish a huge amount of content initially. The reason why great writers are the way they are is that they write a lot, and they just improve over time. If the ultimate goal is to become a bona fide web publisher, then it is a good idea to keep writing. After all, practice makes perfect.