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Article Length

tape measure Article LengthThe optimal length of a blog post has been hotly debated by bloggers for years, and there are a number of factors to consider when thinking about it, such as the following:

  • Reader attention span – It is pretty well documented that the typical web reader has a short attention span when it comes to reading content online. The average blog readers stay 96 seconds. That’s a minute and a half to communicate to your readers. As a result many webmasters purposely keep their content length down to a level that is readable in short grabs.
  • SEO – There is a fairly strong opinion among those considered experts in search engine optimization that both extremely short and extremely long web pages are not ranked as highly as pages that are of a reasonable length. Of course no one really knows how many words are ideal in the eyes of Google and its fellow search engines – but the general opinion seems to be that a page of at least 250 words is probably a reasonable length. Similarly, many advise keeping pages less than 1,000 words.
  • Quantity of posts – One theory that goes around is that shorter articles allow you to write more articles and that more articles are better for generating readership with RSS, in search engines and news aggregators such as NewsNow and Google News. You only have to look at the top sites in the football news industry to see that this is a strategy that works and is used by many websites.
  • Topic / genre – The type of post that you’re writing will often determine its length. For example, when writing a review of a match or a aseason, you’ll generally write a longer post than when you write a news-related post where you link to something someone else has written.
  • Comprehensive coverage of the topic – Ultimately this has to be the main criterion that bloggers go with. Write enough to comprehensively cover your topic and then stop. Long posts for the sake of them are not a wise move – but neither are short ones that don’t cover the topic well.
  • - Taken from the ProBlogger book.

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