Finding the Magic Number

MP900309615Once you have found a topic you are passionate about, one of the hardest parts of blogging will be keeping your posts the right length. Too short and it will seem like you have nothing to say. Too long and no one will read it. So how do you strike the balance?

For most blogs the right length is about 250-500 words. If you are like me (and most lawyers) that number will seem extraordinarily low. You are used to taking your time and expounding on exactly what you mean with each word. 500 words won’t begin to be enough.

But it should be. 250 to 500 words is plenty of space to make one concise point. Keeping within that limit will help make sure your posts are focused and easy to understand.

If you find yourself drifting onto a tangent or trying to explain something, that’s okay too. You simply have the beginning of another blog post. Cut out the explanation, open a new window and save it for later. You can always link to the explanation once it is done in case your readers need more information.

There is a place for longer posts (usually called articles or white papers) within your web space, and it may even be appropriate to include an occasional article among your other blog posts. But before you get too excited, articles should still be about 1000-1500 words, and should be used sparingly – only when you are trying to be the ultimate expert on a particular topic.

Why the strict limits? It’s all about your audience. Internet readers don’t have to invest much energy into finding your article, so they aren’t as likely to put a lot of energy into reading it. They are looking for a quick answer to their Google search, not an in-depth treatise on the topic. Even the most interesting articles, if they carry on too long, will get the dreaded comment: TL:DR (Too Long: Didn’t Read).

If you want to improve your reputation as an expert in the field and as a go-to person in your industry, work on keeping your word count down. You will find over time, your writing becomes clearer, more concise, and more attractive to your audience.

(Word Count: 370)

6 thoughts on “Finding the Magic Number

  1. Pingback: 5 Linguistic Tricks to Make Your Words Count |

  2. Pingback: Why Should You Care About Active Voice? |

  3. Pingback: Readability Keeps Readers from Bouncing |

  4. Pingback: Top 5 Reasons to Use Numbered Lists |

  5. Pingback: TL;DR When Enough is Really Too Much |

  6. Pingback: Catching Your Reader’s Attention |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.