The long and short of it: how long should a blog post be?

by Joanna on May 19, 2007

One of the things I like about blog writing is that it is a format that encourages brevity.  This certainly helps me both crystallise my thoughts and practice the key writing skills of sticking to the point and editing ruthlessly…!

I also appreciate the short-and-to-the-point format as a reader.  It allows you to dip into things quickly, browse stories, pick up ideas and keep up to date without wading through reams of news print.  But how long is the ideal blog post?  As Stuart Brown at Modern Life is Rubbish points out:

“Too little and readers will be finished in the blink of an eye - and too many words could mean your audience is gone before the reach the final paragraph.”

He’s answered the question ‘how long should a blog post be’ by analysing the average length of posts written by the ‘top’ bloggers. The vast majority of posts were over 100 words but under 500.  As he goes on to say that doesn’t mean there’s an ‘ideal’ limit - it will depend on your subject matter, your readership, the style and tone of your blog.  I’m aware for example (though I haven’t counted) that the posts on this ‘tips’ blog are shorter than those on my Coaching Wizardry site where I’m using more creative and metaphorical language, telling a different sort of story.

It does though mean you should hold on to the writing principle of no more words than necessary.

I’m sure there are different opinions on the long and short of blog posts and I’d love to hear what you think about it.

What’s your favourite length of post to write?  What length of posts do you most enjoy - or hate - to read?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bunc 05.21.07 at 8:47 pm

I dont think that there is any ideal length for a blog post. It depends on the subject and the depth of the argument or opinion you wish to express. My most read post for a good while was a lengthy one on the Kurdish question. It needed to be lengthy to tackle the subject adequately.
So the answer I suppose is - long enough to make your point but no longer.

Joanna Young 05.23.07 at 12:12 am

Hi Bunc - good to hear from another blogger in Scotland!

Points well made about subject, argument, opinion etc - and I guess that works both ways, what you’re trying to achieve as a writer and what you’re looking for as a reader.

Absolutely agree with what you say at the end:

“long enough to make your point but no longer”

Joanna

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