May 12, 2012

What is the ideal Word Count limit For an Optimized Blog Post?


BLog Post LengthNowadays, there are no constraints on digital media, as compared to the print media. There is no limit to the physical resources available, there is no cost for writing extra stuff, etc. Indeed, there is little limitation to what you can do to your content online. This liberty comes at a cost, however. For a lot of bloggers, especially new ones, the question as to "Where to stop?" can be challenging. You see, there are no clearly demarcated boundaries that dictate how long a blog post should be. You might be able to convey your message in 200 words, or you might need more than 2000 for the same purpose. So how long should your blog post be? In my opinion, it's more a matter of best practices than it is of predefined do-and-don't rules. So let's talk about how an ideal blog post should look like.

What to consider?

While writing a blog post, there are a few things that you should consider. First of all, your niche. I wouldn't say there's a limit on blog post length, but I'd definitely say that length is niche dependent. Generally, sites that aim to inform have a lower average post length than sites that aim at interacting with people. Latest news websites don't need to have a lot of words, as the aim is to provide the most headlines to the readers in the shortest space possible. Technical and review websites have to be more detailed, since readers are looking for each and every detail about a product.
So it's really a matter of what niche your website is. This very blog you are reading of course is in the blogging niche, but in a broader spectrum, it falls under the 'inform and educate' people category, along with the technical and (sometimes) review categories. Hence, over here, we need to generally write long posts.
There one more important thing. Decide on your average word range, and try to stay close to it. That way, your blog will gain consistency. This does not mean you should restrict yourself to a word limit. Play around with those numbers, and check your analytics for any pattern. Once you decide on a suitable range, go with it!

What we recommend, and why?

I know I said there's no fixed rule, but you should set yourself a target. For most starting bloggers, this target should be around 500 words. And if you get a grip on things, you should set up a higher target. Here at MBT, we have set up a target of at least 800 words. Many people ask me why we have such high limit. Well, there are many reasons for this
Why...?

First of all, the latest Google updates have been all about content quality. Google's penalties have made it necessary that webmasters give more value to content by offering more text than other media such as videos etc. Crawlers and search spiders can be considered like readers. When they see a post that is short, alarm bells start ringing immediately. Short posts are usually seen as spam by search engines. People post short posts on other websites they own, and links those posts to their main website to increase backlinks. Hence, short posts can be seen as spam. You don't want search engines to get that bad first impression.

Secondly, Google is all of a sudden emphasizing a lot on spam. It's all about quality now. Who knows Google might start edging out short, spamy posts in future updates? For that, you need to have a decent amount o words, so that you can safeguard yourself against future update penalties. At some level, the Panda and Penguin updates have also penalized websites that lacked quality and had short posts.

Another advantage of having a sizable post length is, it will have the perfect keyword density. Too long a post will mean too many keywords, while a short post will have too few. The 500-600 range is perfect for optimizing your keyword density. Such a post can be adequately formatted and given proper structure easily, without making it too boring. This makes sharing on social media easy.

Last, but not the least, posts around 500-1000 words are reader-friendly. They aren't too long to be boring, and not too short so much so that readers might them inadequate and spam. In my opinion, this is the perfect post length range.

And in the end...

Before we leave off, there are some tips I want to share with you. These are more like guidelines than tips. And I wanted to include them here because I've seen a lot of people violating the 'writing code'.
First of all, always use headings. Use just one h1 per page, and use multi-level headings and sub-headings to your content. This makes it more interesting, and easier to scan and read. Readers like things that are organized.
Secondly, break your content into short paragraphs. It's more interesting that way. And if makes things easier for you, keep your sentences short. I've read countless articles where people try to express their chain of thought in one fluid sentence, but those sentences end up making little or no sense at all. This is something that will come with experience.
Finally, check your grammar. Blogging environments might have spell-checks (which you should always use), but most don't have grammar check. WordPress does have a simple grammar check, but it's not very efficient. Blogger has no such thing. But hey! Most of you use Microsoft's Word right? If you have the 2007 or later edition, then that's pretty cool. Paste your text in it, and run a grammar check. It will remove redundant, out of place, fragmented words. It will even check the punctuations for you. Hence, it is a neat little tool which you use to improve your post quality.
That's all for this post. And the series as well, since this was the last post in the series. Thank you for staying with us :) Oh, and do let us know what's your average post length, so that we can compare averages. Thank you :)




About Author:

Qasim Zaib is a passionate blogger who enjoys writing articles on Technology, Make Money Online and Blogging niche. He is our Gold Star Contributor and co-author of all blogs under our network.

