Your Blog Readers Determine the Ideal Length of Your Blog Posts

August 28, 2014  |   How to Buy & Sell Websites   |     |   Comments Off on Your Blog Readers Determine the Ideal Length of Your Blog Posts

There is a lot of contradicting advice out there from online marketers about the correct length of blog posts or articles for SEO. Some experts recommend that posts be less than 250 words because Internet users have short attention spans. Others recommend posts up to 500 words. Some marketers prefer longer posts of 500 words to 2,500 words. So what’s the ideal length for your blog posts?

The mistake that most web marketers and webmasters make is that they think about this question from the perspective of a search engine. They try to figure out what the search engine wants.

We review the websites of many website sellers every week. I can tell you firmly that we see established websites with articles under 250 words that make money AND websites with articles over 500 words that make money AND websites with articles over 2,000 words that make money. You can make money with any article length. How can this be?

All these websites with different article lengths make money because the readers decide what the ideal article lengths should be.

Remember that you’re writing for people. Not search engines.

If people like your content and find it useful, entertaining, and valuable, they’ll visit your website again, they’ll share your content with their friends, and they’ll provide backlinks to it. When they do this, search engines rank your web pages higher and you receive more traffic.

People decide, and search engines follow.

The perfect length of your content will be determined by your readers. The niche of your content determines what types of readers you attract. People read articles for many reasons but they generally seek information for two primary reasons: Entertainment or Money.

1. Readers seeking Entertainment

Readers who seek information for entertainment don’t read long articles online. They’re looking for something short, fun, or informative. This could include good or bad news, celebrity or pop culture news, or funny articles online.

These readers are just trying to kill time. The information is not meant to increase their level of personal or professional success.

As such, these websites tend to have shorter articles of less than 500 words. Very often they have web pages with a lot of pictures or videos and a few hundred words of content added to them.

If these readers find these shorter articles or web pages interesting they are more likely to share them with their friends rather than backlink to them. Examples include viral videos, inspirational quotes, funny pictures, or popular news stories.

2. Readers seeking Money

Readers who seek information for money tend to read longer articles. These are people reading articles related to their business, career, or finances.

a) Readers seek information to Make Money.

Yes, many people love their careers and seek information to perform better. But the underlying reason why most people want to perform better is to advance professionally and make more money. Money is a way of keeping score and assessing progress.

Human beings associate money with survival. So, unconsciously, these articles are meant to help the reader receive information that will enable him survive and grow in his chosen profession.

For example, investors read business and financial blogs for research to invest better and achieve their financial goals. Website business owners read online marketing blogs to promote their websites better, attract more traffic, and generate more revenues. Professionals in a specific industry read industry blogs to stay abreast of industry developments in order to educate themselves and move their careers forward.

b) Readers seek information to Save Money.

Internet users purchase billions of dollars worth of products online. In order to purchase the best products possible, people perform product research online. The higher the dollar value of the product, the more research is performed. A reader will gladly read a long, in-depth online review of a car they’re contemplating purchasing. But the same reader will not read a long review of a DVD they want to buy.

Overall, when money is involved, readers tend to read longer articles. They want to purchase the best product at the best price. They want information to save money.

What length of content gets you the most backlinks?

Research has proven that longer content tends to be backlinked more than shorter content. This makes sense because longer content is more likely to be well-researched and contain more valuable information than shorter content. Readers find the longer content valuable and link to it for others to read over time.

This could include a research report available to professionals online. They may backlink, share, and bookmark the report for re-reading later.

Shorter content tends to be “disposable” content. This could include a viral video or funny article that’s funny or entertaining today but not relevant tomorrow. This content tends to be shared but not backlinked as much as longer content.

Let your blog readers decide

In conclusion, don’t try to figure out what article length is ideal for search engines. Think about what article length is ideal for your readers. Let your readers guide your decision. Study the length of articles on other successful websites in your niche. This will tell you what your readership wants as well.

As a rule of thumb, casual readers seeking information for entertainment want shorter articles of no more 750 words. Readers seeking information to make or save money will read more in-depth, longer articles often as high as 2,500 words (or more).


Kris Tabetando provides mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advisory and brokerage services to Internet companies. He also partners with investors to acquire & manage Internet businesses.

    Connect with Kris:
  • linkedin

Comments are closed.

Related Posts