You never want to bore your reader. And you certainly don’t want to waste words. But is it possible you have gone too far the other way? What if your blog posts are actually too short?
Finding the right length for your blog posts can be tricky. Write too long and you risk boring your readers and losing them before they get to your call to action. But could you actually be writing blog posts that are too short?
Trends Take Blogs Too Short
Years ago, it was common practice to pack your post with keywords, even at the cost of good writing. This was based on a less nuanced versions of search engine algorithms. As the technology improved, the trend for posts got shorter, and keywords gave way to quality content. Instead of writing for computers, bloggers were writing for potential clients – focusing on grabbing and keeping their readers’ attention. But concerns over boring the reader made some bloggers err on the side of brevity.
Now there are analytics available on almost every platform that can help serious bloggers maximize their efforts and find that sweet spot between keyword heavy and content light. Even so, experts have wildly differing opinions on what the ideal blog length really is.
One team of experts at Medium have crunched the numbers and have recommended the blogging sweet spot of 7 minutes. According to a survey of the posts on their site, readers spent more time on posts that were longer reads, up to a peak at 7 minutes – then they started to taper off.
Notice, they focused on the time it took to read the post, rather than word length. But how long is a 7 minute blog post? It can be hard to estimate how long it will take readers to get through your writing. One website estimates the conversion at 1,600 words, while noting that on their site, the most widely shared posts had over 2,500 words.
But writer beware – not all blogs are created equal. The more complicated your language, the longer it will take your readers to get through it, and the shorter you will want to keep your posts, but don’t go too short!
Length Shows Expertise
If your blogs are too short, you could accidentally be telling your readers that you don’t know what you are talking about. A blog that only takes 2-3 minutes to read may leave your reader feeling like they didn’t learn anything. If you are supposed to be the expert, shouldn’t you be teaching on your blog?
A long post shows your readers that you are an expert on the topic and have a lot to say. It gives you the space you need to use examples, elaborate on your point and get into the details that really separate a practitioner from an expert.
Too Short for All Your Keywords?
Even though you are writing for your readers, you have to remember that, in order for them to find you, you are going to need to appeal to the search engines. That’s why some experts say that many blogs are too short to really cover all of your most important keywords. You don’t want your article to feel keyword stuffed, but you do want to give Google all the clues it needs to show up in front of your best readers and most likely potential clients. A longer blog post can give you the space to tie in all the important keywords in a natural way, so they don’t distract your reader.
Writing blogs that are too short will leave your readers looking for more, and they will probably turn elsewhere to find it. By taking the extra time to write longer, more compelling posts, you will capture potential clients’ attention and help you demonstrate your expertise. If you need help crafting the ideal blog posts for your website, contact author Lisa Schmidt with the Legal Linguist for a meeting.