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  1. Very nice post bro
    Bloggers who write short and thin content got affected by Google Panda and Penguin.
    It is always recommended to write atleast 500 words article to stay safe from such updates :)
    Blogger Tips and Tricks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Qasim for this article :) I suppose my last question has inspired you, because the article has two specific things that I mentioned - my question about H1 and "2000 words" :) Thank you for the answer! I will correct my H1 headings before the next search update :)
    Well, at the end you challenged us to tell about our average size. Yes, I use about 2000 words. For my purposes it works perfectly. I don’t have a possibility to post daily, so I post about ones per month, but articles with very high quality in my niche. In my case I am not interested in advertising, but in influence in the country among the people in my niche. I plan to have a career in writing books and my strategy seems very successful so far. Your blog always helps me with improving my blogging skills (they were close to zero last year, but with your help I manage well even with some codes).

    Vesselin

    ReplyDelete
  3. in the last paragraph you have mensioned about grammer and spelling check.there is a important software called window live writer .it has all such facilities in it .it is free and support all blogs getnetgyan.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Веселин Кисьов
    Hey, Веселин Кисьов (I don't know how to spell your name, sorry :P), thanks for the support! Yes I read all readers' comments, even if I am not able to reply to them. But I try to include things they say.

    Secondly, I visited your blog, and after translation, I saw what you are talking about. Well, your posts are huge! But I like them, since they are so unique! And of course, they are more like articles rather than blog posts on friendship, and unity etc. Tell you what, I'm gonna bookmark your page, because this is good information, even though not all the content gets translated. Good job :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Qasim Zaib Thank you, Qasim for your encouraging! :) Of course, I wanted only to tell your readers why using about 2000 words could be meaningful is some cases, like mine. I didn't try to advertise my site since it is in Bulgarian and not connected with your aria. So, thank you for your attention!

    My name is Veselin :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am a firm believer in writing your post so it is engaging to the website user, has the information they need and is useful. There is no point in writing 800 words if it is waffle and can be said in 250 words. A variation in post lengths depending on what the topic of the article is about is natural. Be concise and interesting and you will not go far wrong.

    ReplyDelete
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  8. Thanks Qasim, for this special guide. I have been using 400 to 1,000 words on my posts for a long time now, because I learnt sometime that it was the best for my visitors.

    When writing, we must always put the interest of our readers into consideration because we are actually writing for their consumption; so we must never think of pleasing ourselves. Rather, we should think of how to make their visit to our site worthwhile.

    We must understand that Blogging is all about communication and if we fail to get our visitors to read what we have written, we can be considered to have failed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very nice post
    Bloggers who write short and thin content got affected by Google Panda and Penguin. i am currently writing 300 minimum

    ReplyDelete
  10. great share with lots of important points covered... i really enjoyed and would like to know more about SEO and blogger tweaks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting post. Thanks for the share. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. I bookmarked it for continuous visit. Thanks once again.
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  12. Great posts, really good quality information.

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  13. What a Great Post!

    thanks for this helpful information.

    google is trying to kill SPAM but I think Google can´t, because even in this Article, I´ve seen various spam comments.

    But I appreaciate that you posted this just in the moment we need it :)

    ReplyDelete
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  17. Hey Qasim your right on with the word count. Recent algo changes (sept-oct) saw lengthy published posts is well ranked whilst articles with 200-300 words plumbed. Quite a debate in Google webmaster forums these past weeks but for us we consider to keep in between, some with short articles and some are long (depends on the topic). But as usual a MUST to consider the technicality aspects liked you've stated in your article.

    Grammar wise, well there's room for improvement though, writing contents, reading and speaking regularly can easily improve one's ability (and with the help from available tools). Use it to the fullest.. thank you for your insights though.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks, I will remember it while writing my next post. You have any tool about word counting.

    I have recently written: Best Way Of Using Sticky Post Option In Wordpress

    ReplyDelete
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  20. Thanks for answering this question. Is there a grammar and spell check tool available for languages other than English? I am planning to blog in Hindi so need help for that.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful blog post. That is what I was searching for. I really like your blog and I appericiate your efforts. Your article is very helpful for me and many others to work out. I will definitely come back on your site for more stuff. Good Luck for the future posts.
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  23. We would presume of which anyone with visitors by now features online spell check, truth check, grammar check, along with proper thoughts and opinions check in any case, and so getting that as part of anything over and above the e-mail program can be redundant.
    If you interested this comment please share your friend. Thanks for read this comment.

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  24. You can go to Word Count Tool to count the number of words easily and fast

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  25. This is awesome how can i count the number of word easily of my post on combine cloud storage

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  26. I am very pleased with your article and continue to make new articles again
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  27. Bloggers who write short and thin content got affected by Google Panda and Penguin.

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